5 Great Albums That May Have Passed You By This Week
New albums from The Go! Team, Errors, Ryley Walker and more
You know about the big releases each week, but what about those smaller albums which may have passed underneath your radar. Don’t miss out on the smaller, lesser-known gems which might become some of your favourites. We’ve rounded up six of the best new album releases from this week: catch up with former electro-punks Errors, retro Chicago troubadour Ryley Walker and more.
The Go! Team – The Scene Between
Ever since 2004’s debut ‘Thunder, Lightning, Strike’, The Go! Team have felt like a jagged squiggle of musical whiteboard brainstorming. Fourth album ‘The Scene Between’ feels like band mastermind Ian Parton trying to pull focus on the often infuriating eclecticism of the six-piece’s sound, writing everything himself for the first time since 2004. The fidgeting is toned down on the title-track and ‘Blowtorch’, and rapper Ninja’s clattering delivery has fallen away in favour of what Parton calls “hooks with a wobbly VHS feel”. However, frenzied excitement still prevails. It’s all so deliriously ‘up’ that even ‘The Art Of Getting By’ – a song about Californian suicide cult Heaven’s Gate – makes you feel like you’re riding an ice cream van into a city populated by anthropomorphic Sherbet Dib Dabs.
Errors – Lease Of Life
Starting out as jittery electro-punk instrumentalists, Glasgow trio Errors shed the last of their itchy guitar funk on 2012’s luminous ‘Have Some Faith In Magic’. Fourth album ‘Lease Of Life’ pushes their rich electronic grooves further into humid dancefloor territory, with the chirruping synths and echoing vocals of the title track reminiscent of latter-day Animal Collective. Steev Livingstone has a tendency to murmur, but deadpan clarity from guest vocalists Bek Oliva (from Edinburgh trio Magic Eye) and Glasgow singer Cecilia Stamp pulls the record into focus. Thirteen-minute finale ‘Through The Knowledge Of Those Who Observe Us’ is the crowning glory of their career best album, a rippling, choir assisted epic that unfolds into a looping, late night voyage of sax and guitar.
Ryley Walker – Primrose Green
There’s something highly contemporary about the way Chicago guitarist Ryley Walker gets his retro-ness so absolutely dead-on. Whether he’s a vintage vinyl freak or a download junkie, he hasn’t found this sound by accident: he’s only in his mid-twenties, but he has an uncanny feel for the triangulation of folk, jazz and blues that came from the fleet fingers of Bert Jansch and John Fahey back in the ’60s. ‘Primrose Green’, Walker’s second album, was recorded with a crack team of local musos, and both the playing and production have the lithe, loose feel of a lost album by British folk-jazz group Pentangle. Occasionally veering into electrified distortion (‘Sweet Satisfaction’), even Walker’s more tender, Nick Drake-ish moments (‘Love Can Be Cruel’) seem gnarled beyond their creator’s years.
Formation – Young Ones EP
Formation first emerged in July 2014, with a low-key white label 12” EP of which only 300 copies were made. On lead track ‘Waves’, the south London twin brothers created a warm but restless take on funk, disco and soul. Debut EP ‘Young Ones’ offers more of the same. Arthur Russell’s Dinosaur L disco project is a clear touchstone on the title track, with taut drumbeats skipping into thwacked cowbell as synths flash over the top. The five-minute ‘Take It All Away’ is swampier, unfolding like something from fellow south Londoner King Krule’s ‘6 Feet Beneath The Moon’ album. The loungey ‘No Great Change’ is marginally faster, but the snappy funk of closer ‘Back Then’ ensures ‘Young Ones’ ends on a high.
Lonelady – Hinterland
When Julie Campbell released her excellent Lonelady debut ‘Nerve Up’ on Warp in 2010, its jerky guitars and uncomplicated beats stood apart from their core roster of electronica artists, such as Autechre and Aphex Twin. So does follow-up ‘Hinterland’, which deals in muscular riffs, lustful baselines and simple programmed drums throughout. Campbell recorded the album at Concrete Retreat, her tower-block home studio in Manchester, overlooking a motorway flyover. Tracks like ‘Mortar Remembers You’ convey the bleakness of the situation (“I had to build a room to contain all the panic”), but Campbell’s voice and the persistent whirling synths infuse the desolation with compelling energy.