ALBUM OF THE MONTH: Poster Girl by Zara Larsson (March 2021)

WORTH A LOOK?: ***1/2

OUT: 5 March 2021

TRACKLIST: Love Me Land; Talk About Love feat Young Thug; Need Someone; Right Here; WOW; Poster Girl; I Need Love; Look What You’ve Done; Ruin My Life; Stick With You; FFF; What Happens Here

We last saw Larsson live headlining at London’s Eventim Apollo in October 2017 and it is with a little surprise then that it has taken more than three-and-half years since to release this next album proper.

  • Read on for reasons including to see live performances of 2 of the album’s best tracks
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ALBUM OF THE MONTH: Choices by Lucy Spraggan (February 2021)

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

OUT: 26/2/21

TRACKLIST: Flowers; Roots; Sober; Run To The Hills; Heartbreak Suites; If I Had A God; I Spent A Night In The Desert; You’ve Let Yourself Down; Animal; Wild; Run; Choices (Don’t Be Afraid); Why Don’t We Start From Here?

If you’re familiar with singer/songwriter Spraggan it may well be thanks to her song Tea And Toast which was a top 20 hit before she’d even appeared on TV’s The X Factor live finals in 2012.

  • Read on for reasons including a link to details of live shows Spraggan is playing this year
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ALBUM OF THE MONTH: Strangers/Lovers by Dagny (January 2021)

WORTH A LOOK?: ****1/2

OUT: now

TRACKLIST: Come Over; Somebody; Paris; Let Me Cry; Coulda Woulda Shoulda; Tension; Moment; Please Look At Me; Bad At Love (Interlude); It’s Only A Heartbreak; Bye Bye Baby; Coast To Coast;

Norwegian Dagny came to our attention in 2020 when Katy Perry interpolated her song Love You Like That into her own comeback single Never Really Over.

  • Read on for reasons including how Strangers/Lovers reminds of Prince, Robyn and Sigrid
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ALBUM OF THE MONTH: What The Future Holds by Steps (December 2020)

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

OUT: 27/11/20

TRACKLIST: What The Future Holds; Something In My Eyes: Clouds; To The Beat Of My Heart; Father’s Eyes; One Touch; Under My Skin; Heartbreak In This City; Come And Dance With Me; Don’t You Leave Us Halfway; To The One; Hold My Heart; What The Future Holds

If 2017’s comeback album Tears On The Dancefloor was an attempt to give the band’s loyal fans what they wanted (all bangers no fillers), 2020’s consolidation seems very much about broadening their appeal with more mature mid-paced material.

  • Read on for reasons including our latest Steps for Eurovision thoughts and how to buy tickets for their 2021 tour
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ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Apart Together by Tim Minchin (week beginning 23/11/20)

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

OUT: now

TRACKLIST: Summer Romance; Apart Together; Airport Piano; The Absence Of You; I Can’t Save You; Talked Too Much, Stayed Too Long; Leaving LA; I’ll Take Lonely Tonight; Beautiful Head; If This Plane Goes Down; Carry You

The self-described ‘comedic minstrel’ born in Northampton to Australian parents is best known to us for writing the Olivier Award-winning musical Groundhog Day, which also won our Best Musical monsta.

  • Read on for reasons including what Minchin is working on next
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ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Infinite Things by Paloma Faith (week beginning 15/11/20)

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

RELEASED: 13/11/20

TRACKLIST: Supernatural; Monster; Gold; Falling Down; Infinite Things; If This Is Goodbye: Better Than This; Me Time; If Loving You Was Easy; Beautiful & Damned; I’d Die For You; Living With A Stranger; Last Night On Earth

We first saw Paloma Faith live by chance when we were waiting for another main stage act at Lovebox in east London a decade ago and it was her personality and way with her hometown crowd that initially drew us in.

  • Read on for reasons including how Sigrid and MNEK are co-writers here
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ALBUM OF THE MONTH: Disco by Kylie Minogue (November 2020)

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

RELEASED?: 6/11/20

TRACKLIST: Magic; Miss A Thing; Real Groove; Monday Blues; Supernova; Say Something; Last Chance; I Love It; Where Does The DJ Go?; Dance Floor Darling; Unstoppable; Celebrate You

It’s only by experimentation that true pop genius can be appreciated and, if Kylie’s 2018’s album Golden and its shimmy with country was a misstep, then its follow-up, Disco, is more sure-footed for it.

  • Read on for reasons including why Disco is Kylie’s best album for years

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ALBUM OF THE MONTH: Dark Hearts by Annie (October 2020)

WORTH A LOOK?: ****1/2

OUT: 16/10/20

TRACKLIST: In Heaven; The Streets Where I Belong; Dark Hearts; Miracle Mile; Corridors Of Time; Forever ’92; American Cars; Mermaid Dreams; Stay Tomorrow; The Countdown To The End Of The World; The Bomb; The Untold Story; It’s Finally Over

Anne Lilia Berge Strand released single The Greatest Hit with house producer/soon-to-be boyfriend Tore Kroknes in 1999 and, two years later before they could release an album, he died from a congenital heart defect.

  • Read on for reasons including how Dark Hearts contains some of the most thrilling music of the year

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GIG REVIEW/ALBUM REVIEW: Melanie C Colour and Light Live

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHEN?: 1/10/20

SETLIST: Who I Am; Blame It On Me; Good Enough; Escape; Fearless (with Nadia Rose); Overload; In And Out Of Love; Into You; Nowhere To Run; Here I Am; End Of Everything; High Heels (with Sink The Pink); I Turn To You

‘The 10-year-old in my head has absolutely collapsed. While 27-year-old me feels the same,’ says south London rapper Nadia Rose (pictured above left) as she joins Melanie C onstage during this internet gig to preview the latter’s new album out today.

  • Read on for reasons including details of Melanie C’s tour next year including a London gig

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ALBUM OF THE MONTH: Faith by Hurts (September 2020)

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

OUT: now

TRACKLIST: Voices; Suffer; Fractured; Slave To Your Love; All I Have To Give; Liar; Somebody; Numb; Redemption; White Horses; Darkest Hour

‘When we started making the album, we knew we wanted to give it everything. We decided to confront our demons, excavate the pain and show you it all. It was difficult, at times impossible, but once it started to come together, we felt like nothing could stop us. We knew we were making something special. Something we were going to be immensely proud of,’ says lead singer Theo Hutchcraft.

  • Read on for reasons including where to see Hurts on tour next year including London gig details

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