This is literally the best week for music released in the world ever. Ok so that may or may not be massive hyperbole (hyperbole meaning exaggeration, not a stadium in America), I’m way too lazy to go back through the decades and research whether there has been a better one, but it’s certainly the best week in my opinion that I can remember.
There are 4 records out this week, that if I rated my reviews out of 10 would all get big fat 9s. Since the start of the year there’s already been a good few weeks that have included many releases I thought were great, really fucking great in fact, but this week the standard’s just bloody ridiculous. Across the Wild Beasts, Beck, St Vincent & Arthur Beatrice’s albums there ain’t one track I’d skip over. That’s roughly 3 hours of music, all of which is genuinely brilliant. And on top of that there’s also a couple from Neneh Cherry (remember her? Buffalo Stance anyone? No? ok) and Death Vessels that would get 8s too. So that’d take it up to 4 & a half hours if you let the quality drop down a slither… how ruddy amazing is that?! It’s bloody unheard of!! It’s soooooo good i’m starting to run out of adjectives and superlatives- if I read more, or paid attention in english lessons instead of shooting spit balls through empty biros at teachers maybe I could’ve come up with more? Who knows, that train’s sailed. Train? Ship, I meant ship.
So without further ado, let’s get onto these amazeballs (are people still saying that?) albums. I’ll attempt to provide you with a witty summation (they won’t be witty) of each album below along with a vid of one of the tracks as a little teaser. But if you can’t be bovved to listen/ read all of them- and I won’t blame, just go buy ‘em all. You won’t regret it, and you’re due a bit of a splurge after getting through the two most boring months of the year, and it’s payday this weekend so I know you’ve got the readies….
WILD BEASTS - Present Tense
The beasts are back. Fourth album in and still rad (told you I was running low on words). If you don’t know them, they’re all dark moody synths and beautiful soundscapes, fronted by a singer who an NME writer (yes I’m dropping that in), once described to me as a male Kate Bush. Get it?
BECK - Morning Phase
Beck’s back. It’s the 90′s and naughties cult, experimental indie genius’ 12th album (I think?) and he’s gone all Neil young on us. And produced one of his best records in doing so. Definitely his most consistent anyways. That’s if you ask me, and you kind of have cos you’re reading this. It’s fantabbydosy, americana at it’s best.
ST. VINCENT - St. Vincent
St. Vincent’s back- bit of a theme developing here? Yep, there definitely is, it’s a theme of bands/ artists who are genuine modern greats who are all comfortable with what they do and who they are, producing stuff that’s close to, or is indeed their best work. And St. Vincent’s fourth record fits comfortably into that description. She’s as experimental & direct (& brilliant) as ever.
ARTHUR BEATRICE - Working Out
Theme ended- Next up it’s a debut album but it’s a debut so good it can played amongst the three genius acts above, without even a small drop in quality. And I can smugly say that it’s from a band who I tipped last year on the release of their debut E.P.!! Always pleasing when you find someone new and they turn out not just to not be shit, but to actually be really bloody good. And that’s what this is. Very much of the same ilk as Wild Beasts, Woodkid, Daughter, etc, it’s emotive Smith’s like pop (the lead male vocalist sounds more then a touch like Morrisey), but with added synths and a few piano riffs that could easily have been lifted from a 90′s house anthem. Oh, and it’s a band not a solo artist despite the name…
BEST OF THE REST
NENEH CHERRY - Blank Project
Ok I know this post’s going on and on today but couldn’t not mention these final two albums as whilst not being up there with the four above, they come ruddy close. So if you’ve still got a few pennies left and you haven’t quite quenched your musical thirst, then have a butcher’s at 90′s fave Neneh Cherry’s first album in fuck knows how long, Blank Project. Produced by the guy behind Four Tet and featuring Robyn, it’s a raw trance inducing belter.
DEATH VESSEL - Island Intervals
Airy, ethereal, celestial… you get the idea. Ever wondered what Feist crossed with Sigur Ros would sound like? Wonder no more…
Sorry know that was a real long one, so big love to those who stuck it out to the end with me, but it was kinda worth it no?