Staff picks

Staff Picks

This week

Petals Have Fallen (2014) by Dels

“Witty, UK hip hop on the Ninja Tune-subsidiary Big Dada. Sample lyric: “Some say I’m anxious/ I just think I need to eat cheese less.” Nigel Smith

Runaljod - Yggdrasil (2013) by Wardruna

“Evocative and stirring Scandinavian folk-influenced music. For fans of: Norse mythology, sea-faring peoples, battle-axes, mead, coastal raids, pagan rituals etc.” Dan Smith

At Best Cuckold (2014) by Avi Buffalo

Avi Buffalo's sophomore album is another little gem for those of us that like folk-influenced pop with distinct melodramatic tone and peppered psychedelic flavour.” Gunnar Larsén

Girlpool (2014) by Girlpool

“Raw, raucous, melodic: a compelling debut set by LA punks Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad.” Gemma Samways

Last week

Detrimentalist (2013) by Venetian Snares

“Ferocious electronica, drum machine madness. All the tracks – as well as my favourite ‘Gentleman’ – have beats and pattern changes that make me feel a bit funny.” Phil Quigley

…And Star Power (2014) by Foxygen

“I’m usually not that keen on long albums, but this neo-psychedelic band manages to keep me on my toes, starting with soulful, sensual tracks and ending with rough improvisations, transporting me to the Woodstock era...” Emmylou Prevett

Urge for Offal (2014) by Half Man Half Biscuit

“Which other album of 2014 will name-check Frank Ifield, claim that “Midge Ure looks like a milk thief” and reveal the eight words that will drive you to suicide (“Up next, brand new Live At The Apollo”)? Give it repeated listens, and let it slowly reveal its grotesque wisdom.” Stephen Somerville

Nervous 90's Hip Hop Revisited (2014) by Various Artists

“A relentless boom-bapping blend of 90s hip hop classics.” Dave Aitken

The week before last week

Godforsaken Roads (2014) by Black Strobe

Black Strobe’s sound is unrecognisable compared to when I first started listening to the duo in the early noughties, and Ivan Smagghe was still a member. “Frozen, Balearic, gay biker house” is how they described their sound at the time, so maybe this is “frozen, Balearic, gay biker rock/blues/electronic”? Whatever it is, it’s a quality album with diverse sounds from what has become a fully accomplished four-piece band.” Tom Traves

Still Life (2014) by Kevin Morby

“Superb second solo album by joint Babies-frontman – and former Woods bassist – Kevin Morby. For fans of Cass McCombs.” Gemma Samways

200 (2014) by Baris K

“Loved the original, thought the Khidja remix was incredible and now I’m stuck between that and The Asphodells remix for my favourite! Great, dubby, cosmic disco across the board on an equally impressive label.” Dan Smith

Prophet (2014) by Zhala

Zhala is Swedish and signed to Robyn’s record label. Enough said.” Julia Killer

The week before that

Skisser / Remixed (2013) by Alice Boman

“Heard the track ‘Waiting’ on the TV series ‘Glue’ and fell instantly in love with her voice. The remixes are also beautiful.” Emmylou Prevett

Force of Nature (2013) by Audio

“Heavy drum and bass beats in that classic Virus Recordings Neurofunk fashion.” Nigel Smith

Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes (2004) by TV On The Radio

“Reliving this in anticipation of Seeds, the new LP released later on this year. A decade old, the bass line in ‘Staring At The Sun’ still shakes you to your core! So good, every single time!” Sharri Morris

International (2014) by Lust For Youth

“Retro-futuristic, post-punk synth pop. That’s a lot of buzzwords, but what it boils down to is a bunch of catchy pop tracks with a slightly edgy feel.” Sam Gething

And so on...

Let Me In (2014) by Kleerup

“Multi-talented producer/artist/collaborator Kleerup is at it again, this time with Susanne Sundfør, the Norwegian singer-songwriter and former Björk backing vocalist. Atmospheric, 80s-inspired, catchy, ambitious, clever, and cute in implementation.” Gunnar Larsén

Give My Love To London (2014) by Marianne Faithfull

Brian Eno, Nick Cave and Anna Calvi all lend a hand on Marianne Faithfull’s excellent new album.” Gemma Samways

Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell (2014) by Various Artists

“A super compilation in tribute to cellist/composer/electronic artist Arthur Russell and Red Hot, an organisation dedicated to promoting awareness of HIV and AIDs. Featuring contributions from artists like Sufjan Stevens, Hot Chip, Devendra Banhart, Blood Orange and Robyn.” Ling Khor

Heart Food (2007) by Judee Sill

“I’ve made my way through the Old Grey Whistle Test, and was hooked on Judee Sill’s performance of ‘The Kiss’. Must-listen tracks are ‘Down Where The Valley Are Low’ and ‘Soldier Of The Heart’.” Ruth Cheong

In the Shower (2014) by HOMESHAKE

“Solo project from Canadian Peter Sagar, guitarist of Mac DeMarco... Do I need to say more?” Emmylou Prevett

Todd Edwards' Nervous Tracks (2004) by Todd Edwards

“Todd ‘The Godd’! Top US and UK Garage blend from the choppy vocal king.” Reece Daniels

Honeyblood (2014) by Honeyblood

“A female-fronted alt-rock group was always going to draw (lazy) comparisons to Hole, but here the murky guitars are distinctly contrasted to Stina Tweedale’s sweet voice. The way she makes you feel her heartbreak and abuse is achingly beautiful.” Dan Smith

Four Miles Further (2014) by Nick Brewer

“Anything Little Simz is in at the moment, I’m diggin’. There’s been a lot of hype about this 20 year-old, North London-based, lyrical lovely – one to watch over the next few months!” Sharri Morris

From back in the mists of time...