Ok snow, fuck off now
March 2018 brought along some real ‘Album of the Year’ competitors; more great stuff than any one individual has time to hear. Then again, what with all this weather we’ve been having, there’s never been a better time to sit indoors, blast the heating (providing you’re not on a meter) and turn up the volume until you’re able to exit your building in a t-shirt again, around July 15th. (Meanwhile, your attractive friends bulk up their Snapchat stories with sledding and snow selfies. Honestly, I feel bad for them). In any case, here’s what warmed our cockles this month:
Artist: Anna von Hausswolff
Title: Dead Magic
Label: City Slang
What is it? Did I say warmed? I meant bludgeoned and sent to the netherworld. Here’s another great thicket of a record from Gothenburg’s gloomiest composer, as confident as it is austere.
L&Q says: “Anna von Hausswolff has fashioned a truly immersive beast, where folklore runs free and where open fissures are as common as wild flowers growing.”
Read Tristan Gatward’s full review
Title: Le Kov
What is it? Unsatisfied with just singing in Welsh alone, the high priestess of psychedelia beds pop music and cultural preservation with an entire album in Cornish.
L&Q says: “No Cornish experience would be complete without cheese, and “Eus Keus? (Is There Cheese?)” provides one of the record’s most unabashedly fun tracks in its dedication to fromage.”
Read Tom Walters’ full review
Artist: Lucy Dacus
What is it? After a traumatic year – a shitty relationship, an even shittier presidency – the Virginia singer songwriter channels personal and public histories into defiant record.
L&Q says: “‘Historian’ isn’t just the title of her latest album, but also the way she thinks of herself. A chronicler, of her own experiences, but also those around her.”
Read Greg Cochrane’s interview
Artist: Ed Schrader
Label: Carpark Records
What is it? Ed Schrader and Devlin Rice return with a dense slab of pop-infused post-punk, with a little help from producer Dan Deacon.
L&Q says: “With Deacon on board for his first project in this role, they’ve created a rich textural landscape far beyond their previous work full of beautiful dense pop songs that are still enjoyably off-centre”.
Read Andrew Mangum’s interview
Artist: Titus Andronicus/+@
Title: A Productive Cough
What is it? Shouty and beardy as ever, Patrick Stickles eschews fan expectations and produces a heartland rock album with a ballsy Bob Dylan cover.
L&Q says: “+@ has assembled a near perfect album, radiating his passion for capriciousness and publicly eschewing his “fear-based” folk-punk scream-o.”
Read Tristan Gatward’s full review
Artist: Kapital and Richard Pinhas
Label: Instant Classic
What is it? As if Kuba Ziołek didn’t have enough on his plate, he reconvenes with Rafał Iwański for another Kapital record, this time with the help of Heldon guitarist Richard Pinhas.
L&Q says: “Violent buzzing is gradually enveloped by heavenly drones, skittering pulses, and other blissful sounds. What happens on ‘Flux’ is something close to the utopias imagined by Harmonia in the 70s.”
Read Dafydd Jenkins’ Instant Classic label profile
Artist: Mount Eerie
Title: Now Only
Label: Phil Elverum & Suns
What is it? Phil Elverum resumes his recorded meditations on loss on this sequel to 2017’s death-haunted ‘A Crow Looked At Me’.
L&Q says: “Elverum goes on living in the blast zone, as he puts it, raising a young daughter on his own, and writing songs about his dead wife.”
Read Stephen Butchard’s full review
Artist: Yo La Tengo
Title: There’s A Riot Going On
What is it? Veteran indie rock trio turn down the volume à la 2003’s ‘Summer Sun’, but a political message rings louder than ever.
L&Q says: “Veering down this new path that won’t be for everyone, but so what? It’s the Yo La Tengo that we need rather than the one we want.”
Read Derek Robertson’s full review
Artist: Bon Voyage Organisation
Title: Jungle? Quelle Jungle?
What is it? A kaleidoscopic musical vision bucking any single style for colourful takes on disco, jazz, and prog.
L&Q says: “Parisian producer Adrien Durand is having a global party and we’re all invited. The only rule is you have to bring every ounce of musical heritage and history you can muster.” Read Max Pilley’s full review
Artist: Essaie Pas
Title: New Path
What is it? Inspired by the work of sci-fi writer Phillip K. Dick, the Canadian wife-and-husband duo mine themes of addiction, mass surveillance and death through a collection of hard techno tracks.
L&Q says: “Although primarily described as a synthwave act, this new album shares as much in common with industrial pioneers Throbbing Gristle as it does the duo’s DFA contemporaries”
Read Aimee Armstrong’s full review
Artist: Chris Carter
Title: Chris Carter’s Chemistry Lesson Volume 1
What is it? No stranger to to the strange, the ex-Throbbing Gristle and husband/collaborator of Cosey Fanni Tutti makes his first solo record in 17 years – and it’s weird as Hell.
L&Q says: “The uncanny familiarity of much of the fabric of the record serves as a comforting salve for the disorientating stings of oddity, constantly exposing the easily palatable with the paranoia-inducingly alien.”
Read Luke Cartledge’s full review
Artist: Dungen + Woods
Title: MYTHS 003
Label: Mexican Summer
What is it? Born from a residency at the Mexican Summer-hosted Marfa Myths Festival in Texas, Stockholm’s Dungen and Brooklyn’s Woods blend psychedelia and indie-folk in their desert setting.
L&Q says: “Recorded in just a week, it hints at the deeper connection between the two artists, who bonded while touring together in 2009 and found the passage of time had done nothing to dull their mutual understanding of the other’s style.”
Read Sarah Lay’s full review
Artist: The Voids
What is it? The second album from Julian Casablancas’ other band who really don’t give a shit who’s into their ridiculous approach to making music.
L&Q says: “Casablancas is following the path of those dark seedy albums Iggy Pop or Lou Reed made in the wilderness.”
Read Edgar Smith’s full review
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