Editor's Pick of New Releases, May 2010
Sun is shining, the weather is sweet, yeah, makes you wanna move... Not necessarily to late-90s Brit-winner Finley Quaye, but certainly along with some splendid records released last month. Here's a dozen fine picks from May's new albums crop.
"A statement of consolidation, a neatly segued set that finds Deftones playing to their well-established strengths. It won't blow experienced minds, yet still knocks every pretender to the band's throne into the middle of next week."
"Constantly mutating just when you begin to pin it down, drawing everything around in before rearranging atoms before your very eyes, Cosmogramma proves itself time and time again as mind-meltingly boundless as a black hole."
"For all their occasionally high-falutin' talk of Arthur Russell and Fela Kuti and the Wu-Tang Clan as influences, Foals' victory here is to loosen up and enjoy the moment. After all, the future can be a self-defeating business."
"Live with High Violet, The National's fifth album, for a while and it rewards patience with songs that colour one's waking existence, becoming vivid night-time narratives when curtains are drawn. After a gradual rise to recognition, the Brooklyn-based band has now delivered a potential album of the year."
Gayngs - Relayted
(Jagjaguwar, released 17 May)
Recommended by Rob da Bank
"If you like textured, atmospheric and extremely druggy songs, where discordant saxophones glide soporifically through a pink-purple glow of narcotic keyboards, vocals flapping lazily overhead like stoned alien birds... then you are in for a treat."
"This is surprisingly taut - nine tracks, most around four minutes long - incredibly disciplined for an RnB artist, unheard of for a dance act. And it only improves with further listens, the rich layering revealing itself and the hooks bedding in. It's a sensual and exhilarating album."
"The fierce integrity exhibited by both could have led to a clashing of egos - but Distant Relatives is the result of a harmonious union, as if these performers had been recording together for several albums. It succeeds where previous "Artist A feat. Artist B" efforts have not."
"A gauzy tendency dominates this second album, and by going light on oppressive darkness, Crystal Castles have allowed their obvious skill for writing dramatic pop with weird inflections twinkle through, helped along by more than just blazing anger."
"There's a bewitching, precocious charm about Conor O'Brien's debut album as Villagers. Having served his indie rock apprenticeship with The Immediate, the Dubliner's solo offering is a different beast altogether and exudes an aura of maturity that belies his tender age."
Rolo Tomassi - Cosmology
(Hassle, released 24 May)
Recommended by Huw Stephens
"By the time Cosmology comes to a close it's like the Sheffield quintet has morphed into a completely different band. Compare its closer to the brutal, eardrum-battering attack music that makes up the rest of the record and you wouldn't believe it could be done."
"Opener Sometimes I Don't Need to Believe in Anything is fabulous, the guitar thrum and crisp beat creating a sort of organic motorik pulse, before the heavens open and the chorus breaks through like sunshine after the rain. It is as great a track as any TFC have ever recorded."
Kings Go Forth - The Outsiders Are Back
(Luaka Bop, released 31 May)
Recommended by Craig Charles Funk & Soul Show
"Rousing, noisy rambunctious funk, and its passion is matched by the skill and subtlety of the arrangement - KFG understand perfectly that the best funk sounds so spontaneous because it's been meticulously put together."