With Sleater-Kinney, Noveller, Panda Bear…

Remember when January was a barren month for good new music? Us neither. It’s been all go in 2015, too, and here are six favourite long-players from the first month of the year.

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Björk – ‘Vulnicura’ (pictured, main)
(One Little Indian; released January 20th)

“‘Vulnicura’ is heartbreak made music – a familiar conceptual core, but never something that Björk has made (quite such) a big deal about promoting in her songwriting. She’s summarised the lyrics of this album as ‘so teenage, so simple,’ and there are ample examples of what she means. She continues to fascinate, to wrap the willing listener up in velvet vociferousness, even when the floor’s fallen away beneath her feet.”

Read the full review
Related: Björk: The Complete Guide

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Ghost Culture – ‘Ghost Culture’
(Phantasy/Because; released January 5th)

“By design or not, the album falls into a half-and-half divide. With James Greenwood’s versions of easy listening, he confesses from under the duvet on the breathy ‘How’, where the track squirms between the cracks in walls of sound enveloping a cosy bedroom HQ. ‘Glaciers’ has the potential for mainstream bigness with its bluesy sorrow found wallowing in a digital last chance saloon. 2015 will be anything but.”

Read the full review

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Noveller – ‘Fantastic Planet’
(Fire; released January 26th)

“Noveller is a rare and special artist, obviously talented but taming any and all temptation to go all-out explosive, instead presenting a strange brew of instrumentals both delightfully becalming and playfully boisterous. I feel ‘Fantastic Planet’ long enough after it’s finished, and soon return to its comforting distortions.”

Read the full review

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Sleater-Kinney – ‘No Cities To Love’
(Sub Pop; released January 19th)

“2014 was a shitty year for mainstream rock and pop (just look at those BRIT nominations), and this album has emerged like an antidote to that sickness. Slip just a single dose into your bloodstream and you’ll forget that Royal Blood ever represented great white hopes for a supposedly on-its-arse genre. It blows its competitors out of the water, over the horizon and maroons them where they belong: absolute irrelevance.”

Read the full review
Related: Sleater-Kinney: The Complete Guide

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Jessica Pratt – ‘On Your Own Love Again’
(Drag City; released January 26th)

“For this second outing, now signed to Drag City, Pratt recorded entirely in analogue to a four-track, and the background hiss is once again part of the sound. ‘On Your Own Love Again’ is a timeless record by a remarkable talent only just starting to show what she can do.”

Read the full review

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Panda Bear – ‘Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper’
(Domino; released January 12th)

“A compact, concise return, ‘Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper’ is an enticing document. One of the songwriter’s most overtly gorgeous works, it finds Panda Bear easing into new ground while maintaining his near effortless melodic touch.”

Read the full review
Read our recent interview with Panda Bear

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Honourable mentions, as it’s been that kind of month, to: Gaz CoombesTanya TagaqViet CongDiagramsPinkshinyultrablast and Naplam Death

Read the latest album reviews here

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