Matt Paul: Metronomy – ‘Metronomy Forever’ – This has been a busy music month. There’s been a lot of new music. I’ve started putting together my best albums of the year and the decade. I’ve been revisiting the Mercury prize nominees. But despite all this going on, I’ve been supremely excited by an album that’s not on any of these lists: Metronomy. Their back with their era and genre spanning brand of pop music that just kills. Weird and eclectic. Fun and melancholic. If you already love Metronomy you’ll love this. If not. Well why not? Give it a try.
James Spearing: As I’m on holiday I’ve pretty much been listening ONLY to Bat For Lashes (and also Spanish radio in the car but the less said about that the better). So at the risk of becoming a Bat bore, it’s her again. Little else to say beyond the review I’ve already written so maybe just have a read of that?
Tom Burrows: Lana, Nico, and The 1975 – For me, September started with the sounds of Lana Del Rey’s career-best Norman Fucking Rockwell!, before I revisited my Nicolas Jaar obsession by engrossing myself in his entire discography – specifically 2011’s wonderfully strange Space Is Only Noise. Then, with the Mercury Prize approaching, I relistened to some of the nominees and there came a surprise, folks. Because, after a year of being largely unconvinced, The 1975’s A Brief Enquiry Into Online Relationships has finally clicked with me in a big way – and I’ll join Picky Bastard Sam in singing its praises. Like many people, I’d assumed that the band were fronted by an annoying gobshite and produced nothing but vacuous indie pop for teenagers. But I was wrong – A Brief Inquiry is a legitimately excellent record. It’s manic in the way it flits from 80s pop to stadium anthems to even a jazz standard, but this now feels intentional – a brazenly ambitious attempt to reflect our always-on contemporary world. Yes, they have shamelessly tried to produce their own OK Computer (and have fallen some way short of those heights). But I can’t help but be impressed by the ambition and creativity they’ve shown here and I look forward to next year’s follow-up.
Lisa Whiteman: Tool – Fear Inoculum – Epic. That is all.
Fran Slater: Art School Girlfriend – I’ve sung their praises already in my review of this year’s Green Man Festival, but after seeing them support Marika Hackman at Manchester’s Band on the Wall and splashing on their ‘Measures’ EP on vinyl they are fast becoming the act I’m most excited about. ‘Moon’, ‘Come Back to Me’, ‘Diving’, and ‘Bending Back’ are their standout songs for me so far but I suggest you just go to Spotify and listening to everything. They’ve got a touch of Daughter, a sprinkle of The xx, but, in all honesty, a sound that’s totally their own.
Kim Fernley: ‘This Wheel’s On Fire’ – unknown busker – I was in the middle of washing up last weekend – bear with me – when I heard faint music in the distance. I went out into the garden and could hear a busker in the nearby square, playing an acoustic version of ‘This Wheel’s On Fire’. It was really raw and soulful. It was a beautiful day outside, too. Everything just came together to create these perfect few minutes, and it perked me up for the rest of the day. It was a reminder that live music takes different forms, and to appreciate those buskers who enrich our streets and ears.
Sam Atkins: Tegan and Sara – Hey, Im Just Like You – The indie pop duo that seem to have released at least one song that everyone would like returned this month with an album alongside a set of diaries. An album created by taking songs they wrote when they were teenagers and mixing and matching them into a 12 track pop record shouldn’t work, but somehow it’s their most instantly enjoyable album yet.
Pete Wild: Best thing I’ve heard this month is the new Pete Yorn album Caretakers. For the uninitiated, Yorn is a singer-songwriter in a sort of Replacements mould and his first three or four albums are great. In recent years, his powers had seemed to wane for me (amidst odd little side projects like The Ohms and liaisons with Scarlett Johansson) but then – wouldn’t you just know it – Caretakers lands and it feels both vintage and new. It’s rock’n’roll (which probably confirms my elderly dinosaur status) but it’s a sweet and affecting noise and it takes me out of my head which is just where I want to be.