Not quite having a whale of a time

The title of London grungers Whales in Cubicles’ debut, Death in the Evening, would seem off-puttingly bleak to some. And, although it’s true that, lyrically and sonically, the album’s ten tracks lean towards the darker end of the spectrum (see the video for ‘All the Pretty Flowers’ for further verification), it’s not a purely black […]

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Album review: Doris

As soon as rap collective Odd Future exploded all over the internet a couple of years ago it was immediately apparent that their most talented member also happened to be the youngest. The prodigy in question, Earl Sweatshirt, was only 16 when his début mixtape Earl dropped in 2010 but, although his lyrics were as […]

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Album Review: Mac DeMarco – 2

A grooving guitar, casually sliding and bending, opens 2. A bass grates, then drops in with a simple, chirpy bass-line backed by drums until a ridiculous yet remarkably subtle cymbal-crash introduces Mac DeMarco, who describes the relative whereabouts of his family. The start of the carefree album which the goofy cover photo with brilliantly ugly […]

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In the Blake midwinter

You should definitely care about James Blake. The electronic musician (though it seems insufficient to categorize him as such) got the runner-up spot on the BBC’s “Sound of 2011” poll and a place in Pitchfork’s “Top 50 albums of 2010”…without even releasing an album. His EP releases were enough to honour this embryonic icon. Fusing […]

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Divided opinions

Anna Calvi, the eponymous debut by one of this year’s “Sound of 2011” longlist nominees, starts vainly with that staple of the self-conscious art album, the instrumental. To her credit the guitars slide effortlessly from Spaghetti Western to flamenco via brief glimpses into the Orient with the track collapsing into a cascade of diminished chords. […]

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