2018's Best New Albums (so far)

We'll be unveiling our official Albums of the Year 2018 on Friday 28th December, but here - in completely random order - are the records we've been eyeing up. Sign up for our emails and we'll ping you when our final Top 50 is announced. And remember that from now until Friday 21st December we're offering double NormanPoints on all orders.
Please note that this promotion officially ended on Monday December 3rd 2018. Any discounted items may now have returned to full price, and other items may no longer be available at all. If you missed out on this promotion then sign up for our email alerts so that you stand a better chance of not missing out on the next one.
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Minami Deutsch
With Dim Light

Here’s some spirited post-punkish, 60s psych-rock from Japan. Kyotaro Muila spearheaded Minami Deutsch in Tokyo in 2014, drawing together a bunch of minimal techno enthusiasts for the remaining instruments. This keenness for repetitive beats clearly informs the indulgent sections of these billowing tunes, but the songwriting is more elaborate and composed. The knitter’s nightmare of ‘Tangled Yarn’ is, unlike its title may suggest, deliriously relaxed and happy.

NYZ
NTE GDN

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Peter Brötzmann Octet
Machine Gun

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Kathryn Joseph
From When I Wake The Want Is

Kathryn Joseph's debut Bones You Have Thrown Me and Blood I've Spilled was a bit of a sad corker winning all kinds of Scottish awards. This is her second record and first for Mogwai's Rock Action imprint. Expect windswept bleak confessionals with a warm heart and quivering delivery that soothe rather than haunt. 

Hairband
Hairband

Very good Scottish shop Monorail put their money where their mouth is by releasing the debut LP from this Glasgow collective. Hairband (good that isn't it?) contain members of Spinning Coin and Breakfast Muff and play the sort of joyful, elastic music that you can imagine coming out of Glasgow particularly when you throw in influences such as Orange Juice, Television and Life Without Buildings. 

Ekin Fil
Maps

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Tropics
Nocturnal Souls

After LPs for Planet Mu and Innovative Leisure, the latest full-length from Chris Ward’s Tropics project drops via Plus Fours. Nocturnal Souls is an accomplished neo-soul album in the vein of his mates BADBADNOTGOOD - indeed, the celebrated jazz group crop up as backing band here. Ward’s fine songwriting style incorporates elements of the French New Wave, cosmic jazz, chillwave and even a little 'Reckoner'-era Radiohead. He’s got a great set of pipes on him too.

Lonnie Holley
MITH

The legendary Lonnie Holley returns with Mith. It's an album filled with righteous fire aimed at the chaos and injustice of American life. His impassioned spoken word delivery gives topics like Standing Rock and Black Lives Matter the weight they deserve. As does the beefy instrumentation: wild drums, blasting horns, and always his own distinct piano improvisations. From the music to its lyrics, this is vital.

Thom Yorke
Suspiria (Music for the Luca Guadagnino Film)

It's true then. Thom Yorke is soundtracking Luca Guadagnino's reimagining of the 1977 Dario Argento horror flick. And here is as much proof as you'd need. The soundtrack is a mix of score work, interludes and some actual normal songs featuring Thom singing. If you are a Radiohead fan you should be excited. If you are a fan of the horror genre you should also be excited.   

Jason Sharp
Stand Above The Streams

If you can't get enough of Colin Stetson then try Jason Sharp. He also plays the saxophone and uses it to make immersive and layered electro-acoustic music. Following the phenomenal and Norman-loved A Boat Upon Its Blood, he produces four ten minute pieces which he says is an abstracted survey of organic nature. It's synth elements also fit in nicely with the latest vogue for synth composition influenced by John Carpenter, Tangerine Dream et al.   

Laura Veirs
The Lookout

When she’s not teaching kids to play the guitar, Laura Veirs is a singer/songwriter. A good one too. The Lookout is her tenth album and first since her collaboration with like-minds Neko Case and K.D. Lang. The Lookout is inspired by wanting to take care, be aware and look after each other. This need was fired in Veirs, like so many things these days, by the aftermath of Donald Trump becoming president. The velvet voices of Jim James and Sufjan Stevens feature. Gold coloured vinyl LP and CD on Bella Union.

