12/5/17 New Release Roundup

Singles

Blossoms and Chase & Status – This Moment: Similarly to their collaboration with Slaves, this takes what sounds like a Blossoms song at the base of the track and adds a dance kick to it. I don’t feel it works quite as well as their track with Slaves but it does work to an extent, with Tom Ogden still managing to sound sincere in his words despite the lively instrumental. 70%

Baio – Philosophy: This is first single taken from the Vampire Weekend man’s upcoming second album, ‘Man Of The World’, out in June. ‘Philosophy’ is a groovy pop track with an infectious horn hook; the track works really well with Chris’ unique vocals. 85%

Be Good – Not Waking Up: This track from Oxford based ‘Be Good’ is a quirky indie-pop song about falling asleep at a New Years party, and it has a wonky feel to it that gives it an interesting edge. 70%

Haim – Right Now – A more subdued track than their first single from their upcoming second album, ‘Right Now’ is a heartfelt ballad that builds up gradually with thumping drums towards the end really helping to put Danielle Haim’s message seem genuine. The more times you listen to it the more little details and layers you hear. 90%

The National – The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness: The first track from The National since 2015 is brilliant. The repeated little guitar riff throughout could be annoying but only adds to the atmospheric comeback track, with Matt’s vocal performance being emotional without being over the top. 91%

LeRiche – Under Covers: A nice, catchy indie-pop tune taken from the upcoming EP ‘X-Dreamer’ from Canadian artist LeRiche, whose voice elevates the track, making it even friendlier on the ears. 75%

Albums/EPs

Amber Mark – 3:33am: ‘3:3am’ is the self-produced debut EP from New York artist Amber Mark. ‘Lose My Cool’ is a chill, piano track that opens up with some soft electronic beats, with Amber’s vocals really shining on this cut, being powerful but not over the top; she sounds in control.  The production on the project is great, especially on the track ‘S P A C E’ which opens with a minimalist beat and again has a great vocal performance. Very promising debut. 95%

Paul Weller – A Kind Revolution: The follow up album to 2015’s ‘Saturns Pattern’ which for me, was his best album in years. ‘A Kind Revolution’ is a move back to a more laid back sound for the Modfather and for me the album is a bit hit-and-miss. The opening three tracks are great, with ‘Nova’ and ‘Long Long Road’ being album highlights for me. However, after that the following few tracks start to merge into one another. However, an average Weller album is still good just on the quality of the songwriting alone. 70%

Diagrams – Dorothy: This is an album co-written with a 90 year old poet from New York, and from the opening track ‘Under The Graphite Sky’ you can tell it is a very thoughtful, peaceful album. Thankfully, that doesn’t make the project bland or too pretentious. The track ‘I Tell Myself’ is reminiscent of Saturns Pattern era Paul Weller, and ‘Motherboard’ is an upbeat folky cut. 80%

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