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February 2020 new releases: New albums to listen to

This will be a new monthly series where we’ll attempt to pick some of the remarkable new albums releases to check out — taste is wholly subjective, so this is just an indication of what the month has to offer.

Our pick of February’s album releases features the return of King Krule, Tame Impala, Wild Nothing, electronic music genre from the likes of Caribou, Asa Tone, Grimes and jazz-leaning albums from Moses Boyd, Makaya McCraven. Scroll down.

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Tame Impala – The Slow Rush (Interscope)

Release date: February 14th

Kevin Parker shifts further away from his psych rock roots, while pondering happiness and his continued relevance.

The Slow Rush is an extraordinarily detailed opus whose influences reach into specific corners of the past six decades, from Philly soul and early prog to acid house, adult-contemporary R&B, and Late Registration.

Buy // Listen

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Grimes – Miss Anthropocene (4AD)

Release date: February 21st

Grimes returns to 4AD with Miss Anthropocene, a concept album about a character she described in an instagram post as “the anthropomorphic Goddess of climate Change: A psychedelic, space-dwelling demon/ beauty-Queen who relishes the end of the world.” She further explains that each song on the album is “a different embodiment of human extinction as depicted through a Pop star Demonology.” The album features collaborations with 潘PAN and i_o, and follows the release of acclaimed digital singles such as We Appreciate Power.

Buy // Listen

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Wild Nothing – Laughing Gas (Captured Tracks)

Release date: January 31st

Wild Nothing’s songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jack Tatum delves deeper into the territory where he thrives: namely, the synth and sophisti-pop of the 1980s. Working within a more mechanical and synthetic framework than his previous releases, Wild Nothing continues to delicately toe the line between the organic and the unnatural. These are still pop songs, but there’s an underlying sense of uneasiness that threads the music together.

Buy // Listen

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King Krule – Man Alive! (Matador Records)

Release date: February 21st

In 2015, Algiers burst onto an indie rock scene that was not ready for it. There Is No Year is the third effort by a four-piece band whose vision of soul music with fiery noise rock guitars still enchant.

Like any great artist on the rise, Archy Marshall’s life is moving fast. There’s a lot to catch up on, after 2017’s sprawling masterpiece, The OOZ, broke through amid Mercury Prize nominations and mind-blowing media plaudits. Unlike that record, Man Alive! doesn’t aim to present any kind of narrative thread, or Brexit-era state- of-the-nation address, just a collection of snapshots and stories, artfully sequenced into a dazzlingly coherent whole.

Buy // Listen

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Caribou – Suddenly (Merge Records)

Release date: February 28th

It’s Dan Snaith’s fifth album under his Caribou alias, which is known for live performances that merge psychedelia and left-field dance influences into a heady, vivid combination. He’s an incredible DJ and master producer as well, with 3 electronic-based albums released under the Daphni alias. Suddenly is the closest merging of these two identities yet – songs shuffle and morph in unexpected ways, drastically chopped-and-screwed samples crash in from nowhere.

Buy // Listen

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Gil Scott Heron & Makaya McCraven – We’re New Again (XL Recordings)

Release date: February 7th

The Chicago drummer and producer transforms Gil-Scott Heron’s final album into a masterpiece of dirty blues, spiritual jazz, and deep yearning.

Buy // Listen

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Asa Tone – Temporary Music (Leaving Records)

Release date: January 31st

Asa Tone is Jakarta-born Melati Malay and New York based Tristan Arp and Kaazi. In January 2018 the trio travelled to Indonesia during Melati’s annual return home, set up a temporary studio in a house nestled in the jungle’s canopy and recorded a series of improvisational pieces together, later edited for brevity. The music incorporates both digital and analogue processing and largely draws upon the groups collective voice, a small selection of instrumentation (Rindik, Moog Sub 37, Infinite Jets, Suling) and their immediate environment. Despite this, they aimed to record a kind of music together that doesn’t seem to come from one specific place, but instead, from everywhere.

The result is an idiosyncratic voyage of equatorial excursions in voice, mallets and synthesis, both transportative and fluid, yet firmly grounded in the earth. Cyclical, randomized patterns grow and blossom during these often delicate and heartfelt renderings, staying with the listener long after both sides fall silent.

Buy // Listen

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Moses Boyd – Dark Matter (Exodus Records)

Release date: February 14th

With Dark Matter, London’s most bloody-minded young producer Moses Boyd weaves indelibly classy brass and woodwind with grime and UK underground threads for an indelibly bombastic breakthrough work, complete with an overriding spirit of magpie-like selectivity. The airy shape of ‘Stranger Than Fiction’ materialises like an enrobed figure in fog, breaking out into an irresistible groove, heavy yet light. ‘Shades of You’ showcases Boyd’s weighty black book, enlisting the searching vocal of Poppy Ajudha amid hip hop rhythms, while ‘Only You’ finds the project going full free improv.

Buy // Listen

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