Reviews of all the latest albums

editorial image
0
Have your say

Toye Sivan –Blue Neighbourhood:The South African-born Australian singer found his place on YouTube, where he’s been sharing covers, original songs and videos since 2007 and his hordes of loyal followers won’t be disappointed by his debut Blue Neighbourhood. One of the most captivating things about Sivan is the sincerity in his haunting voice, complemented by gorgeous harmonies and backing melodies. Soft percussion, 80s-inspired keys and synth provide a hazy backing track to songs about falling in love, navigating a relationship and nursing a broken heart. Standout tracks include Wild, an ode to first love; DKLA, a ballad about a tough break up, and Heaven, a track in which Sivan debates whether God will accept his sexuality. These are great pop songs with a gritty edge. Claire Hubble

Lil Bub –Science & Magic:Lil BUB already has a million followers on Instagram, a book, a documentary, a web series and now an album under her belt. For a four-year-old feline, that’s pretty unusual. But then again, Lil BUB isn’t exactly your everyday moggie. Her debut albu sees BUB collaborate with meow-sicians Andrew W.K and Matt Tobey who claim they have harnessed the spirit and soul of the famous cat to express her artistic vision. Yes, the concept is totally bonkers, but what does it sound like? Surprisingly, we don’t hear a lot of Lil BUB’s vocals. There are a few meows here and there, but most of the album is made up of science fiction inspired synth, dreamy Eighties keys and 8-bit inspired electronic blips. A light-hearted combination of cool synth tracks and cat noises. Claire Hubble

Foxtrott – A Taller Us:Foxtrott is the nom de plume of Montreal beat couturiere and mix merchant Marie-Helene l Delorme, an artist raised on hip-hop, but with a taste for catchy pop. With her debut album, Delorme splices and dices to impressive effect, chewing up chart convention and delivering an enriching, arresting sound, still packed with hooks, but emboldened by heavy bursts of bass, stealthy sampling, synths that fizz melody. Think of Robyn for a pop touchstone, or Jessy Lanza for similarities. Perhaps even Ray Of Light-era Madonna. With Driven and Shields, Delorme delivers a pair of icy, skewed but dancefloor-ready tracks. On Heads Under Water, she throws in the kitchen sink, thumping bass bumping up against her own powerful vocals. One to watch, for sure. John Skilbeck

Le Galaxie -Le Club:Irish electro band Le Galaxie have hit the bullseye with an album that makes it virtually impossible to sit still. Lead singer Michael Pope has clearly listened to plenty of Human League records in his time as his monotone croon clearly apes that of Phil Oakey, no bad thing. Superb opener Put the Chain On sets the tone, all throbbing beats and dance grooves, but an extra dimension is the band’s use of guest vocalists, which works a treat. Fellow Irish vocalist Elaine Mai contributes to the excellent Love System, with South African singer Senita Appiakorang appearing on two of the album’s highlights, Tell Me Twice and AM LA. Retro it may be, but Le Club sounds as fresh as the Human League did when they first appeared back in the early Eighties. Great stuff. Kim Mayo

A York Yuletide –The Minster Choir: Enjoy the York Minster tinsel and baubles experience with a programme of 20th century English Christmas music by Walton (All this Time), Rutter (Natvity Carol), Warlock (Lullaby my Jesus), and featuring Herbert Howells’ Three Carol Anthems, and Vaughan Williams’ joyous Fantasia on Christmas Carols. Excellent singing from a large and revitalised Minster Choir, including an expanding girls section, under their conductor, Robert Sharp, with the adult male singers adding many admirable solo sections. Multi-coloured and fulsome organ accompaniment from David Pipe adds the glittering icing to this musical Christmas cake full of your favourite festive music. Regent records provide a big space and typical atmospheric Minster sound.David Denton

Back to the top of the page