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Aussie expat Martin Craft has spent years away from home, over a decade in London’s exotic Dalston followed by LA and now a resident of Joshua Tree, home to Josh Homme. His classical piano and composition education and extensive experience of production, recording and guitar playing for dozens of artists have crystalized a creative nomad doing things his own way. For a singer with a distinctive voice, Craft has several instrumentals on this album, beautiful, gentle pieces which carry the listener down the emotional river of Blood Moon. His influences are a blend of Scandinavia, Mojave and the Far East, tinkling chimes and gentle repeated piano motifs with plenty of space between the notes. Chemical Trails showcases his style with restrained sadness and honesty, “I can see the light in everyone” accompanied by ivories tinkling like the soundtrack to a Nordic murder show. Cello and lighter strings play their part, peacefully setting the scene in Afterglow and the more optimistic Love Is Te Devil, unchaining deeper connections to the poignancy within. M Craft has brought these songs together musically, giving a sense of vision. Gorgeous and tender, while Blood Moon is no party record, sometimes a dude needs some chill out time and this contemplative and hypnotic work is like a shield of glittering gloom against the world.



Being dad to two young children whilst writing and recording an entire pop record must be no easy feat, yet electro connoisseur Joe Mount has done just that. On Summer 08, the Metronomy mastermind tackles the same themes of love and coming-of-age he always has, but with a fresh energy, a blissful funkability manifested in ten groovy, bass-led numbers. If the punchy drumming on Back Together sets the tone as playful, then Miami Logic runs with it to the hills, mixing wobbles of bass into equally wavering vocals before dissolving into the instantly classic Old Skool. A guest appearance from Robyn injects a gutsy streak into the dreamy duet Hang Me Out to Dry and the woozy Mick Slow sprinkles glistening synths over guitars that point as much to motown as they do Daft Punk, like a hangover headache you can’t quite shake. Night Owl is this record’s ‘Te Look’, 4-minutes-30 of sublime indie rumbles and buzzes with beautifully bittersweet lyrics as the cherry on top. A lazy fade-out tarnishes its slick deliciousness, but it’s a banger all the same. Summer Jam wraps up the record in a bitesize chunk of the effortlessly cool aesthetic it’s so steeply seeped in. Sound of the summer? Incontestably.



Natasha Khan has always presented her music with a cornucopia of visual ideas that play a vital role in releasing and replicating the ideas from within her imagination. Now, with her fourth album, Te Bride, we have a narrative arc providing both storyboard and soundtrack to a whole feature film simply demanding to be made. Jilted brides have always fascinated in fiction – from Miss Haversham in Great Expectations to Beatrix Kiddo in Kill Bill, but this tale concerns a bride-to-be whose groom is killed en route to the church. As love turns to tragedy, our heroine takes off on a road trip on which to grieve, seek solace, and find peace. As you would expect from Khan, Te Bride brims with atmosphere. Sensitive lyrics and a balance of light and shade jostle as successive melodies play and intertwine. But what makes Te Bride stand out over previous albums is just how spellbindingly beautiful it is, from the very first Omnichord bars of I Do. It draws you in and simply refuses to let go until the final lilting moments of Clouds. Tis is Bat for Lashes’ most mature album yet. I cannot wait for the movie.

42 / July 2016/

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