Last time out, I was worried about the year so far, and whilst it still hasn’t grabbed me as much as last year’s musical efforts, it certainly has picked up. We’re heading into the spring and summer seasons, so there are good vibes coming from artists. George Ezra was a particular highlight of this particular batch, but read on for the full list!
- Gone Now, Bleachers
I was curious about this one because Jack Antonoff writes so many good songs, it’s a wonder he has anything left for his own outlets. I wasn’t sure about this album for the first listen through, but second time round it started to come together for me. I liked how the songs linked together and there were little callbacks throughout making it one whole piece of art.
- Bella Donna, Stevie Nicks
Lovely Stevie’s first solo album is a really great listen. I can’t lie and say it stood out as separate to the work that Fleetwood Mac do, it had all those influences and more, but it was still great to listen to – particularly Edge of Seventeen with it’s Destiny’s Child bounce.
- Superorganism, Superorganism
I was dubious about this one – a glimpse at the craziness on TV had made me wary, but then I heard Everybody Wants to Be Famous a billion times on Beats 1 and fell in love with it. Actually, the album is great. It is crazy, sure, but it also has that glorious lazy summer vibe so you just kind of chill and go with it.
- Alright, Still, Lily Allen
This is one of those albums where I know a lot of the songs but have somehow never actually listened to the whole thing. I really liked it. Lily is one of those artists that you either love or hate, and thankfully I love her. Don’t always agree with her and think some of the songs push it a bit, but ultimately they’re catchy and meaningful, clever and fun, so why not?
- Staying at Tamara’s, George Ezra
Really loved this from George. I was a fan of Budapest but wasn’t really sure I’d manage to sustain interest over a full album. Couldn’t have been more wrong! It’s fun and quite preppy, sweeps you up in its summer holiday, leave all your cares behind, kind of way. A new favourite.
- B*Witched, B*Witched
I thought this would be your run of the mill pop album but it’s more eclectic than that. The singles are the normal saccharine denim-laden pop that we know, but the rest is all a bit of an oddity. It kicks off with some bizarre folk-violin-drum-and-bass dance mix, and indulges in some feisty female rock as well as super slow ballads along the way. Weird.
- Golden Hour, Kacey Musgraves
This album has gained a lot of supporters in the short time it’s been out, and I have to be honest, I’m not 100% sure I get what the fuss is about. It’s a good album, and stands apart from the more traditional country and from the more pop-orientated modern stuff, but it’s darker more downbeat tone didn’t quite do it for me. Good songs, great voice, but as a whole it didn’t quite work.
- Waiting For My Rocket to Come, Jason Mraz
I do so love Jason and his witty words, fast-paced songs and interesting subject matter. I learnt a lot of these songs listening over and over again to a live version so hearing them in their studio format was a bit odd, but it still works. Lots of craft has gone into these and that shines through. They’re intensely catchy tunes and I’ll listen over and over again once more!
- Bye Bye, Annalisa
This was recommended by a friend of a friend and whilst I wouldn’t normally stumble across Italian pop, I really loved it and I’m glad I got to listen to it. It’s just pure, catchy pop music, and even though I don’t speak Italian it doesn’t matter at all, you still get the same good pop vibes. Annalisa has a great voice too.
- Sweet Caroline, Neil Diamond
I only know a couple of Neil Diamond songs, and so for my first album of his, it was lucky that it had one song on it that I knew. The album reminded me quite a lot of Johnny Cash – not in terms of sound, but just the sort of genre. Shorter songs, quite odd topics (the horseflies round your face thing really confused me, I think he thinks it’s a compliment). I quite liked it but I’m not sure I’d particularly seek it out again.