Local Natives – Sunlit Youth

Moving beyond the realm of the emotive Californian indie rock that has served them so well up to now, the context for ‘Sunlit Youth’ is one of rebirth and redefinition.
And while the idealism of the suggestion that we can all influence of our own futures might underplay institutional factors, Local Natives deliver these ideas knowingly. The beauty of ‘Sunlit Youth’ is in its optimism rather than its pragmatism – a record that cements their status as one of our most special proponents of emotionally-charged guitar music.
DIY

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Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Skeleton tree

Nick Cave started work on his sixteenth Bad Seeds album well before ther death of his 15 year-old son Arthur in July of last year, but whatever ‘Skeleton Tree’ was supposed to be, it’s now become his public response to that single, life-altering tragedy.
No other record released this year will provoke such conflicting emotions in you. ‘Skeleton Tree’ is both beautiful and harrowing, hard to listen to but even harder to look away from.
NME

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Wilco – Schmilco

Ever since 2002’s landmark Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Wilco have been expertly treading a fine line between experimentation and accessibility. Coming so soon after the envelope-pushing, fuzzed-up glam stylings of last year’s Star Wars, their 10th album is surprisingly straightforward, its 12 songs concise, uncomplicated, largely acoustic affairs.
TheGuardian

 

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Wovenhand – Star Treatment

He’s a mystic wanderer, the type who seeks transcendence in darkness as well as in light. He never hides his voice. It’s a huge, barreling wail, a declamatory roar. And the music matches the majesty of that voice, calling on traditions that can sometimes go past ancestral country music and into tribal-chant territory. This is big music, a type of music that we don’t often hear anymore. It’s music for calling down heaven.
Stereogum

 

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Dodgy – What Are We Fighting For

Dodgy are back and here to stay! Some bands as they mature seem to keep churning out the same stuff but Dodgy gain more gravity and vigour the more they produce. Whilst not as instantly catchy as their earlier stuff (they are older and more reflective) this is a rich album with a blend of crunchy guitar tracks and then some mellow 60s West Coast/folky moments very reminiscent of the Byrds.
XSNoize

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Jamie T – Trick

Yet Trick feels more celebratory than melancholy, mostly because of the bruising passion and commitment Treays loads into every syllable, every bar. It’s only the closing song, Self Esteem, where the confidence runs dry and he opens up a vein of vulnerability. It’s desperately sad and beautiful, a little bloom finally poking through the concrete.
TheGuardian

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Mozes and the Firstborn – Great Pile of Nothing

De ingeslagen weg richting ‘alternatieve highschoolrock van de jaren negentig’ (aldus de omschrijving van platenlabel Top Notch) doet namelijk net zo relaxed aan als het zorgeloze decennium waarnaar veelvuldig verwezen wordt op de nieuwe plaat. Wat weer een interessant contrast oplevert met de meeste songtitles en lyrics. Want Mozes and the Firstborn wordt volwassen en dat gaat gepaard met de nodige (niet altijd even positieve) levenslessen.
VPRO 3VOOR12

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Warhaus – We Fucked A Flame Into Being

Warhaus is the artistic alter ego and solo recording project of Maarten Devoldere, who (along with Jinte Deprez) fronts the urbanely soulful Belgian rock band Balthazar.

De titel van de plaat leende hij bij auteur D.H. Lawrence, de hoes bij Serge Gainsbourg, de sombere voordracht bij Leonard Cohen, maar de onderkoelde toon blijft vaak schatplichtig aan Balthazar.
De opvallendste koerswijziging? De tweede stem neemt Sylvie Kreusch hier voor haar rekening. Dit koppeltje smoezelt met zachte strijkers, slenterende vingers over een piano, jengelende gitaren en diep in het glas starende blazers.
De Morgen

 

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