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.
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’
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).
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’
‘The Meetings of the Waters’, the meditative title and opening track has also been revealed today through a video directed by Dubliner Yousef Eldin and starring actor Cillian Murphy. The clip concerns a somewhat paranoid solitary car journey.
To precede its release, Fionn will headline London’s Union Chapel on the 7th April. Tickets go on sale from 10:00am Friday 3rd April via his site
The album co-produced by Fionn, Philip Tennant, and Dave Granshaw at Chale Abbey Studios on the Isle of Wight. It was mixed by Tom Elmhirst at Electric Lady Studios in New York, and by Tchad Blake at Mongrel Studios in Wales It features eleven tracks. It’ll be released on Fionn’s own label imprint – 常に愛 TSUNENI AI / ABBEY RECORDS, which translates to ‘Always Love’ in Japanese.