Five albums to try this week: El Vy, the Chills and more

Hear new music from Roots Manuva’s dark hip-hop to Real Estate frontman Martin Courtney’s solo debut, and let us know what you’ll be listening to

El Vy – Return to the Moon (4AD)

Why you should listen: The National’s Matt Berninger and Menomena’s Brent Knopf turned a friendship forged on tour into the inspiration behind this punchy album of side-project garage rock. Not bad, when most off-duty tour activity usually consists of catching up on sleep and trying to find a decent meal.

It might not be for you if … Hearing Berninger’s voice when he’s not fronting the National throws you for a loop.

What we said: “They recreate the recklessness of those touring days via booze-soaked alt-rock,” wrote Harriet Gibsone in the Guardian. Kitty Empire gave the album a three-star review in the Observer.

Score: 4/5

Martin Courtney – Many Moons (Domino)

Why you should listen: Real Estate frontman Martin Courtney stamps this dreamy solo debut album with his signature breathy vocal and lilting guitar.

It might not be for you if … You don’t like Real Estate.

What we said: “The Real Estate guitarist is later to the side-project than his bandmates, but Many Moons is better than any of those others,” wrote Michael Hann in the Guardian. Phil Mongredien handed the album three stars in the Observer.

Score: 4/5

Roots Manuva – Bleeds (Big Dada)

Why you should listen: This sixth album sees the UK hip-hop pioneer delivering his rap flow over skewed, dark and immediate beats. His wry sense of humour is still intact, but tempered with a touch of bitterness.

It might not be for you if … You’re not quite ready for Roots when he sounds this heavy.

What we said: “If he’s the ringmaster of British ragga-rap, then his sixth album is the funfair you don’t want to get trapped in after dark,” wrote Kate Hutchinson in the Guardian. Killian Fox also gave the album a three-star review in the Observer.

Score: 3/5

The Chills – Silver Bullets (Fire)

Why you should listen: The Kiwi indie band’s first album in 19 years sees them make a fine return to guitar-pop form – particularly after the horrendous few years frontman Martin Phillipps has endured.

It might not be for you if … You weren’t that bothered about the Chills the first time round. Or the time after that. Or the one after that, come to think of it.

What we said: “The Chills always sounded very particular – spindly guitar lines atop organ-drenched backing, the whole thing slathered in reverb, with Phillipps spilling out words on top – and Silver Bullets fits snugly into their sparse back catalogue,” wrote Michael Hann in the Guardian.

Score: 4/5

Various artists – Joy of Living: a tribute to Ewan MacColl (Cooking Vinyl)

Why you should listen: Jarvis Cocker, the Unthanks, Billy Bragg and others pay tribute to British folk revival songwriter MacColl on a beautiful double album marking the centenary of his birth.

It might not be for you if … You’re not that fussed about 1960s British folk classics reimagined by current musicians.

What we said: “On this remarkable double album, 21 artists rework his songs, ranging from poignant studies of working lives to political comment and love ballads,” wrote Robin Denselow, in the Guardian.

Score: 4/5

This week has also seen new music from Rod Stewart, Elbow frontman Guy Garvey and British Sea Power. What will you be looking forward to hearing?

Contributor

Tshepo Mokoena

The GuardianTramp

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