October 2021

As we head towards putting our End of Year lists together, October has made the task somewhat more difficult – with such an array of outstanding records thrown into the mix. Narrowing this months list down to five was no easy task, but here are our Albums of the Month for October:

Circuit Des Yeux – -io

Secret Meeting says –

-io never settles into a groove, as Fohr continues to move the prism. Twisting and turning, every song is very much its own entity: the propulsive percussion of Dogma clashes with the spoken word Kate Bush-isms of The Chase; while the theatrical drones of Walking Towards Winter juxtapose the bright acoustic guitar that underpins Oracle Song. It’s a heavy 41 minutes that demands attention – each song a reflective take on grief, pain, isolation, society and space. But despite the magnitude of the arrangements, Fohr’s voice – which was clearly an influence on Anna B. Savage’s A Common Turn – is the anchor from which the songs hang.

Old Man of the Woods – Votives

Secret Meeting says –

On Votives, the debut album from Seattle based, Old Man of the Woods, singer-songwriter, Miranda Elliott, uses ambient washes, lo-fi pop hooks and electronic oscillations to scratch at the dichotomy of lives defined by conflict: conflict of the self, conflict with those around us, and conflict with the wider world. There is a push and pull to Elliott’s words, at one point asking for help, ‘I’m okay, but could you help me up?’ (Hissing), the next feeling ‘Lighter on my own’ (Votives), showing a desire to forge forward unaided. Finding the balance between contentment and dependency is universal and courses through the veins of all relationships – even those we have with ourselves or with the natural world. Elliott touches upon the confusion felt in navigating all of these in her uniquely abstruse compositions.

Le Ren – Leftovers

Secret Meeting says –

Last year’s extended play, Morning and Melancholia, was a set of songs deserving of their place on any record. For many, they’d each have been lead singles, but such is Spears’ talent that she didn’t feel the need to save them. Which brings us to Leftovers – a collection that could lifted from any of the last five decades. Spears is a ‘singer/songwriter’, but the label doesn’t do her justice. She is an immense artist, as shown on Dyan – an ode to her mother that surely left her, like I’m convinced it does many who encounter it, in tears at its unfeigned, pin sharp emotional pricking. Its plucked intro recalls Leonard Cohen; its narrative could be plucked from Townes Van Zandt’s canon.

For an exclusive interview with Le Ren, check out Zine issue 11 – details on how to order/subscribe here.

Hand Habits – Fun House

Secret Meeting says –

Fun House is a bold record. The third full length from singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Meg Duffy, it shakes off any hushed trepidation that may have been evident on its brilliant and beautifully understated predecessor, placeholder. Teaming up with Sasami Ashworth on production duties, everything about the record seems designed to elevate Duffy’s voice. Whether that be on the slightly eerie, but fantastically inviting glam pop of Aquamarine, or the tipsy plonk of Just To Hear (which shares a spirit with Aldous Harding), you are never left in any doubt of whose voice, and whose record, you are hearing.

WH Lung – Vanities

Secret Meeting says –

Fresh out of lockdown, fresh from a migration from Manchester to Todmorden, and with a fresh perspective on their approach to electronica, W.H. Lung have taken the Krautrock rhythms of their debut, Incidental Music, onto the dancefloor on the nine-track melody-laden, Vanities. Airier, lighter and cleaner than their Calder Valley classmates, Working Men’s Club, the new record finds them creating more breathing room among the beats and big synths – fully embracing a synth-pop propulsion.

For an exclusive interview with WH Lung, check out Zine issue 10 – details on how to order/subscribe here.

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