The Big Read

The Big Read – Mumford And Sons: “We’ve thought a lot about mortality this year”

Mumford And Sons are back – but not as we know them. Having ditched the folk sound that made them famous – and the arena rock that followed – new album 'delta', out now, is an eclectic tone piece that even shimmies into r&B. Jordan Bassett learns how personal experience, politics and the grenfell tower disaster had the four-piece contemplating life from a different perspective.

The Big Read – Muse: Together in electric dreams

If life is a video game, Muse are winning. A festival-headlining British rock behemoth, they've just released an album, 'simulation theory' – their eighth – that cements their reputation as the black mirror beatles. but while vr headsets, visions of the singularity and concerns about autocratic government are worthy distractions, it's the friendship between the three members that holds the band together, finds Tom Connick.

The Big Read – The 1975: “I could never let heroin be part of my identity. Junkies are losers”

When Matty, George, Ross and Adam set out to make ‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships’, it set them on a course of discovery and introspection that would change their lives. Dan Stubbs heads to LA to hear how friendship, addiction and two weeks with a noble horse has resulted in The 1975 making not one but two new albums that might just change the world, too.

The Big Read – Jeff Goldblum: sex and drugs and jazz piano

You've seen him in Jurassic Park and the fly. You may have posed for a selfie with the statue of him by the Thames this summer. But Jeff Goldblum has a hitherto little-known sideline as a jazz performer – and his debut album is out today. Kevin EG Perry meets Goldblum in LA to talk sex, drugs and underage jazz bar piano tinkling, and finds a man whose sense of wonder is utterly undiminished.

The Big Read – Ray BLK: “There is no better revenge than success”

Born in Nigeria and raised in South London, Ray BLK’s music mixes street smarts with a message of empowerment for her fans. Her eight-track ‘Empress’ project is an empowering statement of intent, but she has world-beating mainstream success in her sights, she tells Jordan Bassett.

The Big Read – Robyn: “I danced a lot on my own”

After eight years away the pop icon and person who gave us the perfection of ‘Dancing on my own’ is back with a new album, ‘Honey’. El Hunt meets Robyn to talk loss, love, football and what it’s like being queen of the misfits.

The Big Read – Tom Morello: “If we can’t punch Nazis, who can we punch really?”

We know Rage Against The Machine firebrand Tom Morello as a shredder – of guitars and of oppression, big business, climate change deniers, bigoted politicians and – famously – Simon Cowell’s designs on the 2009 Christmas Number One spot. In one of the year’s most surprising reinventions, he’s just released an EDM album – but he remains utterly righteous, finds Tom Connick

The Big Read – St Vincent: The MASSEDUCATION of Annie Clark

As St Vincent rebirths her acclaimed album ‘MASSEDUCTION’ from a sci-fi rock fever dream into the stripped down salon music of ‘MASSEDUCATION’, Annie Clark talks to Andrew Trendell about artistry, her public image, ‘wiping the sword clean’, and how things are about to get ‘JUST. REALLY. HEAVY’.

The Big Read – Halsey: “I can be feminine and delicate but also really fucking dangerous”

As she marks the end of a long, long tour with the revelatory new single ‘Without Me’, righteous pop star Halsey hits London and Berlin to meet fans, play shows – and get a fierce new tattoo of a dagger. It means “don’t fuck with me”, she tells Douglas Greenwood

The Big Read – Christine And The Queens: “I’m horny, and I desire, and I’m sad, and happy, and joyful”

Reinvented as Chris, the randy protagonist of her second album of the same name, Christine And The Queens’ Héloïse Lettisier has embraced '80s funk and pan-sexuality to five-star effect (see our review). But, the morning after a Brief Encounter-style moment at a London train station, she’s got romance on the brain too, finds Emma Madden