Charlemagne Palestine
AA SSCHMMETTRROOSSPPECCTIVVE

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John Coltrane
Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album

It's somewhat of a holy grail of jazz, this. Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album is just that, an until-very-recently unknown and unheard studio album by the great John Coltrane. The sessions for the LP were laid down at the legendary Van Gelder Studios, with 'Trane at the peak of his powers and his classic Quartet in tow. So, here we have a document from one of the most important and influential groups in the history of music-kind having scaled the pinnacles and subsequently veering in exploratory tangents the world couldn't have anticipated. LP, Double Deluxe Edition LP with CD and 2-CD deluxe editions available, on Impulse!

Witch Mountain
Witch Mountain

The obscenely metal Witch Mountain use their lovely crystal fonts and blue colours to fool you into believing their new record is going to be chill. It is not: a doomy experience that feels like a culmination of their long ascent to the top of the genre, they're here joined by new singer Kayla Dixon, who apparently loves Judas Priest. Legend.

µ-Ziq
Challenge Me Foolish

Here is a 'lost' album of Mike Paradinas's ahead-of-its-time project tapping into the same highly melodic, orchestrated electronic pieces that made his 'Royal Astronomy' album so remarkable. Seen as a sort of companion to that album, 'Challenge Me Foolish' is similarly uplifting creating a mood of gentle optimism with music that is both baroque and whimsical. 

The Lotus Eaters
Desatura

Please be very very careful. This is not the 1980s Lotus Eaters famous for their 'First Picture of You' single. Instead these are two techno artists Lucy and Rrose. Here the two step away from the usual techno instrumentation and use synthesized sound and feedback to generate both textural and percussive elements to their music.  

Rezzett
Rezzett

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LWW
3PE

LWW is none other than Portland, Oregon's Luke Wyland with a three-lettered moniker describing his explorations in joyous repetition and softly-stated minimalism. Harsh vowels need not apply, but some rounded ones may accidentally appear. The project has already acquired the Nils Frahm / Piano Day seal of approval for the track 'PNO' (told you) which made the Frahm official PD playlist this year. A record on which Wyland has allowed unadorned, unembellished single takes to form and evolve naturally. Which is cool. LP on the always reliable Leaf Label.

Tigue
Strange Paradise

On Strange Paradise, Tigue, who are loosely described as a percussion trio, utilise drums, vibraphones, gongs, synths and other found items that make interesting sounds to create a soundscape that changes subtly in tone and rhythm as each musician reacts to one another’s actions. LP on NNA Tapes.

Tim Hecker
Konoyo

Master sonic architect Tim Hecker returns to Kranky with an album which takes inspiration from conversations with a recently departed buddy. 'Konoyo' was mostly recorded in a Japanese temple just outside Tokyo in collaboration with gagaku ensemble Tokyo Gakuso. Hecker manipulates their source sounds (strings, woodwinds, percussion) and re-shapes and sculpts the raw material into his own vision, focussing on negative space. The resulting sombre mood has a ritual/ceremonial weight - as though he were channelling communications from the great beyond.

Mitski
Be The Cowboy

Mitski’s fifth LP - and second for Dead Oceans (Slowdive, Khruangbin) - finds the singer finding great emotional depth in her mixture of college rock, grunge and twee-punk. Her poised vocals and narratives about personal struggle and inner strength are wed to similarly emotive instrumentals across these fourteen tracks. It makes for a defiant and ultimately uplifting listen on Be The Cowboy.

The Body
I Have Fought Against It, But I Can't Any Longer

Portland duo The Body push their sound to yet more extremes on their latest LP. I Have Fought Against It, But I Can’t Any Longer sees the pair bringing in a few collaborators - Assembly of Light Choir’s Chrissy Wolpert, Sandworm’s Ben Eberie to name but two - to beef up their already mighty sound. The resulting record is a brooding, abrasive song-cycle, like The Bug & Earth teaming up with Zola Jesus. Out via Thrill Jockey.

Blood Orange
Negro Swan

Devonte Hynes has explored punk in his teens with Test Icicles, orchestral pop under the name of Lightspeed Champion, and as Blood Orange, perhaps his most successful and critically acclaimed project, he has made four albums underpinned by R’n’B and electronica. Negro Swan, his latest, explores depression - his own and other people's - along with the anxieties suffered by LGBT community and people of colour. LP and CD on Domino.

