Whatever your plans this bank holiday weekend, it’s a pretty great opportunity to catch up on some sweet new sounds. Here are five recent albums for starters.
Foals – ‘What Went Down’
Like 2013’s ’Holy Fire’, Foals’ latest mostly melds big grunge riffs with the band’s signature twiddly guitars. It sounds huge – a proper festival headliners’ album – but a bit flat at times.
Read our full review of Foals’ ‘What Went Down’.
Dr Dre – ‘Compton’
Sixteen years and one cancelled album since his last release, Dre returns with a guest-packed homage to his home town. Old sparring partners Ice Cube, Eminem, Xzibit and Snoop jostle with new talents Anderson Paak, King Mez and Kendrick Lamar. After the scene-setting ‘The Chronic’ and the comeback of ‘2001’, this is a man reflecting on life and his career – and it sounds fantastic.
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Yo La Tengo – ‘Stuff Like That There’
In an era plagued by John Lewis-y rehashes of popular songs, it might seem foolhardy of US indie types YLT to return with a whole album of stripped-down cover versions. But after 30 years and 14 albums, these canny record-collecting nerds know exactly what they’re doing. The heart-stopping standouts here – ‘Before We Stopped to Think’, ‘Naples’ and ‘My Heart’s Not in It’ – are really something.
Beach House – ‘Depression Cherry’
The weird title of the wooze pop-meisters’ fifth album is actually spot on. The whole fuzzy, sepia synth-drenched thing sits between melancholic and sugary – like Belle And Sebastian after too many cans of Monster, or Hot Chip fighting a temazepam coma by jamming to stay awake, or the Beach Boys with teary gin hangovers. All of which, it turns out, sounds surprisingly enticing. Who knew?
Sextile – ‘A Thousand Hands’
North American indie seems to be going through a bit of a goth phase. First Viet Cong emerged from Calgary to bust out dark, psychedelic songs with titles like ‘Silhouettes’ and ‘Death’. Now Sextile have crawled out of LA (not the world’s most goth-friendly city) with a hugely enjoyable debut album that’s heavily inspired by Bauhaus and The Birthday Party. Embrace the dark side and give it a spin.
Read more of the latest Time Out album reviews.