THE BEGINNING

It was a month that saw the release of a handful of attention-grabbing debut albums, plus some veterans returning with a new sound.

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Dear February, the only thing you have going for you is that you’re not January. Sorry to hurt your feelings. You’re over it? Great. Last month we pulled together a handy summary of January’s best releases. For what’s traditionally a stinker of a month it did alright, and February’s not been too bad either. Here are the best albums of the last four weeks (you won’t find ‘The Life Of Pablo’ in there). We’ve enjoyed them, and we hope you do too…

Artist: Rosie Lowe
Title: Control
Label: Wolf Tone
What is it? The Devon/London singer fulfils the promise of her early EP on her Dave Okumu produced debut album.
L&Q says: “Lowe often fills the quietest moments with her harshest words, making them all the more powerful – some hit home like a dagger of ice straight to the heart.”
Read the review

Artist: Quilt
Title: Plaza
Label: Mexican Summer
What is it? The Boston band keep their consistent record for making great ’60s-albums-that-are-not-made-during-the-’60s intact on release number three.
L&Q says: “On this new album the band mines the dark, shimmering side of 60s rock; a San Francisco soundtrack all the way from Boston.”
Read the review

Artist: Field Music
Title: Commontime
Label: Memphis Industries
What is it? The fifth album proper from the Brewis brothers takes them in a whole new direction.
L&Q says: “‘Commontime’ is Field Music’s high-pop album, and they want you to know it.”
Read the review

Artist: Christine and the Queens
Title: Chaleur Humaine
Label: Because
What is it? Already a huge success back home in France Héloïse Letissier’s debut album gets a worldwide release.
L&Q says: “Letissier never shies away from big themes. The album pushes at boundaries, obliquely dealing with feminism, gender identity and queer culture.”
Read the review

Artist: Mothers
Title: When You Walk A Long Distance You Get Tired
Label: Wichita
What is it? A debut album from the Athens, GA-based quartet that shifts between drowsy indie-rock, cantering math-pop and hypnotic post-rock.
L&Q says: “Tremulous and sweet – akin to Joanna Newsom or Angel Olsen – there’s still a steely determination in the way she drags single, mournful syllables across several notes.”
Read the review

Artist: Mind Enterprises
Title: Idealist
Label: Because
What is it? Italian producer Andrea Tirone, now living in London, delivers an accomplished debut album of smart electro pop.
L&Q says: “If you’re a fan of Metronomy’s ‘Nights Out’ this will appeal. An album that inches closer to pop perfection with each listen.”

Artist: LNZNDRF
Title: LNZNDRF
Label: 4AD
What is it? The new band made up of The National’s Scott and Bryan Devendorf, as well as Beirut member Ben Lanz, deliver their first record.
L&Q says: “It’s impressive enough that these eight tracks are the distilled essence of thirty-minute jams: that they were recorded over just two-and-a-half days in an abandoned Church makes their power and immediacy all the more remarkable.”
Read the review

Artist: The Snails
Title: Songs From The Shoebox
Label: Self-released
What is it? Two of the guys from Future Islands (bassist William Cashion and frontman Sam Herring) dress up as molluscs and have a right laugh.
L&Q says: “You’re either into the idea of tracks called things like ‘Barnacle on a Surfboard (Barnacle Boogie)’ or not. We are.”

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