Daughters
You Won't Get What You Want

The first Daughters LP for Ipecac Records (Mike Patton, Faith No More) finds the grindcore-turned-noise-punk band in good nick. You Won’t Get What You Want is a ten-song set that, while heavy as ever, sees Daughters expand their palette to good effect. ‘Satan In The Wait’, for instance, is a seven-minute vaudeville punk number that is both ghoulish and caustic. More straightforward rockers like ‘The Reason They Hate Me’ have something of the Pissed Jeans about them.

Hop Along
Bark Your Head Off, Dog

Blessed are the emo at heart as Hop Along, royalty of woe and heart-wrench, returns with another record of skewed songwriting. Painted Shut progressed her sound further from its entrenched sparsity and its follow-up doubles down on the dynamism: Bark Your Head off, Dog, is a record that collects older and more nostalgic pop influences into the usual broth of grunge, folk and open source feelings.

Grouper
Grid Of Points

Portland's Liz Harris AKA Grouper is one of only a few artists who consistently melts our collective hearts. Her 'Grid Of Points' album (like her previous record on Kranky, 'Ruins') is more stripped-back than her earlier work, with a greater emphasis on songwriting and delicate piano compositions. What was previously submerged in effects resonates with a newfound clarity; what was previously obscured is foregrounded, offering a clearer window into the heart and mind of the artist and revealing previously unheard details within her meticulously crafted, gorgeous compositions. And yet, there's still enough mystique surrounding her songs and fragile, ghostly, ambient soundscapes to make her work as intriguing as ever.

Thembi Soddell
Love Songs

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Kristin Hersh
Possible Dust Clouds

Possible Dust Clouds is the tenth solo studio album from Throwing Muses leader Kristin Hersh. It’s an album of contrasts, dark and light, loud and quiet, chaos and calm. It’s her first for Fire Records and is being ‘bigged up’ as return to form, and we know the heights that form has reached in the past. LP and CD on Fire.

Ashley Paul
Lost In Shadows

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Kamasi Washington
Heaven and Earth

Oh my God he is walking on water whilst carrying a saxophone. To some Kamasi Washington is the sort of person who could walk on water with his blend of psychedelic cosmic jazz and horn workouts. His first album 'The Epic' was a hell of a thing and 'Heaven & Earth' which is split into two bits ('Heaven'/'Earth') is bound to be just as ambitious and will further crown him as the lord of modern psychedelic jazz. 

Jim O'Rourke
Sleep Like It's Winter

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Alison Statton & Spike
Bimini Twist

After Young Marble Giants and Weekend, Alison Statton's third major contribution to proto indie were her collaborations with Spike. In fact the duo had already worked together in Weekend but this collaboration is somewhat lesser known. After a few years of doing normal family type stuff the duo have reconvened for further recordings. Anyone who has heard Statton's voice knows that it's a beautiful unique thing so it will be lovely to hear it again after all these years.  

Thou
Magus

Thou claim greater influence from 90s proto-grunge groups like Alice In Chains and Soundgarden than contemporaries like EYEHATEGOD, a band to whom the Baton Rouge outfit are frequently compared. Magus - Thou’s first LP since 2014’s Heathen - lands squarely between the two camps, but is also much more than that. Sludgy, abrasive and loud as heck, there's more than a little Converge in here. That is to say that Magus is modern metal par excellence. The vocalist’s screech is the first sound you hear in hell. Out via Sacred Bones.

Juliana Daugherty
Light

Singer-songwriter Juliana Daugherty is back with this limited-edition, milky-clear LP, out on Western Vinyl, a dreamy record that traverses mental illness, political outrage and societal ills, all laced with Daugherty's crooning, lilting vocals. Expect motorik pulses, vaporous strumming and heartbreaking choruses. Killer.

The Rock*A*Teens
Sixth House

20 years ago The Rock *A* Teens played a small part in the history of the Atlanta, Georgia indie scene with a few EPs and albums. Some were released on the Superchunk-owned Merge label. This led to a reunion appearance at the Merge 25 festival and now a new album, Sixth House. Previously blurred by reverb, their sound is sharpened up and the songs are more anthemic. Limited translucent green vinyl, standard black vinyl and CD on Merge.

