Quantcast
4 New Albums To Listen To In January 2018

 

holliecook c7251

The second part of our December/January 2018 print magazine's music reviews are right here, and this batch of reviews includes Belle and Sebastian and Hollie Cook. For the first 17 of our December/January 2018 reviews, just click over here, and don't forget to subscribe to BUST magazine for more.

ADVERTISEMENT

belle sebastian htshp box copy e380e

BELLE AND SEBASTIAN
How to Solve Our Human Problems (Parts 1 – 3)

(Matador)

In lieu of a traditional album, Belle and Sebastian are releasing their next work—How to Solve Our Human Problems—as a trio of five-song EPs (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3) over the course of three months. “Sweet Dew Lee” features the band’s signature quirky pop sound; “Poor Boy” picks up the tempo with pleasingly paired male and female vocals alongside a catchy, chorus-heavy ’80s R&B. On “Same Star,” singer Sarah Martin begins with ethereal vocals that lead into a rousing, Motown-influenced beat. The multi-part “Cornflakes” shows the group experimenting with ’60s psychedelia. Through the 15 total tracks, How to Solve Our Human Problems offers familiar sounds for nostalgic fans, as well as plenty of ventures into compelling new directions. 4/5 –ADRIENNE URBANSKI

 

 

HollieCook VesselofLove fa3c4

HOLLIE COOK
Vessel of Love
(Merge)



As first impressions go, the artwork on Hollie Cook’s Vessel of Love—a tranquil, under-the-sea depiction of Cook as a mermaid, relaxed on a seahorse (done by the excellent Robin Eisenberg)—bodes really well. And the music does not disappoint. Vessel of Love is an album of blissed-out lovers rock (a romantic, R&B-influenced style of reggae) fortified with glittering synth, bubbling organ, and a friendly brass section. Opening track “Angel Fire” sets the mood with a curious cosmic melody before launching into the rocksteady rhythm found throughout the album. Songs like “Survive,” “Freefalling,” and “Lunar Addiction” are a balance of tropical and spacey, expanding the genre’s well-defined parameters. The main event, however, is Cook’s crystalline voice that radiates euphoria and positivity. 4/5 –EMILY NOKES

 

 

Dream Wife DreamWife.jpeg b1494

DREAM WIFE
Self-Titled

(Lucky Number)

Free Download:  Great Dames!

Get inspired by some of our favorite interviews, featuring Dolly Parton, Solange, Tina Fey, Jessica Williams, Kathleen Hanna, Laverne Cox, the Broad City gals, and more! Plus, keep up with the latest from BUST.

UK/Icelandic trio Dream Wife don’t waste time getting to the point—opener “Let’s Make Out” drags you straight to the dance floor, where you’ll want to stay for most of their debut album. With a riot grrrl spirit and an early-2000s garage-rock sound, Dream Wife serves up sharp, interlocking guitars, melody-carrying bass lines, and precise rhythms that nod to the retro-even-then sound of the first Strokes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs records. The tracks “Somebody,” “Fire,” and “Right Now” are all insta-faves covering patriarchal perils, incendiary love, and brazen nostalgia for the present. 4/5 –EMILY NOKES

 

 

SpookSchool CouldItBeDifferent a2c5c

THE SPOOK SCHOOL 

Could It Be Different?
(Slumberland)



Glasgow, Scotland’s Spook School has perfected the art of danceable pop punk with something to say. The band’s first two albums—2013’s Dress Up and 2015’s Try to Be Hopeful—explore gender, sexuality, and queer and trans identities, propelled by an ebullient Buzzcocks/early Primitives catchiness. Could It Be Different? processes hardships, relationships, and noxious political climates, but keeps a nightlight shining in the dark. Standout “Less Than Perfect” sends heartfelt advice through soaring harmonies. “Bad Year” (written the day after the Brexit vote) unpacks the self-care in allowing yourself to feel low. And the empowering “Still Alive” has an easy chorus to remember: “Fuck you, I’m still alive!” 5/5 –EMILY NOKES

top photo via holliecook.com

This article originally appeared in the December/January 2017 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

More from BUST

Hole Drummer Patty Schemel On Addiction And Recovery: BUST Interview

BUST's Top 23 Albums Of 2017

17 New Albums To Get Obsessed With Before 2017 Ends17 New Albums To Get Obsessed With Before 2017 Ends

 

Support Feminist Media! During these troubling political times, independent feminist media is more vital than ever. If our bold, uncensored reporting on women’s issues is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $25, $50, or whatever you can afford, to protect and sustain BUST.com. Thanks so much—we can’t spell BUST without U.