I’m not enough of a full on muso to anticipate the arrival of many albums (if any at all) and my iPod is full of odd singles I’ve heard on the radio and downloaded in a fit of obsession, before they date terribly and I never listen to them again (looking at you, David Guetta songs, circa 2010). However the bounty of autumn’s musical harvest is worth the wait, with long anticipated second albums and surprising debuts aplenty. Here’s what I’ll be commuting to for the coming months:
alt-J – This Is All Yours
The discordant triangular techno-meets-rock-meets-pretentious literary references alt-J return with their second album this month, entitled This Is All Yours. Their first, An Awesome Wave, was indeed awesome and I played it to death. It also taught me the word ‘tesselate’, and who doesn’t appreciate music that expands your vocabulary too?
This Is All Yours is a weird record; understandable, as alt-J are pretty weird. Stand-out tracks are undoubtedly singles Hunger of the Pine, Every Other Freckle (hilarious lyrics) and Left Hand Free – the rest of the album is a bit of a grower to be honest, with forgettable musical rambles and random instrumental interludes throughout. But on the strength of both the last album and the singles, I’m saying it’s worth playing on repeat for a bit before passing your verdict.
Jessie Ware – Tough Love
Jessie Ware has been knocking around for a while now, with most people a-ware (get it?) of her single ‘Wildest Moments’. Her second album Tough Love came out in August but with recent release ‘Say You Love Me’ getting a fair amount of radio play, we can assume the album is about to make a bit more of an impact too. Ware collaborated with Ed Sheeran, and we all know that it’s a rule of the universe that all of his songs must hit the top ten, even when released by someone else (One Direction = serial offenders). Either way, Tough Love is a cool, understated, soulful offering.
Ben Howard – I Forget Where We Were
The noise I make when I think about Ben Howard is something like, ‘ahaw’. He’s just so damn cute and sad and small. Well, I don’t really know if he is actually small, but he’s such an anti-showman, I can’t help but want to cuddle him. His long awaited album I Forget Where We Were is out in October and I cannot wait. Every Kingdom was a highlight of 2011, and whilst new material has been trickling in here and there, the time was well ripe for a new full tracklist. The single of the same name is just a great song, and Ben performed the entire album on Radio 1 a few weeks ago. There is less of a hippy, campside vibe this time around, with a bit more sinister undertones here and there, which is actually quite refreshing. Its actually quirte difficult to fine someone who doesn’t like Ben Howard, and I Forget Where We Were is set to only increase his following.
Tove Lo – Queen of the Clouds
All credit to my sister for this one, as she introduced me to Tove Lo. She was recently in the UK charts with ‘Stay High’, the slightly odd trance-y remix of her own song ‘Habits’. Tove Lo, from Sweden, is actually quite prolific, writing songs for Girls Aloud, Icona Pop and all sorts. Clearly however, she kept the good stuff for herself as her breakout EP Truth Serum is brilliant. Pure power pop, it’s music to sing really loudly in your car or shower. The production is pretty great, and Tove’s sheer fury at break ups and drunken fights is infectious. Queen of the Clouds is actually only out in the US this month (boo) but it’s predecessor Truth Serum has six great tracks to be getting on with until the full new album arrives in the UK in the new year.