From the punky-pop drama of Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour, to the ethereal indie-rock swagger of Wolf Alice’s Blue Weekend, here are our favourite album’s of the year, so far!
It’s that time of the year, divas. Can you believe we’re already through it all already? What the hell have we been doing all this time – besides wasting our youth and beauty…
But on a serious note, whilst we’ve been waiting for live music, and indeed normal life itself to make its glorious return, spending our hard-earned coins on takeaways and gorgeous garms, our favourite pop stars, indie bands, rap icons and everyone in between have been releasing some pretty sick albums. There might not be tons of them, but after all, it’s quality – not quantity – right? With plenty of big titles set to make up the rest of the year, let us pay tribute to the early birds, who’ve made winter and this tiny slither of sun we’re now enjoying, that little more bearable.
Wolf Alice – Blue Weekend
Quite literally hot off the press, so much so that it was pushed forward just so they could treat us a couple weeks early, Wolf Alice made a triumphant return at the beginning of the month with their third studio album, Blue Weekend. After the year we’ve all had, a little teenage nostalgia will do us the world of good, and thankfully our favourite foursome have it supplied by the boatload. Their signature rock styles feel maturer, part of a bigger mix of ballads and soul-searchers that’ll have you main-charactering in no time. It’d be a big fat lie to say we haven’t been playing “Feeling Myself” 25/8 since it dropped, like, the ethereal vibes are totally unmatched. May they continue delivering us the best of indie until the end of time…
Slayyyter – Troubled Paradise
As it turns out, brunettes with those two streaks of blonde at the front of their noggin have the most fun – who knew? Our favourite Y2K Queen has been totally delighting the gays and the girls with her debut album this past week. We’ve got the pure pop splendour of “Clouds”, the intriguing American-EDM energy of “Self-Destruct (feat. Wuki)”, the spoken, hyper-rap stylings of genre-spanning tune “Venom”, and even a cheeky ending ballad too, just incase Slayyyter hadn’t already taken you through the full spectrum of emotions. On Troubled Paradise, the star defies any and all definitions of the ‘one-trick pony’, twisting her signature pop sound into an entirely new dream world that waves goodbye to Hollywood tabloids and hello to fields of Butterflies and rhinestone cowboys. Maybe we’ll go and visit once Bo-Jo puts it on the green travel list…
Jorja Smith – Be Right Back
Right, this one is a little tricky. It’s not an album, nor an EP or mixtape. It’s a project, comprising eight track’s worth of sensual grooves and jazzy instrumentation that features the likes of rising rap icon, Shaybo. If you’re looking for something to unwind to, and we mean really unwind too – as if you were literally a fruit winder getting scoffed in the playground – Smith has absolutely got you covered, with sister songs that serve up butter-smooth vocals, or flirty country numbers that gallop into dreamy-pop bliss. The undercurrent of sexiness and passion that runs through is palpable, so don’t say we didn’t warn you.
LSDXOXO – Dedicated 2 Disrespect
Seeing as we’ve been deprived of the club (despite those sit-down DJ affairs, which let’s face it, are NOT the same) for well over a year now, this Berlin-based party starter was one of our only rave-ready salvations. The devil made him do it apparently, though we’re not ones to judge. This four-track effort is some of the finest dancefloor magic we’ve encountered in all our years, chock-full of body bopping chaos and old-school rave insignias that were just made to be enjoyed in the arms (or groin) of a sweaty dance partner. We know we’re cheating a little with this being an EP and all, but some rules were made to be broken.
If the immortal words “like a damn SOCIOPATH” aren’t fully imprinted on your brain right now… we don’t know what to tell you. This ex-Disney star seemingly burst out of nowhere, dropping an emotive bombshell of epic proportions that rippled through the music world and quickly cemented her as one of the biggest rising stars in the world. From then on, she’s only gotten cooler, snagging the likes of Petra Collins for her music videos and delivering one of the decade’s most successful punky-pop debuts to date. Did we mention she’s only 18? SOUR is exactly like its namesake, dark, eye-watering, and pretty bloody delicious – if you’ve got the taste buds for it.
We’re not beating around the bush here, Tracey’s sophomore album is bloody great. Like, it really is fantastic. You want some severe lyrics and a bouncy beat? We’ve got “Eurostep”. Are tropical grooves more your thing? Let Kehlani take you on a wild ride with “Coupé”. What about something for cruising around with your pals, you know, one of those tracks you duet with the knack and ease of the Glee cast, but a little bit cooler. “Cheerleaders” is the one for you. No matter the occasion, mood or vibe, the rapper gives us a song to soundtrack any major-life moment, hell, even a different Tinder Anthem for each month – and then some! From Mabel to Digga D, Flu Game enlists some of the UK’s biggest talents for a hard-hitting sonic occasion, a testament to the stratospheric heights Tracey will continue to reach as the years go on.
Aly and AJ – a touch of the beat gets you up on your feet gets you out and then into the sun
Since cutting ties with Disney, dropping their iconic moniker and then claiming it back for our listening pleasure, Aly & AJ have spent the last few years crafting truly timeless synth-infused indie pop. With each release just as ethereal as the next, the extremely long-titled project (that we don’t have the energy to type out after sizzling in the sun all week) is by far their most enchanting yet. Placing some impeccable, sun-kissed vibes at the forefront, it’s pretty clear these girls are as free as the wind, hell-bent on living life to the fullest on earworm-infused tracks like “Paradise”, or by recalling the hazy beauty of their youth in transcendent detail i.e. “Pretty Places”. Each track has its own captivating identity, tinged in euphoria, that somehow makes perfect sense of this mortal coil. P.S. “Symptom of your touch” is the song of the Summer.
ABSOLUTE. is another talent trying to purge us of the boredom that is life without clubs, and you best believe he’s doing it flawlessly. Chock-full of different variations of the 90s piano rave you might’ve heard at Fantazia or Earthquaker, on Wonderland the green-haired sound God seamlessly blends loose dance styles like French House and old school DnB with deep cavernous bass and tons of melodic strings. If you’re looking for something to help get your groove on, you’ve got it right here. And can we please talk about the name? Oof! How gorgeous…