Review: Taylor Swift – Midnights

Consciously or not, Taylor Swift has always been pop artist. No matter whether the song is tingling with teenage emotion and country jangle like Fearless, glazed with the 80s sheen of 1989, or crystallised in pristine chamber folk as on Folklore, underneath the surface is an effortless talent for melody and shamelessly pop sensibilities. AfterContinue reading “Review: Taylor Swift – Midnights”

Review: Björk – Fossora

Since her 1993 debut, every Björk album has come with a concept, a theme that defines it against the rest of her discography, whether it’s the sublime sensuality of Vespertine, the entirely a cappella album Medúlla or the nature-inspired Biophilia with its accompanying apps. Fossora is no exception. When the Icelandic musician announced her tenthContinue reading “Review: Björk – Fossora”

Review: Nicole Cassandra Smit – Third in Line

Very rarely does a first album showcase as much raw talent and imagination as Cassandra Nicole Smit’s dazzling debut Third in Line. The Edinburgh-based Indonesian-Swedish musician is not afraid to take risks on this LP, melding soul, jazz, hip-hop and electronica into her own sonic elixir. Yet the fluidity and sense of artistry underpinning everyContinue reading “Review: Nicole Cassandra Smit – Third in Line”

Spring Highlights 2022

Inevitably, I don’t get the chance to review every album that catches my attention. For each review I post, there will be several other great records released that I don’t get to write about. And the last few weeks in particular have seen a surplus of fantastic new releases, making it tough to prioritise whatContinue reading “Spring Highlights 2022”

Review: Pictish Trail – Island Family

As musical tributes to the Scottish Hebrides go, Johnny Lynch’s salute to the Isle of Eigg, Island Family, is certainly an unusual one. There’s barely an acoustic instrument in sight, no soaring fiddles or intricate guitar to evoke the windswept landscape and rough seas. Instead, jagged electronics and coarse percussion cut across seas of seethingContinue reading “Review: Pictish Trail – Island Family”

Review: Jenny Hval – Classic Objects

The fact that Jenny Hval calls her latest LP Classic Objects her ‘pop album‘ speaks to just how left-field her previous musical ventures have been. Far from conventional, Classic Objects opens with a vibrant, rhythmic meditation on the institution of marriage and concludes questioning the value of art in a commercial system, slipping into spaceyContinue reading “Review: Jenny Hval – Classic Objects”

Review: Big Thief – Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You

‘It’s a little bit magic,’ promises ‘Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You’, the title track of American indie folk-rock band Big Thief’s latest album. At 80 minutes long, this mammoth record was born out of drummer and producer James Krivchenia’s desire of capturing the full range of vocalist Adrianne Lenker’s song-writing talent inContinue reading “Review: Big Thief – Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You”

Review: Lana Del Rey – Blue Banisters

Just the day after the release of her seventh studio album Chemtrails Over The Country Club in March of this year, Lana Del Rey announced her next project Rock Candy Sweet would be out in June. Then postponed until July and retitled Blue Banisters, the album was teased with a collection of singles, before beingContinue reading “Review: Lana Del Rey – Blue Banisters”

Review: Sam Fender – Seventeen Going Under

Happy songs are easy to come by. Political commentary is woven throughout the popular music canon. But creating music that speaks truth to power while affirming the very things that make life worth fighting for is a much harder task. Bruce Springsteen could do it, Stevie Wonder could do it, and Sam Fender can certainlyContinue reading “Review: Sam Fender – Seventeen Going Under”

Review: Yola – Stand For Myself

Following her Grammy-nominated 2019 debut Walk Through Fire, English singer and songwriter Yolanda Quartey returns with an impressive second album. Much like its predecessor, Stand For Myself is rooted in country, soul and a smattering of rock ‘n’ roll, Quartey’s indomitable vocals coursing through the soundscape of 60s and 70s America. But along with moreContinue reading “Review: Yola – Stand For Myself”