Each month we bring you a handy round-up of the most exciting new releases.
This month sees long-awaited albums from Slow Club, Wild Beasts, Dinosaur Jr, NAO, Factory Floor and Boys Forever.
Slow Club – One Day All Of This Won’t Matter Anymore
19th Aug, Moshi Moshi | Buy
There was always something quite comforting about the partnership of Slow Club. From the early days of their warming acoustic ballads, or the more urgent pop sounds heard on Complete Surrender, they’ve constantly proven that they can adapt and evolve.
That’s why it comes as no surprise that this next record is one of subtlety and elegance. In many ways it almost feels like they’re not even trying to impress, something quite charming. Whether it’s the lingering cool of ‘Ancient Rolling Sea’, or the more decisive ‘Champion’, it feels very much fresh, alive and relevant. A standout beauty comes with ‘In Waves’, an understated yet poignant moment. The talented pairing of Rebecca Taylor and Charles Watson worked differently this time around – now living in different parts of the country – with their creativity more isolated in many respects, all reflected in the intricate changes and shared vocal duties. It’s an enduring chemistry, however, which makes them always destined to succeed. Rhys Buchanan
Field Mouse – Episodic
5th Aug, Topshelf Records | Buy
Field Mouse’s third full-length record wavers between frenetic nervousness and fuzzy, melancholic dream-pop in the same vein as bands like Speedy Ortiz and Hop Along, both of whom have members that contributed to this record.
While single ‘The Mirror’ leads off and uses catchy pop guitar to suck you in, it’s the swirling crescendo of the last three tracks, ‘Do You Believe Me Now?’, ‘Never Would Have Known’, and the album’s second single ‘Out of Context’, that showcase the band’s ability to juxtapose shimmering and toe tapping choruses with distorted verses and lyrics that describe an attempt to pull everything back together. Albert Testani
Lisa Hannigan – At Swim
19th Aug, Play It Again Sam Recordings | Buy
After first breaking as Damien Rice’s backing vocalist, Lisa Hannigan has since released two solo albums with extremely promising prospects. For third album At Swim, Hannigan has teamed up with The National’s Aaron Dessner as producer – who most recently worked with Frightened Rabbit – and her material has thus taken a darker turn.
The music becomes even more intricate and intriguing now Dessner has placed a blanket of The National’s signature reverb over Hannigan’s tales, with a sense of foreboding coming out from a singer who had previously only seemed light and breezy. At Swim is a wonderful next step on the path of a singer who is nowhere near done yet. Will Richards
Wild Beasts – Boy King
5th Aug, Domino Records | Buy
Wild Beasts’ new album comes with a departure from their usual sound – gone are their trademark ethereal vocals and instead arrives an explosion of sinuous guitar, 80s-style synth-pop production and an altogether darker, sexier vibe.
The album is riddled with a sense of friction; it becomes impossible to pin down, moving fluidly between quasi-soulful refrains, aggressively blunt lyrics and classic, soaring vocal moments. As an album, it feels the sum of every emotion the band had to eschew to produce their earlier sonically beautiful, reflective albums; Boy King is a celebration of the ugly, the aggressive and the now. It’s guttural, potent and certainly deserves a listen. Juliette Motamed
Dinosaur Jr. – Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not
Aug 5th, Jagjaguwar | Buy
The eleventh Dinosaur Jr. record Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not is the fourth album since the reformation of the band’s original lineup in 2005. Right from the start, J Mascis’ guitar solos and laconic vocals make it obvious that this is a straight-forward Dinosaur Jr. album; there is little deviation here from the band’s already tried and tested formula.
Album highlight ‘I Walk For Miles’, with its crunchy riffs, wouldn’t be out of place on any of the band’s late-80s records. Unlikely to convert anyone who hasn’t already fallen for the band but Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not is a pretty solid effort nevertheless. Tim Elliis
Milo’s Planes – Delivering Business Success
26th Aug, Howling Owl Records | Buy
Only releasing their bedroom-recorded debut ‘Aural Palate Cleaning Exercises’ last year, Milo’s Planes have continued production duties for their driven second effort. Made up of brothers Joe and Harry Sherrin along with Charlie Horne, the band thrash out rapturous post-hardcore that timidly touches on Sex Pistols territory.
‘Ghost’ is catchy with its crashing cascade of riffs and alarming changes of pace. ‘Stampede’ and ‘Winds Drone’ follow in the same vein, never sticking to one speed, or just one guitar. Yet final track ’14-‘ is a surprisingly fitting folk stunner to end the mad sugar rush of lo-fi fuzz. One thing is guaranteed from Milo’s Planes – plenty of turbulence. Oliver Evans
Boys Forever – Boys Forever
5th Aug, Amour Foo | Buy
The name of Patrick Doyle’s moniker, Boys Forever, comes from his love for The Beach Boys, and the youthful enthusiasm and exuberance of that band seeps into every part of his debut album. ‘I Don’t Remember Your Name’, in particular, is a glorious slice of indie pop that feels completely carefree – and all the better for it.
‘Brian’, a possible reference to Mr Wilson of The Beach Boys, is another simple but shining track, with none of the album ever getting bogged down. No part of Boys Forever breaks new ground, but it’s an album supremely good at what it does, perfectly replicating a yearning to stay forever young. Will Richards
Factory Floor – 25 25
19th Aug, DFA Records | Buy
Despite being more in demand than ever before on the live circuit, Factory Floor seem to have lost their beating heart with Dominic Butler’s departure last year.
Second album 25 25 doesn’t match the vitality of 2013’s eponymous debut but the now-duo have soldiered on, honing their minimalist, punkish acid disco with this club-friendly effort. It feels slightly pedestrian to start with, but picks up pace by fourth track ‘25 25’.
Low wails, yips and estranged metallic vocals hover over razor-sharp beats across eight consistent but rarely exhilarating tracks. “I know where I’m going”, intones Gurnsey on ‘Relay’ – you just hope they remember to take us with them. Heather McKay
Benjamin Francis Leftwich – After The Rain
19th Aug, Dirty Hit | Buy
Five years after his debut release, Benjamin Francis Leftwich delivers another album of hazy folk with After The Rain. Showing all the hallmarks of an artist experimenting, expanding and most importantly, improving their sound, Leftwich’s style of songwriting and delivery – a steady stream of consciousness sung with tenderness and longing – finds a perfect foil in the more layered and diverse arrangements. As a result, After the Rain feels more weighted and fluid than its predecessor.
This is showcased in the stand out track ‘Summer’ which flows and meanders, somehow encapsulating the feeling of a warm evening and the soft lingering tendrils of light that come with it. Thomas O’Neill
NAO – For All We Know
5th Aug, Little Toyko Recordings / RCA | Buy
This is a confident solo debut from The Boxettes’ a cappella singer, NAO. From the slinky choral harmonies layered on opening track ‘Like Velvet’, through to the stepping rhythms on tracks like ‘Inhale Exhale’ and ‘In The Morning’, all shot through with NAO’s effortless toplines, For All We Know is an 18-track slice of blissful neo-soul perfect for blazing through dreamy, sun-soaked afternoons.
Standout track ‘Girlfriend’ showcases Nao’s powerful intonation; impeccably sweet and sensual, soaring above the sweeping synths and funky cosmic basslines, while tracks like ‘Blue Wine’ and ‘Feels Like (Perfume)’ slow the tempo as we approach the stratosphere. Be sure to catch her playing Motion on 1st November. Ash Clarke