Piroshka - Brickbat
Dreamy, euphoric, indie electronica pop with a dash of punk feedback from a quartet of seasoned members from 90s bands Lush vocalist and guitarist Miki Berenyi, ex-Moose guitarist KJ McKillop, Modern English bassist Mick Conroy and ex-Elastica drummer Justin Welch.. Piroshka (or Piroska) is Hungarian for Little Red Riding Hood, and a nod to Miki's famously bright hair colour of the 90s. A fairytale new beginning, with standout tracks Everlastingly Yours and What's Next? Out on Bella Union.
Piroshka – What's Next?
Chaka Khan – Hello Happiness
First album for 12 years from the big voiced and voluminously haired singer She's not had an easy time of it, grieving over longtime friend and collaborator Prince, and dealing with addiction of painkillers (an American pandemic), the title seems ironic, but this short album of just seven tracks is a mixed bag, but is is a glimpse of past glories – fine funk power with the title track, soul on Like A Lady, and heavily sampled Fatback Band Bus Stop number single, Like Sugar. Out on Diary/Island Records.
Chaka Kahn – Like Sugar
Methyl Ethel – Triage
Another great indie pop group rolls out of Australia alongside the likes of Courtney Barnett, The Stroppies, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever and the Goon Sax, in the form of Perth’s high-voiced Jake Webb, echoing Tame Impala, with a funk riffs and hint of MGMT pop and certainly a spoonful of Sparks. This is now the third album, the last being the equally catchy tunes of 2017's Everything Is Forgotten. Tracks to check out include Scream Whole, Trip The Mains and Real Tight. Out on 4AD.
Methyl Ethel – Trip The Mains
Cass McCombs – Tip Of The Sphere
One of California’s most overlooked but talented songwriters, able to summon up a variety of styles (and here carried over mentions from earlier this month) this 9th LP, here with rock, pop, jazz, country and latin influences in thoughtful ballads, delivered with crisp, talky or slowly beautiful singing style that can echo a range from Tom Robinson to Elliott Smith. Other standout tracks include Sleeping Volcanoes and Rounder. Out on Anti.
Cass McCombs – Absentee
Stats – Other People's Lives
Stats songwriter Ed Seed, who broke into the business by playing in La Roux's band releases with debut with a view to telling untold stories about people with lives that appear banal – Seed himself went through a series of boring office jobs to get to this point. The result is ironic, intelligent offbeat electronica pop, chock full with memorable lines and narratives, from tracks such as The Family Business, Rhythm Of The Heart, and Lose It. Out on Memphis Industries.
Stats – There Is A Story I Tell About My Life
Ladytron – Ladytron
The indie band that gained great success in the noughties release their sixth and self-titled album, their first since 2011’s Gravity the Seducer. Their sound remains similar - dreamy, smooth, analogue synth and pop vocals, but while there are several good tracks including The Island, the album doesn't quite have the consistency or live up to the promise of last year's single, The Animals, which is also on the album. Out on !K7.
Ladytron – The Animals
Czarface – Czarface Meets Ghostface
Producers the Czar-Keys (7L and Jeremy Page) along with Wu-Tang Clan General Inspectah Deck, and Marvel writer Esoteric follow up 2018’s fabulously fun collaborative LP with the enigmatic MF Doom, Czarface meets Metal Face, nwo return into the arena with a parallel project sparring alongside Wu-Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah. Again this is cartoonish rap battling in the musical wrestling ring, brimful with wit and skill, silly voices sampling and infinite jest. Most entertaining. Seconds out, round two ... Out on Silver Age.
Czarface and Ghostface – Back At Ringside (& rest of album)
Bis – Slight Disconnects
A very welcome return by the Glasgow cult indie band, best known for their 90s talky TOTP appearance with hit Kandy Pop, now with a fourth LP 17 years after their last. At just 32 minutes and 10 tracks, short yes, but still very sweet, these is wry clever, catchy, pace-changing, singalong pop. Out on Last Night From Glasgow.
Bis – Sound Of A Heartbreak
Homeshake – Helium
Light fog, isolation and empty landscape. This is the inspiration for Peter Sagar's fourth album, a strangely stark and alluring work of offbeat, minimalistic beauty that has elements of jazz, old-school synths, a laid-back Connan Mockasin, or Ryuichi Sakamoto about it. Sagar is also a fan of author Haruki Murakami. In a late-night. lazy loungey way, it’s a real gas. Out on Sinderlyn.
Homeshake – Helium (album)
Don’t forget to also enjoy our voted selection of 50 or more favourite albums of 2018:
This week's selection is by The Landlord.
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