There are also new albums from art rock outfit Everything Everything and Manchester's Doves.


For those who've been following Doves since the turn of the millennium, The Universal Want is a greatly-needed comfort blanket in unrecognisable times.

It might have been 11 years since the Manchester three-piece were last around but opener Carousels immediately has the hallmarks of a classic Doves lead single: big, bold, throbbing with energy and, of course, catchy as hell. The pulsing drum sample from the late, great Tony Allen goes to show the boys haven't lost their knack for melding sombre tones with a great big groove.

Similarly spirited standouts like Broken Eyes and Prisoner whizz you right back to the band's early-Noughties heyday, while in more tender moments, like the brooding title track, frontman Jimmy Goodwin's voice is just as doleful and soulful as ever. What's perhaps lacking is a clear vision of their future - but Doves have always been about evolution rather than revolution. After all, when you're on to something good, why reinvent the wheel?

Stephen Jones


The follow-up to 2017's Mercury-nominated A Fever Dream, Everything Everything have approached their fifth studio album with the same genre-melding allure that saw the band rapidly rise to alternative art-rock glory.

Re-Animator sees the Mancunian quartet set aside frenzied synths and social media rebellion - at least, in part.

In their place stand lyrics spawned from frontman Jon Higgs' journey into a psychological theory known as The Origin Of Consciousness In The Breakdown Of The Bicameral Mind.

At times, we see slivers of A Fever Dream metamorphosed, assisted by surging beats and uncharacteristically stripped-back melodies.

Album opener Lost Power builds perfectly, transitioning from the delicate to the crashingly powerful sound we've grown to know and love from Everything Everything.

And while tracks like Big Climb and the fuzzy, tangled tones of Birdcage can't be forgotten, the album's departing message - in the form of Violent Sun - brings forth a warm dose of pop-infused simplicity.

A year of songwriting and demoing finds itself condensed into an album that sees the band take a back-to-basics attitude towards recording.

Two weeks, one studio, and a clear new chapter for Everything Everything.

And as Re-Animator serves up enough intrigue and vibrance to capture the imaginations of new listeners, there's still enough distinctive chaos to catch loyal fans unaware.

Danielle de Wolfe


The Oklahoman psychedelic rockers serve up more of the same for their 16th studio album, but if it's to your taste, it'll be a welcome repast.

American Head is almost a concept album in that the themes of religion, family, and of course mind-enhancing drugs, are interwoven throughout, but like their breakthrough album, Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, it's a little looser than that.

The single My Religion Is You is mid-tempo and anthem-like enough, but there are far more interesting cuts on this album, such as You N Me Sellin' Weed, driven by its sci-fi lyrics and fluctuating tempo changes.

And there are welcome mood shifts, such as when frontman Wayne Coyne's voice becomes vulnerable and plangent on Assassins Of Youth, punctuated with ear-tingling synth bleeps, which also crop up in the experimental Brother Eye to fascinating effect.

Some tracks are interesting diversions, such as When We Die When We're High, with its stomping jazz feel, and it's fair to say the album as a whole will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy, but maybe without some of the ecstatic heights of their earlier work.

Rachel Farrow


Will Butler likes to keep busy - in the past five years he's recorded and toured with Arcade Fire, released his debut solo album and a live record, and earned his Master's degree in public policy from Harvard.

There's also a lot going on in Generations, his new solo album, which at first seems a sprawling and at times exhausting collection of disparate songs.

There's the electronics of opener Outta Here, the urgent new wave of Bethlehem, the Motown-tinged Close My Eyes, which also includes random whistling, and Hard Times, which has an '80s pop sheen.

First single Surrender is a call-and-response with Butler mostly singing in falsetto, and the jaunty last track Fine, about George Washington, sounds like Tom Waits writing something for Hamilton.

Not Gonna Die has the epic sweep of Arcade Fire, moving from quiet to loud as Butler rejects various scenarios of how he'll meet his end suggesting it'll come "in a hospital surrounded by strangers who keep saying they're my kids".

Meanwhile, Promised sounds like David Byrne, the Talking Heads frontman also being a restless polymath who combines manic fervour and magpie tendencies.

The more you listen to Generations the more sense it makes, leaving you wondering where Butler will go next.

Matthew George


There's been no shortage of albums addressing the post-Brexit fallout.

Northampton rapper Slowthai, Damon Albarn's supergroup The Good, The Bad & The Queen, and even Sir Mick Jagger have all had a pop.

And for the most part, the United Kingdom's violent divorce from Europe has yielded some once-in-a-lifetime music.

On their debut album, Aberdeen alternative rockers Cold Years go further, with songs about Scotland's disaffected youth, hopelessness and "politicians drinking their Champagne".

"You work hard in school, you train for your career and you try to succeed at it, but the reality is that none of it really matters," says frontman Ross Gordon.

As a rule, the ironically titled Paradise opts for passion over subtlety.

The titanic riffs of The Gaslight Anthem and Frank Turner's heart-on-sleeve lyricism are touchstones here, although there are moments of punkiness like on Burn The House Down.

What Cold Years lack in pioneering spirit, they make up for in pure spirit.

This is white-knuckle stuff that, pleasingly, holds the attention across 13 songs, even when Gordon rams home his grievances a little too forcefully.

Alex Green