Mono "Pilgrimage of the Soul (Rough Trade)"
Pilgrimage of the Soul is the 11th studio album in the 22-year career of Japanese experimental rock legends, MONO. Recorded and mixed – cautiously, anxiously, yet optimistically – during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in the summer of 2020, Pilgrimage of the Soul is aptly named as it not only represents the peaks and valleys where MONO are now as they enter their third decade, but also charts their long, steady journey to this time and place.
Lydia Hol "Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream (Rough Trade)"
Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream, Lydia Hol’s newest record, captures the strange paradox of Hollywood, and the illusion of utopian happiness. Societal fragmentation and darkness underneath the gloss are key themes of the record, with each of the nine songs offering a distinct lens to peer inside of, encapsulating the artificiality of the California dream.
We Were Promised Jetpacks "Enjoy the View (Rough Trade Publishing)"
From Big Scary Monsters:
Acclaimed Scottish rock band We Were Promised Jetpacks are back with their much-anticipated new album Enjoy the View. Since releasing 2018’s ‘The More I Sleep The Less I Dream’, the band have embraced change head-on. Amicably parting ways with guitarist Michael Palmer, leaving a notable empty fourth corner in their practice room, it marked a transitory moment in the band’s acclaimed career, and one that would be cemented by events to come.
Entering 2020 as a trio with a handful of songs written and a successful US tour under their belts, the world around them came to a sudden halt. Yet despite the unquestionable uncertainty that the lockdown brought, it also proved to be a blessing in disguise as the band were able to take stock, focus on new ways of writing and evolve their sound. Fifteen years into their career, the trio are more focussed than ever and Enjoy the View is the result of a band overcoming, and even thriving, despite the odds.
Hawthorne Heights "The Rain Just Follows Me (Pure Noise)"
The Rain Just Follows Me, the eighth album from Ohio emo champs Hawthorne Heights, is a comfortable addition to their catalogue, one in which they create carefully calibrated mix of soft and heavy. The songs blend clean vocals and bright melodies with screams and brutal guitars seamlessly, like on Thunder In Our Hearts, which has a heavy opening, sparse verses and builds from there to a bouncy post-chorus.