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Angel Olsen, ‘All Mirrors’

All Mirrors is Angel Olsen’s fourth album, following in the footsteps of 2016’s spectacular My Woman. This time, Olsen is supported by a 12-piece orchestra, but rather than swaying into Scott Walker-esque dramatic pop territory, she manages to keep up the tension and twists that My Woman revealed. The songs never go where we expect them to: listening to All Mirrors, Olsen keeps us on our toes. Despite all the richness that the song’s orchestral arrangements provide, the songs still bear the loneliness of their birth. Writing them during an isolated month-long session in remote Anacortes, Washington, the songs on All Mirrors still maintain the power and intensity of Olsen’s initial, solo recordings. Despite there being violinists, cellists and violists, it still feels like it’s just Angel and her guitar.

Cate Le Bon and Bradford Cox, ‘Myths 004’

Mexican Summer’s Myths EP series’ fourth collaboration brings together Cate Le Bon and Bradford Cox (of Deerhunter), joining in the ranks of previous collaborators Weyes Blood and Ariel Pink, Dev Hynes and Connan Mockasin, and Dungen and Woods. This latest offering, much like its predecessors, reveals itself to be a statement on the beauty and possibility of parnership in creativity. ‘Embracing the chaos,’ as Le Bon puts it, of a week-long recording session at the legendary Marfa Myths festival. The record serves as a ‘crude holiday scrapbook’ of this time. A spontaneous, energetic and at times surreal EP, Myths 004 alchemises the junk of everyday life and embraces the sheer joy of playing. Just as schoolchildren swap toys and team up for playground games, so too do Cate Le Bon and Bradford Cox cherish the organic experimentation of this musical alliance with child-like wonderment.

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The Desert Sessions, ‘Vols. 11 and 12’

Queens of the Stoneage frontman Josh Homme plays ringleader with various like-minded individuals as diverse as Billy Gibbons, Royal Blood’s Mike Kerr, Matt Berry and Scissor Sister’s Jake Shears. A broad brushstroke that includes such diverse genres as Desert Rock, Glam, Blues and Folk-Roots. A cracking LP!

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Once Upon A Time in Hollywood OST

Absolute blinder of a soundtrack from Tarantino’s latest epic. All-killer-no-filler, with some forgotten gems such as Buffy Sainte-Marie’s version of Joni’s ‘The Circle Game’ and ‘Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man’ by Bob Seeger. A continuous run of tracks interspersed with vintage radio advertisements and DJ samples, which makes it a total 1969 listening experience!

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Michael Kiwanuka, ‘Kiwanuka’

Ambitious third album from Muswell Hill’s troubadour. A double-vinyl LP with a well-produced “big sound” on standout tracks ‘You Are Not The Problem’ and ‘Hero’. For lovers of vintage, late-60s era Impressions and Minnie Riperton’s Rotary Connection. Our Album of the Week!

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Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, ‘Ghosteen’

‘Maybe my songs used to say “Here I am”, demanding recognition. Now my songs ask “Are you there?”, longing for an answer.’

-Nick Cave, The Red Hand Files.

The latest album from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds finally arrives on physical formats, after having been available for streaming since the beginning of October. Ghosteen is not Cave’s first album to be released in the aftermath of his son’s death, but it is the first to fully meditate on such grief. Whilst 2016’s Skeleton Tree is almost unbearable to revisit, for its outpouring of sorrow is so raw, Ghosteen is a more resolute affair. Beautifully sad, contemplative, and poetic; Cave reminds us that loss is universal and ultimately, human. ‘Are you there?’, he asks of us as listeners. And so, we respond: Yes. Yes, we are.

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