Our pick of the month that was…

A bumper crop of commendable new album releases, these being our top six selections from the month of May 2014…

Click the image above to scroll through album covers. Click artist names for related content.

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Sharon Van Etten – ‘Are We There’
(Jagjaguwar, released May 26th)

“The varying styles, sounds and even delivery suggest an artist still exploring the skin she lives in. It’s a truly fascinating listen.”

Read the full Clash review
Listen to ‘Are We There’ on Deezer

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Ben Frost – ‘A U R O R A’
(Mute/Bedroom Community, released May 26th)

“Nothing Frost’s released before this has resonated with such life, such energy and desire for breaching an invisible barrier separating the extraordinary from the wholly otherworldly.”

Read the full Clash review
Read an interview with Ben Frost
Listen to ‘A U R O R A’ on Deezer

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tUnE-yArDs – ‘Nikki Nack’
(4AD, released May 5th)

“Packed full of unusual harmonies and unexpected progressions the overall energy displayed here is infectious. It’s heaps of fun, a playfully chanted children’s chorus of song. Invigorating, wilful and wildly exuberant…”

Read the full Clash review
Listen to ‘Nikki Nack’ on Deezer

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Swans – ‘To Be Kind’
(Mute, released May 12th)

“Frontman Michael Gira’s ever-abstract lyrics give plenty of room for interpretation throughout. Imagine Karlheinz Stockhausen’s jarring classicism, Captain Beefheart's twisted blues, and the industrialism of Einstürzende Neubauten coalescing into a swirling musical miasma. Near perfection.”

Read the full Clash review
Read an interview with Michael Gira
Listen to ‘To Be Kind’ on Deezer

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Douglas Dare – ‘Whelm’
(Erased Tapes, released May 12th)

“Dare’s powerful voice is largely kept high in the mix, curling around songs like another instrument while his trusty piano keeps order. This is an album that is in turns both richly emotive and beguilingly, bewitchingly uneasy.”

Read the full Clash review
Clash Premiere: ‘Lungful’ video
Listen to ‘Whelm on Deezer

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Plaid – ‘Reachy Prints’
(Warp, released May 19th)

“Comfortable in their 20-year career, Andy Turner and Ed Handley have their controls set to ‘cerebral’ and no one cares to intervene. ‘Reachy Prints’ is yet another artful and aerial treasure.”

Read the full Clash review
Read an interview with Plaid
Listen to ‘Reachy Prints’ on Deezer

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Sharon Van Etten photo: Dusdin Condren

Clash’s album reviews can be found here. Maybe not a great place to be if you’re a big fan of Kasabian or Coldplay.

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