Top 50 albums of 2019: 40-31

40: Czarface – Meets Ghostface

A smart hip-hop collaboration between Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah and Czarface.

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39: Blanck Mass – Animated Violence Mild

Album three from Blanck Mass is an intense electronic ride that takes the wall of sound concept to another level. It sometimes feels like you’re listening to two tracks at the same time but if you relax your way into it, it can be very rewarding.

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38: Lorelle Meets the Obsolete – De Facto

A dreamy, scuzzy pop-psych epic from this Mexican duo that grows more pleasing with each listen.

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37: Chase and Status – RTRN II JUNGLE

Does exactly what it says on the sleeve. The duo’s homage to 90s jungle has some blistering tracks on it

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36: Chali 2na & Krafy Kuts – Adventures Of A Reluctant Superhero

Addictive, superhero-themed hip-hop. What’s not to like?

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35: Julia Kent – Temporal

An achingly beautiful neo-classical work with a smattering of electronica. Kent’s cello work pulls heavily on your heartstrings.

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34: The Specials – Encore

The kings of Ska return to put the world to rights – and don’t we just need it.

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33: SPC ECO – Fifteen

An indulgent combination of shoegaze and trip-hop from former Curve member Dean Garcia and his daughter.

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32: Prettiest Eyes – Vol. 3

The third effort from this post-punk trio that uses a dash of psych alongside distortion galore to bring a tasty treat to our turntables.

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31: Metronomy – Metronomy Forever

Cosy synth pop and some very catchy tunes combine to produce a memorable effort from these veterans of the scene.

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Look out for albums 30-21 coming real soon.

The best albums of January 2019

January’s normally quite a slow month in terms of new releases, but there were some great albums making their debut. Here’s my view on the best of the month – and a playlist to boot!

1: The Twilight Sad – It Won/t Be Like This All The Time

Rating: 8.5/10 – Read full review

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2: Julia Kent – Temporal

Rating: 8/10Read full review

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3: Lorelle Meets The Obselete – De Facto

Rating: 8/10 – Read full review

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4: Nils Frahm – Encores 2 (EP)

Rating: 8/10Read full review

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5: Rat Boy – Internationally Unknown

Rating: 7.5/10Read full review

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6: Sharon Van Etten – Remind Me Tomorrow

Rating: 7/10 – Read full review

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7: Buke & Gase – Scholars

Rating: 7/10

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8: Balthazar – Fever

Rating: 7/10

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9: Sneaks – Highway Hypnosis

Rating: 7/10

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10: Bring Me The Horizon – Amo

Rating: 7/10

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New releases Friday 25 Jan – Reviewed and rated

Here’s my view on what were the best albums released last Friday 25th January. I’ve reviewed the top three if you want to discover more about the albums before listening. Links below. There’s also a Spotify sample playlist so you can get a feel for the artists.

Julia Kent – Temporal

Rating: 8/10Read full review

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Nils Frahm – Encores 2 (EP)

Rating: 8/10Read full review

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Rat Boy – Internationally Unknown

Rating: 7.5/10Read full review

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Balthazar – Fever

Rating: 7/10

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Sneaks – Highway Hypnosis

Rating: 7/10

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Bring Me The Horizon – Amo

Rating: 7/10

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The Beat feat. Ranking Rodger – Public Confidential

Rating: 6.5/10

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Gum Takes Tooth – Arrow

Rating: 6.5/10

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Toy – Happy In The Hollow

Rating: 6/10

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Mike Krol – Power Chords

Rating: 6/10

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Swervedriver – Future Ruins

Rating: 5.5/10

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The Dandy Warhols – Why You So Crazy

Rating: 5.5/10

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Nicola Cruz – Siku

Rating: 5/10

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Album of the week: Julia Kent – Temporal

Julia Kent - temporal album cover

Canadian cellist Julia Kent has, with Temporal, produced an achingly beautiful album, that while sitting firmly within the neo-classical genre, shows a wide range of influences.

Twelve-minute opener Last Hour Story, sets the bar high for the rest of the album, which fortunately it manages to match. The looping and building of strings on strings pulls at your own heartstrings and by the end of it you may be an emotional wreck.

Through all her tracks, Kent leans on elements of electronica to centre the album in the here-and-now. Without it many of these tracks would be well-suited to the dramatic parts of some of our darker period dramas.

The electronic influence is more obvious on tracks like Imbalance, which features a pulsating deep-bass synth and electro ticks and pops to counterbalance the cello and organ driving the piece.

Similarly Conditional Futures places us in a dystopian landscape, where looped strings and low-key synth tones provide the backdrop as Kent’s cello drifts in and out of the scene, before the tone lightens towards the end to provide that glimmer of hope amongst the gloom.

There are more uplifting moments to be found on Floating City, with its plucked strings and house-style pianos, and again on Through the Window which has an almost Balearic feel to it.

Crepuscolo brings events to a close, with Kent’s cello sitting alongside echoing piano notes, ambient swirls and the sound of chirping crickets as the whole album drifts off into entropy.

Temporal is a cerebral listen rather than one to get your feet going, or even to use as backing music at a dinner party. But if you are the kind of person who is moved by music – brace yourself – because this will be an emotional journey.

Release dates: 25 January 2019

Rating: 8/10

Standout track: Last Hour Story

For fans of:

  • Nils Frahm
  • Max Richter
  • Global Communication

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New Music Friday 25 Jan – What to listen to

Things are really stepping up this Friday with a glut of new releases to plough through. There’s a new EP from Nils Frahm to look forward to, some loud guitars from the likes of Bring Me The Horizon and Mike Krol, and the return on classic ska ban The Beat. Even the new Dandy Warhols album sounds promising.

It’s going to be a busy week…

Nils Frahm – Encores 2 (EP)

Swervedriver – Future Ruins

Julia Kent – Temporal

The Beat feat. Ranking Rodger – Public Confidential

Bring Me The Horizon – Amo

Mike Krol – Power Chords

Balthazar – Fever

The Dandy Warhols – Why You So Crazy

Nicola Cruz – Siku

Rat Boy – Internationally Unknown

Toy – Happy In The Hollow

Gum Takes Tooth – Arrow

Sneaks – Highway Hypnosis