The month in LPs
Another April, another Easter. Another Earth Day with a bit more publicity; a Swedish 16-year old “climate warrior” has more brains than the lot of us and a cooler job title, too. Even Loyle Carner distracted us with the first sustainable vinyl release.
When we weren’t stuffing our faces with chocolate this month, these were the eleven albums we liked best. It turns out I reviewed a third of them, which makes this article kind of feel like bringing your own birthday cake to the office and asking your co-workers to put candles on it and sing to you.
Artist: Leafcutter John
Title: Yes! Come Parade With Us
Label: Border Community
What is it? Smatterings of pub chat built around a modular synth, from a fifth of Mercury-nominated experimental jazz band Polar Bear.
L&Q says: “Gone is the introspective, hermetically sealed soundworld mesmerised by its own abstract beauty, and in its place is music lodged inescapably in the real world, outward-looking and tangibly human.”
Artist: Heather Woods Broderick
Label: Western Vinyl
What is it? Another meticulously crafted solo album from long time friend and collaborator of Sharon Van Etten
L&Q says: “Written and recorded surrounded by the stillness of rural Oregon. It feels appealingly unhurried and is stylishly put together, all hushed vocals, string section flourishes, gracefully overlapping guitar and piano.”
Read Joe Goggins’ full review.
Artist: Sun O)))
Title: Life Metal
Label: Southern Lord
What is it? A new lease on life from the world’s best drone metal band, complete with slow licks and Paganism.
L&Q says: “Life Metal invokes a refreshing return to origin: the back-to-basics approach of a grizzled group in their parents’ garage, where they once rehearsed as spotty teens.”
Read Dafydd Jenkins’ full review.
Artist: FONTAINES D.C.
What is it? The highly anticipated debut from the Dublin five-piece filled with tenderness and a liberal alternative to Ireland’s fading national identity.
L&Q Says: “You can almost hear Shane MacGowan whistling it to himself as he makes his Sunday morning scrambled eggs.”
Read Tristan Gatward’s full review.
Artist: King Gizzard & the Wizard Lizard
Title: Fishing For Fishies
Label: Flightless Records
What is it? So we’re going to mention this five albums in 2017 thing in passing, because that’s what you’ve got to do now. In a restrained move, this is the seven-headed Aussie rock machine’s first of 2019 – it’s about pollution.
L&Q says: “Fishing For Fishies turns out to be a much more interesting record than that (a fully autotuned, Daft Punk-inspired concept album): its roaming songs imagine blues rock in the age of the robot.”
Read Jamie Haworth’s full review.
Artist: Fat White Family
Title: Serfs Up!
What is it? Don’t call them degenerates – the storm has weathered, with many thanks to Sheffield. This is the reinvention of a band everyone thinks they already know (they don’t). There’s a great Baxter Dury feature, too.
L&Q says: “Having exhausted rock’n’roll’s capacity for menace, the group have instead found a debauchery in disco, as well as acid house, that’s more genuinely thrilling than anything on this album’s two predecessors.”
Artist: Jeremy Tuplin
Title: Pink Mirror
Label: Trapped Animal
What is it? A label debut for London’s alt-folk answer to Jimothy Lacoste.
L&Q says: “Pink Mirror plays as an autobiographical sitcom. Each time you think you’re listening to Bill Callahan’s enlightenment, you’re dealt a line that could have come straight out of Flight of the Conchords.”
Read Tristan Gatward’s full review.
Artist: Shana Cleveland
Title: Night of the Worm Moon
Label: Hardly Art
What is it? A dazed-out trip from the front-woman of twisted LA retro-pop outfit La Luz, that is both everything you expect and completely unexpected.
L&Q says: “These are luscious, beautifully layered songs, more sunset than sunrise, and Cleveland has achieved a sweet, simple whole from something that is actually beguilingly complex.”
Read Chris Watkeys’ full review.
Artist: Ezra Collective
Title: You Can’t Steal My Joy
Label: Enter The Jungle
What is it? The debut album from the Afrobeat and grime fusion heart of the South London jazz world.
L&Q says: “This is a pop album at its apex; a catchy and carefree excursion into joy. At the heart of a bubbling scene without a point of entry for many, Ezra Collective stand with their arms wide open.”
Artist: W.H. Lung
Title: Incidental Music
What is it? An expansive slow-burning blend of synths and electronics, that’s worth every penny of the investment.
L&Q says: “Dark synths build like a swarm of wasps, then give way to a minimalist guitar and eerie, poetic lyrics that hint at a psychotic break. Once you’re in, you’re staying in for the long haul.”
Read Liam Konemann’s full review.
Artist: Aldous Harding
What is it? The weird and warm sophomore for New Zealand’s slow success story, filled with conversation, melancholy and Pilgrim hats.
L&Q says: “The ambition of the release is more subdued than its predecessor – which encompassed folk, jazz and chanteuse – but its move towards a more fulsome sound is married to a newfound ease in her diction, more natural than before.”
Read Susan Darlington’s full review.