You’ll have heard this month’s big releases from the likes of Hurts and Rudimental, but what about some of the albums that might have passed you by? Here’s some of the best records released in October that you can’t afford to sleep on.
Demob Happy – Dream Soda
For every histrionic ‘Rock is Back!’ headline coined in the wake of Royal Blood’s anomalous chart success, there’s a band like Demob Happy, to whom it never occurred that rock was ever anywhere but in the marrow of their bones. Like the first, best, Queens Of The Stone Age record, the Brighton group’s debut album is a riotous, vomit-crusted affair.
Eagles Of Death Metal – Zipper Down
That Josh Homme and Jesse Hughes have stretched the sound of them making each other laugh to four albums is an impressive feat. It wouldn’t work if it didn’t entertain, and with ‘Zipper Down’ these rock ‘n’ roll deviants do exactly that. This is fun and filthy in equal measure, with enough hooks to hang Kanye West’s entire AW15 wardrobe from.
Protomartyr – The Agent Intellect
Second album ‘Under Color Of Official Right’ exhibited the bleak blare of The Fall and Joy Division and was possibly the most British-sounding record to ever come from Detroit. While ‘The Agent Intellect’ is no idle rewrite, Protomartyr sound happy just to hone their ample strengths – seasick choruses, dramatic goth guitars and icy blasts of noise.
Deerhunter – Fading Frontier
Deerhunter’s seventh album is bleak, and full of lyrics about being overwhelmed, or giving in. It’s a bittersweet and remarkable record and while you wouldn’t want to live on this frontier, there’s something about the desolate beauty of the place that keeps calling you back regardless.
Real Lies – Real Life
Proudly based in north London, 20-somethings Real Lies get their kicks as much from taking a stand against creeping urban gentrification as they do partying through from Friday until Monday. ‘Real Life’ is an album of two halves – reflective and rowdy – and borrows influence from touchstones as eclectic as Pet Shop Boys, Oasis and reggae.
Fuzz – II
On the second album from Ty Segall’s psych-rock power trio, things are more extreme – longer, louder and darker. The double-album depicts a society numbed by its own emptiness; a world where people can’t think for themselves. You can hear it in the combative frustration behind ‘Red Flag’ and the flashes of fatalism in songs like ‘New Flesh’.
Joanna Newsom – Divers
‘Divers’, Joanna Newsom’s unusually tight fourth album, is full of lofty concepts, but her crafty tales, signposted by ornate folk arrangements, rarely outpace your imagination. On it, she sound like the warped country of ‘Hejira’-era Joni Mitchell or the wild Greenwich Village folk of Karen Dalton, blending both into a marvellous masterpiece.
EL VY – Return To The Moon
On his new collaboration with Portland scenester Brent Knopf, The National’s Matt Berninger examines his cultivated rock star persona with his mainstay band through self-awareness and surreal wit. The record’s rife with irony-laced references, inventive art-rock and hints of afrobeat, and is an enthralling coming together of musical minds.
Roots Manuva – Bleeds
Rodney Smith first emerged on the UK hip-hop scene in the mid-’90s, but his sixth album is anything but tired. Instead, it explores fresh avenues, inviting Four Tet and Switch to help on production and using strings and harpsichords to create a lush sense of luxury in places.
Pure Bathing Culture – Pray For Rain
Portland duo Pure Bathing Culture follow 2012’s self-titled debut with this, a record richer than its predecessor in every sense. There’s not much going on, but the band’s knack for warm melody means you can get lost in every track. ‘The Tower’ and ‘Clover’ charm most, timeless pop songs that move slowly, as if they’ve been out in the sun for too long.