Ten albums you cannot miss this month – May 2015
Los Angeles indie-surf pop outfit Best Coast first impressed back in 2010 with their critically acclaimed debut album Crazy For You, followed swiftly by the critically divided The Only Place in 2012. California Nights offers a grounded spring-summer album from start to finish. Opening with their newest release Feeling OK, it is obvious from the very beginning that this album will encourage a certain fondness for a summer’s day and the beauty around you.
The brainchild of accomplished hip-hop producer RJD2 and consistent feature artist Sugar Tongue Slim offers soulful, summer vibes to perfectly match STS’ laid-back flow. Their newest single 420 is a surefire summer anthem and hints towards what is to come with a soulful layering of organ, keys and a church-inspired vocal chorus.
Sol Invictus is sure to be an album to divide opinion, with the first two releases representing two incredibly different styles. The best of the two, Superhero, shows a lot of promise; however, both lack the maturity of such anthems as their 1990 hit Epic.
For the right listener, this could be a masterpiece of equal parts angst and power chords. The Story So Far’s recent single Heavy Gloom has all the characteristics of a pop-punk anthem; its catchy yet heavily layered chorus gives it enough singability and edge to be very successful within the genre.
Zedd – True Colors
For electronic music fans, True Colors offers chopped-up beats and intense square wave melodies juxtaposed with layered vocal harmonies. The album also features known collaborators, including Kesha of Tik Tok fame and Selena Gomez, who hits the mark delightfully on the catchy house-pop single I Want You to Know.
Pegged by the Guardian as a record to look out for, Born Under Saturn seems to have swung the band in a new direction. Taking clear influence from house and electronic music whilst staying true to the roots that made their debut album so successful, Django Django’s second offering is sure to be of interest to electronic and indie music fans alike.
Pennsylvania activist punk band Anti-Flag are on their ninth studio album and from the opening track Fabled World, it is clear that they have not lost their unique brand of socio-political activism and anti-establishment lyricism. American Spring is particularly important considering the current political landscape within the UK.
The Vaccines’ third studio album English Graffiti takes a new, pop-influenced style, whilst managing to maintain their well-known rock identity. Their newest single Dream Lover is a sci-fi inspired attempt at chart-friendly, surfy guitar melodies with heavy rock intersections. However, Minimal Affection takes the album to a completely new style, boasting an 80’s pop-dance inspired beat and bassline.
Why Make Sense? has already been positively received by publications such as NME, Q and Uncut. Hot Chip’s single Huarache Heights, released in February, gave listeners a medium tempo, relaxed taster of what was to come. Followed by their April release Need You Now, it is clear that they’ve taken a tranquil, minimal and soulful approach to Why Make Sense?
Putting down their banjos to explore a new side of their sound, Mumford and Sons’ Wilder Mind seems to offer the listener a completely new repertoire. Distorted guitar riffs on tracks like Believe make clear and obvious desire to change the way the band is perceived. The Wolf, the band’s successful new single, shows a clearly developed sound that changes the whole way the album is consumed.