Why you should listen: Shah’s second album revisits some of the territory laid out on her dark, chamber-pop debut. This time, she aims for the hearts of men who’ve scorned her (fictional or not), casting lacerating barbs in her textured alto voice.
It might not be for you if… You already like Anna Calvi just fine and don’t need another deep-voiced, guitar-slinging type with a killer side-parting in your music library.
What we said: “Classy is exactly what these passion-drenched yet poised songs are – even the ones that sneer at pretentious men, excoriating their shallow ways”, wrote Maddy Costa, in the Guardian.
Why you should listen: The Liverpudlian trio’s second album is another serving of off-kilter and vibrant pop, this time presented with less of a pastoral feel.
It might not be for you if… You weren’t convinced by their first album’s skip-through-the-woods, forest-fairy sound.
What we said: “Herein are fabricated, fantastical and wildly colourful imaginings about the future and the universe”, wrote Harriet Gibsone, in the Guardian.
Why you should listen: The folksy band have put together a bold and bird-obsessed third album.
It might not be for you if… An album named after a bird’s nickname? Featuring recorded birdsong? Too twee, thanks.
What we said: “[Bonxie] amounts to Stornoway’s best work yet: big music, which deserves the largest stage,” wrote Dave Simpson, in the Guardian. Read Paul Mardles’ three-star review from the Observer, here.
Why you should listen: Wire are still making music: if you’re already a fan of the band, that should be reason enough. If not, these post-punk pioneers are still crafting tight songs with a pop edge that sound fresh and youthful.
It might not be for you if… You’ve never been much of a Wire fan, nor found them particularly interesting since their 2003 return.
What we said: “You can see just how sure-footed Wire currently seem in everything from their 14th studio album’s definitive, eponymous title to the taut, sharp songs it contains: honed and refined through years of the band playing them live instead of I Am the Fly or 12XU,” wrote Alexis Petridis, in his lead review for the Guardian.
Why you should listen: White Denim frontman James Patrelli takes his band’s eclecticism and fervent energy and morphs it into a genre-bending and tightly produced solo debut.
It might not be for you if… You always found White Denim’s musical flip-flopping exhausting, rather than exciting.
What we said: “Constant Bop shimmies and wigs out, owing more to the 60s and the FM dial of the 70s than any other time frame”, wrote Kitty Empire in her led review for the Observer New Review.
This week also sees releases from folk group The Leisure Society, singer-songwriter Olivia Chaney and Villagers, Conor O’Brien’s musical project – it received less-than-stellar reviews in the Guardian and Observer, but is one I still consider worth a listen. What are you looking forward to playing this week?