Why you should listen: This album slaps. Jamie Woon breaks away from his “post-dubstep” crowd affiliation on this soulful, warm follow-up to 2011’s Mirrorwriting.
It might not be for you if… You find this sort of modern soul a little too slick.
What we said: “Tracks emerge out of a soulful, primordial murk, with every note and lyric sounding honed, terse and meticulously crafted,” wrote Lanre Bakare in the Guardian. Killian Fox in the Observer gave the album three stars, and said it “moves with economy and purpose”.
Why you should listen: Floating Points’ Sam Shepherd taps into both his classical training and reputation as a crate-digging DJ with vast musical knowledge, on this shimmering, textured album of jazz-inspired electronica.
It might not be for you if… You tend to steer clear of noodly electronic music with the odd saxophone toot.
What we said: “Like its namesake – a lithe South American bird – Elaenia flits, swoops and soars beautifully, impossible to pin down, let alone cage,” wrote Kate Hutchinson in the Guardian. In the Observer, Kitty Empire gave the album a similarly enthused four-star review.
Why you should listen: Bill Ryder-Jones continues to grow as a lyricist and songwriter, graduating definitively from the oft-instrumentals of his 2011 debut to this third album of delightful, jangly indie.
It might not be for you if… You don’t feel like burrowing into Ryder-Jones’ strummed guitar lines and reflective lyrics.
What we said: “His vocals are still relatively hushed, but where once the backing was equally subdued, now the likes of Two to Birkenhead and Satellites are unapologetically rock, albeit of the skew-whiff type at which Pavement once excelled,” wrote Phil Mongredien in the Observer.
Why you should listen: Polonia – or Poland, for all you Latin speakers – sees singer-songwriter Carr pay tribute to some of the country’s historical figures, from Charlie Chaplin’s fiancee to second world war spy Krystyna Skarbek.
It might not be for you if… You heard there was a reggae song on this album, and started to back away slowly.
What we said: “If the historical subject matter is often troubled, Carr brings a light musical touch, shifting from trilling vocals and Gypsy jazz to the cha-cha of Bomba and the reggae of We Can Go Dancing,” wrote Neil Spencer in the Observer. Robin Denselow also gave the album four stars in the Guardian.
Why you should listen: ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons somehow manages to make an album of Latin-inspired bluesy covers and originals without sounding completely ridiculous.
It might not be for you if… I’m sorry, did you say a ZZ Top guitarist and Latin blues? I’m out.
What we said: “Gibbons takes bluesy standards Got Love If You Want It and Treat Her Right on a South American tour, while his originals deliver a ridiculously catchy Tex-Mex feast in Piedras Negras”, wrote Dave Simpson in the Guardian.
This week also saw the surprise release of electronic producer Rustie’s latest album, plus new music from Grimes, Ellie Goulding (not bad) and Seal – overly polished and underwhelming. What are you planning to devote some listening time to this week?