Justin Vernon’s third Bon Iver album is a weird and wonderful thing
Kaiser Chiefs: Ruby
The Monkeys’ (sort of) uncles return with a real gem
Not that New Yorkshire’s finest ever seemed likely to ‘do a Darkness’. A rollicking guitar-pop hit in classic Kaisers mode, ‘Ruby’ comes from the same numbskull school of pop composition as Oasis’ ‘Lyla’. Which, in roadie speak, means putting a bird’s name in the title rarely fails.
Starting with the riff to The Faces ‘Stay With Me’, it morphs into an ‘Oh My God’-style stomper, where Ricky discovers that being famous means he’s falling for the sort of woman not usually found on the night bus. “Could it be that you’re joking with me/And you don’t really see you and me”, he pleads, and the vulnerability which endeared us t’Chiefs in the first place is suddenly re-instated.
While all this may not sound too zeitgeistular, it’s a sign the Kaisers have both grown musical muscles and exited Novelty Island in the nick of time. Big and clever, the Kaisers won’t be going the way of the dinosaurs for a while yet.
With their bigger and better second album, London-based indie/dance band Boxed In have earned their breakout moment
Islamic mythology meets the horror of war in this claustrophobic, low-budget spine-tingler
California’s coolest lift their usual murk on a free-spirited, adventurous third album at odds with its ‘mature’ description
The New York new wave reprobates’ debut delivers instant gratification via boisterous choruses and loveable melodies