Never too early to start that Christmas list except when it's too early to start that Christmas list
We won’t lie. Usually when we put these monthly round-ups together there’s an outstanding candidate for the Album of the Month. Something that’s head and shoulders above the rest. However, were we to pit our favourites from September against each other like some kind of Royal Rumble it’d be a fairly even contest. Maybe, just maybe, BEAK> would be the last ones standing.
Anyway, we recommend checking all of these out. It’s been a great month for those artists operating in the fridges of experimental sound.
Artist: Exploded View
Label: Sacred Bones
What is it? Second, more direct, outing from the Anika Henderson fronted psychedelic rockers.
L&Q says: “‘Obey’ is one of those rare cases of a sequel that’s better than the original.”
Read Cal Cashin’s full review
Artist: Viagra Boys
Title: Street Worms
What is it? No revelations here – just some Swedish garage rock with lashings of charisma and character.
L&Q says: “The Stockholm group conjure a kind of American horror – more than this, though, it’s also pleasingly self-referential in its critique of the machismo and cliché inherent within garage rock.”
Read Fergal Kinney’s full review
Artist: Lonnie Holley
What is it? Somehow the least extraordinary thing about Holley is that he’s experiencing a music breakthrough at the age of 68.
L&Q says: “A staggering work of unbridled ambition, intelligent improvisation and, above all, profound soul.”
Read Joe Goggins’ full review
Artist: Mountain Man
Title: Magic Ship
Label: Bella Union/Nonesuch
What is it? Eight years on from their debut, ‘Made The Harbor’, the trio return with an album about the tenderness of old friendships.
L&Q says: “At times the magic they conjure is electrifying, the songs soaked in a natural elegance that’s as rare as it is special.”
Read Derek Robertson’s full review
Artist: Gazelle Twin
Label: Anti-Ghost Moon Ray
What is it? Elizabeth Bernholz gives Brexit a suitably twisted face, and supplies a soundtrack for the bitterness.
L&Q says: “The darkness of the album is inescapable and in places oppressive, such as on the howling breakdown of ‘Glory’. However, for every burst of noise or gothic wail there’s a hook of equal potency.”
Read Mike Vinti’s full review
What is it? Third album from the Bristol outfit which thoroughly burns off any lingering idea that BEAK> is some kind of twiddly side-project. If you ever thought that.
L&Q says: “That Beak> have rendered a record this turbulent and frequently dour as such a captivating and emotionally resonant experience is a feat in itself.”
Read Sam Walton’s full review
Artist: Knife Knights
Title: 1 Time Mirage
Label: Sub Pop
What is it? Erik Blood and Ishmael Butler (Shabazz Palaces, Digable Planets) break new creative ground with collaborative project.
L&Q says: “We’re left with a chilling, paranoiac afterglow from this oddly brilliant LP.”
Read Luke Cartledge’s full review
Artist: The Goon Sax
Title: We’re Not Talking
What is it? Indie pop at its melodic, bittersweet best – it’s still early, but the Australian band are yet to make a wrong step.
L&Q says: “Seemingly, the difficult second album was a non-issue for The Goon Sax.”
Read Hayley Scott’s full review
Artist: Oliver Coates
Title: Shelley’s On Zenn-La
What is it? Shelley’s Laserdome was a late ‘80s/early ‘90s nightclub based in Stoke-on-Trent. Zenn-La is a fictional planet, a distant world far from the industrial town. Go figure.
L&Q says: “The cosmic dreamscape that Coates creates seems to be constantly shape-shifting and keeping the listener on their toes.”
Read Eugenie Johnson’s full review
Label: Sacred Bones
What is it? The first album from Louisiana sludge-metal schemers Thou in four years is a full-on revelation.
L&Q says: “‘Magus’ has made a late bid to be crowned as one the year’s most face-searingly emphatic releases.”
Read Brian Coney’s full review
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