Each month we bring you a handy round-up of the most exciting new releases.
This month sees long-awaited albums from GOAT, Idles, Julia Jacklin, October Drift, Jones and Jagwar Ma.
GOAT – Requiem
07.10, Cargo Records | Buy
Renowned for their mystical nature, the elusive, masked Swedish troupe are back with a characteristically-eclectic musical offering on Requiem, their third studio album. Declaring this their “folk” album, a quality undoubtedly prevalent in GOAT’s very essence, there’s a more ruminative ritualism at the core of Requiem. Where a frenzied, tribal psychedelia has been more prominent on previous releases, here ethereal pan flute melodies weave through the tracks alongside simple yet compelling guitar progressions and a typically-diverse array of percussion. That isn’t to say such pulsating, warped rhythms don’t feature; ‘Goatfuzz’ provides pure, hedonistic revelry and powerful, primitive drum beats accompany ferocious guitar riffs on ‘All-seeing Eye’.
Affirming their nomadic existence in an indefinable space between reality and a trance-like surrealism, this album provides an exotic, almost spiritual, escapism to a place where all perceptions are suspended and we are immersed in an otherworldly sonic landscape. Kezia Cochrane
Julia Jacklin – Don’t Let The Kids Win
07.10, Polyvinyl Record Co | Buy
There is a particular generation arriving into focus, one that has found emotional clarity via growth through their creative urges. Not necessarily those that just reminisce on their childhood through a grainy VHS, but those who can craft with such lucidity that it’s almost timeless in quality. Julia Jacklin stands out as one of these prospering artists – Don’t Let The Kids Win is a vibrantly-relevant and quaintly-arranged record.
Jacklin delivers with timed poise and a well studied-word, making her realisations even more pertinent, “I have faults you know it’s true / especially when it comes to treating you well”. Here is an intrepid artist undaunted by the present. Ross Jones
Jones – New Skin
07.10, 37 Adventures | Buy
Smooth vocals carry throughout Jones’ debut album, with her soulful performance showcasing universal themes of love and loss. Her usual, matured voice is exchanged for a more youthful timbre, most notably on ‘Wild’, which is reminiscent of early Corrine Bailey Rae with its light, breezy output.
‘Hoops’ packs a punch, with stronger drums and a more upbeat focal point, as title track ‘New Skin’ sees Jones posing existential questions as she sings “looking in the mirror / who’s the face I see?”. Similar to work from Jhené Aiko, the album feels as uplifting as it does thoughtful, offering a deepened yet mellow pop with a nostalgic R&B groove. Callum Stevens
White Lies – Friends
07.10, Fiction | Buy
The gloriously gloomy White Lies are back with their fourth studio album, Friends which, unsurprisingly, is a deliciously synth-fuelled ode to friendships and how relationships evolve with time – especially when life’s big decisions get in the way.
Kicked off in style with lead single ‘Take It Out On Me’, it’s a punchy anthem showcasing frontman McVeigh’s vocals at their very best. What follows is a stream of pleasantly-uplifting melodies cleverly disguising heavy-hitting lyrics on loneliness, self-doubt, love, and conflicting feelings; as has become the customary White Lies style. From the questioning ‘Is My Love Enough’ right through to epic closer ‘Don’t Fall’, Friends is a fantastic feat of storytelling about moving on. Angharad Bishop
Idles – Well Done
07.10, AWAL/Bally Records | Buy
“Why don’t you like reggae?” shouts Joe Talbot on this fierce latest single from Idles. We’ve always been aware of their might, but this single ahead of the debut album Brutalism is really something else.
Through their dedication and endurance, the world outside of Bristol is finally starting to appreciate the band and it’s all too easy to see why. Lurking underneath the massive guitars and drums are feelings of confrontation, accusation and what’s expected of us. There’s a sense of urgency and tongue-in-cheek to this that’s genuinely exciting. It’s only a matter of time until the full record drops, but for now Idles are well on their way. Rhys Buchanan
Two Door Cinema Club – Gameshow
14.10, Parlophone | Buy
Rediscovering your form can be a challenging but rewarding process. For Irish alternative pop group Two Door Cinema Club this couldn’t be more true, having overcome personal challenges and emotions to return to the scene stronger than ever.
New album Gameshow is fearlessly brilliant, restoring the band’s explosive command of melody. Songs ‘Are We Ready? (Wreck)’ and ‘Bad Decisions’ pack all the sass, grooves and rhythms you could hope for, while ‘Gameshow’ and ‘Invincible’ see frontman Alex Trimble come to life as the album’s wild, genre-bending mixtures spiral into clever madness. Enriching from start to finish, Two Door Cinema Club are simply back to their all-out best. Mustafa Mirreh
October Drift – This Is Nowhere
07.10, Bad Rival Records | Buy
October Drift’s This Is Nowhere EP packs a hell of a punch in three tracks and less than 15 minutes. The follow-up to Stranger Days feels bigger in every way, successfully reaching both the moody and anthemic ends of indie rock; they can soar like The Walkmen, while creeping like The National across the space of a single song.
This breadth of sound reached by October Drift in such a small space of time gives massive hope for their debut full-length, the true chance to make good on their clear ambition. These are songs built for concert halls and festival main stages. Will Richards
Joyce Manor – Cody
07.10, Epitah | Buy
Cody is out on Epitaph so you can be pretty sure of what you’re getting. Not so fast though – hold those preconceptions at the door. Yeah it’s punk. And yeah, it’s pop. From the brilliant, Kanye West dissing opener ‘Fake ID’ to ‘This Song Is A Mess’, all the best college rock boxes are ticked.
However, the songs share Weezer’s wit and melodic chops, Teenage Fanclub’s ear for jangly pop and the excitable fizz of Camper Van Beethoven’s ‘Take the Skinheads Bowling’. Cody’s naïve energy, mixed with assured and astute songwriting makes for a joyful set of short, sharp tracks. Blink and you’ll miss them. So don’t blink. Just enjoy them. J-P Storrow
Jagwar Ma – Every Now And Then
14.10, Mom+Pop | Buy
Jagwar Ma’s well-established blend of shimmering synths, echoic vocals and heavy bass return for Every Now And Then. The Australian trio’s second album draws heavily on the summery psychedelic synth-pop debuted in Howlin’, yet comes across altogether more matured and well-constructed.
Three years of touring with The XX and Tame Impala have added an emotional depth to their songwriting and countless layered musical elements, from soothing key melodies to heavy bass and jangling guitar. There’s a real mix of pace too, where the ethereal vocals and twinkly snyths of ‘Don’t Make It Right’ could cure even the worst of hangovers, while the dub-pop of ‘Loose Ends’ could liven up the emptiest of parties. Hannah Wakeman
The Brackish – Liquid of Choice
14.10, Bad Elephant Music | Buy
Liquid of Choice feels more like a jamming session than a fully-constructed album, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. While many instrumental releases are centred around rigidity and can often feel confined, The Brackish bring a sense of freedom and natural-ness to their music.
Although the songs rely heavily on looping guitars, it never feels like they solely set the pace; each instrument has its time to lead and time to follow. Crescendos build and falter, and plucked lines break into overdriven, strummed sections – not always when expected – resulting in a release that doesn’t hit every mark but has enough in it to keep you interested. Thomas O’Neill