Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel
Following her acclaimed 2015 debut album Sometimes I Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Sit, and her big-selling collabortion LP, Lotta Sea Lice, with Kurt Vile, the shap-witted, Australian singer-songwriter and guitarist returns with another that retains the similar self-effacing honesty, but a notch more serious than her first, addressing pressing issues of our times. The raw, resonant guitar sounds and her distinctive voice remain, and while there are slower, sadder songs such as Sunday Roast and Need A Little Time, the more upbeat City Looks Pretty and Nameless, Faceless retain her clever jauntiness, even though they centre on loneliness and stalking. Out on Marathon Artists / Milk Records.
Courtney Barnett - Nameless, Faceless
Parquet Courts – Wide Awake!
We previously featured their two-part single Almost Had To Start A Fight/ In And Out Of Patience on Song of the Day, and this is terrific sixth album from the New York postpunk quartet and Andrew Savage and co, who on this album not only retain edgy engry call-to-arms tracks such as this, but also play with a funkier sound on the title track and the more expansive sound of Mardis Gras Beads. Produced by Danger Mouse, they are certainly one of the best bands around at the moment. Out on Rough Trade.
Parquet Courts - Wide Awake!
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks – Sparkle Hard
Another enthralling new album from the former Pavement and Silver Jews man, mixing distorted guitars, electronica, and his slanted, often amusing lyrics and idosyncratic language. Standout tracks include Cast Off, Bike Lane, Refute (a duet with Kim Gordon) and the beautiful but wry Middle America. Wonderful, and never a dull moment. Out on Domino.
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks - Middle America
Wax Chattels - Wax Chattels
The New Zealand band's debut – and instrumental mix comes with a interesting twist – no guitar, though you’d never realise listening to this swirling, frenetic, restless sound built around echoy bass, powerful drumming, organy keyboards and vocals, formed while studying jazz performance at the University of Auckland. It’s a heady mixture of krautrock, jazz and indie with a big dollop of anarchy. Original and addictive. Out on Captured Tracks.
Wax Chattels – In My Mouth
Ryley Walker – Deafman Glance
The follow-up to 2016's Golden Sings That Have Been Sung is a definite move away from the folk singer with acoustic guitar model, and the 28-year-old has created an album of at times beautiful, melancholy work with unusual instrumentation, experimental sounds with proggy electric guitar and and flute, with a free-flowing, jamming feel to it on tracks such as Opposite Middle and Telluride Speed, which sometimes sounds somewhere between Lambchop and early Genesis. Out on Dead Oceans.
Ryley Walker – Telluride Speed
Ray LaMontagne – Part of the Light
The former Grammy winner is back with his seventh album, mixing soulful, solid country-style music driving, fuzzy guiitar work, buiit on solid songwriting skills, with including Paper Man echoing early Elton John and As Black As Blood Is Blue rocking out. On Columbia Records.
Ray LaMontage - Such A Simple Thing
TT - LoveLaws
Sparse at times, slow and moody, but very potent debut solo album from Theresa Wayman, the guitarist / vocalist in the band Warpaint. This was done partly on the road and in a home studio, with songs centring on relatinships and breakups and is released on Wayman’s own label LoveLeaks.
TT – Love Leaks
Mary Lattimore – Hundreds of Days
We don’t get many harpist albums here, so this is a beautiful example. In 2016 the LA musician’s album, At The Dam, was recorded on the road, and was all about recalling landscapes, and in 2017 she released a tape of Phildelphia sounds from the past. This album was made in a redwood barn, nestled in the hills above San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. Gorgeous work. Out on Ghostly International.
Mary Lattimore – Hello From The Edge Of The Earth
James Bay - Electric Light
A second album of clean-sounding, mainstream pop-indie and power-ballad fayre from the English singer-songwriter, folllowing his massive-selling 2015 debut Chaos And the Calm, and this time with producer Paul Epworth joining in at the mixing desk. Definitely designed, rather unsubtely, for big festival singalongs and candyfloss stadium crowds. Out on Virgin EMI
James Bay - Pink Lemonade
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.