Far Out are here to save the day again. We have for you, and only you mind, the 5 best albums that you need to buy this month. We hope, that by giving you this morsel of music majesty every month we can monitor and continue to enable your fantastically wonderful addiction. Long may the incessant need and devotion to music continue.
The Districts – A Flourish and A Spoil –via Fat Possum Records on 10th February
Those East Coast boys, The Districts, from the small town of Lititz have achieved something massive and managed to fulfil their potential seen in the early LP Telephone, and their self-titled EP, the record which really threw them under the microscope and in to the limelight. Luckily for them and us the band only went further to build on tracks such as ‘Funeral Beds’ and ‘Lyla’ and have even managed to shake off the tagline ‘The Us Mumford and Sons’ (did someone just walk over my grave?). ‘A Flourish and A Spoil’ is all in all, a fantastic record. Built on classic rock riffs with the honesty of a band unperturbed by fame or fortune by finding the joy of music and it’s Capabilities. See songs ‘4th and Roebling’ and ‘Peaches’ for the proof.
There’s something about Barat on this new album from his ‘other’ band. He seems rejuvenated, perhaps by the seemingly impending success of The Libertines reunion and subsequent album or perhaps just by being back in a band? Since his 2010 solo effort, which showed Barat as a depressed artist struggling to make his way in a cruel world (yawn), Barat seems to have found his vigour again. With tracks like ‘Glory Days’, ‘A Storm Is Coming’ and ‘Victory Gin’ it seems the old Barat is back and we just couldn’t be happier about that.
Peace – Happy People – via Columbia on 9th February
Like a waif of translucent and yet tangible light comes Peace’s new album. Happy People is Peace at their lighter than air best, still maintaining their 90’s influences with gaunt and fur-coat-wearing exuberance but this time with a little more refinement. Being allowed the time and money to create something big bold and brassy by a huge label like Columbia clearly allows bands to create stellar pieces of work – Castles’ guitar work especially benefitting and standing him out amongst his peers. Happy People is a great record and a must-have for any u21, the irony is though only ‘O You’ and ‘World Pleasures’ are about happy people. Go figure.
Bob Dylan – Shadows in the Night – via Columbia 3rd February
Bob Dylan must be exhausted. Almost as exhausted as totalling up all his releases. Shadows in the Night is his 36th(!) full length and by the sounds of it he isn’t going to stop any time soon. He is now turning his very talented hand to jazz-crooning. Yes, crooning. You know the genre that is based on the artists ability to have a smooth-as-silk vocal? Well that raspy, whining voice we know so well is releasing an album essentially in homage to Sinatra, a man who was often seen as the ‘anti-Dylan’ in the 60’s. Crooning and tributes to a man who represented an establishment Bob detested. Nobopdy said it would easy to understand – it is Dylan after all.
Aussie quartet Nite Fields have caused a bit of a storm for the black-haired and tear stained among us. They have seemingly come from what most Brits would consider the sunniest place on earth to hit us with a dose of the darkness. Not that horrible swap-thing from a few years back but ‘Goth’, as it should be. ‘Fill The Void’ and ‘Hell Happy’ are standout singles and add a b-movie glamour to proceedings which only extenuates the simplistic beauty that permeates the record. A fantastic debut and well worth a punt for any fans of The Horrors, Cocteau Twins or Zola Jesus.
All in all, February may be the month where we all get a little soppy and either a) start to plan how to shower our loved one with utter devotion, presents and blah, blah, blah. Or b) we buy ourselves records and listen to the sound of happiness and wish it was us, cuddling our LP sleeves as we assure ourselves that love is an illusion. Except for our dear, dear inanimate records.