After a break from This Week In Records last week (sorry Tokio Myers, Paloma Faith and Sia – uni deadlines are a thing and they strike at the meanest times!), we are back with our pick of this week’s biggest releases. Ready and waiting to be added to your record collection right now are the other Gallagher‘s second post-Oasis album, a brilliantly boppy new single from one of our List of 2015 picks, and a rather bizarre (if surprisingly good) remix of Dua Lipa‘s runaway track ‘New Rules’ that, seeing as I’ve just been playing it on repeat for the last half hour, I might even like more than the original. Coffee at the ready? Then let’s begin.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Who Built the Moon?
After his brother’s success in his debut, it’s time for the other Gallagher brother to show us all what he’s got. Divisive single ‘Fort Knox’ seems to serve as the embodiment of the entire record, delivering some pretty experimental sounds whilst also retaining the Oasis sound – Noel was the principal songwriter for the band – Who Built The Moon? has been dubbed by NME as his “best work since (What’s The Story) Morning Glory”. And you do really feel that when you listen to its tracks. Noel seems to be giving us something more exciting and revolutionary than Liam; something which you can listen and try to understand rather than having it all handed to you on a plate. It’s safe to say, if you love him or hate him, love Liam or hate Liam, it’s the former who is playing with his sound and taking it to new levels.
Rae Morris – ‘Atletico’
After a feature on The Edge’s List all the way back in 2015 (I guess actually not that long ago), Rae Morris seems to finally be claiming her space centre stage in latest single ‘Atletico’. The follow up to prior release ‘Do It’ – which managed to get some pretty stellar airplay on Radio 1 – ‘Atletico’ serves up some more rather lovely falsetto vocals and bright synths, all the while adding to Morris’ steady accumulation of brilliant boppy tracks for her second studio album Someone Out There, which is due for release in early 2018. If you’re not properly acquainted with the singer songwriter yet, then her latest is the best place to start.
Björk – Utopia
Having Björk played in my house was a regular occurrence growing up. It was an ongoing thing that my mum used to put on ‘Hyperballad’ to help me get to sleep, and even though I’m not fully acquainted with everything she’s done in the past 10 years or so, she seems to be back again with another psychedelic trip of an album for us all to get… familiarised with. With each record sounding completely different from the next, Utopia seems to be another phase of Björk’s constant evolution. Her use of sound rather than melody is evident throughout the self-professed “Tinder album” as it is in much of her other stuff, but it is this that often makes Björk’s work (to the less “cultured” eye) absolutely baffling. You’ll probably never understand her, but you cannot deny that the singer/songwriter/visionary is one of the most complex artists out there and she’s back at it again.
Craig David ft. Bastille – ‘I Know You’
When I saw the words “Craid David” and “Bastille” together in a song, I was instantly hyped. Craig David is a proven player in the EDM field, and Bastille’s Dan Smith has some of the strongest vocals around, so this one was sure to be a banger, right? Well, in the opening 70 seconds, ‘I Know You’ lives up to that expectation, with David’s powerful production perfectly supporting both his and Smith’s emotive lyrics. I’m thinking, ‘It may be generic but it does the trick,’ as the instrumentation gradually builds and builds with the vocals rising to match until finally, the pressure is released and there’s one hell of a dro- wait. What?
Sufjan Stevens – The Greatest Gift
Is it just me or are artists suddenly deciding to give out little extras from 2015 masterpieces all of a sudden? Only a week after Tame Impala dropped an EP of B-sides and remixes from their stellar record Currents, the delightfully mercurial Sufjan Stevens is back with The Greatest Gift, a mixtape of demos, remixes and outtakes from Carrie & Lowell. That album was an audiophile’s dream (and arguably the best released that year), with Stevens’ breathy vocals and feathery indie-folk guitar strums coming together to form a haunting reflection of the album’s inspiration in the tragic passing of Stevens’ mother, and The Greatest Gift promises to be no different. ‘Wallowa Lake Monster’ features a perfectly ethereal instrumental second half that you can’t help but lose yourself in; ‘John My Beloved’ is just as moving as an iPhone demo as in the final, polished track from Carrie & Lowell. If you’re looking for poppy, upbeat tracks to dance to on a Friday night then The Greatest Gift won’t be for you, and it won’t envelop you in sheer emotion like its 2015 predecessor, but it’s still certainly worth checking out if you want more of the fantastic Detroit singer-songwriter.
Dua Lipa – ‘New Rules (Initial Talk Remix)’
(If Dua Lipa found a time machine and went back to 1984)
Selected Other Releases
Darius – Utopia
Drahla – Third Article EP
Elbow – The Best Of
Frank Turner – Songbook
Little Mix – Glory Days (Platinum Edition)
Matt Terry – Trouble
Melis – Parallels EP
Banfi – ‘Caroline’
Benjamin Francis Leftwich – ‘Because Of Toledo’
Blackbear ft. FRND – ‘anxiety’
Burna Boy – ‘Streets of Africa’
Dirty Nice – ‘It’s Happening’
Ebenezer – ‘Survival’
G-Eazy – ‘Summer In December’
Isaac Gracie – ‘Terrified’
Jadu Heart & Mura Masa – ‘U Never Call Me’
James Arthur – ‘Naked’
Kehlani – ‘Already Won’
Lost Frequencies & Zonderling – ‘Crazy’
Poppy Ajudha – ‘Tepid Soul’
Steel Bandlez ft. Yungen, MoStack, Mr Eazi & Not3s – ‘Bad’
The New Coast – ‘Caught’
Two Another – ‘Hoping You Changed’
Van Morrison – ‘Broken Record’
This Week In Records: Playlist Edition
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