- Though they formed in 2002, it was 2009’s Veckatimest that saw Brooklyn band Grizzly Bear ascend to the throne of indie darlings. And rightly so: they made soaring, disarming art-rock that bordered on the line of psychedelic. Their next album Shields (2012) was similarly striking in its plaintive tone, and their latest, Painted Ruins, thankfully doesn’t disappoint. Topped with lead vocalist Ed Droste’s characteristically soft, mournful intonations, the music is plush as ever - though it’s the most cosmic take on baroque they’ve attempted so far. It might not change the indie landscape like Veckatimest, but the splendor of Painted Ruins still builds upon Grizzly Bear’s beautiful legacy.
- From creating film scores and staging exhibitions, to founding and running revered imprint Mo’Wax, James Lavelle has never had trouble finding projects to immerse himself in. It’s little wonder then that it’s taken the UNKLE frontman seven years to find time to create the follow-up to Where Did the Night Fall. This fifth LP, The Road: Pt. 1, marks the official beginning of UNKLE as a solo project – albeit with carefully curated cameos from the likes of Mark Lanegan, Eska, Keaton Henson and Primal Scream-guitarist Andrew Innes – and yet feels no less ambitious. Indeed, 20 years on from his seminal LP Psyence Fiction, Lavelle remains the master of haunting atmospherics.