The best albums of April 2019

1: The Chemical Brothers – No Geography

Rating: 9/10 – Read full review

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2: Fontaines D.C. – Dogrel

Rating: 8/10Read full review

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3: JAWS – The Ceiling

Rating: 7.5/10 – Read full review

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4: Priests – The Seduction Of Kansas

Rating: 7.5/10

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5: W. H. Lung – Incidental Music

Rating: 7.5/10

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6: Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation – Sacred Dreams

Rating: 7.5/10Read full review

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7: Cowboy Flying Saucer– Travel Lodge

Rating: 7/10

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8: Ifriqiyya Electrique – Laylet El Booree

Rating: 7/10

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9: Lowly – Hifalutin

Rating: 7/10

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10: Various artists – For The Throne (Music Inspired by the HBO Series Game of Thrones)

Rating: 7/10Read full review

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26 April releases – Reviewed and rated

Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation beat the not-too-stiff competition this week, while Game of Thrones pulled off yet anther of its trademark shockers by not producing a complete disaster of a pop album.

Spotify playlist at the bottom.

Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation – Sacred Dreams

A psychadelic trip through the realms of electro-pop and lazy, hazy country blues desertscapes.

Rating: 7.5/10Read full review

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Various Artists – For The Throne (Music Inspired by the HBO Series Game of Thrones)

A collection of pop tunes based on the smash TV series. Provides an absolute shocker by not being a complete disaster.

Rating: 7/10Read full review

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Otoboke Beaver – Itekoma Hits

Spiky Japanese girl-punk. It’s sometimes tricky to follow the thread of the tracks but satisfyingly aggressive at times.

Rating: 6.5/10

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The Cranberries – In The End

Emotional farewell from the band that carries many of the sounds that made them famous, but with a more mature and sombre edge.

Rating: 6.5/10

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Mammoth Penguins – There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win

Catchy indie-pop from this Cambridgeshire tiro, but the hooks and vocals fail to set the band apart from their many contemporaries.

Rating: 6.5/10

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Marissa Nadler & Stephen Brodsky – Droneflower

Initally promising sparse and atmospheric folk-rock, but the album fails to kick on as hoped.

Rating: 6/10

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Catfish & The Bottlemen – The Balance

Radio-friendly indie rock, not unpleasant to listen to, but hardly inspiring.

Rating: 6/10

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Guided By Voices – Warp and Woof

24 songs in 37 minutes on this soft alt-rock album with the occasional hint of Bowie and country.

Rating: 6/10

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Bear’s Den – So that you might hear me

Bland indie-folk, heard it a thousand times before.

Rating: 5/10

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Here’s a playlist of all of the above if you want to listen to this week’s selected new releases.

Album of the week (26 April): Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation – Sacred Dreams

This is the third studio album from Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation, and while it’s not a perfect piece of pop, there’s enough sophistication here to make it stand out from the rest of this week’s releases.

Sacred Dreams takes us through the realms of electro-pop and lazy, hazy country blues desertscapes – all with a dash of psychedelia thrown in.

The album does feel a little front loaded, as most of the best moments feature early on. Opener Feel The Sun borrows heavily on the Goldfrapp model of crowd-pleasing blissful pop. Then follows an unnecessarily early keyboard and effect laden interlude before we are hit with standout track I Can Feel It, featuring a pounding bass drum, incessant keyboard tones and layered harmonics. The hypnotic chorus is fabulous.

The danceable electro-pop theme continues with Desire, Öhrn’s breathy vocal style working particularly well here with the french lyrics in the verses.

The second act of the album signals a change of pace – Hey Little Boy is a slower track with a country blues feel to the guitar work, though there’s still a hint of pulsating synth to be found.

Only Lovers leans heavily on a spacious folky acoustic guitar to match the echo-laden vocal and moves away from the beat-driven tracks before it. The tempo ups slightly with Baby Come On, a blues-rock number featuring some interesting keyboard work and good layering of sound.

However, things start to get a little flabby towards the end. New Horizons is a fairly standard low-key pop number, while Let It Come and Whatever You Want don’t really add anything extra.

The main saving grace of the latter part of the album is Caramel Head, that uses lazy, hazy slide guitar to let you drift away to another plane.

It’s not going to be my album of the year, or even the month, but I reckon some of these tracks will stay with me for some time.

Release date: 26 April 2019

Rating: 7.5/10

Standout track: I Can Feel It

For fans of:

  • Goldfrapp
  • Lorelle Meets The Obselete
  • Ladytron

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New Music Friday 26 April – The pick of the latest album releases

A few more items of interest here than last week. Really looking forward to the new one from Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation after being impressed by their performance at Mutations Festival earlier this year. There’s also an emotional release from The Cranberries, completed after the untimely death of lead singer Dolores O’Riordan. I’ve literally no idea what I’m going to make of the Game of Thrones-inspired collection of artists on For The Throne, but it may be good for a laugh. Hope Ed Sheeran‘s little ditty is on there.

Spotify playlist at the bottom.

Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation – Sacred Dreams

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The Cranberries – In The End

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Various Artists – For The Throne (Music Inspired by the HBO Series Game of Thrones)

Listen on Spotify

Catfish & The Bottlemen – The Balance

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Otoboke Beaver – Itekoma Hits

Listen on Spotify

Marissa Nadler & Stephen Brodsky – Droneflower

Listen on Spotify

Guided By Voices – Warp and Woof

Listen on Spotify

Mammoth Penguins – There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win

Listen on Spotify

Bear’s Den – So that you might hear me

Listen on Spotify

Here’s a playlist of all of the above if you want to listen to this week’s selected new releases.