It’s a Family (Rain) Affair

The Family Rain have had a big 2013. At the start of the year they had just one single to their name (released on indie label Bigger Splash Records), no records out, and a small but devoted following around their hometown of Bath, Somerset. As the year draws to a close, however, the band has […]

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A short introduction to: Afropop

In reality the differences between the sub genres covered by Afropop can be so great that they call into question the value of the phrase, but it’s a useful way of distinguishing the popular music of Africa from more traditional music. Historically, the music of West and South Africa has been the main export to […]

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Album Review: Bad Side Effects

This summer, with the release of The Monkeys’ AM and Franz Ferdinand’s Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, we’ve seen how two of British guitar music’s powerhouses have adapted and modernised their respective sounds. You ain’t seen nothing yet: prepare yourself for the comeback of a third grand old indiestitution (fanfare) The Fratellis. It’s time […]

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Album Review: Pusha’s got it down to a T

Since the massive success of Kendrick Lamar’s soul-searching concept album good kid, m.A.A.d. city late last year, it seems that rap’s mainstream has diverged into two different channels. One trend noticeable among 2013’s biggest records has been a conceptualising, self-interrogating impulse, with rappers structuring their albums thematically, airing out their insecurities, and peeling away tough-guy […]

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Visiting the Local Natives

The Local Natives are slowly taking over the world. As I catch drummer Matt Frazier in Atlanta, Georgia, they are 8 months into their tour starting from January, with the release of their second album Hummingbird. “We’re playing here tonight actually,” Frazier notes as we make introductions, “it’s all going really good. We had a […]

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Album Review: ilp.

Kwes’s 2012 Meantime EP was brief, but it showcased his warm voice and ability to write beautiful off-kilter pop-songs. It may be best to stick with that release, writes Tom Hoskins.   There has been development and ilp. in fact starts promisingly: opener “Purple Hands” begins with Jai Paul-esque electronic confusion and geese (geese/saxophones masquerading […]

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Arctic Monkeys-‘AM’

Ok…(takes a deep breath)…after much consideration I’ve come to the conclusion that ‘AM’, Artic Monkey’s eagerly anticipated fifth studio album, is (whisper it) a concept album.   It took me a while to reach that conclusion, because it was certainly not the first thing that jumped out at me from the record. That something was […]

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Album Review: Made Up Mind

Uncluttered and with new Motown influences, Made Up Mind is an album from a band showcasing a refined approach to playing the blues. Tough, tight and lean, Susan Tedeschi’s vocals are gutsy and expressive, and the restrained slide-work of Derek Trucks takes your breath away with the slightest gesture. The combined blues-jazz-fusion work of Susan […]

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Album Review: Paracosm

Washed Out’s new album Paracosm showcases a change of sound, an organic and pastoral shift, and represents a major leap forward for the artist. Anyone familiar with the music of Washed Out, the project of electronic musician Ernest Greene, would be aware of the genre ‘chillwave’. Put simply, it categorises music which is built on […]

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