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 DMA’s Britpop homage, Sunflower Bean’s hypnotic psych and more.
DMA’s – DMA’s
There are, you’ll note when listening to the DMA’s debut EP, moments when the Australian trio resemble early Oasis. Liam Gallagher circa 1994 is right there in Tommy O’Dell’s voice on ‘Feels Like 37’. What you’ll also note is how much they sound like any number of Britpop bands whose main reason to exist can be summed up like so: massive choruses. ‘Your Low’ is a take on Blur’s ‘Coffee & TV’, ‘Laced’ does romance like The La’s did it and ‘The Plan’ has its way with The Coral. Best, though, is ‘Delete’, which builds to something glorious. “You know that I belong to be, reflections of myself,” sings O’Dell. It makes no sense at all, but since when did that matter?
Bleachers – Strange Desire
Fun. guitarist Jack Antonoff says he named this solo project after the tiered seating found at US high school sports fields because he wanted to tap into the “disconnected, darker side” of American adolescence. Though he sings about “boys at home with broken hearts” on the Springsteen-esque ‘Rollercoaster’, this ’80s-inspired pop album isn’t dark, just nostalgic and unabashedly romantic. Guest vocals from Yoko Ono on glitchy piano ballad ‘I’m Ready To Move On/Wild Heart Reprise’ and previous collaborator Grimes on ‘Take Me Away’’s dreamy electro decorate his more experimental moments, but tracks like ‘Shadow’ and ‘Wild Heart’ are so catchy, they could slot comfortably onto the John Hughes movie soundtracks he clearly wants Bleachers to evoke.
Communions – Summer’s Oath EP
Communions hail from Copenhagen, but you’d be forgiven for thinking the Danish quartet had been raised in Manchester on a diet of The Stone Roses. On ‘Forget It’s A Dream’, the opening track on this new five-song EP, baggy beats and drawled lyrics swirl between guitar lines pickpocketed from John Squire. ‘Wherever’ chimes with optimism that’s backed up by frontman Martin Rehof’s assertions of “My heart, it never sleeps”, while the title track slinks towards the shadows, Frederik Lind Köppen’s pummelling drums creating a threatening atmosphere matched by thundering bass and post-punk guitars that recall Joy Division. Closer ‘Out Of My World’ is a Cure-esque exercise in unrequited love. A brilliant, Continental take on classic British sounds.
Kid Wave – Wonderlust
London-based four-piece Kid Wave’s debut is aptly titled. Its songs are full of a desire to explore life’s experiences, but it’s also a record that sounds wide-eyed and awestruck. Even a song called ‘Gloom’ can’t help but sound like it’s on top of the world, with its breezy guitars spiraling in tight circles. ‘Honey’ shares that vibe, Swedish-born singer Lea Emmery’s lyrics summing up the album’s head-in-the-clouds approach: “Some say dreaming is a waste of time/I’ve got nothing else in my life”. ‘I’m Trying To Break Your Heart’, meanwhile, glides slightly closer to earth, Emmery sighing “I wanna be on my own” over searing guitars. A dreamy debut that’ll get under your skin and into your head.
Sunflower Bean – Show Me Your Seven Secrets EP
The third track on Sunflower Bean’s debut EP is a revealing introduction to the New York band’s sound. ‘Tame Impala’, a dizzying, Sabbath-like tribute to Kevin Parker’s band, is the record’s most immediate song and has bassist and singer Julia Cumming yelping “You always say what’s on your mind” over heavy riffs. (Tame Impala’s 2012 album ‘Lonerism’ included a bonus track called ‘Led Zeppelin’). The other five songs more than justify the buzz around the trio (completed by guitarist Nick Kivlen and drummer Jacob Faber), melding wandering psych with glimmers of metal and post-punk. ‘Somebody Call A Doctor’ is largely instrumental, Kivlen’s chiming guitars wrapping around Cumming’s dancing bassline, and ‘OK Mr Man’ has a glint of Joy Division to its whirling noise. Astonishingly good.