Karen O and Danger Mouse – Lux Prima
The prolific producer-collaborator-songwriter Danger Mouse (Brian Burton), who has variously worked with artists as varied as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jay-Z, Adele, with CeeLo Green as Gnarls Barcley, Daniele Luppi and MF Doom now joins forces with the leader singer of Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The result is powerful, cinematic work, especially with the nine-minute ethereal title track, with touches that echo Goldfrapp, a funky track Turn The Light, and the single, Woman, which has a heavy dose of Phil Spector. Yet another strong partnership. Out on BMG.
Karen O and Danger Mouse - Woman
Nilüfer Yanya – Miss Universe
The 23-year-old British singer-songwriter of Turkish-Irish-Bajan heritage releases her debut album, a mixture of soul, jazz, pop and funk with fuzz guitar. She has a distinctive sound, deep voice, a lazy, confident delivery, wry lyrics and inventive rhythm. She has what appears to be commercial accessibility, but underneath is an edgy restlessness as shown the tracks Heavyweight Champion of the World, and Monsters Under the Bed. Despite releasing tracks for the past five years on Soundcloud, she's still a new voice with a promising future. Out on Ato Records/Pias.
Nilüfer Yanya – In Your Head
Uranium Club – The Cosmo Cleaners
Wonderfully fast, frenetic, fun, intelligent indie with titles like Flashback Arrestor, Definitely Infrared Radiation Sickness, Grease Monkey and Man Is The Loneliest Animal decorate this latest album by the Minneapolis postpunkers. This is a talky, wirier form of The Modern Lovers and Violent Femmes with many enjoyable, humorous twists. Highly recommended, radiate a lot of joy. Out on Static Shock / Fashionable Idiots Records.
Uranium Club - The Cosmo Cleaners
Chai – Punk
Second album from the Japanese female punk quartet, the first titled Pink, but now Punk is refreshing, synth pop stuff, lampooning girl power and bubblegum school-girliness, such as the sound of hairdryers on Choose Go! There's no shortage of exclamation marks and a little cheesiness, but also energy, all of which is squeaky, like Battles in skirts, catchy and highly infectious. Out on Heavenly Records.
Chai - Choose Go!
The Cinematic Orchestra – To Believe
First full album from the soundscapers since their 2007 record Ma Fleur, which has variously decorated background music TV programmes. Stillness and minimalism dominate an album that is designed as a meditation on the Brexit melancholy, but where does that lead us? A mixture of their previous album style with the soft, mellow voice of Moses Sumney, the soaring voice of Heidi Vogel – perhaps the highlight on the song A Promise – and a low-key, talky guest vocal from Roots Manuva. It's abstract and meditative, but, while beautifully unsteady, like Brexit and the future, also feels ethereally a little unsure of itself. Perhaps that’s the point. Out on Ninja Tune.
The Cinematic Orchestra – Caged Bird/Imitations of Life (ft. Roots Manuva)
Stephen Malkmus – Groove Denied
"I was thinking things like Pete Shelley’s ‘Homosapien’, the Human League, and DIY synth music circa 1982,” says the former Pavement guitarist, "and also about how in the New Wave Eighties, these suburban 18-and-over dance clubs were where all the freaks would meet – a sanctuary.” Yes that's right - this is an experiment into early electronica, but not instrumentals, just because – well why not? The result is charmingly oddball and old-school, but really enjoyable. Out on Domino.
Stephen Malkmus - Viktor Borgia
Kathryn Tickell and the Darkening – Hollowbone
Leading Northumbrian folk artist Tickell brings out a fresh mixture of sounds –pipes and fiddles with mandolin, synth and accordion and vocals on this latest work that also uses a cappella, jigging and ambient, traditional and origin songs from Morpeth and Cockle Bridge to a Lindisfarne tribute, Old Stones, an old mining song in geordie dialect, Colliers, an antique rhyme, Aboot the Bush, and a really old one by the Emperior Hadrian's favourite musician on Nemesis. That wall - a symbol for all times. Out on Resilient Records.
Kathryn Tickell and the Darkening – Cockle Bridge
Low Life – Downer Edn
Snarling post-punk from the Sydney band is a wall of guitars, frenzied drumming and a vocal style that somewhat echoes The Fat White Family. You get the feeling they've had a tumultuous five years since their 2014 debut album Dogging. Single The Pitts jumps into that wall with dark, unison vocals. Meanwhile the catchier Lust Forevermore tells it all: "My addled brain is going through the motions". A noisy, downbeat, nihilistic joy. Out on Alter.
Low Life - Lust Forevermore. Out on Alter Records.
Brian Jonestown Massacre – The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Somehow this is already the 18th full-length album by the American indie rock band led by Anton Newcombe, and only now opting for an eponymous title. If they've run out titular invention, at least the musical ideas continue, with downbeat deep-voiced, shoegaze post-punk melancholy driven on by great melodies, rhythm and guitars with Sara Neidorf on drums, Heike Marie Radeker on bass, Hakon Adalsteinsson on guitar. Out on A Recordings.
Brian Jonestown Massacre - Drained (and full album)
Dwight Trible – Mothership
The dramatic deep, alike vocal stylings of the vocalist with the Pharaoh Sanders Quartet and vocal director for the Horace Tapscott Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra come to life in an album that defies time or place. His voice echoes a mix of Tom Jones and Paul Robeson transported to a parallel universe of spiritualism and avant-garde jazz, often soaring and uplifting, but also experimental in the style that echoes Mike Garson's piano for David Bowie. The album was recorded at LA’s Sunset Sound, and backed by a band of star musicians including Kamasi Washington doing a sax solo, but primarily pianist Mark de Clive-Lowe (Omar, Shirley Horn); bassist John B. Williams (Hugh Masekela, Horace Silver, Count Basie); and drummer Ramses Rodriguez. Trible often sings his words across what feel like instrumental lines that might have come from the saxophone. Fascinating, anarchic, and very positive. Out on Gearbox.
Dwight Trible – Brother Where Are You
This week's selection is by The Landlord.
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