Read about our 6 favourite new music releases for the month of April, as opposed to our normal 4 albums plus an oldie. ‘In case you missed it’ returns next month. Listen to the tracks at the end of the post or download or stream these songs this month…
Song: Bad Guy
From album: When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
Billie Eilish epitomises the term ‘wunderkind’. The LA native is already a successful model and Instagram and TV star. Oh, and she put out her debut single at age 14. Now 17, she brings us her debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? The immediate assumption on learning of her age and listening to the music is that this is manufactured stuff and she has had a pile of help from some kind of super band of producers out there. Not True. The entire record was written and produced by Eilish together with her brother, Finneas O’Connell. At age 21, O’Connell also fits the wunderkind mould having penned hit singles for numerous artists as well as having starred in movies and various TV series including Modern Family and Glee. The music they produce together is super-contemporary pop-electronica, minimalist and bass-led. While at times Eilish’s youthfulness leaks through via the lyrics, it’s more teenage sass than get-over-yourself-teenage-angst. Take the exclamation of ‘duh!’ immediately following each chorus of latest single Bad Guy as an example. Believe us when we predict that this will be massive. Eilish will be one of the names of the year.
(Also download or stream from the album: Bury A Friend, You Should See Me In A Crown, My Strange Addiction)
The Japanese House
Song: Maybe You’re The Reason
From album: Good At Falling
The Japanese House is the UK’s Amber Bain – she grabbed the name after staying at Kate Winslett’s holiday home (go figure). On debut album Maybe You’re The Reason she sounds like a cross between Beach House and Imogen Heap. Pristine dreampop with delicate electronic and guitar backing. Bain herself plays most of the instruments and wrote most of the tracks. She also had some production help from the lads from The 1975, and Matty Healy appears as co-vocalist on album track Faraway. Indeed, The 1975 have acted as informal mentors to Bain having enlisted her to be the opening act on their tours on a number of occasions. Lead single Maybe You’re The Reason is perfect wistful remembrance of love past.
(Also download or stream from the album: You Seemed So Happy, Follow My Girl, Lilo)
Song: Interlude: Turkish Delight
From album: Fantasy & Facts
Interludes are normally those places on albums where artists park their short, instrumental noodles, a way of demonstrating to us that they’re real musicians. On Turkish Delight, the debut album from Britain’s Roses Gabor, the two interludes are the best things to be found on here. Fully fledged tracks in their own right that surprisingly weren’t released as singles. Gabor was born Rosemary Wilson to Grenadian parents. Until now she has mostly been seen as a feature vocalist on tracks by such other artists as Gorillaz and SBTRKT (she sang the lead on Gorillaz’ Dare in the guise of animated character Noodles). She brings much of the slightly off-kilter dance vibe from her former hosts through to her own album. Near title track Interlude: Turkish Delight is a club-ready anthem of today.
(Also download or stream from the album: Interlude: Awkward Desire, Perfect Magnitude, I Could Be Yours)
Karen O & Danger Mouse
Song: Turn The Light
From album: Lux Prima
Karen O and Danger Mouse have been super-collaborators for some time now, partnering with a diverse range of artists and across a broad number of styles. No surprise then that their paths were to cross at some time. What is a surprise is the quality of their combined effort. Lux Prima sounds nothing like anything either of the 2 protagonists have ever done before. Karen O has a great voice, but often wastes her talent on more traditional rock fare. This album finds her covered in a blanket of lush past sounds, ethereal and magical, allowing her to occupy front spot and express her gorgeous range. Danger Mouse is Brian Burton, producer to the stars. Here he allows himself to produce something timeless and classy. Hopefully this won’t prove to be a once-off.
(Also download or stream from the album: Leopard’s Tongue, Redeemer, Ministry)
These New Puritans
Song: Inside The Rose
From album: Inside The Rose
Inside The Rose is the 4th album from England’s These New Puritans. It is by some margin their most listenable and likeable. After 2008’s post punk Beat Pyramid, 2010’s gothic war music manifesto Hidden and 2013’s chamber music-led Field Of Reeds, the band have now pared down to a core of twin brothers Jack and George Barnett. Whether it’s the thinned down line-up, or merely a desire to make something that is more widely accessible we don’t know, but gone are the odd time signatures and strange vocal tics. In their place we find a thing of majestic beauty. For one, it seems that Jack Barnett has actually learned how to sing. For another, the backing leans towards the sparkling and euphoric. Even the 3 singles sound as if they could get some radio play. More late-night than drive-time mind, but catchy hooks abound nonetheless. Best of the bunch is the title track which is accompanied by a seriously PG-rated video.
(Also download or stream from the album: Infinity Vibraphones, Where The Trees Are On Fire, Into The Fire)
Song: Baby Blu
From album: Miss Universe
London-based Nilüfer Yanya has released a series of highly acclaimed singles and EPs since 2014. As a result, expectations were naturally high for her debut long-player. And she doesn’t disappoint. This is no casual round-up of prior offerings. Rather, she has steered her palette away from the whimsical acousto-folk leanings that defined her sound to date. Here then we find chillwave (Baby Blu), soaring indie (In Your Head), jazzy inflections (Paralysed) and twisted balladry (Heavyweight Champion Of The World). Born to Turkish parents (which would explain the somewhat difficult-to-pronounce name) Yanya began playing the guitar at a very young age. Thankfully she declined an offer of joining a girl-group under construction by Louis Tomlinson of One Direction fame and stuck to her own path. Quite what a teen audience would have made of her quirky style and angsty lyrics is anyone’s guess. A talent that we for sure haven’t heard the last of.
(Also download or stream from the album: Paralysed, Heavyweight Champion Of The World, Angels)
LISTEN TO OUR PLAYLIST
You can listen to previews of each track by clicking on the icons next to the song titles below.
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RELATED POSTS: See more of our music reviews here.