New releases for 26 January 2024

This week’s six smashers open with Polaroid Lovers, the seventh studio album from four-time Grammy-winner Sarah Jarosz. Produced by Daniel Tashian, Polaroid Lovers is a bold creative statement that sees Jarosz exploring new sonic territory. The 11 songs on the album, all co-written by Jarosz with songwriters including Tashian, Jon Randall, Ruston Kelly and Natalie Hemby, touch on themes both personal and universal: love, longing and finding one’s place in the world.

On Kula Shaker’s new album, Natural Magick, the band harness the power to cast their most potent spell yet, incorporating blazing psychedelic sermons, raga rave-ups, stardust-coated pop pearls and mood-enhancing mantras. Kula Shaker reformed permanently in 2021 with the return of keyboard wizard Jay Darlington, reuniting all four members of the band’s classic line-up for the first time since 1999.

People Who Aren’t There Anymore heralds a new chapter for Future Islands, who continue to challenge themselves and each other nearly two decades after they first formed. Where they’ve pursued ever-higher energy anthems in the past, they’ve turned inward this time, and unlocked a new level of ferocity, delivering some of their most inspiring and most heartbreaking tracks by doing the opposite: taking their time, making each breath, each syllable, each cymbal crash count. The result is a powerful, defining statement from a group of musicians who have made the best album of their career.

Known for their unique blend of punk rock, post-punk, folk, alternative rock and all kinds of musical sub-cultures, New Model Army refuses to belong to any club or style. NMA’s latest album, Unbroken, features a diverse collection of tracks that touch on topics ranging from social and political commentary to deeply personal reflections. The album is a powerful and emotionally intense body of work ranging from rebellious tracks as ‘I Did Nothing Wrong’ to contemplative songs like ‘First Summer After’. With this album, the band continues to push the boundaries of their signature sound while staying true to the themes that have made them a force to be reckoned with in the music world.

After conquering the charts and claiming the number one trophy last time out with What’s Rock and Roll?, Sheffield sensations The Reytons are back with their third full-length album, Ballad of a Bystander. “We’re once again releasing 100% independently, with no label backing. Let’s get out there and do it all again! #AllReytons

Our release of the week is Wall of Eyes, the new album from The Smile, the supergroup consisting of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood with jazz percussionist Tom Skinner. The album was recorded between Oxford and Abbey Road Studios, and was produced and mixed Sam Petts-Davies. It features string arrangements by the London Contemporary Orchestra. The album is the follow-up to their 2022 debut, A Light for Attracting Attention.

The Smile - Wall of EyesSarah Jarosz - Polaroid LoversKula Shaker - Natural MagickFuture Islands - People Who Aren’t There AnymoreNew Model Army - UnbrokenThe Reytons - Ballad of a Bystander

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