Miss Red
Dagga / One Shot Killer

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Telectu
Belzebu

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Palm
Rock Island

The nervously invigorating Palm have impressed us plenty already and return with an obnoxiously captivating record in Rock Island. It swerves away from their common, jangly lexicon and then points back towards it, offering a noisy, danceable, jubilant and melancholic record of stutter pop. They make loops sound like they're being played over and over, one at a time.

Surgeon
Luminosity Device

Accomplished techno man Surgeon aka Anthony Child returns with Luminosity Device, a title that sounds like a verbose homage to lightbulbs until you learn it really refers to the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Might be a bit more spiritual, then. These are intense modular techno tunes with excellent sequencing and the sensitive (and sensible) live editing of a disciplined DJ, not a tedious bedroom eurorack jammer. This Surgeon fellow seems to know what he’s doing.

Deepchord
Immersions

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Oneohtrix Point Never
Age Of

The new Vangelis gets round to his eighth studio LP, to be released by Warp. Born in part from his MYRIAD project for the Red Bull Music Academy, this latest album sees Oneohtrix Point Never screwballing some new styles into his Blade Runner-goes-electroacoustic ouevre. This means computer music colliding with harpsichords as well as old folk sounds in a typically neurotic manner.

NYZ
CSR SHAPERZ

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Soccer Mommy
Clean

Soccer Mommy, aka Sophie Allison, a 20 year old from Nashville, has previously made some lovely mid-fi music that would please fans of Boston bands of the 1990s, as detailed on her recent compilation, Collection. Her proper debut album, Clean, gives her a bigger stage and bigger production values, but the songs remain true to her roots. Clean was produced by War On Drugs/Deerhunter producer, Gabe Wax.

serpentwithfeet
soil

Josiah Wise enlists a raft of sound innovators for the debut serpentwithfeet LP. Clams Casino, Paul Epworth, Katie Gately and mmph are some of the minds behind the gorgeous vistas of soil. Wise’s extraordinary voice, reminiscent of Nina Simone, remains centre-stage. He is a true innovator and we should treasure his talent. If you never listened to blisters, get to know now

Saturn and the Sun
In Love With The Extreme

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Concretism
For Concrete and Country

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Heather Leigh
Throne

Editions Mego (Shit & Shine, Oren Ambarchi) drop the latest LP from Heather Leigh (once known as Heather Leigh Murray). Throne is a record of singer-songwriter noir full of dark energy. Leigh commands her tracks with a smouldering intensity that is reminiscent of Wild Beasts’ Hayden Thorpe. The instrumentals also have something of that group about them, though it’s less ‘Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants’ and more the Grouper-ish murk of Present Tense’s ‘New Life’ or Two Dancers’ ‘Underbelly’.

Hiro Kone
Pure Expenditure

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David August
DCXXXIX A.C.

David August lets the drums drop away for this latest LP. DCXXXIX is made up of twenty-four tracks that investigate all things ambient. Droning synths, nuggets of found sound, idly hit percussion, some ivory-tinkling, that sort of thing. A nice record to get lost in for an hour. Will appeal to fans of the Icelandic school and some of the more hissing fauna-type stuff that Posh Isolation have been putting out recently.

Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids
An Angel Fell

The well travelled and long-enduring Pyramids, led by sax man Idris Ackamoor, ready a new record of fantasy-filtered allegory. An Angel Fell is a jazz record in protest of our environmental complacency. Recorded in a week, it's another intense marvel from a group who still managed to release one of our favourite records of its year in We Be All Africans.
  • Vinyl Double LP (STRUT164LP)
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Jono McCleery
Seeds Of A Dandelion

We've heard this one in the office quite a bit, and it has become a personal favourite of mine. Jono McCleery's voice is truly brilliant. He sings with so much soul and genuine passion. It's raw and it's beautiful. Available on vinyl LP and CD and both have been released on Counter Records. Trust me. It's a good 'un.

The Ex
27 Passports

The Ex have made about a billion albums starting in 1979 and still going strong. On each album they start with a blank canvas so you are never sure what you are going to get. This time it seems that that have created a trance-like opus that has been influenced by trips to Africa creating an infectious groove laden sound. 

The Field
Infinite Moment

Hope is something we could do with in 2018. Axel Willner AKA The Field had been toying with various new ideas for his sixth full length album before realising perhaps that we could do with an album that is warm and comforting. Therefore 'Infinite Moment' is hued with a rich gauze of straight to the heart electronics to soothe your mind in troubled times.  

