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”

The 10 Best Joni Mitchell Covers

When it comes to your favourite artists, it’s hard for a cover version to stand up to the original. It can feel jarring, inauthentic, even disrespectful sometimes to hear their words and melodies sung by another voice. But a cover that truly reimagines the source material, while capturing its essence, can allow you to experienceContinue reading “The 10 Best Joni Mitchell Covers”

Revisiting Taylor Swift’s Red

Last week Taylor Swift released her newly re-recorded version of her 2012 album Red. I look back on why this ‘happy, free, confused and lonely’ record remains her best work to date. ‘Like driving a new Maserati down a dead-end street’: this is how Taylor Swift describes a doomed love affair on Red’s title track,Continue reading “Revisiting Taylor Swift’s Red”

Solar Power, Folklore and the Dream of Escape

Whether it’s flinging your phone into the ocean or fleeing to the mountains, singers are calling on us to abandon the digital world and embrace nature. But is this escape into the outdoors a radical act of rebellion or an unattainable fantasy? ‘I’m not cut out for all these cynical drones, / these hunters withContinue reading “Solar Power, Folklore and the Dream of Escape”

Review: Bleachers – Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night

Maybe it was the dusky blue cover artwork or the vibrant energy of the singles or perhaps just the enticing, twilit romanticism of the title, but Bleachers’ third studio album Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night seemed poised to be their most cohesive and expressive LP to date. And on one hand the albumContinue reading “Review: Bleachers – Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night”

Review: Billie Eilish – Happier Than Ever

Last time she was the bad guy, the monster under your bed, revelling in the stuff of nightmares. Now, two years after her award-winning debut When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, Billie Eilish returns with a softer, more personal album. Stretching across pop, R&B, folk, rock and even bossa nova, Happier ThanContinue reading “Review: Billie Eilish – Happier Than Ever”

Review: Spellling – The Turning Wheel

For Chrystia Cabral, better known by her playful pseudonym, Spellling, music is eternal, ethereal, organic, woven throughout nature. ‘I hear the musical words / in the arc of a rainbow, / in the spider’s harp,’ she sings on the final track of her magnificent third LP, The Turning Wheel. Nature – its beauty, its nurturingContinue reading “Review: Spellling – The Turning Wheel”

Review: Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee

Jubilee, the latest release by Japanese Breakfast, the project of American musician Michelle Zauner, could well be called an emotional rollercoaster – if rollercoasters only went downhill, that is. The album takes us from the infectious openheartedness of the buoyant lead single ‘Be Sweet’, to the devastating loneliness of final track ‘Posing for Cars’, whichContinue reading “Review: Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee”

Review: Wolf Alice – Blue Weekend

Four years after the release of their Mercury Prize-winning album Visions of a Life, London-based band Wolf Alice return with another LP, brimming with their signature blend of fuzzy shoegaze and extravagant alt-rock. Blue Weekend sees the band aim for a grander, more lavish sound than they have produced thus far, resulting in a recordContinue reading “Review: Wolf Alice – Blue Weekend”