- As soon as the opening track of Yo La Tengo’s 15th album ebbs and flows into life, you’re pleasantly reminded of just why the New Jersey band have managed such cultish longevity. All delicate, slow-burning guitar soundscapes, woozy vocals and occasional brushes of twinkling percussion, there is perhaps some irony in the album title: this is largely a sonic lullaby, not a call to arms. Although some songs on the record date back to as early as 2007 – tracks that didn’t make the cut on releases at the time – there’s nothing anachronistic about the distilled, diluted shoegaze. Instead this is an album that exists timelessly, reaffirming just why Yo La Tengo are one of the dreamiest indie bands still going.
- Young bands rushing to capitalise on early hype by getting their debut album out ASAP could do worse than take a leaf out of The Magic Gang’s book. First tipped by the NME a good three years ago – on the strength of their single ‘No Fun’ – the Brighton-based four-piece have been content to amble along ‘til now, leisurely developing their sound while building a loyal following via a smattering of singles and EPs, plus tours with Swim Deep and Wolf Alice. As indebted to 60s jangle-pop as it is Real Estate, Teenage Fanclub and early Weezer, their long-anticipated debut benefits from its unhurried gestation period, packing plenty of breezy, indie-pop charm. And with summer looming, the sunny melodies of ‘Caroline’, ‘Alright’ et al look ideally placed to provoke mass sing-alongs this festival season.