- A lot has changed in the six years since Helplessness Blues, but even Fleet Foxes couldn’t have imagined they’d return to find their former drummer, Father John Misty, dominating the indie circuit. Still, if Robin Pecknold and co are intimidated by the competition they’re not showing it here. Quite the contrary in fact: the Seattle-formed collective have picked up precisely where they left off, conjuring widescreen – and often string-drenched – indie-folk laden with heart string-tugging vocal harmonies. As hotly-anticipated comeback albums go, Crack-Up somehow manages to surpass expectations; to the extent that Josh Tillman should probably start watching his back.
- There aren’t many 16-year-olds capable of keeping it together whilst being scrutinized by the entire world, but then there aren’t many teenagers that David Bowie once deigned to describe as “the future of music” either. Ella Yelich-O’Connor remains a unique proposition on this, her superb second album. Co-produced by Bleachers’ Jack Antonoff, Melodrama finds Lorde documenting an adolescence under the spotlight with striking maturity and candour, from wild nights (“Perfect Places”), lust (“Louvre”), heartbreak (“Green Light”) and revenge (“Writer In The Dark”), to self-acceptance, as expressed beautifully on “Liability”. Unquestionably one of the finest pop albums of 2017 so far.