Our pick of the releases for 3 & 10 February starts with Mercury Prize-winning Edinburgh trio Young Fathers, who return with Heavy Heavy (3 Feb), their follow-up to 2018’s standout Cocoa Sugar. The band – Alloysious Massaquoi, Graham ‘G’ Hastings and Kayus Bankole – have long been recognised as one of Britain’s most vital and distinguished bands, merging incendiary and thought-provoking lyrics with cutting-edge visuals and an undeniably propulsive live show.
Of their new album, This Is Why (10 Feb), Tennessee rock band Paramore say: The public sphere we find ourselves re-entering after 4 years at home, in our comfort zones, is an entirely different thing than the one we knew. The restlessness, the anxiety, and the compulsion to take action – it all feels like a contradiction. On one hand, we have a legitimate platform to use which makes me want to march at every protest for social justice and devote every waking second to every single cause I believe in. On the other, I just want to go home, plant a garden, and become a distant memory to the outside world.”
The Future Is Your Past (10 Feb), the 20th full-length studio album from The Brian Jonestown Massacre, was recorded in Berlin and remotely between 2020 and 2021 by Anton Newcombe, who was joined in the studio for this album by Hakon Adalsteinsson (guitar) and Uri Rennert (drums).
This Stupid World (10 Feb) is the most live-sounding Yo La Tengo album in years. Times have changed for Yo La Tengo as much as they have for everyone else. In the past, the band has often worked with outside producers and mixers; but on their latest effort, their first full-length in five years, they worked all by themselves. And their time-tested judgement is both sturdy enough to keep things to the band’s high standards and nimble enough to make things new.
Barefoot On Diamond Road (10 Feb) is the third album from Dutch singer-songwriter Amber Arcades. This is a record of engaging maturity, filled with slow-motion builds and epic lifts that elevate it to dizzying heights. Immersed in an all-consuming wall of sound, Barefoot On Diamond Road is like My Bloody Valentine gone acoustic – it shouldn’t work but it does. It’s a juxtaposition of textures, from skittery, uneasy dancefloor beats to symphonic kosmische, a baroque pop tapestry side-stitched with cellos and harps with a plaintive steel guitar echoing in the distance.
Our release of the week is the 8th solo album from acclaimed Australian singer-songwriter Robert Forster, who has followed a very different creative path on The Candle And The Flame (10 Feb) from his previous works. The first single, titled ‘She’s A Fighter’, reveals just a part of what became a journey of creating music with family and friends with a need to find joy and solace in the face of adversity.
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