Jill Scott – Woman (Atlantic)
Why you should listen: Scott returns to her tried and tested combination of emotive soul and spoken word interludes, inflected with the odd funk flourish, on this fifth studio album.
It might not be for you if… You’ve found Scott’s work more worthy than worthwhile.
What we said: “Scott’s mighty voice is a commanding presence throughout, whether flying around the melodies of songs such as Prepared, or multi-tracked on the dreamy Fool’s Gold,” wrote Jon Dennis, in the Guardian. Paul Mardles gave the album three stars, in the Observer.
Fly Golden Eagle – Quartz (ATO)
Why you should listen: Ben Trimble’s Nashville band careen through an electric album of bluesy rock inflected with soul, funk and psychedelia – and it comes wonderfully close to capturing their live sound.
It might not be for you if… You don’t enjoy guitar-based music that comes roaring out the gate on the first track.
What we said: “There’s so much atmosphere that this could almost be a live album, but beneath the sonic pandemonium and retro vibes lies solid songwriting”, wrote Dave Simpson, in the Guardian.
Haiku Salut – Etch and Etch (How Does It Feel to be Loved?)
Why you should listen: The Derbyshire trio combine the sunny folk textures of an imagined pastoral England with twitching, playful electronic elements on their second album.
It might not be for you if… You have always been quietly hoping folktronica had never happened.
What we said: “It’s all still resolutely small-scale, a cottage industry rather than a factory product, with distinctly old-fashioned sounds rubbing shoulders with electronics to create something that sounds not so much timeless as separated from modernity,” wrote Michael Hann, in the Guardian. The album also picked up a four-star review from Paul Mardles, in the Observer.
Lianne La Havas – Blood (Warners)
Why you should listen: Past Mercury prize nominee La Havas deals with matters of the heart and identity on this second album of folksy pop, shot through with a touch of shimmery soul.
It might not be for you if… You easily tire of beautifully sung, tasteful pop.
What we said: “The album’s dalliances with elements of jazz and neo-soul tend to sound so perfectly manicured that they lose some of the grit and honesty that make La Havas so charming and engaging as a live performer,” ran the Guardian review. Kitty Empire also gave the album three stars, in her Observer review.
Migos – Yung Rich Nation (Quality Control/300 Entertainment)
Why you should listen: The Atlanta rap trio release their first official album – after putting out several mixtapes over the past four years – demonstrating wit and the potential to make a mark beyond internet memes about being “better than the Beatles”.
It might not be for you if… You don’t listen to rap music, even when it’s knowingly silly.
What we said: “For rappers who’ve frequently been labelled as dumb – the thicko ying to Kendrick Lamar’s brainy, complex yang – the lyrics come across as remarkably sharp and funny,” wrote Alexis Petridis, in his lead review for the Guardian.