All These Countless Nights
With All These Countless Nights, Deaf Havana’s fourth full length effort, there is not a note out of place. Wonderful guitar work, brilliant lyricism and soaring melodies make this a record that hits, every song blending everything the band have released. After Old Souls, an underrated album in my opinion but hated by many others, Deaf Havana were written off as a joke, early 20-somethings with no real place in a changing music scene. That isn’t the case anymore.
Syd’s personal writing and smooth vocals switch between the assured on ‘Nothin to Somethin’ and ‘All About Me’, and the tender on closing track ‘Insecurities’ and sensual second single ‘Body’, the album’s highlight. Another standout track is ‘Dollar Bills’, which features a verse from Internet guitarist Steve Lacy, who also appears among the stellar cast of producers. A successful exercise in developing Syd’s own artistic identity.
Yesterday’s Gone is an impressive introduction to Croydon-native Loyle Carner, his signature soft-spoken rhymes telling intimate vignettes of family, love, and his own downfalls. Playful skits, spoken word and a heartfelt poem by his mum add depth and distinguish Carner from most of the UK hip-hop scene. But, it is his eclectic sample choices that make his debut a worthwhile listen; a powerful gospel choir in ‘Isle of Arran’, electric guitar riffs, a range of jazz and soul and an acoustic guitar finale lift his heavy themes.
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes
Frank Carter has once again proven that he can reinvent himself as he moves away from the hardcore style of previous album Blossom and towards the more radio-friendly sound of Modern Ruin. The album still manages to embrace his trademark anger but with acoustic track ‘Bluebelle’ – and a move to much cleaner singing and larger stadium-style choruses – it is clear that he has chosen to take a further step away from his Gallows roots.