Review: Nick Waterhouse has been a leading light in the Orange Country and Southern California scene since he was still in school, and appears to have used most of the intervening period in attempting to construct a time machine back to the 1960's, if his third solo work 'Never Twice' is anything to go by. Oft recognised as a producer whose ear for the magic of yore has worked wonders for the Allah-Las, as well as an affiliate of Ty Segall, he clearly has a plethora of strings to his own bow, and the R&B, soul and garage stylings of 'Never Twice' never stray into overly reverential or studied territory. This charismatic revue is a thing of sharp chic and formidable charisma.
(Hope) Is Just Another Word With A Hole In It (5:47)
Review: Death metal, sludge to post-rock and synthwave specialists Relapse deliver a third album from the shoegazing Nothing. With artwork to challenge anything conjured up by Aphex Twin or Bjork, Nothing's sound was captured and produced by John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.) at Dreamland Studio in Woodstock and it's an album that will send you spiralling back towards what the band call "stories of self-loathing, self-destruction, and a general disdain for humanity." Yep, the '90s; time to lose your job, fall out with your friends, get that eviction notice, and listen to this on a bean bag watching Reality Bites on mute. Let it rain.
Review: There can be few records bettter suited to the encroaching summer than this decidedly sun-kissed and carefree effort from these Australian electronic seers. Here we have a maximalist take on their trademark pop stylings that results in a relentlessly upbeat collection of bangers containing a certain left-of-certain skew even amidst the party-hearty vibes; think a midnight meeting between prime Talking Heads and their countrymen Cut Copy, in effect. 'All Possible Futures' is as positive as its title suggests, possessed of a hedonistic kick and joie-de-vivre to lighten the mood of even the most ardent cynic.
Review: Joseph Mount has set himself up as quite the pop auteur in the decade since Metronomy first arrived on the scene in the mid-to-late noughties, honing his wistful yet uplifting metier to craft a uniquely homegrown and bittersweet sound that resonates ffrom the Totnes of his origin around the globe. 'Summer 08' is the first record he's made entirely by himself since 'Nights Out' eight years ago, and the freewheeling charm, inventive panache and ear for an addictive hook have not deserted him - this fifth album is an offbeat masterclass in twenty-first century pop from a quiet yet formidable maverick.
Review: The Wigan-birthed sage Richard Ashcroft has taken his fair share of flak over the years for his messianic tendencies, unflinchingly epic songwriting style and fervent self-belief, yet when it's in the service of albums like 'These People', it seems more than a little churlish to object to any of these attributes. Displaying an electronic freshness that finely complements the string-swathed widescreen sweep for which he's become known, these impassioned ditties are rarely notable for their subtlety, yet Ashcroft's rich baritone and raw charisma serve to elevate them to new plateaus of emotion and intensity. Write this fella off at your peril.