Better Oblivion Community Centre – Better Oblivion Community Centre
Nobody was expecting a surprise drop combo album between Phoebe Bridgers and Connor Oberst but here it is and what’s more… it’s really good! Oberst, old mate from indie folk sadcore legends Bright Eyes, hasn’t sounded this good in years, his trembling voice balances by Bridgers’ beautifully smooth one. No surprises, really - after Boyband (and her own debut) it’s pretty clear that everything Phoebe Bridgers touches turns to gold. Dylan Thomas’ ghost never even knew he needed this name-check (beats everybody repeating that one line about the dying of the light, aye?).
Boogie - Everything For Sale
Nothing to see here; just another Compton hip hopper offering introspective raps and glorious story-telling. Signed to Shady Records, Boogie dropped his debut album 'Everything's For Sale' in January and offers the type of poetry that is going to have you pondering about yourself while your head jiggles to the dusky rhythm. Notable guest features come from J.I.D and 6lack, as well Eminem who offers what he's been offering over the past few years. Boogies shines though when spinning his own web, taking you into the depths of South Central, although not as you probably know it.
Marlon Williams – Live At Auckland Town Hall
It’s a lovely morning when you wake up to find new music from Marlon Williams. Aotearoa’s finest velvet-voiced, song-crafting, A Star Is Born cameo-ing musical secret. How exactly this bloke has not taken over the world already on the back of his last two albums is a mystery… but New Zealand knows what it’s got and fittingly his latest release, coming straight out of the blue, is an 88-minute live album recorded last year before an adoring kiwi audience. 21 tracks means he hits all the usuals, as well as, get this… COVERS! Basically, like all good live albums, it’s a perfect summation of where he is as an artist right now and that makes this essential.
Malibu Ken - Malibu Ken
Aesop Rock and Tobacco team up to form Malibu Ken, offering an album going by the same name. Malibu Ken is a bit of an odd combination given that Tobacco is an electronic wizard, although you can take electronic to mean that he creates all sorts of instrumentals stemming from whatever you perceive to be an electronic base. Aesop Rock's a witty poet with the type of word play that intially feels aligned with Tobacco's beats, but you'll soon find yourself digging deeper into the words just as you settle in all the nooks and crannies of the production behind it.
Steve Gunn – The Unseen In Between
The vibe is strong when Steve Gunn picks up his guitar. Breezy tunes of wistful longing and spiritual yearning lifted by his translucent vocals and grounding by churning rhythms, tambourines included. Real pastoral and emotive lyrics. This man is a troubadour and tracks like New Moon and Stonehurst Cowboy and Luciano are going to take you places the same way that a river takes you places when you stop trying to fight the current and just let it carry you where you need to go.
Sharon Van Etten – Remind Me Tomorrow
There were a couple murmurs ahead of the new SVE album, first since 2014’s Are We There, but nothing that prepared you for the third single, Seventeen, a Springsteen/Suicide-esque ode to reckless youth (and responsible aging) which will rip your insides out, give them a bit of a rinse through, and then stuff them back in. It is an incredible song. This is an incredible album. An evolution for SVE as she incorporates a post-punk/new wave sense of synths and rhythms into her always immaculate musical palette. Jupiter 4, Malibu and Hands are also standout tracks. Beautiful and reflective and powerful and honest and another stunner from Sharon Van Etten. John Campbell’s gonna love it.
Future – Future Hndrxx Presents: The WIZRD
The usual serving from old mate Future. Drugged out, vaguely gloomy, heavily auto-tuned tracks with top shelf production and a generally mellow ease to them. Goes down smoother than that third jagerbomb. Fella’s got nothing really new to say at this point but he churns them out with ease. The WIZRD is a late night record. It’s about twenty minutes too long and there’s no structure at all to the track sequencing but that’s all a flex of its own – dude can knock a 7/10 out in his sleep. And the album art for this one is incredible.
Cherry Glazerr – Stuffed & Ready
The future of rock and roll is female and Cherry Glazerr frontwoman Clem Creevy is one the new wave redefining rockstardom in the modern era. Everyone loves a bit of Mick Jagger, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, etc. but that’s been done before (sorry, Greta Van Fleet) and we need new voices with new perspectives to keep the riotously transgressive art of rock and roll fresh. Cherry Glazerr still sounds like a band that’s had a lot of cast rotation, still figuring things out, but tracks like Wasted Nun and Ohio walk that righteous grunge-pop line. Expecting big things from the next record.
William Tyler – Goes West
Let the twang ring out into space like the vast landscapes of The American West. William Tyler plays instrumental folk guitar in a way that on one hand feels like spontaneous jazz and on the other feels like artfully crafted and melodic country rock. Dunno what that’s supposed to combine as… a William Tyler record, apparently. Cosmic pastoral is his phrase for it and that’s honestly perfect. His music has no lyrics or vocals because his music describes things which there simply isn’t adequate language to describe. Rolling green and snowcapped hills, white lines on the fading blacktop, the particular song-whistle of the birds in their trees… important things, basically.
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