Ty Segall – First Taste
Echoes of The Who, The Fall, T Rex, psychedelia and funk, all this and more, from horn blasts to piano, saxophone, mandolin, Japanese koto and bouzouki come in a torrent of fuzz energy from the California garage rock guitarist and singer in his 13th solo album. A leading light in the west-coast rock scene, Segall is also a multiple collaborator and producer. This is certainly one of his best, with standout tracks Taste, Ice Plant, The Fall, Radio and Self Esteem among highlights of sonic exploration. Out on Drag City.
Ty Segall - First Taste
Francis Lung – A Dream Is U
Bassist Tom McClung, former member of previous upcoming Manchester favourites Wu Lyf, re-emerges now with a solo project as Francis Lung, billed as being "like a short Mancunian boy single-handedly trying to incite Beatlemania”. Here then that seems about right, but with lo-fi echoes of Elliott Smith, especially on the dreamy Unnecessary Love and the title track. There's also something of Badly Drawn Boy and Teenage Fanclub here, and that jangly guitar optimism in that north-west sound. Here produced by Brendan Williams (Dutch Uncles, GoGo Penguin) it is full of interesting ideas, lovely melodies, acoustic, summer vibes and wistful perspectives. Out on Memphis Industries.
Francis Lung – I Wanna Live My Dreams
Mabel – High Expectations
There's certainly plenty of high expectations and hype around this release, after three huge-selling singles and major record deal, Mabel is the daughter of Neneh Cherry no less, and her dad is Cameron McVey, executive producer of Massive Attack’s Blue Lines. No pressure then. But this really is a major attempt to smash the pop scene out of the water, aided by various hit-maker songwriters, from Steve Mac (90s boy bands), Fraser T Smith (Adele and Stormzy), and MNEK (Dua Lipa and Sam Smith). But does it do what it expects? Not really, but also not terribly. With the machinery of marketing in place, just safely in between. Mabel certainly has talent, but can it really come out with so much framework around it? Out on Polydor.
Mabel – Mad Love
Clairo – Immunity
The 20-year-old Massachusetts singer-songwriter Claire Cottrill broke through online two years ago with Pretty Girl, attracting many millions of YouTube views with this sweet, lo-fi bedroom-made release. So while she certainly had something to offer, it's good to see she's not simply repeated the same formula, and that her style has developed since. This is grow-on-you, angsty, low-key songwriting about young love in a tasteful mix of quirky, tinkly piano, simple bass, guitar and a soft, melancholy voice that moves between pop, indie and soul on tracks such as Alewife, Bags, and Softly. Out on the Fader Label.
Clairo – Bags
Föllakzoid – I
This fourth album, the first in four years, is in fact called 'I' after the pervious was called 'III'. Confused? This is a Chilean trance band who have developed into psyche rock. Genre-defying, the recording process is also unusual, rather than the band together in single takes, this one took three months to construct out of more than 60 separate stems – guitars, bass, drums, synthesizers, and vocals, all recorded in isolation, masterminded by guitarist and singer Domingæ Garcia-Huidobro. Twangy, reverberant, slowly building with minimalism, joy and menace, and comprising four tracks named I to III, it's certainly out there. And out on Sacred Bones Records.
Föllakzoid – I
Cross Record – Cross Record
Gentle, sensual, at times ghostly, disembodied vocal work by pure-voiced singer Emily Cross, one third of the band Loma, this is a textured soundscape of meditative curiosity, aiming high to be a bit like Low. And it sort of is, in a lo-fi, charmingly low-budget way, fro tracks such as PYSOL My Castle to I Release You. Out on Ba Da Bing! Records.
Cross Record – I Release You
Nérija – Blume
Debut album by the London-based jazz septet, who are part of a vibrant scene within the current genre, with a beautiful tight and harmonised horn section in particular (Nubya Garcia on tenor saxophone, Sheila Maurice-Grey on trumpet, Cassie Kinoshi on alto sax and Rosie Turton on trombone) with clean guitar, bass and drums, this is the exquisitely created, mid-tempo, improvisations work from start to finish, each member of the band contributing to the writing process. Out on Domino.
Nérija – Riverfest
Native Harrow – Happier Now
Dressed as, and sounding like a figure from another age - flower power - the singer-songwriter Devin Tuel from Newburgh, NY releases her third album, under her nom de plume, Native Harrow. She's a former ballerina and classically trained singer, but now creates ethereal, folk about fear, love, the open road, ill-fated relationships, and coping with the state of the world, like and unstoppably slow-moving river of guitar and brush drums, from Can’t Go On Like This to the beauty of Blue Canyon. It's from another time in style, and yet also timeless. And appropriately out on the label Different Time Records.
Native Harrow - Happier Now
Haiku Salut – The General
A fascinating project by Gemma Barkerwood, Louise Croft and Sophie Barkerwood, a band whose sound echoes the work of Public Service Broadcasting, Tunng or Efterklang, here bringing a electronic music accompaniment to the classic 1926 Buster Keaton silent film in a project commissioned by Nottingham Contemporary as part of the BFI’s Comedy Genius season. Styles range from soft, gentle piano to stark, shimmering electronics. Out on Secret Name.
Haiku Salut – Firewood
Tyler Childers – Country Squire
The 27-year-old Kentucky singer-songwriter is a bona fide country artist, with added bluegrass and folk, whose songs are full of wit, melancholy, tragedy and humour. He's been performing since age 13, Check out many a song full of Appalachian pathos, from Peace of Mind to Creeker to Matthew. Newly signed to RCA.
Tyler Childers – Country Squire
The Teskey Brothers - Run Home Slow
Shuffling rhythms, homecooked crooning, soulful horns, this is solid, down-to-earth from the rock-blues band from from Melbourne, led by brother Josh and Sam, and a good follow-up to their debut Half Mile Harvest. Out on Decca.
The Teskey Brothers – Man Of The Universe
Mick Trouble – Here's The Mick Trouble LP
A little gem from Mick, echoing the 70s early 80s indie scene of early Nick Lowe and Television Personalties, cocky Cockney pub songs of wit, humility and laughter, with 12 cracking little songs crammed into 30 minutes. Out on Emotional Response and Rough Trade.
Mick Trouble – Bloody Blighty
This week's selection is by The Landlord.
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