On Our Playlist
Out this week, all of the records that you need on your shelf this week in one handy place.
Check out the albums that get our fopp stamp of approval below,
Courtney Barnett Tell Me How You Really Feel
Since stumbling fully formed from Melbourne five years ago, Courtney Barnett has proved to be a singular artist, mixing rambling Pavement-esque rock with her own cutting and poetic lyrics. After an EP compilation, her 2015 debut LP and last year’s collaborative record with Kurt Vile, she’s back with her second record proper, and things have changed a little.
Ray Lamontagne Part Of The Light
“Such A Simple Thing” suggests that Ray Lamontagne has gone back to his roots as the man who inspired a host of soulful folk songwriters with his heart-bruising vocals and earnest lyrics. This first single from his seventh album is a red herring, though, with Part Of The Light in fact a much more diverse and interesting beast than the track would suggest.
Parquet Courts Wide Awake!
Parquet Courts have made some stellar music over the last few years, but it’s been hard to shake the feeling that they’ve failed to develop on the sound of their excellent 2012 LP, Light Up Gold.
Unlike 2014’s Sunbathing Animal or 2016’s Human Performance, however, Wide Awake! finds the band dramatically altering their modus operandi. To shake things up, they’ve enlisted Danger Mouse to produce them, as perverse an act as Mark Ronson producing Queens Of The Stone Age on last year’s Villains, and sucked in funkier, syncopated rhythms into their propulsive, Strokes-y garage.
Ryley Walker Deafman Glance
Deafman Glance, the follow-up to 2016’s Golden Sings That Have Been Sung, is the second Ryley Walker album produced by LeRoy Bach and Walker himself. It was largely recorded at the Minbal Studios in Chicago, with some later sessions taking place at USA Studios and in LeRoy’s kitchen.
Walker says of the album “I was under a lot of stress because I was trying to make an anti-folk record and I was having trouble doing it. I wanted to make something deep-fried and more me-sounding. I didn’t want to be jammy acoustic guy anymore. I just wanted to make something weird and far-out that came from the heart finally.
I was always trying to make something like this I guess, trying to catch up with my imagination. And I think I succeeded in that way — it’s got some weird instrumentation on there, and some surreal far-out words…”
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks Sparkle Hard
In February, the band shared its twangy single Middle America, the first new music to surface from the group since 2014.
As a follow up, the band shared another taste of the new album with the song, Shiggy, an insanely gleeful, old-school four-chord stomper. Modesty and plain good manners might prevent them from saying so themselves, but the fact that Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks have thrived, rather than simply endured over 17 years and delivered six albums of buzzy, sub-cultural significance, constitutes an impressive legacy.
The challenge with album number seven is one that any successful band with integrity faces: how to safeguard that legacy and hold on to their identity without rehashing old ground, and also say something meaningful while having fun doing it? With Sparkle Hard Malkmus, Mike Clark (keyboards), Joanna Bolme (bass) and Jake Morris (drums) do exactly that. And they hit the ground running – on air treads.
Also Out This Week
At The Gates To Drink From The Night Itself
James Bay Electric Light
Joe Bonamassa British Blues Explosion Live
Five Finger Death Punch And Justice For None
Half Man Half Biscuit No-One Cares About Your Creative Hub So Get Your Fuckin Hedge Cut
Last Poets Understand What Black Is
Paul Mccartney Chaos & Creation In The Backyard
Paul Mccartney New
Paul Mccartney Thrillington
Paul Mccartney & The Whigs Greatest
Brad Mehldau: Trio Seymour Reads The Constitution
Pink Floyd Pulse: Includes 52 Page Hardback Photobook: 4lp
Pink Floyd Relics: Remastered
DJ-Kicks Forest Swords
Wax Chattels Wax Chattels
Wire 154 (Special Edition): 3cd
Wire Chairs Missing (Special Edition): 3cd
Wire Pink Flag (Special Edition): 2cd