- “I don’t know why you abandoned me, you were my soul and my partner...” The tone is set for the follow-up to Swing Lo Magellan within the first 20 seconds of ‘Keep Your Name’. Written following the departure of his creative and romantic partner Amber Coffman, David Longstreth’s seventh album under the Dirty Projectors moniker rakes over the details of the affair, from their very first meeting (‘Up In Hudson’) to the relationship’s devastating demise (‘Death Spiral’). It’s credit to Longstreth’s boundless imagination and skillful execution that this is a break-up album that never once feels maudlin or self-indulgent, and filling the space where Coffman’s astonishing tones once were are an array of inventive vocal loops and effects, plus a cameo from Dawn Richard on album stand-out ‘Cool Your Heart’.
- It’s been five long years since his last album, so just what has Swedish singer-songwriter Jens Lekman been up to? Well, quite a lot, actually. He wrote a song a week for a year, recorded a mixtape and soundtracked stories submitted by fans. Such playful experimentation speaks of an artist with well-established quirks (the matinee idol voice, the colloquial turn of phrase) challenging their place in the universe, reaching for something unexpected. The result of this soul-searching is a joyously eclectic record, part winsome indie-folk redolent of Belle and Sebastian, part Daft Punk party-funk. Clearly revelling in the chaotic freedom, Lekman has produced his most thrilling album yet.