Taylor Deupree
Fallen

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The Amazing
In Transit

The fifth LP from The Amazing features more of the heartfelt, slightly shoegazey indie-rock that has served the band well up to this point. Tracks like ‘Rewind’ and ‘Pull’, with their delicate grooves and singer Christoffer Gunrup’s dreamy vocal, come off as pitched somewhere between The Antlers and The National. Out via Partisan Records.

NYZ
RLD GLD ET AL

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The Internet
Hive Mind

You know all the kids who get onto the ‘Jazz & Pop’ course at music college and end up in naff neo-soul ensembles? The Internet is the band they all think they're in. Hive Mind, the fourth LP from Syd The Kyd et al, is as cool as a cloud of smoke being blown by someone in silhouette. The prominent vocals and ultra-swung grooves place it in the newer school of Fatima, Zara McFarlane et al, but the flex of the thing rivals D’Angelo’s best years. Some people should be taking notes.

Nicolas Jaar
Pomegranates

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NYZ
XNOTNL

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Fucked Up
Dose Your Dreams

Fucked Up have pulled out all the stops to make, arguably, the album of their career with Dose Your Dreams. Whilst it kicks off in a familiar punk fashion, they then take unexpected turns into psychedelia, groove work-outs and even doo-wop before is brought to a close with a Krautrock epic. LP and CD on Merge.

Siavash Amini & Matt Finney
Gospel

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Virginia Wing
Ecstatic Arrow

Changes can take time and Virginia Wing have slowly been morphing from a Broadcast-like psych pop band into something much more psychedelic and esoteric. Hints of greatness were found on their previous 'Measures of Joy' album but 'Ecstatic Arrow' should see the full hatching of the new band. Last year's collaboration with XAM Duo was excellent so we have high hopes for this.  

The Declining Winter
Belmont Slope

No one evokes the emotional atmospheres of Northern England quite like Richard Adams, so thank God he's made Belmont Slope, a musical fable about the M62. Mysterious and muffled, he returns under his Declining Winter moniker to detail further secrets hiding in Yorkshire's soil and concrete. If it's anything like the magnificent Home for Lost Souls, it should deliver intimate pop gems influenced by his favourite stay-at-home songwriters -- while occasionally reaching for the expanse of old band Hood.

Mount Eerie
Now Only

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Ryley Walker
Deafman Glance

New from Ryley Walker  - a musician always willing to step outside himself to find new sounds and the one snippet we heard sounds like he's been heavily pounding the Jim O'Rourke/Gastr Del Sol axis.  Sweet bucolic folk with flutes galore and some unexpected harshness. Looking forward to this one.  

Cat Power
Wanderer

Cat Power celebrates the great blues tradition of transience on her first album in six years Wanderer. It was written over the course of a couple years during which she toured, and travelled, and played. Folk and blues are fundamentally collaborative genres and Wanderer is no different, featuring old friends, and a tour mate in Lana Del Rey.

My Autumn Empire
Oh, Leaking Universe

July Skies/epic45 member Benjamin Holton drops a solo LP under the guise of My Autumn Empire. Anyone who’s copped an earful of previous MAE LPs will be expecting plenty of lush, folky acoustic guitar on Oh, Leaking Universe. They won't be disappointed, but they should also be aware that Holton’s chucked some electronics into the mix this time. The addition of synths and drum machines give tracks like ‘Frost On My Shoes’ a bit of a The War On Drugs feel.

the innocence mission
Sun On The Square

the innocence mission have been around a while now, but Sun On The Square marks the Pennsylvania trio’s first LP for Bella Union. You can see why the likes of Sufjan Stevens and Iron And Wine list them among their favourite acts. The group’s mix of guitar, strings, ukelele and Karen Peris’ lovely voice has clearly had a strong influence on the work of both of those artists. The band stick to their guns on this album, but why change when you’ve got a good thing going?

Sons Of Kemet
Your Queen Is A Reptile

Sons Of Kemet return with their third LP of iconoclastic jazz takes. Your Queen Is A Reptile has Shabaka Hutchings and company using sax, tuba and dual-drums to conjure music that sees traditional jazz modes cusping on several sounds of the Caribbean diaspora. Soca, calypso, merengue and more all rumble in the lines of the drum work here, and Hutchings masterfully uses his horn to conduct the proceedings.

