This month in music has belonged to young women. Mitski put out my favourite album of the year (September-December need not apply) and Ariana released her vital pop album (including *that* Imogen Heap cover) to wide critical acclaim. More quietly, Cat Power and Lana Del Rey teamed up for a powerful single ‘Woman’; Flohio dropped ’10 More Rounds’ and further cemented herself as one of the UK’s most interesting and exciting new artists; Soccer Mommy has a new cover; and three of my favourite current musicians – Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus – teamed up as boygenius to release three songs which have all made it onto this month’s playlist (‘Me & My Dog’ is probably the highlight, but all three hit me right in the heart). I’ve also listened to The Long Blondes’ first album Someone to Drive You Home every day, which counts too.
IDLES released their eagerly anticipated follow up to last year’s Brutalism, Joy as an Act of Resistance, just today and, while Mitski’s Be the Cowboy may have already stolen my 2018 top spot, Joy… is extremely hot on its heels. It is indispensable and worth your time entirely.
More gentle highlights of this month come in the form of Blood Orange’s Negro Swan, a shift in direction from the more upbeat pop of his last two albums but a welcome and beautiful one; two new tracks by Leeds post-punk band FEHM; Trevor Powers’ first album since retiring his Youth Lagoon moniker; Pale Waves’ latest banger ‘Black’; and my first experience of the completely wonderful Ama Lou.
photos by Shaun James Cox