One ‘event album’ – and 7 others that were very good from April 2020

Your monthly dose of suggested listening

It becomes considerably harder with each month to neatly sum all that’s happened since the last one. But as music companies around the world slow their output, and spring releases quickly become summer/autumn/winter releases, at least April has still treated us to some more great music (including the first universally-adored “Event Album” we can recall of the last five years), and a bit of time to listen to them. So, crack open a discount Easter Egg, keep up with all-that’s-good via a free email subscription to our brand new Independent Music Dispatch, and put on the best eight albums from April.

Artist: Fiona Apple
Fetch The Bolt Cutters
What is it? The enigmatic singer-songwriter’s first studio album in eight years that’s quality has simultaneously knocked everyone a little off-balance.
L&Q says: “Like the very best music, it contains multitudes – it’s a rallying cry for those without a voice, a deep lesson in empathy, a dive into a singular mind, a damn good pop record.”

Read Skye Butchard’s full review here.

Artist: Headie One & Fred again..
What is it? A coming together of in-demand rapper Headie One and producer Fred again.., tracing the lines of drill, art-rock, ambient and pop, enlisting FKA twigs, Jamie xx and Sampha along the way.
L&Q says: “Headie One is fully legitimising himself as an artist of the highest order, and Fred again.. is solidifying himself as the producer of the moment and, quite possibly, the future.”

Read Robert Davidson’s full review here.

Artist: Yaeji
WHAT WE DREW 우리가 그려왔던
What is it? Acclaimed New York-via-Seoul producer Yaeji’s first full-length mixtape on XL, packed with tunes about friendship, family and gratitude.
L&Q says: “It’s true to the effortlessly cool house music that Yaeji is known for: the 808 kicks are thick and muffled, but there’s a woozy Balearic backdrop and high-gloss new-age palette that softens the edges like a cartoon cloud-landing.”

Read Tristan Gatward’s full review here.

Artist: Jerskin Fendrix
untitled (recs)
What is it? The weirdest break-up album of the 21st Century.
L&Q says: “Like everything that we’ve come to know about Jerskin Fendrix, as soon as Winterreise starts to sound like something, it instantly stops sounding like that thing.”

Read Tristan Gatward’s full review here.

Artist: Jackie Lynn
Drag City
What is it? The sophomore spiritual Americana-come-disco album from the fictional alter-ego of Circuit des Yeux’s Haley Fohr, wearing a glittery face mask before it was cool.
L&Q says: “Fohr may be one of the sole artists capable of undergoing genre exercises with the same pro appeal as her more ‘serious’ output.”

Read Dafydd Jenkins’s full review here.

Artist: Tom Misch & Yussef Dayes
What Kinda Music
Blue Note
What is it? An expansive debut collaboration from two high-flyers in two very different South East London scenes, merging jazz with soulful electro-pop.
L&Q says: “The pair embrace their differences to great effect on What Kinda Music, keeping in tune with each other throughout as the record sways between soothing calm and pinch points of intensity.”

Read Jamie Haworth’s full review here.

Artist: Shabazz Palaces
The Don of Diamond Dreams
Sub Pop
What is it? The fifth album from futurist hip-hop duo that embraces modernism in hip-hop and rap, alongside the new generation.
L&Q says: “It’s clear that Shabazz Palaces take a playful but genuine interest in what the younger generation of hip-hop stars are up to… like lead single ‘Fast Learner (feat. Purple Tape Nate)’, where an instrumental dominated by echoing post-punk drums and punchy techno kicks ends up meeting a plaintive synth lead which wouldn’t be out of place on a Metro Boomin instrumental.”

Read Alex Francis’s full review here.

Artist: BC Camplight
Shortly After Takeoff
Bella Union
What is it? The third and final release from Brian Christinzio’s “Manchester Trilogy”, that follows his estrangement, deportation, resettlement and descent into madness following his father’s unexpected death.
L&Q says: “With Christinzio’s penchant for bleak humour at the forefront, Shortly After Takeoff still deals with madness and loss in a way that catches you napping.”

Read Tristan Gatward’s full review here.