photo by Heather Wilson Smith

Here are five of my favorite autumnal albums: sounds that emit a subdued, warm glow; and soft, round edges, manifested as organic, woody and resonant instrumentation.

Between his terrific new album and reissues of his obscure work, it’s a great time to discover DIY pop godfather Martin Newell, aka The Cleaners From Venus. Click for full review.

Melancholy + Elegance = Melagance, Pt. 2. Click for full review.

Everything that’s good about Albarn’s writing is here, just quieter. Click for full review.

A rich blend of sounds and textures, drawing from many cultures to create something unique. Click for full review.

Former Cocteau Twin teams up with dreamy female singer… the results may not surprise, but that doesn’t make them any less gorgeous. Click for full review.

Yet another excellent debut album in 2014, although a couple of the songs have been kicking around as singles since 2012. Blending instruments, textures and polyrhythms from Africa and the Caribbean with perfect, sparkling pop songcraft, Dan Croll‘s Sweet Disarray is heartfelt, danceable, sunny, inspired, and utterly charming. Highly recommended for fans of Vampire Weekend. A note of […]

Dynamics is one of the keys to this Sheffield UK duo‘s third album; a number of the songs start in a languid, romantic groove and gradually build in intensity, adding horns and strings, until they take off and soar. Another key is the powerful, emotional singing of Rebecca Taylor; while she and bandmate Charles Watson […]