Miss Red
K.O.

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Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
Hope Downs

Summer’s coming, which means that we must brace ourselves once more for a deluge of new records featuring pretty guitar riffs and nice singing. Getting in there early are Melbourne group Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever. Their debut LP Hope Downs features more of the sunny jangle-grunge that characterised their buzz-building 2017 EP The French Press. Hit play if you find it uncomfortable to listen to Surfer Blood or Real Estate but want similar kicks. Out via Sub Pop.
  • Vinyl LP (SP1220)
  • In stock and ready to ship
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  • CD (SPCD1220)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

Suicideyear
Color The Weather

Color The Weather and colour us interested, because we’ve finally got an LP from Suicideyear. Though Baton Rouge’s number 1 Sadboy dropped the Japan odds-and-sods full-length back in 2015, this LuckyMe drop is the first time that Suicideyear has set out to create an album's-worth of tracks in one sitting. The vision is realised well here, with his classic Gothic trap style balanced out by excursions into digital noise and mournful ambient interludes. Think How To Dress Well meets Ziur.

Cornelius
Mellow Waves

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Tony Molina
Kill The Lights

I just can't believe they are marketing this as an album. It's over by the time you've blown your nose but on the plus side the music is absolutely brilliant. Tony Molina writes perfect mini-jangle pop things that sound like a pint-sized Teenage Fanclub or the Byrds. Opener “Nothing I Can Say” is so good but I'd be happy if it was three times it's length. I suppose that's what the repeat button is for. 

Ben Vince
Assimilation

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Fallen
ást

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Brigid Mae Power
The Two Worlds

Irish artist Birgid Mae Power follows up her 2016 self-titled LP with The Two Worlds. Her expressive voice, gently warbling with more than a little Americana, could as well be likened to Grace Slick as to Elizabeth Fraser, although neither capture her entirely. On the excellent lead single ‘Don’t Shut Me Up (Politely)’ she sounds weary, indignant and assertive against misogynistic conceit, singing over droning guitar and a dusty, rumbling drum section.

Tashi Wada With Yoshi Wada & Friends
FRKWYS Vol. 14 – Nue

Yoshi Wada opened up experimental music to entire new ways of approaching structure and timbre; a player of bagpipes, band leader and sound designer, his work has been commanding and uncompromising. His son, Tashi Wada, is a composer in his own right, and the two have here collaborated on a record of explorations into the subliminal and subconscious potential of music. They're joined by an absolute belter of a line-up, including Julia Holter, Corey Fogel and Cole MGN. Get excited.

Oren Ambarchi, Kassel Jaeger, James Rushford
Face Time

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Courtney Barnett
Tell Me How You Really Feel

This here offering is Courtney's second album following up {long title}, but also that thing she did with Kurt Vile. Here her witty observations are matched with a more serious tone capturing more obviously the beauty and warmth in her delivery. She's becoming increasingly popular so this will be a big 'un.

Sarah Davachi
Gave In Rest

Proving it's both a marathon and a sprint, drone artist Sarah Davachi puts out yet another record. Hot off the heels of the impressive baroque tone poem Let Night Come On Bells End the Day, Davachi makes the hop to Ba Da Bing! for a record of lonely, isolationist ambient music that reflects the upheaval in her life. Principally a master and architect of synthesizers, Davachi's output has expanded into scores for a wide range of instrumentation, so we'll just wait and see how this likely-to-be opus turns out.

Tangents
New Bodies

Aussie five-piece Tangents are purveyors of a similar kind of jazzy, instrumental post-rock to Tortoise; there are similarities with Four Tet’s electronic plunges into these styles as well. On New Bodies they are comfortable shifting between the lot within one tune - all the way to outright jazz improv as well - with superb drumming and overall impressive results.

Mika Vainio
Lydspor One & Two (Blue TB7 Series)

Taken from the recordings the late Mika Vainio made on his visit to the Moog Sound-lab in 2015, it's Lydspor One & Two. Lydspor is Danish for soundtrack, and here -- available for the first time, on two sides of vinyl and CD edition -- are the tracks documenting Vainio's tinkerings with the prototype Moog Modular System 55, a reverse-engineered edition replicating the 1970s classic synth. A second session was planned but sadly Vainio died before that could happen. The record is thus a fitting memorial to a wonderfully gifted, softly spoken man. On Moog Recordings Library.
  • Vinyl LP (RDM109)
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Jessica Moss
Entanglement

Entanglement is album number three from Jessica Moss. Moss earned her stripes with a fifteen year stint in Canadian post-everything band Thee Silver Mt. Zion (and all variations on that name). She has also worked with such luminaries as Vic Chesnutt and Carla Bozulich. The title of this album explains it all, really: She uses violin and her voice to create twisting, swirling, overlapping - tangling, if you will, soundscapes. LP and CD on Constellation.

