Ghostpoet – Shedding Skin (Pias)
Why you should listen: London MC Obaro Ejimiwe drifts away from the minimal electronic beats that shaped his two previous albums, and brings on a full band for Shedding Skin’s moody, alt-rock.
It might not be for you if … Wait, Ghostpoet speak-singing over electric guitars? Bring back the chilling electronic elements, for crying out loud.
What we said: “Beyond a few piano-led lulls, the new Radiohead-tinged direction sounds compelling and thoughtful,” ran the Guardian’s review. Click here for Killian Fox’s three-star review from the Observer New Review.
Steven Wilson – Hand. Cannot. Erase (Kscope)
Why you should listen: The prog maestro, of Porcupine Tree, Storm Corrosion and No-Man, crafts a beautiful and compelling collection of songs loosely based on the true story of Joyce Carol Vincent’s mysterious death.
It might not be for you if … You refuse to give prog rock, in any of its various forms, the time of day.
What we said: “Hand. Cannot. Erase. is an album rooted in sonic and spiritual modernity, largely eschewing early prog tropes in favour of an inventive blend of bleak and brooding industrial soundscapes and rugged, muscular ensemble performances from Wilson’s virtuoso henchmen”, wrote Dom Lawson, in the Guardian.
Wilson’s album isn’t streaming in full on Spotify, but you can listen to the first two tracks above and buy Hand. Cannot. Erase. on iTunes or on CD.
Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman – Tomorrow Will Follow Today (Iscream Music)
Why you should listen: Winners of the 2013 BBC Radio 2 folk award for best duo, married couple Roberts and Lakeman present eight original tracks and their take on two traditional folk numbers.
It might not be for you if … You tend to steer clear of folk music in general, or prefer to strum away at the traditionals on your own.
What we said: “A further reminder of [Roberts and Lakeman’s] songwriting skill and range,” wrote Robin Denselow, in the Guardian.
Keath Mead – Sunday Dinner (Company)
Why you should listen: The multi-instrumentalist’s debut oozes fuzzy guitar tones coated in woozy, summertime bliss and was produced by Toro Y Moi’s Chaz Bundick.
It might not be for you if … You want guitar pop that packs a heavier punch than this dreamy, breathy fare.
What we said: “It’s pretty consistently sunny guitar pop, embellished with little washes of electronic sound by producer Chaz Bundick (Toro himself), but assembled so deliciously it’s hard to quibble,” wrote Michael Hann, in the Guardian.
Purity Ring – Another Eternity (4AD)
Why you should listen: The alt-pop duo ditch their chopped-and-screwed electronic production from 2012 debut Shrines for brazen, almost saccharine pop and EDM on this latest effort.
It might not be for you if … You preferred Purity Ring when they sounded darker, in a way that made vocalist Megan James’ clear-toned and childlike voice seem more eerie than cutesy.
What we said: “In this follow-up to their widely praised debut, Shrines, Canadian duo Purity Ring develop their ‘future pop’ by combining R&B and dance with pop influences”, wrote Corinne Jones, in the Observer. Read Harriet Gibsone’s less enthusiastic two-star review from the Guardian for another perspective.
Which albums or EPs are likely to make their way to the top of your listening list this week? Share your picks with us, in the comments.