Sad robots and forest bathing – it’s the best albums of the month

From Hinako Omori to Ditz via Kojey Radical and Kaina

In the unfolding disaster triptych of Brexit, the Covid-19 pandemic and World War 3, there’d be a certain expectation for art to imitate life. Naturally, March’s best releases were about sad robots, forest bathing and the weather.

Artist: Hinako Omori
Title: A Journey
Label: Houndstooth
What is it? A therapeutic debut album from Japanese-born and London-based composer Hinako Omori, in the tradition of searching for healing affirmations in ambient electronic music. 
L&Q says: “an album which feels as blissfully restorative as a walk in the depths of the woodland – exquisite calm punctuated by moments of dappled light.”
Read Jessica Wrigglesworth’s full review here.

Artist: Ditz
Title: The Great Regression
Label: Alcopop!
What is it? A long-awaited debut from Brighton post-post punks, losing none of its incision from a few years’ waiting. 
L&Q says: “it’s both a brutal assault on the senses and a window into the raw talent and unique worldview that makes Ditz one of the most interesting bands on the current UK punk scene.”
Read Dominic Haley’s full review here.

Artist: Loraine James
Title: Whatever the Weather
Label: Ghostly International
What is it? A predominantly ambient turn from one of the UK’s most innovative producers, grounded in the concept of weather and temperatures.
L&Q says: “A bit like watching a city from a bus window with your headphones on, it’s all familiar time and space, just flowing differently”.
Read Reef Younis’s full review here.

Artist: Junglepussy
Title: JP5000
Label: Self-released
What is it? The New York rapper’s most cohesive release yet, packed into a quickfire 12 minutes.
L&Q says: “The freewheeling eccentricity that came to define previous records is largely replaced with a cold command; there’s genuine menace to the delivery”.
Read Joe Goggins’ full review here.

Artist: Kavinsky
Title: Reborn
Label: Fiction
What is it? The first full-length release in nine years from retro-futurism’s Daft Punk and Drive-made purveyor.
L&Q says: “What Kavinsky surrenders to predictability he more than makes up for with exquisite execution”.
Read Sam Walton’s full review here.

Artist: Kojey Radical
Title: Reason To Smile
Label: Asylum/Atlantic
What is it? The debut album from one of the most singular and poetic voices in UK rap. 
L&Q says: “He tips his hat to his heroes here, but the swagger and conviction that this record oozes is no imitation job – it’s all his own.”
Read Joe Goggins’ full review here.

Artist: Crows
Title: Beware Believers
Label: Bad Vibrations
What is it? A visceral post-punk “difficult second album,” clawing its way out of the talons of a tired cliché.
L&Q says:Beware Believers is a triumph of patience, perseverance and (rightly) being pissed off.”
Read Reef Younis’ full review here.

Artist: Kaina
Title: It Was A Home
Label: City Slang
What is it? Soul songs to Kaina’s heritage – Chicago via Venezuela and Guatemala – through chameleonic conflations of psychedelic soul, R&B and rock. 
L&Q says: “You’ll be hard pressed to find a warmer, more welcoming collection of understated, open-hearted soul music this year.”
Read Sam Walton’s full review here.