March 2021

March has been another month of fantastic musical output. With an array of outstanding records, from artists both new and returning, we’ve had the tough task of narrowing it down to five.

The Antlers – Green to Gold

Secret Meeting says:

On their sixth album of a 15-year career, The Antlers are living proof of their belief in the power of change, shifting shape and evolving with each release. And Green To Gold is proof that music does not have to emerge from torment to be affecting. A set of songs capable of lifting the veil on gauzy eyes, and stilling the aches of weary souls, it is one of their finest moments.

Renée Reed – Renée Reed

Secret Meeting says:

Born from the worst of times, Reed has delivered a body of work that – by logic – shouldn’t be possible when you learn that the twelve tracks here are pulled from the first fifteen she has ever written. An album to get lost in. An album that awaits you with its arms open. An album that had to be, and could only be, self-titled.

William Doyle – Great Spans of Muddy Time

Secret Meeting says:

The decision to follow the more pop oriented opening pair with a trio of (near) instrumentals could look from the outside like a potential artistic backfiring. But the two overt sides of his personality – and a summation of his career to date – sit in harmony, as parks and rivers meet urban sprawl; designed to be consumed whole, as a journey wandering between the two, Doyle tests our attention span. He is well aware of contemporary ‘everything now’ culture. It’s not an easy listen. What we’re presented with are soundscapes that could score scenes on Twin Peaks: The Return, or hover around the softer edges of Trent Reznor’s film works, but instead are just as important to the narrative foregrounding of Great Spans of Muddy Time.

Fruit Bats – The Pet Parade

Secret Meeting says:

The Pet Parade is still flooded with Johnson’s candy-coated melodies, as he again displays his love of the 60s and 70s pop standards, and his time with The Shins and songwriting affinity with James Mercer shows its hand in the melodica and handclaps of The Balcony. As the record slows into the barren basement soul of Here For You, For Now, we are reminded of the whimsical daydreams Johnson can create. Exactly the type of moments that have kept fans of Fruit Bats coming back over the last two decades.

Loney Dear – A Lantern and a Bell

Secret Meeting says:

A Lantern and a Bell is a collection that’s loosely tied together with themes of the sea, but rather than being drenched in water, it’s instead tinged with the subtle scent of seaweed, and leaves a tingling speckle of salt on the cheeks. The ominous, ambient electronica that Svanägen swathes his songs in creates illusions of grey, steel, freighters breaking through the misty, early morning murk – ghosting in and out of vision like the ideas and themes that surface and sink throughout the record. Like Justin Vernon’s remote cabin in the woods that inspired Bon Iver’s debut record, Svanägen has used his unique surroundings on Stockholm’s Södermalm peninsula to colour and shape his latest album. While A Lantern and a Bell doesn’t crescend in the sense of traditional Loney Dear records, it instead develops and grows with each listen; its murmuring synths and sublime songwriting creates transportive and transformative ripples that gradually seep through the skin and saturate the heart.

Once you have made your way through the albums above, we would point you towards our interview with Fruit Bats for a further look into their brilliant new record The Pet Parade. If you want more of The Antlers you can subscribe to Zine 9 for an in depth interview.

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