Real Estate – Atlas (Domino)
Classic indie of the softer form, jangly and delicate, has been shunned a little in recent years in favour of keyboards or folkier exploits. Not so for Real Estate who have kept on tapping into that vein of indie and soft rock that both feels timeless and reassuring. While this sort of thing can run the risk of sounding a little pallid, here we have a sense of intimate assurance that cocoons the listener. The classic sound of Fender guitars hasn’t felt this fresh in many a year. Check out the video for ‘Talking Backwards‘.
Neneh Cherry - Blank Project (Smalltown Supersound)
It’s been a full 16 years since her last solo release, yet it would be impossible for Neneh Cherry to start from a blank slate. Most famous perhaps for the international hit ‘7 Seconds’ with Youssou N’Dour, or even for her own ‘Buffalo Stance’, over the years Neneh has had her hand in making Punk, Trip-hop, Electronica and Pop what they are. Now she has teamed up with Kieran Hebden of Four Tet on production for some heartfelt Electronica that bristles with deep Hip-hop influenced beats, while her ever soulful vocal flow is endearing and emotive as ever. Check out her collab. single with Robyn here.
Nina Nesbitt – Peroxide (Universal)
Having won support slots with Ed Sheeran, covered the in vogue Fleetwood Mac for a John Lewis ad and released a new single called ‘Selfies’ that seems to fit perfectly into the current mainstream media obsession, Nina Nesbitt’s stature in the world of Pop has been growing significantly of late. As it goes her debut album is packed with a mix of self-aware indie guitar numbers and upbeat Pop singalongs, with no shortage of potential Singles destined for the Charts. Check out latest single ‘Selfies’.
Wild Beasts – Present Tense (Domino)
Now on album number four, Wild Beasts’ have come up with a slower and altogether denser album than previously. The pace, lyrical themes and move towards a muted electronica that permeates this latest LP each add to a sense that is perhaps best described as ‘brooding’. That said, Hayden Thorpe’s vocals, which are starting to gain the gravitas that comes with age and time, are well suited to this style and make this an interesting new step. Check out new single ‘Wanderlust’.
Moodymann – Moodymann (KDJ)
Eventually given a digital release, this is soulful House that tends towards the downbeat rather than the dancefloor. The highlights here are languid and fluid, and at times marked with a personable sense of humour. While the track titles take a leaf out of Prince’s book, look no further than ‘Ulooklykicecreaminthesummertyme’ for proof, the real magic of this album is the collaboration with other great figures of Soul, Funkadelic. Tight as ever, and resolutely political, ‘Sloppy Cosmic’ is a wonderful expression of all that is great about this sound and Moodymann’s production ensures it’s a powerfully groove-inducing star. Check it out here.
Future Disco, Vol. 7 – ‘Til the Lights Come Up (Needwant)
More House orientated than Disco this time around, the long standing Needwant compilation series hits its seventh edition with a focus on those languid , early morning sounds of a party soldiering on until dawn. That said, we reckon a lot of this will be just as good for perfect pick-me-up, Sunday morning vibes to remind you of the night (or nights) before. Overall this is an upbeat record that never gets too intense and the highlight of the show, Axel Boman’s remix of Night in Lights’ ‘Naughty’, reflects that. Check it out here.
Lafayette Gilchrist - The View from Here (Creative Differences)
The versatility of the piano is often forgotten. Not so for Jazz pianist Lafayette Gilchrist who grabs the attention as much with his left hand, through his remarkable mastery of the bass register, as with the whirling melodies emanating from his right hand. This is instrumental Jazz as far away from 12-bar standards as you can get as the bass keys stab, pulse or drone. His absorption in Hip-hop culture has clearly played a part in this, and at times lively Jazz gives way to what can only be described as flitting breakbeats. Check out ‘The view From Here/DC Slick’ on Soundcloud.