Interpol – El Pintor (Soft Limit)
Why you should listen: It’s been four years since the suited-up New Yorkers released their eponymous fourth album. They’re back here, minus pouty bassist Carlos Dengler, and layering singer Paul Banks’s signature baritone over lush guitar lines and stuttering drum rhythms.
It might not be for you if … This whole moody-voiced indie revival, from Editors and Interpol to White Lies, didn’t grab you between 2002 and 2009, because it probably won’t interest you now.
What we said: “El Pintor finds Interpol returning to the sleek, monochrome post-punk that caused such an impact in the early 2000s,” wrote Dave Simpson, in the Guardian’s G2 Film & Music. In the Observer New Review, Paul Mardles gave the album three stars.
Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters – Lullaby and … the Ceaseless Roar (Nonesuch/Warner Bros)
Why you should listen: As the owner of one of rock’s most recognisable voices/wails, it’s always a treat to hear what the former Led Zeppelin frontman has up his sleeve. In this case, it’s a more intimate and confessional collection of songs than we’ve heard from him before.
It might not be for you if … Like this guy, you don’t find yourself mesmerised by Plant’s vocal, or able to care about his solo work.
What we said: The album’s material grows from Plant’s split with Patty Griffin, and “the result is a set of remarkably personal, moving songs ruminating not only on romantic disappointment – beautifully rendered on the stark piano ballad A Stolen Kiss – and the horror of finding himself ‘adrift … high and lonesome’ in the US, as Pocketful of Golden puts it, but on the agonies and pleasures of ageing,” wrote Alexis Petridis, in his lead review for the Guardian. Head here for Kitty Empire’s three-star lead review, in the Observer.
Banks – Goddess (Harvest/Capitol)
Why you should listen: If you’re the type of person who pays attention to the Hype Machine and online music press, chances are you’ve already heard several of Banks’s singles, ranging from breathy R&B-flavoured pop to the odd ballad. Banks’s dream team of producers mostly elevate the record from good to rather lovely.
It might not be for you if … You can’t keep up with people stage-whispering about their feelings over an echoey and minimal beat. See: How to Dress Well, FKA Twigs, Kelela et al.
What we said: “She lays her emotions bare, at times almost embarrassingly so, sounding raw and vengeful when she belts – and a bit like Fiona Apple in the chirr of her upper vocal register,” ran the Guardian’s review. Kitty Empire doled out three stars to the debut album, in the Observer.
Death from Above 1979 – The Physical World (Last Gang)
Why you should listen: After making one album in 2004 and splitting in 2006, the Canadian duo have returned, sounding as noisy and belligerent as ever. And, in this case, that’s a good thing.
It might not be for you if … You don’t believe in getting back together with an ex, no matter what the situation.
What we said: “Government Trash typifies DFA 1979’s approach: pummelling riffs played with big, ugly guitars overloaded with distortion, thundering drums and brattish vocals,” wrote Jon Dennis, in the Guardian.
Tricky – Adrian Thaws (False Idols)
Why you should listen: This is Tricky’s 11th album, in which he brings on a host of vocalists to add extra oomph to his swelling trip-hop compositions. Stream Adrian Thaws on our blog to hear it for yourself.
It might not be for you if … You thought trip-hop died somewhere in Bristol 10 years ago, and would rather things had stayed that way.
What we said: “Sonically, it ranges from avant garde soundscapes (My Palestine Girl) to low-slung soul (Silly Games) and spiky hip-hop (Lonnie Listen),” wrote Lanre Bakare, in the Guardian.
This week also sees new releases from Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O, Ryan Adams and Avi Buffalo, so we’re rather nicely spoiled for choice. Which albums will be topping your listening list over the next few days? Let us know in the comments section, as ever.