We’re in the thick of it now. Hot off the heels of last week’s cluster-bomb of albums, we’ve got an electric list of new singles to keep those fresher’s playlists going night after night. We’ve also got, in self-styled boy band and prodigious rap collective BROCKHAMPTON‘s fourth album, potentially one of the top albums of the year, backed up by a brilliant debut album from the south coast’s own Black Honey. Here at The Edge we’re incredibly busy putting together events to give you the best freshers experience possible, so we’ve narrowed down our picks to just two albums and three singles that should be top of your radar to give us the time to deliver a stunning bunfight on September 26th, a wonderful taster session on September 29th, and a freshers social you won’t want to miss later on in October.
BROCKHAMPTON – iridescence
“The greatest boy band since One Direction” are back, and boy do they sound fire on this one. iridescence is an album we have been heavily anticipating for some time: since last year’s wildly successful SATURATION trilogy, in which three album-of-the-year contenders were released by multimedia collective (and self-styled boy band) BROCKHAMPTON within the space of six months last year, album number four has been pushed back and back by creative challenges and the booting out of founding member Ameer Vaan over sexual misconduct allegations. Finally, we have more music from one of the most exciting new acts I’ve listened to in a long, long time.
So is it any good? According to our reviewer Ollie Webber – absolutely. iridescence “is a turning point in BROCKHAMPTON’s career for certain, but the group have more than proven they are still at the top of their game,” he says in our review of the album, praising the record’s experimental sound that pushes the group’s artistic talents and stands the LP out from anything found in the SATURATION trilogy. “The first track ‘NEW ORLEANS’ slams on the gas pedal with heavy beats and a distorted whirr that gives the song an unrelenting hook. Prominent member Joba is a highlight with a delicious verse around halfway that is the first of many brilliant contributions to the album. Another heart-pounding track comes with the lead single ‘J’OUVERT’ which bounces with energy and contains another great verse from Joba that far eclipses his offering on ‘Heat’ from SATURATION with some serious intensity.” But the group also find time to tone things down a little, with the closing trio of ‘SAN MARCOS’, ‘TONYA’ and ‘FABRIC’ providing the album’s most intimate and emotional 15 minutes. The result is one of the most engaging, electric and yet moving albums to be released in the last nine months, and yet another album-of-the-year contender from Kevin Abstract and the rest.
Black Honey – Black Honey
At the other end of the spectrum we have the long-awaited, self-titled debut album from Brighton rockers Black Honey. With eight singles and one EP under their belt dating back to 2015, this one has certainly been a long time coming. For fans of the band, it will be worth the wait. Featuring hit singles ‘I Only Hurt The Ones I Love’ and ‘Hello Today’ alongside newer hits ‘Midnight’ and ‘What Happened To You’, Black Honey is an eclectic mix of new and old that truly encompasses the timeline of the band. Throughout, the instrumentation is as rough & ready as that from the best garage rockers, each riff rippling through the music down to its core, each drum beat hitting you like a bat out of hell. Frontwoman Izzy Baxter’s vocals – eerily reminiscent of Lana Del Rey‘s lush delivery – add a seductive touch to what is already an irresistible LP. If you’re at all a fan of The Black Keys, peak White Stripes, or newer acts like VANT or Slaves, absolutely check these guys out.
Mumford & Sons – ‘Guiding Light’
Debuting as Annie Mac’s hottest record on Thursday night, ‘Guiding Light’ sees a triumphant return for one of the most successful acts to come out of the English folk revival of the late ’00s. Featuring the familiar constant growth towards an ecstatic crescendo featured by smash hits ‘I Will Wait’ and ‘Little Lion Man’, Mumford & Sons‘ new single also moves things forward for a band who have now spent 10 years in the limelight since their debut EP in 2008. It’s cleaner, snappier and more direct than much of their previous music, whilst retaining that old folk sound so revered by their fans. If this is an honest taste of what’s to come with recently-announced fourth album Delta (due November 16th), then consider me excited.
Tyler, the Creator – ‘Peach Fuzz’
The ever-mercurial Tyler, the Creator dropped what many consider to be one of the most underrated albums of the 2017 last year in the restrained, introspective Flower Boy. With ‘Peach Fuzz’, he carries on where he left off, delivering yet another deeply personal track that references both his bisexuality and the infamous “peach scene” from the Oscar-winning Call Me By Your Name. Featuring yet more lyrical ingenuity and funky, almost psychedelic production, ‘Peach Fuzz’ continues Tyler’s strong run of form well into 2018.
Dodie ft. Tom Walker – ‘Human’
Dodie has a talent for crafting deeply relatable yet personal songs, featuring intricately minimal instrumentation and delivered by her assured vocals. It may sound a bit of an oxymoron, but as with newest track ‘Human’, off her upcoming EP of the same name, it works. In the words of our reviewer Sophie Jones, “on the surface, the song is a sweet confession of vulnerability, but a closer look at the lyrics offers a darker perspective.” Assisted by Tom Walker – probably best known for his 2017 single ‘Leave A Light On’ – Dodie has produced an impressively moving track exploring the lighter and the darker side of relationships. First released in 2016 on YouTube, this latest edition features the vocals of Tom Walker as well as remastered instrumentation: “these additions soar, build, and fall around Dodie’s warm, vulnerable vocals, leaving a crackling silence for the lines: ‘I want to give you your grin/ so tell me you can’t bear a room that I’m not in’ – and she is at her most powerful when her lyricism is the focus.”
Selected Other Releases
Christine and The Queens – Chris
Machine Gun Kelly – Binge EP
The Neighbourhood – Ever Changing EP
Noah Cyrus – Good Cry EP
Slash – Living The Dream
Suede – The Blue Hour
Villagers – The Art of Pretending to Swim
Avenged Sevenfold – ‘Mad Hatter’
Avril Lavigne – ‘Head Above Water’
The Chainsmokers ft. Kelsea Ballerini – ‘This Feeling’
Cher – ‘One Of Us’
Crystal Fighters – ‘Another Level’
French Montana ft. Drake – ‘No Stylist’
Imagine Dragons – ‘Zero’
Jessie Reyez – ‘Dear Yessie’
Kesha – ‘Here Comes The Change’
Lana Del Rey – ‘Venice Bitch’
Lewis Capaldi – ‘Grace’
Lil Peep & XXXTentacion – ‘Falling Down’
Little Simz – ‘Offence’
Public Service Broadcasting – ‘White Star Liner’
MØ – ‘Imaginary Friend’
Rita Ora – ‘Let You Love Me’
Weezer – ‘California Snow’
This Week In Records: Playlist Edition
Want to listen to all of this musical goodness? Follow our shiny Spotify playlist for The Edge‘s picks of what new music deserves to be on your radar each and every week.