- Though they formed in 2002, it was 2009’s Veckatimest that saw Brooklyn band Grizzly Bear ascend to the throne of indie darlings. And rightly so: they made soaring, disarming art-rock that bordered on the line of psychedelic. Their next album Shields (2012) was similarly striking in its plaintive tone, and their latest, Painted Ruins, thankfully doesn’t disappoint. Topped with lead vocalist Ed Droste’s characteristically soft, mournful intonations, the music is plush as ever - though it’s the most cosmic take on baroque they’ve attempted so far. It might not change the indie landscape like Veckatimest, but the splendour of Painted Ruins still builds upon Grizzly Bear’s beautiful legacy.
- Two years on from Everything Everything’s nightmarish state of the nation address Get To Heaven, things haven’t exactly calmed down in terms of current affairs. But where that record found singer Jonathan Higgs tackling rolling news culture, terrorism and the sinister influence of technology, this aptly-titled follow-up is more abstract in its lyrical approach. A Fever Dream is a snapshot of our turbulent times, physical rather than cerebral, and every bit as kinetic in its musical approach. Hearing the Manchester quartet successfully synthesising influences as disparate as Aphex Twin and Nirvana only reinforces the fact that Everything Everything are still one of the UK’s most fascinating alternative-rock bands.