Monastic Living by Parquet Courts – A complete 180 from their previous record, these collages of noise are either aural wonders, or droning irritants. I think of them as the former, but the record doesn’t have the same listenability as their previous efforts.
Everything Else Matters by Pinkshinyultrablast – A genre-bending journey through a landscape of vocal loops and guitar distortion. It features some intriguing melodies, balanced against driving drums and plenty of reverb. The songs shift in tone and feel, creating interesting juxtapositions that raise it above merely “pleasant”.
A Head Full of Dreams by Coldplay – In an effort to remain up to date, I listened to as much of this as I could stand. Spotify, I assume as a protective measure, cut out halfway through the title track, just as my tolerance for stadium power balladry was peaking. Also, someone in my office was eating what smelled like boiled potatoes… at 10am in an office setting. I immediately had to Google whether smelling that was a sign of something more sinister; perhaps a total aural shutdown, or an aneurysm, or some kind of technicolour dirge related stroke. Nope, turns out someone just wanted to eat boiled potatoes. This record, well the first three minutes to be fair, is a real turd.
Lost Dawn by Lost Dawn – This record is dense and layered and impossible to explain beyond saying I probably love it. It’s everything the Coldplay record isn’t. It’s interesting and complex and takes the listener down intriguing avenues, while still having great hooks and melodies. It rewards repeated listens and unravels slowly to reveal more of itself every time. The opener “Song for Robert” is a driving, pulsating bluesy number, that swings in places, drifts away, comes back in, and takes you on a journey. And it’s only four minutes long. Sometimes this much action in a single song can be overwhelming and strip the song of its distinct character, but the band handles it deftly. They also have some fantastic guitar solos.
Natalie Prass by Natalie Prass – 9 banal songs. There’s nothing particularly wrong with this record, it’s just not essential. If it didn’t exist, no one would be clamouring for it. If you like similarly tedious acts like Father John Misty, then you’ll probably like this.