Jlin
Autobiography (Music from Wayne McGregor's Autobiography)

Jlin continues her ascension into the pantheon of all-time greats with her score for Wayne McGregor’s Autobiography. It’s typically fervid work from the Gary, Indiana producer. The poise of her high-art, post-footwork style is even sharper than usual here. One can only imagine how riveting these pieces would be when wed to McGregor’s choreography, but the music alone will do just fine.

Laurel Halo
Raw Silk Uncut Wood

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Kode9 & Burial
FABRICLIVE 100

Here endeth the lesson. The 100th and final edition of Fabric’s Fabriclive CD mix series comes courtesy of two artists who, perhaps above all others, have defined the sound of the London club since the turn of the millenium. Burial’s South London bleakscapes and Kode9’s Hyperdub label have spread their tentacles into nearly every facet of UK club music, and you’d be hard-pressed to argue that any of the other 99 Fabriclive mixes don’t bear their influence in one way or another. Now, as the series rounds out, the pair drop a 37-track mix that shows love to footwork, gqom, jungle, grime and everything in between. Not to be missed.

AJA
AJA

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The Gentleman Losers
Permanently Midnight

Sentimental Helsinkilaiset The Gentleman Losers (Samu and Ville Kuukka, aka Lessons) return after seven years of attention directed elsewhere. True to the meticulously-produced analogue texture and post-rock lounge style of previous releases, Permanently Midnight sounds like a snug, wintry log cabin recalled from a dingy Route 66 motel. Artfully presented by Grainy Records.

Aukai
Branches of Sun

Markus Sieber -- born in East Germany, 15 years prior to the dismantling of the Berlin Wall -- delivers his sophomore album as Aukai, 'Branches of Sun'. Sieber spent a month holed up in the Colorado Rockies; each day crossing a frozen lake twice, to and from his studio in a cabin in the mountains. The result is an album rich in beautifully sensual, textured tones; featuring piano, cello and Andean ronroco / baritone charango -- a guitar-like instrument in the lute family. Once again Sieber has proved himself a master of delicate, dappled, emotional music.

MALK
Death From A Love

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Young Fathers
Cocoa Sugar

Cocoa Sugar is the third album by Edinburgh hip-hop threesome Young Fathers. It follows on from the critically acclaimed second album White Men Are Black Men Too and the single Only God Knows which featured on the soundtrack to Trainspotting 2. It’s available on CD and two vinyl versions - coloured, indies only limited edition (for which you will have to be quick!) and black vinyl. 

Macintosh Plus
Floral Shoppe

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Pierre Bastien & Cabo San Roque / Anna Homler, Adrian Northover, Dave Tucker
FTS003

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77:78
Jellies

In a bid to outdo their previous moniker the Bees and make it something even more inconsequential this Isle of Wight collective have now renamed themselves 77:78. Remember it if you dare. The Bees were always great and this promises to be too with influences ranging from 'Smiley Smile' era Beach Boys to King Tubby to Syd Barrett. 

Eric Bachmann
No Recover

Former Archers Of Loaf/Crooked Fingers mastermind Eric Bachmann drops the third LP under his given name. No Recover isn’t a title that screams positivity, and despite the many gentle acoustic treatments and ringing vocal harmonies that crop up here the overall feeling of the album is bittersweet. It’s not exactly a sad record, but there’s certainly a lacing of melancholia to the tracks here. Imagine Fleet Foxes if they’d been through the ringer a few times.

Oh Sees
Smote Reverser

Seemingly incapable of stopping making music for one second, this is Oh Sees 6th album in the last three years if you include Thee Oh Sees and OCS in that tally. Yet Dwyer keeps pushing forward with his double drum line up with all kinds of alumni making guest appearances. Expect more scorching psych but this time with a heavy prog vibe (see sleeve).   

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