If you haven’t yet listened to Harkin’s new album Honeymoon Suite, please go and do so now as it’s properly great. There are highlights aplenty; the moody, synth-lead throb of opener Body Clock; the driving riffs and sublime payoff of Talk of the Town. But none are perhaps quite as impactful and perfectly formed as the epic final track Driving Down A Flight of Stairs. Sprawling across 10+ glorious minutes and accompanied by a brilliant film directed by Dejan Mrkic, it’s a breathtaking slice of cinematic ambient that sits among the most affecting pieces of music I’ve heard this year. Come for the hooks, stay for the final emotional wallop.
I don’t think I’ve featured any other artist on this blog as much as Bad Flamingo – but they’re just so remarkably, consdiently good, so for this I make no apologies whatsoever. The Fifth Of June is another sultry, country-meets-alt-pop mashup that sounds like nothing else out there
You wait six years for a new Warpaint album and then two come along at once, although this second one seems to have been created by an Irish 5-piece called Just Mustard. Or, if I’m being less of a reductive prick about things: I really like Just Mustard’s dark, moody new album Heart Under, which calls to mind similarly atmospheric indie bands like, for example, Warpaint. 23 is the first track on the album and is instantly magnetic, with a level of quality and conviction that remains throughout.
Still playing life/work catchup after daring to switch my out of office on for more than an afternoon, but quickly wanted to share this absolute gem from Warpaint’s new album Radiate Like This. Sultry AF.
I’m not sure anyone does deep melancholy quite as well as Tomberlin. Released today, her new album i don’t know who needs to hear this… was structured around the need to “examine, hold space, make an altar for the feelings”, and while not exactly a departure from her 2018 album – and one of my all-time favourites – At Weddings, there’s definitely been a progression: a sense of expanding boundaries; of actually being able to see the horizon in comparison to the lo-fi ultra-intimacy of her debut. easy is the album opener, and manages to be haunting, inviting, despondent and peaceful all at once.
There are very few albums that really need to be over an hour long. 30-40 minutes is probably ideal, and usually anything even approaching the 60 minute mark starts to feel like hard work before I’ve even listened to a note. And yet: Kurt Vile’s new LP (watch my moves) – which clocks in at a frankly intimidating 74 minutes – is still very welcome indeed. There’s something about his breezy riffs and wandering melodies that reassures you (or me, at least) that everything’s going to be ok. And that’s exactly what it delivers, never outstaying its welcome. Let’s break the two-hour mark on the next one please, Kurt.
I loved Harkin’s self-titled 2020 album, so it’s fantastic to hear new music from her – especially when it’s this good – alongside the announcement of a new LP Honeymoon Suite, due out in June. Leaning heavily into the synths and self-producing for the first time, Body Clock is full-blooded and evocative, its glacial electronics exploding into life in its final third. Also, the video is ace, with a 90s video-game aesthetic that makes me want to go and play the original version of Flashback all over again.
Read our interview with Harkin here.
I tried pretty hard to like Mitski’s 2018 album Be The Cowboy, returning to it several times especially after Pitchfork lost their shit about it so spectacularly. It always felt like hard work though and ultimately never clicked, but given how everyone else loved it it’s probably my problem, all of which makes me especially pleased to report that I absolutely love her latest Laurel Hell which came out last week. An effortless joy from start to finish, Stay Soft is an early highlight with bright, brisk drums and soaring, sun-drenched chords.
Just listen to those drums! They are truly incredible: so much energy and raw angst, and when paired with the restrained huskiness of Yanya’s vocal and the late addition of distorted guitars – with melodies reminiscent of The Smashing Pumpkins – it’s hard to tell whether it’s 2022 or 1992, but it really doesn’t matter as this is SO FUCKING GOOD.
Fairly fresh from releasing one of 2021’s best albums Ignorance, The Weather Station have just announced a new album, the enigmatically titled How Is It That I Should Look At The Stars alongside lead single Endless Time. Comprising songs written at the same time as Ignorance, it’s safe to expect more heartfelt, contemplative brilliance, “songs that [are] simple, pure; almost naive… that spoke to many of the same questions and realities as Ignorance, but in a more internal, thoughtful way” according to The Weather Station’s Tamara Lindeman. Sign me up.