With so many releases flying at you, here are recommended vetted listens from Nialler9 for you this week, as collated in the Nialler9 New Albums Spotify playlist, updated weekly.
Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.
Full info on production credits, fan theories and guests here, but DAMN. is the number one release of this week.
Favourite tracks: ‘Humble’, ‘xxx’, ‘Love’
Little Dragon – Season High
Dropping your album on the same date as Kendrick Lamar isn’t the greatest idea but a lot of artists had pre-planned their release before hearing of it. Swedish electronic poppers Little Dragon did enough with two songs released in advance of their fifth album in singles ‘High’ and ‘Sweet’ that suggested they were going to deliver something you’d come back to. I’d always struggled with Little Dragon’s albums, there are always killer tracks on it but they lacked overall. Season High, on first listen mind, sounds like it might be their most substantial and long-playing yet.
Favourite tracks: ‘Sweet’, ‘Celebrate’ , ‘PUSH’
Overcoats – Young
One of my favourite discoveries of the last few years are now streaming their album on NPR a week out from release. I’m surei’ll be writing about it again so I’ll leave the words up to NPR’s Bob Boilen and the news that they play here next month.
It’s thrilling to know that one of the best albums of 2017 is made by two of the best friends you’ll ever witness on a stage. Overcoats’ Young is a record driven by ambition and passion, not craft. That’s not to say Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell aren’t terrifically talented singers and songwriters: What sets them apart is that I believe them. That the emotion in their harmonies and the space they give each other is filled with compassion. I believe their songs of loneliness and doubt.
Favourite tracks: ‘Leave A Light On’, ‘Hold Me Close’, ‘Smaller Than My Mother’
Actresss – AZD
The UK electronic producer and former West Brom football trainee, Actress nearly retired apparently but here he is with his fifth album, released on Ninja Tune. Fans of the producer will be well aware his gift for weaving complex hypnotic electronic rhythms, born from techno, garage and ambient soundscapes and AZD is no different, except with a notable coat of compression (at least on the Spotify stream).
Favourite tracks: ‘X22RME’, ‘Fantasynth’, ‘Falling Rizzlas’
Fionn Regan – The Meetings Of The Waters
Five years since his last full-length and it sounds like time away has left Fionn Regan with a renewed sense of purpose. The Meetings Of The Waters feels like a stepping stone to a new path for Regan. Ditching the Dylan-influence completely, the album largely features meditative spacious folk music that sustains quietly like smouldering embers and a centrepiece of three songs with more layered rock music-style songs.
Favourite tracks: ‘The Meetings Of The Waters’, ‘Wall of Silver’, ‘Babuska Yai Ya’