Our batch of recommended releases for 16 June could well be our favourite of the year so far for its depth and quality. Crack-Up represents a real change for Fleet Foxes; instead of an expansive, sunny outlook we are ‘treated’ to a collection of inward-searching songs suffused with a bleak melancholy, resulting in a jarring, inscrutable record that will reward repeated listenings. The mighty Ride return for the first time in nigh on 20 years! and … it’s fantastic: trembling distortion, beautiful harmonies and pounding rhythms result in a shimmering soundscape that makes this album ambitious, timeless and thoroughly addictive. Royal Blood’s hugely anticipated second album, How Did We Get So Dark?, is upon us, and it’s a triumph of visceral, dark and sludgy rock’n’roll! Résistance, the second album from Songhoy Blues, is another album of wonderful Afro-funk-pop; the whole thing flows like liquid gold, with chanting vocals, meaty rhythms and that light-and-choppy guitar sound. Those – like us – with a bit of a thing for proper pop will welcome Lorde’s Melodrama – the story of the last two wild, fluorescent years of her life. Beth Ditto’s first full-length solo release, Fake Sugar, is – as you’d expect from The Gossip’s frontwoman – a proper noisy rock’n’roll album, culled from more than 80 songs written over two years. You Don’t Own Me Anymore is the latest from The Secret Sisters: a 12-song collection of haunting and vocally mesmerising folk and country tracks that sounds like it could be plucked from the USA any time in the past hundred years.
Our release of the week, and a racing certainty to be in our top ten of 2017, is Jason Isbell’s magnificent The Nashville Sound, which follows 2015’s Something More Than Free. This is a songwriter on a relentless march to greatness.
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