From brutal death rap to cosmic folk, the 7 best albums of May have you covered

Mood music, from the past calendar month

Kept simple. These are the albums we’ve been rating released in the past four weeks. From veteran shoe-gazers who seemed unlikely ever make any more music at all (Slowdive) right through to a debut album from a bass-wielding electronic duo who barely existed 12 months ago (Kite Base). It’s a varied lot. Enjoy listening.

Artist: Aldous Harding
Title: Party
Label: 4AD
What is it? The New Zealand’s second album is a – ahem – party soundtrack of brooding gothic folk.
L&Q says: “A talent at the very start of her creative life.”
Read Susan Darlington’s full review

Artist: Kite Base
Title: Latent Whispers
Label: Little Something
What is it? The debut album from two bass players – Kendra Frost and Ayse Hassan of Savages.
L&Q says: “It’s the soundtrack to the post-apocalypse; it’s music swathed in darkness.”
Read Chris Watkeys’ full review

Artist: Jane Weaver
Title: Modern Kosmology
Label: Fire
What is it? The sixth album from Manchester’s most cosmic folk singer, who doesn’t make folk music.
L&Q says: “Songs melt into one another, merging from breathless prog grooves to aching balladry and back again.”
Read Stephen Butchard’s full review

Artist: Slowdive
Title: Slowdive
Label: Dead Oceans
What is it? The cult Reading band’s first album in 22 years.
L&Q says: “It doesn’t feel like an afterthought to keep the money train of touring rolling on but instead a genuinely new statement of expression and artistic intent”
Read Daniel Dylan Wray’s full review

Artist: Ho99o9
Title: United States of Horror
Label: Toys Have Powers
What is it? The debut noise/rap/punk album from a New Jersey duo who like to get naked.
L&Q says: “The group are at their most potent, effective and progressive when in rap mode.”
Read Daniel Dylan Wray’s full review

Artist: Joan Shelley
Title: Joan Shelley
Label: No Quater
What is it? The Kentucky singer-songwriter’s fifth (and best) album.
L&Q says: “Quite how Shelley discovered the gorgeous chorus for ‘Where I’ll Find You’ seems like an impossible magic trick.”
Read Sam Walton’s full review

Artist: Forest Swords
Title: Compassion
Label: Ninja Tune
What is it? Matthew Barnes’ new electronic album that perfectly encapsulates what it is to be alive in these silly times.
L&Q says: “A complex slow-show that owes as much to hope as it does to just hanging in there.”
Read Forest Sword’s full review