Get ready to sink into some delicious melancholy with some open and frank folk-rock by Phoebe Bridgers.
‘Stranger in the Alps’ is an incredibly intimate album for the colder days approaching. Unlike most ‘folk-rock/pop’ artists you can expect to feel rather uplifted by the end of the album (Bon Iver etc.) but Phoebe’s approach is slightly more subtle as her lyrics remain dark as she switches from minor to major chords.
But, remember, we can all have some fun revelling in our blueness sometimes and Phoebe’s voice is an apt accompaniment for this.
Favourite song: Motion Sickness
2. Twin Peaks season 3 soundtrack
The Twin Peaks soundtrack has arrived just in time for autumn and it’s no coincidence that he album’s atmosphere is akin to the season of crystallised spider’s webs and pumpkins.
David Lynch’s obscurity doesn’t end with his films, his music taste is also often inimitable and little-known. If whilst during this season, you’ve been curious by the showcased talent, or you haven’t actually ever seen Twin Peaks but you’re open to exploring some sinister sounding uber-indie music, this album may be for you.
Its 20-track content is an interesting mix of classics you may already know; Otis Redding, ZZ Top, The Platters combined with the Bang Bang Bar’s eclectic and eccentric line-up throughout the series. This where you begin to enter the mind of David Lynch, he includes some of his favourite bands such as Chromatics (a strange Portland reared band) and even his son, Riley Lynch and his band, Trouble, whom sounds exactly how you’d expect them to.
However, if you were more interested in the score and want to walk about town on a foggy morn pretending to be a resident of Twin Peaks, then the ‘Limited Event series original soundtrack’ might be better suited for you. It even features David Lynch and Angela Badalamenti’s 90’s experimental freestyle stuff.
Favourite track: Shadow (The Chromatics)
3. Take me apart | Kelela
Soulful and provocative, Kelela blends vocals and lyrics reminiscent of 90s/00s R&B with fresh rhythms and echoic synth that ooze 2017. LA based, 34 year old, Kelela debuts after two accolade receiving mixtapes.
Unsurprisingly, Kelela’s digital production of ‘Take me apart’ has, so far, been described as “technically stunning” (Pitchfork) and “cutting edge” (The Guardian). Her lyrics, are that of the late night tossing and turning feeling, as she questions “will your love ruin my heart?” (Track 4, ‘Enough’) and then the next day as she gains the confidence to make advances “all you gotta do is let me know” (Track 7, ‘LMK’).
It’s safe to say that each song on the album is masterfully put together and gives you the cohesion of soul with electronic break downs. Perhaps Kelela could be described as a more mainstream FKA Twigs, even though arguably she is less heard of (but that should not take away from Kelela’s fresh and strange take on R&B)… either way, it’s worth the listen.
Favourite track: LMK
4. Dedicated to Bobby Jameson | Ariel Pink
The album starts out with a strange orchestral 80’s vibe Jesus jingle as Ariel repeats “time to meet your God”. Of course, if you’re a fan of Ariel Pink already you’ll already know that he loves a bit of a weird joke (whether you get them or not). The song, just as every album starter should, gears you up for the rest of the album. Which in ‘Dedicated to Bobby Jameson’ is full of far-out, airy indie-pop with a twist of psychedelia.
And, it is literally dedicated to Bobby Jameson (or at least the song ‘Dedicated to Bobby Jameson’ is) a 60’s singer-songwriter who was said to be drowned by the hype of the Beatles arriving in America and unfortunately never managed to bob his head above-shore after. Whether or not this bares any relevance to his own position in the music scene, I’m not so sure.
Favourite song: Another Weekend
5. 1992 Deluxe | Princess Nokia
A year later after the release of Destiny’s mixtape 1992, the Deluxe version brings more than what we could’ve hoped for. Her flow is more poised and addictive than ever, and as always, she has something to say, giving the rest of the artists in her diluted genre a run for their money. In 1992 Deluxe we get to know Princess Nokia a lot more as the music reflects her personality strongly. From the biographical and frank monologue in ‘Bart Simpson’ to more aggressive trap beats that endorse empowerment (‘Flava’).
‘Tomboy’ embraces Destiny Frasqueri’s outlandish and impressive confidence side as she yells “my little titties and my phat belly” and accurately describes herself “my body little, my soul heavy”. The song is basically equal to a large shot of caffeine with a dose of self-love. ‘Mine’ continues Solange’s point of ‘Don’t Touch My Hair’ as Destiny informs “It’s mine, I bought it”.
There’s definitely a lot more to say on this 16-track-deluxe. So, please stick this on when you’re next in need of some hyping as it deserves your attention.
Favourite track: Bart Simpson
6. A Deeper Understanding | The War on Drugs
Adam Granduciel’s sound has, in the past, been compared to Springsteen, Tom Petty, Dylan, and Neil Young. So it’s clear that Adam has a nostalgic voice, but when you combine that with the more current and meticulous production of gentle strums and steady drums layered upon an array of other instruments riffing and you get The War on Drugs signature sound.
Although reluctantly, I am tempted to reduce the album to ‘good driving music’, but it is actually quite a good album to drive to. That said the album can be enjoyed anywhere. A Deeper Understanding isn’t vastly different to The War on Drugs’s previous albums it is a little more subdued, however, rather than romantic or uplifting. A Deeper Understanding is well, deeper as Granduciel says… “I want to find what can’t be found” (‘Pain’, track 2).
Favourite song: Holding on
7. Visions of a life | Wolf Alice
As the 90’s seep back into our fashion, as does it seep back into our music. Wolf Alice’s second album, ‘Vision’s of life’ is the grungy teen cliché’s dream. At times its punky and aggressive (‘Yuk Foo’), and then it’s all fairy-like, vulnerable and romantic (‘Don’t Delete the Kisses’). Reminding us of the hormonal ups and downs of our teenage years.
However, frontwoman, Ellie Roswell is definitely more complex (and cooler) than our teenage selves as the album uncovers the many thoughts, feelings and stories from her personal life. Her rhythmic rants actually comfort us in its sheer relevance “Twenty three years old and you’re acting like it’s over” (Sky Musings, track 6).
Visions of a life is the type of album you’ll keep coming back to.