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    2023 in Music: The 23 Best Songs of the Year

    We’ve already been through the entirely objective list of the best albums of 2023 but there’s something all the most special about those individual songs which exist as perfectly formed three or four (or sometimes longer) musical experiences, telling whole stories, encapsulating the most nuanced and intense of emotions, and exploding across our senses in what […] More

  • Javelin, the new album by Sufjan Stevens. Image courtesy of Asthmatic Kitty
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    2023 in Music: The 23 Best Albums of the Year

    So, was this a good or a bad year for music? Every year as I start writing these lists, I hate answering that question. My attitude has always been that if you thought any year was a bad year for music then you just weren’t looking in the right places. The best year for music […] More

  • FKA Twigs slays on the cover of her Caprisongs mixtape, showing off her hoop earrings, septum piercing and fur hat against a twilight background
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    Top 10 Albums of 2022

    Insofar as my musical experiences of the last 12 months will be remembered, 2022 was the year that artists I’d been trying to get into finally clicked. Artists like The Weeknd, Earl Sweatshirt and FKA Twigs took the first months of the year to take the reins and each released their best works. They were […] More

  • Kendrick Lamar in the The Heart Pt. 5 video
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    Top 10 Songs of 2022

    Following up my top 10 albums of the year list, it’s perhaps easier to single out the best individual songs of the year, as one doesn’t have to weigh entire tracklists against each other. Each of the songs on this list had just a few minutes to, in a single stroke, explore the emotions and […] More

  • Crash album cover: Charli XCX in a bikini on the bonnet of a car, peering through a windshield she has just cracked with her head

    Charli XCX Makes a Bid for the Mainstream with Crash

    Crash was without a doubt my most anticipated album of 2022, however that does come with an asterisk. There’s different kinds of anticipation and rather than pure excitement, I’ve spent the last six months anticipating Crash with mounting hesitancy. Charli XCX has earned herself pride of place among my favourite artists, with a distinctive and groundbreaking style […] More

  • Forget Your Own Face: Black Dresses Album Cover, Devi McCallion and Ada Rook: cover photo by Molly from Medicine Hat, edit by Ada Rook

    Black Dresses: Forget Your Own Face

    Just a couple of months ago I picked Black Dresses’s Forever in Your Heart as my favourite album of last year. I hadn’t expected to. For a long time I thought The Turning Wheel or Sinner Get Ready would take that spot, but looking back on the year, I decided it was appropriate to go with a more personal […] More

  • The Velvet Rope Album Cover: Janet, her head tilted forward morosely

    The Velvet Rope: The Queen of R&B’s Magnum Opus

    The arc of history has done unfortunate things to Janet Jackson and her legacy. For one of the most relevant artists of the ‘80s and ‘90s, her career suffered a nearly fatal blow when the CBS corporation blacklisted her and her relevance precipitously waned. But at her height, Jackson was a megastar, setting records and […] More

  • Black Country New Road's album cover Ants From Up There

    Ants From Up There: Black Country, New Road

    Black Country, New Road’s stock skyrocketed last year with the release of one of the most acclaimed debuts of the year. Their first studio album For the First Time was a bold, carnivalesque and strange offering of art-rock and post-punk; assertive, brazenly awkward and delightfully eccentric; often sounding like you’ve caught Idles in an especially […] More

  • FKA Twigs slays on the cover of her Caprisongs mixtape, showing off her hoop earrings, septum piercing and fur hat against a twilight background

    FKA Twigs’s Caprisongs Is an Exhilarating Stunner of a Release

    The running theme for 2022 in music so far for me seems to be artists whom I’ve always respected, whilst conceding that their work isn’t really for me, releasing music that totally connects with me. First there was The Weeknd with his conceptual retro, synth odyssey Dawn FM, surpassing the grand, orchestral Beauty Behind the Madness and the […] More

  • The Weeknd - Dawn FM album cover, an aged Abel Tesfaye looks into the light surrounded by darkness

    Dawn FM: The Weeknd’s Best, Most Ambitious Record Yet

    As one of this generation’s most beloved and influential pop and R&B stars, The Weeknd has the privilege of dropping 2022’s first must-listen album with his conceptual and ethereal Dawn FM. The concept of an album as a radio-station listening experience is nothing particularly new, Vince Staples did something similar with his FM! record, but Abel Tesfaye goes […] More

  • Sometimes I Might Be Introvert: Little Simz sits hunched over shyly in a small chair, wearing a noisy chequered suit that matches the backdrop. Her hair is magnificent.
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    Top 50 Albums of 2021

    There’s never been a time when art wasn’t fascinating to talk about but my disposition dictates that the most interesting is invariably going to be “now”. Art informed by whatever is currently going on and the listener is living through is always going to be more exciting than that which we look back on, as […] More

  • Adele 30 - album cover, Adele standing in profile against a verdant green background

    30: Adele Returns to Music Wiser Yet More Vulnerable Than Ever

    In her newly released vault track “Nothing New” with Phoebe Bridgers, Taylor Swift laments: “how could a person know everything at 18 but nothing at 22?” That energy, of a woman whose lived experiences have taught her only how little she really knows, pervades the fourth album of Adele. Like her previous albums 19, 21 […] More

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