Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino
The Sheffield band return with their sixth album since 2013’s stadium indie AM, with a clear change of direction - with songs far more niche in their source, with writer and frontman Alex Turner citing Leonard Cohen, Nina Simone, the Beach Boys Serge Gainsbourg as influences, and every sound sounds very sixties. Turner can still produce clever turns of phrase and innovation, as well as wry humour, but are they still the cheeky, innovators of old, or is success slowing down the ideas and the edge? Maybe they’re not bothered. But that’s open to debate. Out on Domino Records.
Arctic Monkeys - Four Out Of Five
La Luz - Floating Features
Inspired by the land of billboards and movies, the LA band’s third album is a filled with dreamy, psychedelic pop, dream-state imagery and hot, hallucigenic landscapes. Bursting with imagination and otherworldliness, it’s a surreal and sometimes beautiful piece of work. Out on Hardly Art.
La Luz - Cicada
Beach House – 7
Unsurprisingly this is the band’s 7th studio album made in five sessions over 11 months in their Baltimore studio. It’s all dreamy, otherworldly, a modern psychedelia, somewhere between Cocteau Twins and and Granddaddy, with plenty of overdrive and tremolo. Out on Bella Union and Sub Pop.
Beach House – Dark Spring
Jess Williamson – Cosmic Wink
“Tell me everything you know about consciousness,” sings Williamson on this profound and sometimes very emotional album that circles around heartbreak and a Jungian theory of synchronicity, but floats to higher philosophical level. Stirring, strong work from the Texan singer-songwriter. Out on Mexican Summer.
Jess Williamson - I See The Light
Wajatta – Casual High Technology
Reggie Watts, soul singer, clever comedian and highly skilled live looper joins voices with DJ and producer John Tejada to create "electronic dance music with its roots in Detroit techno, Chicago house, '70s funk and New York hip-hop." Watts, who is best at comedy and beat-boxing, lends his rather fine vocals (live and looped) to Tejada's beats. It’s an indulgence, in way, but an electro one that pulls you in and gets the feet moving. Out on Comedy Dynamics.
Wajatta - Runnin’
Simian Mobile Disco – Murmurations
The duo of James Ford and Jas Shaw’s bring in London-based Deep Throat Choir, an all-female singing group consisting of just voices and drums, for this sixth album. Inspired by the idea of starlings in formation, this album is full of echoey sounds and vast spaces. It’s less of a dance record, far more a spacey, chillout piece of work than their previous releases. Out on Wichita.
Simian Mobile Disco - Caught In A Wave
The Magic Numbers – Outsiders (Juno Records)
Outsiders by name, outsiders by nature. The Gannon and Stodart pairs’ of brothers and sisters latest album embraces being not part of any musical scene, and praising those who don’t fit in. “I was always an outsider, we've always been an outsider band. We don't fit in, never have and never will.” proclaims their publicity. Whatever scene they don’t want to be part of, it’s certainly not the 1970s with plenty of this on show, from Bolan to Bowie and a dash of Fleetwood Mac. Out on Juno Records.
The Magic Numbers – Ride Against The Wind
This week's selection is by The Landlord.
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This is only a selection, not a catalogue of releases. Feel free to recommend more and comment below.