What better time to bring back This Week in Records than when I actually have time to listen to the new releases? This week we have more albums than we know what to do with – from Dua Lipa’s highly anticipated pop nostalgia to Sufjan Steven’s soundscapes with a few hidden gems along the way. Hope you’re all staying safe out there and don’t forget – there’s always good music to help you through the hard times.
Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia
For some, it’s the album of the year. For others, it doesn’t live up to the hype. But for everyone, Dua Lipa’s surprisingly early album release was a big deal, as she take a look back to the past with 80’s pop-infused record Future Nostalgia.
Unfortunately the opening title-track doesn’t quite live up to the theme that the album has been promoting in the lead up to its release and doesn’t really scream authentic nostalgia. The verses don’t really mix well with the music itself and the result just doesn’t sound very cohesive.
Looking at some of the songs we haven’t heard before like ‘Cool’, there’s definitely a slight unique element brought by the synth, but all in all just isn’t really anything new. The songs are catchy, don’t get me wrong, but they don’t stand out for all the ‘album of the year’ hype that came with Future Nostalgia. ‘Levitating and ‘Pretty Please’ have the same issue – fine for a summer album, but not something I think will be as long-lasting as people thought it would be.
Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia is out now via Warner Records UK.
The Birthday Massacre – Diamonds
Something a little different from the usual weekly round-up here with goth-rockers The Birthday Massacre’s latest album, Diamonds. Full of dark, synthy tracks, this record sounds like it came straight out of the 80’s post-punk scene. Although it’s a touch less heavy than some of their previous work, it’s a great listen full of enchanting tracks.
My dad, who overheard me listening to Diamonds, was surprised to learn just how recently it was released, assuming it was pure 80’s synth. I think that stands as a testament to The Birthday Massacre’s ability to take you back in time with their music. Opening song ‘Enter’ certainly leans more towards synth music than some of their previous, more heavier tracks like ‘Red Stars’, but it’s a very seamless change from the band that sounds completely authentic. However, ‘Run’ is a more guitar-heavy track that stands out on Diamonds.
There’s a definite element of magic on this new album from The Birthday Massacre that has become entwined with their specific brand of darkwave which will not disappoint long-term fans, so if you like darker music, check this out.
The Birthday Massacre’s Diamonds is out now via Metropolis Records.
Sufjan Stevens – Aporia
It feels right that Sufjan Stevens released a new album now. With music that never fails to make me calm, Aporia really couldn’t have come at a better time. Not having read about the album before hand, I was surprised to hear this collection of dreamy, bite-sized instrumentals, with no vocals to be heard throughout the whole record.
Aporia begins with the light and airy ‘Ouisa’, a stretched-out soundscape that leads into the the quicker and more electronic ‘What It Takes’. It’s definitely not what I expected to hear on Aporia, but previously-cited influences of new age music and movie soundtracks are clear from the start.
Although I have to admit that I prefer his dreamy guitar work and gentle vocals, Aporia still carries that special kind of Sufjan Stevens magic that makes you feel that all is right in the world, showing that you don’t need words to get emotions across to the listener.
Sufjan Stevens’ Aporia is out now via Asthmatic Kitty Records.
Little Mix – ‘Break Up Song’
Here’s a lovely little tune to finish up our weekly guide from Little Mix. ‘Break Up Song’ strongly reminds me of the golden years of girl groups in the noughties with its impeccable harmonies and upbeat melodies. This is the lead single on their upcoming sixth album, too, so we can expect more pop paradise on the way. It definitely has the potential to sit among their more anthemic tracks, and I for one can’t wait to hear what they come out with next.
Little Mix’s ‘Break Up Song’ is out now via Sony Music Entertainment UK.
Other Selected Releases
All Time Low – ‘Melancholy Kaleidoscope’
Enter Shikari – ‘T.I.N.A’
Hailee Steinfeld – ‘I Love You’s’
Kygo, Zara Larsson – ‘Like It Is’
Maisie Peters – ‘Daydreams’
Skepta, Chip, Young Adz – ‘Waze’
Tom Misch, Yussef Dayes – ‘Kyiv’
5 Seconds of Summer – CALM
Cavetown – Sleepyhead
Childish Gambino – 3.15.20
Milk Teeth – Milk Teeth
Nine Inch Nails – Ghosts V: Together & Ghosts VI: Locusts
PARTYNEXTDOOR – PARTYMOBILE
Pearl Jam – Gigaton’
This Week In Records: Playlist Edition
Need a weekly music fix of all the songs you should care about? We’ve made a super handy playlist of all of this week’s biggest releases, so just sit back and listen to the good stuff. Updated every Friday.