7 of The Best British Albums You Might Have Missed This Year
As the good old-fashioned British winter freeze begins, and the supermarkets prematurely stock their shelves with advent calendars, it is clear that the year is drawing to a close. 2016 has seen a lot of earth-shattering careers come to an end, as we have lost treasured stars such as Prince and Bowie and young potential in the boys from Viola Beach. But new British talent is continuing to impress, as music has filled the charts from bands new to the scene or just new to our ears, to help make up for what we have lost. So you don’t miss out, here are seven albums that shouldn’t go unnoticed from a monumental year in music:
All Your Happy Life – The Wytches
Kristian Bell, Gianni Honey, Daniel Rumsey and new addition Mark Breed make up this English psychedelic rock group. Following the release of Annabel Dream Reader in 2014, they began to gain some recognition touring the UK and at festivals such as Bestival and Kendal Calling. Their latest album All Your Happy Life was released on September 30th this year and it has been described as “a combination of heavy comedown psychedelia” and “utterly nihilistic” genius.
Not To Disappear – Daughter
Daughter are a soft, sentimental indie trio from London, most recognisable for their song ‘Youth’ from the album ‘If You Leave’. On January 15th they released ‘Not To Dissapear’, a much more confident yet heart-breaking album described by NME.com as ‘rawer and more honest’ with ‘melodies as smooth and cold as glaciers’. If you are a fan of delicate female vocals, poignant lyricism and other-worldly instrumentation, tracks like Mothers, Numbers and To Belong deserve places on your playlist.
Curve of the Earth – Mystery Jets
Mystery Jets are said to draw their influences from artists like David Bowie, Syd Barrett, and Pink Floyd and this is something you can really feel in the tracks Blood Red Balloon and Bombay Blue from their latest release. The London four-piece have been making music for almost 20 years now and since the days of their Eel Pie Island boat parties and kitchen utensil percussion, their sound has matured a lot. But in-keeping with the band’s youthful quirkiness, Curve Of The Earth was recorded in a studio they built inside an abandoned button factory. The euphoric indie-rock they create in feel-good songs like Bubblegum has steadily grown their fan base, and brought much bigger crowds to shows when touring UK festivals this year.
Phase – Jack Garratt
Listen to Breathe Life from Jack Garratt’s debut studio album Phase and try not to fall in love with his electro-boosted blues vocals. Clashmusic.com describes the album as a showcase of ‘what a one-man-band can do with an array of instruments, both organic and electronic’ and the single Surprise Yourself encompasses this multi-instrumental talent. Shot on a GoPro, the video for the song follows people overcoming great fears, like skydiving, getting a tattoo and driving. Garratt has brought honest and uplifting music into the charts and his style is unique- despite critics’ constant comparisons to other male singer/songwriters (stay out of this Ed Sheeran…).
Nothing’s Real – Shura
Aleksandra Lilah Denton is a Manchester-born electro-pop singer and producer that was shortlisted last year in the BBC Music’s Sound Of 2015. The BBC saw something big coming from Shura and her new album Nothing’s Real has certainly exceeded that expectation. Stylistically, her music has been labeled as ‘effervescent synth-pop’ but the genre of this album can’t easily be pinned down. Tracks like What’s It Gonna Be? and Tongue Tied have a feel-good shyness to them, that according to theguardian.com shows her ‘offering an alternative to the conventional pop star aesthetic’. Shura’s delicate lyrics and high-gloss music videos are helping open conversations about gender and sexuality in pop music. What more can we ask for?
Boy King – Wild Beasts
With Muse-esque vocals and predatory baselines, Cumbria’s Wild Beasts have moved from offbeat art-rock to darker, hyper-masculine synth-pop in their fifth album Boy King. The core elements of the Mercury Prize nominated four-piece are all still there, but slicked-back, more carnal and luridly lit by neon. If after all these adjectives, you still can’t imagine what Wild Beasts could possibly sound like, listen to album’s opening track…
But if the leather-lined innuendo is too much, indulge in their their softer side with their 2014 album Present Tense and work your way up.
Echoes – Young Guns
Gustav Wood fronts this Bulletproof alternative rock band, who released their fourth album Echoes on September 16th this year. Their 2013 single Bones hit number one on the Billboard Active Rock charts in the United States, gaining the band notoriety overseas, but little fame in the UK. However, after exposure on BBC Radio One’s ‘Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record’, and a lot of touring with bands such as Bullet For My Valentine, Halestorm and Bring Me The Horizon, Young Guns have produced an irresistibly hellish album full of razor-sharp rhythm and riffs that can’t be ignored.