From dubby drone metal to optimistic floorfillers
Has anyone else got deja vu? The winter is drawing in, and after what feels like decades of pandemic, we’ve got new doom, gloom and uncertainty to be contending with as Christmas approaches. It’s all feeling very 2020, which is terribly unchic at this point.
Still, at least the soundtrack is good. If there’s one thing we can rely on during “these strange and uncertain times” (sorry), it’s the power of great music to provide solace and exhilaration when we need it most. Here are the best albums released this month, ready for you to dive into and escape everything for a while.
Title: Soaked In Indigo Moonlght
Label: Can You Feel The Sun
What is it? The debut full-length from widely-respected DJ and producer Parris, combining house, techno, electro, juke and more with massive pop hooks to optimistic, compulsive effect.
L&Q says: “Its grounding in UK club culture imposes a specifically and inimitably British sound will keep even the most hard-nosed in the scene involved.”
Read Tom Critten’s full review here.
Artist: Snail Mail
What is it? The second album from precociously talented songwriter Lindsey Jordan, full of exquisite indie-pop earworms that get under your skin and don’t leave in a hurry.
L&Q says: “Ironically, on ‘Valentine’, Jordan sings “fuck bring remembered” yet Valentine stands out as a complex record, one which should bring her further into the spotlight.”
Read Sophia McDonald’s full review here.
Artist: Makaya McCraven
Title: Deciphering The Message
Label: Blue Note
What is it? Percussion maestro Makaya McCraven is let loose in the archives of the legendary Blue Note label, reworking jazz classics in his inimitably inventive, groove-led style.
L&Q says: “All told, Deciphering The Message is a subtle update to the jazz tradition of artists recording new visions of their peer’s songs, and a fitting introduction for Makaya McCraven into the canon of Blue Note greats.”
Read Mike Vinti’s full review here.
What is it? A grandiose, ambitious record from the Australian electro-pop group – a real statement of intent.
L&Q says: “Day/Night is a gargantuan album in a way that not many bands would be able to pull off; an interminable journey in length just as much as breadth, that never quite oversteps the fine line between longevity and tedium.”
Read Charlotte Marston’s full review here.
Artist: Hana Vu
Title: Public Storage
What is it? Fast-rising L.A. alt-rock artist Hana Vu continues to flourish on a debut album that builds upon the promise of her earlier work.
L&Q says: “With a world-weariness that belies her years, and a contralto voice that simultaneously adds depth and distance, those early EPs left plenty of room to grow. Here, on Public Storage, Hana Vu absolutely blooms.”
Read Reef Younis’ full review here.
Artist: New Age Doom ft Lee “Scratch” Perry
Title: Lee “Scratch” Perry’s Guide To The Universe
Label: We Are Busy Bodies
What is it? In one of his final pieces of work, the late, great Lee “Scratch” Perry collaborates with Canadian experimentalists New Age Doom for a triumphant voyage across dub, metal, drone and more.
L&Q says: “Hints of drone metal and free jazz burn at the edges of the record, the spectral gust of dub turned inside out to maximalist ends. Astonishing stuff – RIP to a real one.”
Read Luke Cartledge’s full review here.
Artist: NOUS, Laraaji & Arji OceAnanda
Title: Circle of Celebration
Label: Our Silent Canvas
What is it? Composers NOUS, Laraaji and Arji OceAnanda, plus an enormous cast of collaborators, combine to make something transcendent.
L&Q says: “Circle of Celebration is a stirring ode to the power of collaboration, but also, in simpler terms, to music’s role as a vehicle for sheer joy.”
Read Joe Goggins’ full review here.