Indie chart-toppers meet leftfield electronica
A steadfastly independent dent seems to have been kicked into the commercial carriage this April, with accidental runaway chart-toppers in Wet Leg and Fontaines D.C. becoming the exceptions that prove the rule of a (mostly) broken industry. But don’t worry about that, the bluebells are out. Here are our ten favourite albums from the month.
Artist: Daniel Rossen
Title: You Belong There
What is it? The debut solo album from half of New York’s art-rock era-definers Grizzly Bear, resettling to New Mexico with a cello.
L&Q says: “Without the need to mediate with other band members’ ideas, Rossen’s opulent sound, always original and recognisable, blooms across this album’s ten tracks.”
Read Guia Cortassa’s full review here.
Title: I Don’t Know Who Needs To Hear This
Label: Saddle Creek
What is it? A collection of poignant reflections on friends, feelings and letting go to the tune of John Prine as much as Lucy Dacus.
L&Q says: “Tomberlin has come a long way in the four years since we met her, and this is her best yet.”
Read Tristan Gatward’s full review here.
Artist: Fontaines D.C.
Title: Skinty Fia
What is it? The darkly ruminative and chart-topping album number three for now Dublin royalty, leaning deeply into its Irish heritage.
L&Q says: “Fontaines D.C. have created an epic that keeps on progressing throughout, pushing way beyond their previous boundaries.”
Read Jasleen Dhindsa’s full review here.
Artist: Pierre Kwenders
Title: José Louis and Paradox of Love
Label: Arts & Crafts
What is it? An afro-electronic soirée from the Congolese-born and Montreal-based polymath, featuring a star-studded guestlist from members of Shabazz Palaces and M.I.A. to Arcade Fire.
L&Q says: “Kwenders’ easy-going authority on the mic serves as the binding for his borderless approach.”
Read Mike Vinti’s full review here.
Artist: Vicky Farewell
Title: Sweet Company
Label: Mac’s Record Label
What is it? A masterclass in luscious, lackadaisical pop that’s looking to dismantle the norms (albeit with the help of Mac DeMarco).
L&Q says: “Farewell’s sleek take on gooey chiffon pop proves that low-slung grooves and sugary pop beats aren’t just reserved for the likes of woe-is-me men.”
Read Charlotte Marston’s full review here.
What is it? A debut album ten years in the making – at least, observing – from one of the most influential names in leftfield club music.
L&Q says: “The exploitation of space, the subterranean bassweight and the antagonistic rhythmic patterns that appear periodically are pure dancefloor puppetry.”
Read Oskar Jeff’s full review here.
Artist: Wet Leg
Title: Wet Leg
What is it? Didn’t think we’d leave this one out, did you? A debut that delivers on all its comedic promise, with a series of two-minute punchlines-come-earworms.
L&Q says: “Their ability to write nagging hooks renders them genuinely exciting.”
Read Susan Darlington’s full review here.
What is it? Forgiveness has it all, and will no doubt earn Girlpool a very special place in the hearts of both long-time admirers and first timers.
L&Q says: “Despite the fact that this group sound like they’re really in no rush, each song at heartbeat tempo, they cover a staggering amount of ground.”
Read Cal Cashin’s full review here.
What is it? Music from the in-between, this is the perfect soundtrack for existing in a very bleak world from the Bristol techno-metal warlocks.
L&Q says: “Something wholly new… and wholly unholy.”
Read Cal Cashin’s full review here.
Artist: Let’s Eat Grandma
Title: Two Ribbons
What is it? A relatable and mature step forward for one of Britain’s best bands.
L&Q says: “There are many albums about breakups and romantic love, but it’s rare to find an album that captures the feeling of drifting friendships with this level of invention and beauty.”
Read Skye Butchard’s full review here.