Hurts, Summer Camp, Sufjan Stevens – This Week’s New Albums Rated

Laura Snapes rounds up the key albums released in the UK on Monday 6 September. Read our reviews by clicking on the headlines

Hurts -‘Happiness’
There’s the odd barney over what goes on the NME stereo, though it never really goes much further than the odd yell of, “OH NOT AGAIN” when ‘Surfing The Void’ goes on for the eighth time in an afternoon. When it comes to ‘Happiness’ though, battlelines have been drawn. The haters don headphones by means of armour against its icy key changes, whereas the Hurts fanclub contingent clench their fists and weep a single tear into their keyboards whenever it comes on. Fronting the pro-Hurts brigade is Luke Lewis, who declares that ‘Happiness’ is all pleasure, and no guilt.
Listen to Hurts, ‘Happiness’

target=”_blank”>Summer Camp – ‘Young’
If there’s one band that we’ve all got our collective plaid pantaloons in a tizz over, it’s Summer Camp. It’s been nearly an entire year since their first three demos went up on MySpace, several of which are collected here for their first EP. Jamie Fullerton deems it “a gust of chillwave-fresh air”.

target=”_blank”>Sufjan Stevens – ‘All Delighted People EP’
When writing about his new, unannounced EP popping its head out of the interweb, many referred to it as his first new material in five years, dismissing ‘Songs For Christmas’ and the rather splendiferous ‘The BQE’ on account of their being concept albums – but then so are most of Sufjan’s records… Anyway, says Laura Snapes, the only thing that differentiates the ‘All Delighted People EP’ from the rest of his catalogue is that, frankly, it just isn’t very good.

Robyn – ‘Body Talk Pt 2’
So many big fancypants pop concept records end up being unforgivably onanistic and flabby; not Robyn’s ‘Body Talk’ series however – as Dan Martin says, it’d be hard for her to top ‘Dancing On My Own’, but by gum has she made a jolly good stab at it on ‘Pt 2’…

Smoke Fairies – ‘Through Low Light And Trees’
At NME, we pride ourselves on being well researched to the point of abject stalkerism. But, as Rob Webb says, sometimes that can distract from the delightful fact-defying mystery that certain albums throw up, like this beguilingly dark, witchy offering from Smoke Fairies that belies their heritage as normal Chichester ladies.

Imaad Wasif – ‘The Voidist’
Grizzly Bear-style introspection and Muse-esque melodrama? Katherine Rodgers reckons Karen O’s bud Imaad has all the snazzy indie tropes necessary for a bona fide hit.

target=”_blank”>Roots Manuva Meets Wrongtom – ‘Duppy Writer’
Any album with a Hard-Fi collaborator on it was never going to be up to much. As Pete Cashmore says, much of ‘Duppy Writer’ is predictable, sagging fare, but that doesn’t stop it from being perfect summer boozing material. Shame it’s not summer any more then, eh…

Stone Sour – ‘Audio Secrecy’
Given that Slipknot frontman Corey Haim is in Stone Sour, it’d be shocking if they were anything other than utterly competent. Shame then, says Dan Martin, that they use that proficiency for such horrible tales of misogyny and over-aged emo-isms.

The Pipettes – ‘Earth Vs The Pipettes’
At least when the Sugababes lost all their original members, they maintained some semblance of sound so as not to confuse the kids. Not The Pipettes, however, who as well as trading ’60s doo-woppin’ for a spacey, err, concept (let’s use that term loosely, eh…), have lost any trace of what ever made them fun and frolicsome in the first place, says Gavin Haynes.

Crippled Black Phoenix – ‘I, Vigilante’
Rousing stuff from Geoff Barrow’s Invada label, says Chris Parkin, who finds CBP’s fifth a rollicking – if occasionally difficult – call to arms.