New Albums This Week (15 Jan): Daughter & more
The best new music this week, featuring albums from returning 4AD stalwarts Daughter, Manchester-based producer Howes, homespun folkie Songs For Walter and more
Daughter – Not to Disappear (4AD)
If Daughter's debut had you labelling the London trio as de rigueur indie alt-folk, think again: Not to Disappear sets their tender, haunted shadowplay alight. A thrilling expansion of the template, this document of (once again) lovers that went wrong is not for the fearful, but these songs are a league ahead of their predecessors.
• "I felt really strange about the writing this time – it was like the words were coming at me" – Our interview with Daughter's Elena Tomra on Not to Disappear
Howes – 3.5 Degrees (Melodic)
The debut album from Manchester-based musician John Howes is both back-lit and fugue-like, riffing upon solitary, nocturnal notions in 8-bit configuration. Fans of the Third Eye Foundation and Aphex Twin’s more intimate moments will recognise the sense of loose, bleached-out disquiet that comes with such articulate electronica.
Songs For Walter – Songs For Walter (aA)
After years of gracing the various backstreet and basement stages of his hometown, Manchester's Laurie Hulme finally releases his debut album. A hotch-potch of homespun folk and ramshackle acoustic pop, Songs For Walter is the eponymous tribute to the singer's late grandfather. That particular Walter, a key and influential figure for Hulme, is the inspiration for a sidelong look at a life well lived.
Then Thickens – Colic (Hatch)
There’s plenty of drugs and death on Then Thickens’ second album, and it’s soaked in the damage done by both. My Sunday finds Jon-Lee Martin’s mournful narrator getting fucked up on dope to avoid dealing with the aftermath of tragedy: 'I saw the smack and the leather / I lost a lot of you that I never knew,' he sings over pristine chords, and it all feels darkly poignant.
Mystery Jets – Curve of the Earth (Caroline)
Those firing into Curve of the Earth expecting the same twinkly-eyed, danceable indie-pop as their seminal debut Making Dens (some ten years later, would you believe it) will need to cool their jets, so to speak. More slowly paced, and more sincere, Mystery Jets have matured out of that tricky mid-noughties adolescence.