After an unbelievable summer of music, we look ahead to a few of September and October’s most exciting new releases.
SBTRKT, Wonder Where We Land, 22 September
Recorded almost entirely on the island of Osea, off the Essex coast, SBTRKT’s second full-length offering makes the three-year wait since 2011’s From Arctic to Alpine feel totally worth it. Behind the mask, Aaron Jerome reckons Wonder Where We Land is a sonic progression from the UK bass sound that underpinned his thick-cut, and very successful debut. “The first album was about stripping things to the basics. With this one I wanted to make a more immersive record that fills your headspace.”
Joining him over an LP that feels more RnB than we’ve heard from SBTRKT before, Jerome’s guest vocalists this time round include the returning Jessie Ware and Sampha, along with, amongst others, Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend. “Never seen the colour yellow, never seen the sun”: Koenig’s brilliant vocals on the single NEW DORP. NEW YORK sit right at home between the heavy synths and unflinching pulse of Wonder Where We Land.
Be sure to catch SBTRKT at the Théâtre Trianon in Paris on 18th November – our guide, packages and all the details can be found here.
Zola Jesus, Taiga, 6 October
Apparently, recording albums on near-inaccessible islands is in vogue. Sharing SBTRKT’s isolation-seeking artistic method, Nika Roza Danilova headed for Vashon Island in the state of Washington to put together what she thinks is her grandest, most straight-laced LP to date. “The music on the record is massive, with big brass and beats, crystal clear vocals… It’s the most accessible music I’ve ever made, but also the most earnest and passionate. I gave everything for this record, more than ever before.”
If that’s true, then Taiga is gonna be one hell of a journey. It’s difficult to imagine tracks like Vessel from 2011’s Conatus being any more full of an artist whose classical and punk roots ring distinct in the background of her driving, grinding electro-pop style. That said, new single Dangerous Days feels like a brand new exploration for an artist whose style has grown and developed on every one of her four previous albums. The epic video for Dangerous Days signals exciting things to come.
Alt-J, This is All Yours, 22 September
Holding a steady course through their own brand of progressive electro indie-pop into their second studio album would have been a daunting enough task anyway, even without the loss of guitarist/bassist Gwil Sainsbury in January of this year. But that seems to have been a challenge the remaining members were more than up to, with This is All Yours looking every inch a worthy successor to 2012’s An Awesome Wave.
July’s release Hunger of the Pine retains the unpredictable and softly prominent vocals that characterised the band’s early sound, while the straighter pop sounds of Left Hand Free and Every Other Freckle show alt-J at their free-flowing best.
Flying Lotus, You’re Dead!, 6 October
Steven Ellison’s Eastern-influenced, avant-garde blend of jazz, RnB, hip-hop and electronic music have consistently produced records that hold it all together in a mastery of timing and rhythm. Ellison’s newest collaborators – Snoop Dogg, Herbie Hancock, Kendrick Lemar – lend a mainstream endorsement to You’re Dead! but Flying Lotus remains firmly within a realm all of its own, playing by conventions that no-one else has agreed upon and creating yet another work of genius.
The compulsive Never Catch Me, the album’s herald-bearer, pretty much says it all. Energy and density are not in short supply, and it’ll probably take a few spins to wrap our heads around the full album.
Caribou, Our Love, 6 October
Dan Snaith has kept us all waiting for four years. His fifth album since the switch of moniker from Manitobato Caribou, the 10-track Our Love mixes the clear-laden, minimal sound that has marked all of Snaith’s work with an even deeper and more soulful push.
The surface landscapes of short, simple vocal loops sit above uncluttered yet complex pieces, full of emotion and compelling rhythm. Can’t Do Without You and title track Our Love have rippled the wave ahead of the 6th October release date, and take it from us: the album does not disappoint.
Packages are still available to see Caribou live at Pitchfork Paris 2014 just a few weeks after the release of Our Love. Make sure you don’t miss out by booking yourself in here.