Albums of the week

This week

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    Annie Eve - Sunday '91
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    Release Name
    Sunday '91
    Release Date
    (2014)
    Artist Name
    by Annie Eve
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    If Daughter’s debut left an Elena Tonra-shaped hole in your heart, Annie Eve might well be the artist to fill it in their absence. Not only does the North Londoner share a producer with the trio, she’s also responsible for a similar strain of atmospheric indie-folk – that she’s dubbed “heavy melancholia” – characterised by minor keys, pensive lyrics, woozy diction and reverb. Comparisons aside, Sunday ’91 is engaging in its own right, and earmarks Eve as a singer-songwriter to watch. We have a feeling she’s only going to get better.

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    Royal Blood - Royal Blood
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    Release Name
    Royal Blood
    Release Date
    (2014)
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    by Royal Blood
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    As the only guitar group nominated for the BBC’s Sound of 2014 prize, Royal Blood found themselves unwittingly elected the saviours of British rock back in January. Ultimate respect to them, then, for not buckling under the pressure, and for delivering an album that vindicates the hype. Marrying muscular riffs and punishing percussion with equally mammoth melodies, the Brighton duo hit the sweet spot between rock credibility and commercial appeal on every single track. If you’ve even a passing interest in Led Zeppelin, QOTSA, Rage Against The Machine or Muse, you’ll find Royal Blood a relentlessly rewarding listen.

Previous weeks

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    Luke Sital-Singh - The Fire Inside
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    The Fire Inside
    Release Date
    (2014)
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    by Luke Sital-Singh
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    Clichéd as the phrase “sensitive singer-songwriter” might be, there’s really no more fitting tag for BBC Sound of 2014 nominee Luke Sital-Singh. Armed with an acoustic guitar, an emotive croon and an encyclopaedic knowledge of Damien Rice’s O, the 26-year-old from New Malden makes an expert swipe at our heartstrings on his full-length debut. Shimmering folk-pop, destined to make fans of Ben Howard and Bon Iver bleary-eyed.

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    Twin Atlantic - Great Divide (Explicit)
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    Release Name
    Great Divide
    Release Date
    (2014)
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    by Twin Atlantic
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    My Chemical Romance, 30 Seconds To Mars, Blink 182, Biffy Clyro: there aren’t many big-hitters that Twin Atlantic haven’t opened for. Now Sam McTrusty and co are ready to claim those stadium-sized audiences for themselves. Already armed with a top 20 placing for lead single ‘Heart and Soul’, plus playlist support from BBC Radio 1, the Glaswegian quartet have gone and upped the ante even further with the radio-friendly rock on their third album, Great Divide. Brimming with bellow-along choruses, these riff-driven missives are soon to be ubiquitous.

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    FKA twigs - LP1 (Explicit)
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    Release Name
    LP1
    Release Date
    (2014)
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    by FKA twigs
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    Thanks to her eye-popping promo videos and magnetic live shows, dancer-turned-singer Tahliah “FKA Twigs” Barnett has rapidly established herself as one of the most impressive performers in the UK. The visual element to her work is so strong, in fact, we did worry how her feverish compositions would fair when finally divorced from any ocular context. We needn’t have. Offering a resolutely leftfield take on contemporary R&B, Barnett’s sensuous, sonically adventurous debut manages to exceed the promise shown on excellent early singles ‘Water Me’ and ‘Papi Pacify’. In short, we’ve never heard anything quite like it before.

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    Childhood - Lacuna
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    Release Name
    Lacuna
    Release Date
    (2014)
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    by Childhood
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    If you enjoyed Temples’ Sun Structures or Real Estate’s Atlas, may we recommend Childhood’s debut. Featuring all the psychotropic fuzziness of the former, and just as many wistful melodies as the latter, Lacuna also finds Brixton’s brightest hopes broadening their horizons beyond standard issue jangle-pop. Ranging from the frenetic Krautrock of ‘Pay For Cool’ to the detuned guitars and rolling dub rhythms of ‘Right Beneath Me’, this subtly diverse set should provide the perfect soundtrack to these balmy summer evenings.

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    Spoon - They Want My Soul
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    Release Name
    They Want My Soul
    Release Date
    (2014)
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    by Spoon
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    Following a brief musical dalliance with Divine Fits, Britt Daniel’s back leading Spoon, the band he formed in Austin, Texas, over two decades ago. Produced by Joe Chiccarelli of Morrissey fame and The Flaming Lips’ right hand man, Dave Fridmann, this eighth studio effort marks a return to the heady, hook-heavy brilliance of 2007’s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, offering up an array of indie-rock treats that range from the dreamy groove of ‘Inside Out’ to the filthy crunch of ‘Rent I Pay’. As ever, Daniel’s incredible, ragged vocals are worth the entrance price alone.

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    Adult Jazz - Gist Is
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    Release Name
    Gist Is
    Release Date
    (2014)
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    by Adult Jazz
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    Remember how excited you were the first time you heard An Awesome Wave? We’re experiencing a similar sensation right now with Adult Jazz’s debut. Like Alt-J, this Leeds-formed four-piece are big fans of fluid song structures and mercurial rhythms; what sets them apart is their unusual choice of source material and the sensitivity with which they execute hugely complex ideas. Drawing on pop, plainsong, folk and jazz, Gist Is makes for a subtly beautiful listen, and only improves the more time you dedicate to it.

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    Jenny Lewis - The Voyager
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    Release Name
    The Voyager
    Release Date
    (2014)
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    by Jenny Lewis
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    Last time we heard from Jenny Lewis she was making joyous, rock ‘n’ roll with her sweetheart Johnathan Rice. Ironically, it’s since transpired that the period post ‘I’m Having Fun Now’ was pretty much anything but fun. Forced to deal with the death of a family member and the break-up of her band, Rilo Kiley, Lewis went into meltdown mode, and retreated into songwriting simply to find solace. This third solo album rounds up the results. Produced by Ryan Adams – with assistance from Beck, Rice and Lewis herself – The Voyager actually makes for unexpectedly uplifting listening, finding the singer-songwriter banishing any residual gloom with lashings of lyrical wit and beatific melodies that draw on sweeping Americana, classic rock and Fleetwood Mac-style guitar-pop.

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    La Roux - Trouble In Paradise
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    Release Name
    Trouble In Paradise
    Release Date
    (2014)
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    by La Roux
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    What got you talking in 2009? It might well have been the dance routines in ‘Glee’, or the vivid colours of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, or perhaps the impending threat of a swine flu pandemic. Whatever you were discussing in the pub, it’s more than likely that La Roux’s eponymous debut was blaring out in the background. Five years, two World Cups and one pretty major line-up change later, Elly Jackson’s back with the long-overdue follow-up. Christened “Trouble In Paradise”, its title serves as both a reference to the departure of silent partner Ben Langmaid, and as an indication of the exotic sounds within. Drawing on dancehall, reggae and yacht-rock, this is 80s synth-pop with a totally tropical taste and – as such – is perfectly placed to soundtrack the summer of 2014.