New This Week: The Unthanks, Opossom & More
The Unthanks, Diversions Vol 2: The Unthanks with Brighouse And Rastrick Brass Band The Mercury-nominated vocal duo of Becky and Rachel Unthank teamed up with a brass band for this sonically adventurous album that embraces all the best traditions of English folk, in a Yorkshire accent. It includes a song about a mining disaster, naturally (adapted from “The Trimdon Grange Explosion” by 19th century pitman poet Tommy Armstrong) alongside brass arrangements of Unthanks favourites by Rachel’s husband Adrian McNally. Far from the curio it sounds.
Opossum, Blue Meanies This summer’s “Young Folks” from hyped New Zealanders’ Opossum.
Chris Coco, Freedom Street A summery love letter to South London — Freedom Street is round the back of Battersea Park, A-Z fans — this is a beautifully chilled offering from Chris Coco that, conversely, makes you wish you were in Ibiza.
Broadcaster featuring Peggy Seeger, Folksploitation Broadcaster recontextualises old performances by folk legend Peggy Seeger in this absorbing experiment. There’s a lilting reggae flavour — “Bad Bad Girl” gets a vibe-heavy dub treatment — but the stand-out track is “The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face”, a gorgeous love song that was written for Peggy by her late husband Ewan McColl, reimagined in the style of Gary Numan.
Moscow Youth Cult, Happiness Machines Nottingham’s technotronica duo named this album after an Adam Curtis documentary about “the rise of the all-consuming self”. Will appeal to fans of Fuck Buttons — which, after the Olympics Opening Ceremony, is probably everyone.
Terror Danjah, Night Crawler EP One of grime’s most innovative voices, Terror Danjah delivers the blistering first track from his highly anticipated Dark Crawler album, out next month.
Don Cherry, Organic Music Society The first official digital release of the 1972 free-jazz classic by head-music pioneer Don Cherry (Neneh’s dad!). Steve Holtje writes:
“Best is the beautiful modal song “Hope”, one of Cherry’s most memorable melodies, which reappears a few tracks later on “Utopia & Visions. Highly recommended to fans of multi-cultural music.”
Joshua Radin, Underwater Singer-songwriter Joshua Radin has soundtracked everything from Grey’s Anatomy to Scrubs, but don’t let the TV drama association put you off. Inspired by swimming underwater, this gentle record features string arrangements by Jimmie Haskell, who worked with Simon & Garfunkel.
Lawrence Arabia, The Sparrow Get past the terrible name Lawrence Arabia, and the worse cover, and this are beautifully written pop songs, lushly arranged by the critically-acclaimed New Zealander, who comes across as part Scott Walker, part John Lennon.
Gaza, No Absolutes In Human Suffering For six years, Salt Lake City noisecore band Gaza have aimed their cacophonous blastbeats and angular death metal riffs at one target – organised religion – and there’s no let-up on their third album. Jon Weiderhorn writes:
“While it’s not the most inviting listen, for the volume junkies who share Gaza’s aesthetic, it’s a masterfully rendered depiction a society gone to hell and the dusty, bone-strewn aftermath that awaits us all.”
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, 50 Greatest Hits … or a beginners’ guide to Sufi music, from the Palestinian master.
Pig & Dan, Decades After a spell in rehab for Pig (perhaps he was overdoing it on truffles), Pig & Dan are back together for a minimal techno album that’s bursting with positivity.