Musically, it’s been a good start to the year. That’s for sure. As a quarterly standard (we'll be quicker next quarter, promise - Ed.), FOULDER will be publishing their top albums - and tracks in another post - for you to wrap your ears around. Do let us know what you think; whether we’re right, whether we’re outrageously wrong, or whether you can never be more grateful at the musical introduction, we're up for the debate. Click-throughs go straight into Spotify. (We're good to you like that.)
Here's the skinny:
All We Are - All We Are
Out of nowhere, All We Are came, making an album that was as beautifully smooth as Jungle's self-titled last year, and as strong track-by-track as The xx's self-titled. There must be something in the self-titled water. A cracking debut album from the self-proclaimed "Bee Gees on diazepam".
Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly
Two solid singles in "i" and "The Blacker The Berry" did not prepare us in any way for this, Lamar's second magnum opus in three years. Except, this time, it was through spoken word, elements of jazz and funk. All three genres pop out in an album that will be strongly remembered and highly revered for years to come as the "Great American Hip-Hop Album".
The Staves - If I Was
Who would have thought that three girls from Watford could channel folk so perfectly? Ranging from the quietest and most perfect of harmonies on "No Me, No You, No More" to the frankly Fleetwood-esque rock of "Black & White", the album continuously teeters on the edge of heartache; something that producer Justin Vernon (him off of Bon Iver) does so well.
Purity Ring - another eternity
I'm gonna be honest. I was so extremely overexcited whilst listening to the singles from another eternity - namely "Begin Again" and "Bodyache" on repeat - that I didn't even notice the album was already out. Which means I wasted valuable time when I could have envisaged myself as I broke downstairs with my fever in the air, to paraphrase the highlight of the album, "Stranger Than Earth". If you want a rave, stick another eternity on, grab a Lucozade Sport, and lock yourself in a room with Despacio-size speakers.
Laura Marling - Short Movie
Laura's great. Well, she's fantastic. (Both of those are understatements. She's unbelievable.) It's always been this way. But she can be a quiet voice in the crowd that people pass by. With Short Movie, it's safe to say, she's gone electric. Figuratively and literally. Not in the Mumford & Sons, 'did your dad lend you The Joshua Tree, lads' way. In the Stevie Nicks, 'IDGAF' way. Long may it continue.
Notable: Ibeyi - Ibeyi
Twins. Twenty years of age. Twenty years of age. This downtempo piano-led electronica, jazz, hip-hop fusion is understandably complex in its simplicity. Minimalist as it gets - apart from harmonising moments on "Ghosts" or the bass beat on "River", which then don't exactly go 'full Muse' - Ibeyi is worth a listen or two. Or twelve.