Albums of the academic year

The Wombats – Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life

“Having only listened to Moving To New York and Let’s Dance to Joy Division, I look back at myself as being quite naïve in buying a ticket to The Wombats’ LCR gig on a whim. Now obligated to listen to some more of their songs, the release of their album entitled Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life came as a welcome surprise. After listening to the album in its entirety, I was very pleased with my ticket purchase. Cheetah Tongue did well in the charts, however the whole album is littered with tracks that are catchy but also feature emotional and sophisticated lyrics. My picks from the album are Turn, Ice Cream, and Black Flamingo. The band formed in 2006 and have been successful in the charts with every album they have released. The indie-rock band gathered a strong fan base with the release of their second album, A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation, and I anticipate that their fan base has only grown with the release of their latest album.” – Jess Barrett


“It was a busy 2017 for hip hop group BROCKHAMPTON, rounded off with the release of Saturation III, the third album in their Saturation Trilogy. With the first two albums being released in June and August, their efforts culminated with the release of the final addition in December.

The release of three studio albums within the span of one year is an almost unprecedented achievement, a testament to the huge amount of work and creative talent of all the people who helped to devise such a project, and it certainly paid off. While the trilogy as a whole is worthy of much praise, Saturation III is certainly the strongest album of the three. It is more than the sum of its parts, demonstrating the advantages of collaborative creative projects. The music works because of the individual ideas that come together to make something unique, while not being hindered by the limitations of a single creative mind.

The album is a compositional collage, allowing each individual member enough room to contribute their own voice and talents whilst also implementing unexpected twists and transitions to great effect. Future releases by BROCKHAMPTON are eagerly awaited and will surely be worth the wait.” – Joel Shelley

George Ezra – Staying at Tamara’s

“It feels like such an overused statement to say that an artist has matured with their second album but it is true to say that George Ezra has done this with Staying at Tamara’s. His gorgeous voice is back but Ezra has more thoroughly made use of both range and tone more thoroughly in this album, as well as pairing it with some new voices both human and instrumental.

Tonally it is a less cheerful album than his first both vocally and instrumental. But we still have several smashingly happy tunes, including opener Pretty Shining People. And the lyrics and sound of Shotgun feel perfect in this warmer weather we have been having recently with the little fading and reviving trumpet solo at the end making it as if it hasn’t truly left you. The album explores the difficulties of modern life, and the noise, change and anxieties that come along with it. Trying to hold onto love, wanting to run away from everything and to work out what matters. After the rocky crisis of confidence in Saviour, the last tracks are mellow. It represents A forgiveness to himself, to the listener for the stresses and confusion. Keep going, you shouldn’t expect so much of yourself, you are enough.” – Evlyn Forsyth-Muris

Fickle Friends – You Are Someone Else

“Fickle Friends have made a slow rise the charts, but taking their time has certainly proved worth the while. After releasing their first single Swim, all the way back in 2014, they finally released their debut album You Are Someone Else in March and it’s full of sunny bops and enormous energy, that half a decade since they burst onto the scene. Clearly, they’ve used everything they’ve learnt to build up to an album that represents their sugary sweet pop image perfectly.

Lead singer Natty provides faultless vocals throughout, especially on Say No More, which full of optimism and one of the band’s favourites to play live. Stand out tracks on the album include Wake Me Up, the album opener, which tells the story of really wanting a relationship to work, Hard To Be Myself which perfectly conveys struggle of being an introvert, and Glue which oozes disco vibes.

Fickle Friends managed to produce something that is truly uplifting, fun and catchy without ever becoming cheesy, and will go on to be the soundtrack of my summer.” – Charlotte Manning


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