Coldcut and On-U Sound’s ‘Outside the Echo Chamber’

Dave Faulkner
A collaboration between dance and dub legends Coldcut and On-U Sound delivers an impressively forward-thinking reggae album, with stellar contributions from Roots Manuva, Ce’Cile and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry.

Sylvan Esso’s ‘What Now’

Dave Faulkner

On What Now, North Carolinian electronic duo Sylvan Esso successfully meld voice and instruments in a way that dissolves the distinction.

Composer and Oscar winner Hans Zimmer finds new audiences

Darryn King

Composer Hans Zimmer’s monumental soundscapes have won him an Oscar for The Lion King and powered Christopher Nolan’s films, but their rapturous reception at rock music festival Coachella took even him by surprise.

Polish Club’s ‘Alright Already’

Dave Faulkner
For all the bands who think they know rock’n’roll, Sydney duo Polish Club use their debut album to prove they actually do.

The Magnetic Fields’ ‘50 Song Memoir’

Dave Faulkner
Composing a song for every year of Stephin Merritt’s life has resulted in The Magnetic Fields’ eclectic five-album tour de force, 50 Song Memoir.

Malian singer Inna Modja on the activism in her music

Jane Cornwell
As a model and fledgling pop star, Inna Modja kept her personal story to herself. But as her profile grew, so did her passion to speak out.

Cherry Glazerr’s ‘Apocalipstick’

Dave Faulkner
With a sharp and unpredictable songwriter, LA’s new wave pop trio Cherry Glazerr are walking in the footsteps of Blondie.

A. B. Original’s ‘Reclaim Australia’

Dave Faulkner
Hip-hop duo A. B. Original have delivered an incendiary album describing the experiences of Aboriginal Australia, and it’s the most exciting local release of the year.

Syd Arthur’s ‘Apricity’

Dave Faulkner
The shifting time signatures of Syd Arthur’s latest psychedelic album, Apricity, testify to the tight musicianship and broad influences of this band of brothers from Canterbury.

D.D Dumbo’s ‘Utopia Defeated’

Dave Faulkner
Australian solo act D. D Dumbo’s debut album Utopia Defeated marries African desert blues and Captain Beefheart skronk to a darkly mysterious lyrical core.

Big Scary’s ‘Animal’

Dave Faulkner
Melbourne’s Big Scary have delivered a cycle of dark and intimate songs with a looser, live feel that makes it a masterpiece.

The Delta Riggs’ ‘Active Galactic’

Dave Faulkner
With flashes of The Strokes and a debt to The Rolling Stones, Active Galactic has The Delta Riggs delivering swaggering dance-floor rock’n’roll the way it’s meant to be.

Glass Animals’ ‘How To Be a Human Being’

Dave Faulkner
The second album of twisty pop from Oxford’s Glass Animals invites deeper investigation of its themes.

Neko Case, k.d. lang and Laura Veirs collaborate for ‘case/lang/veirs’

Dave Faulkner
A collaboration between singer-songwriters Neko Case, k. d. lang and Laura Veirs to record some covers has instead produced an original album of consummate craft.

The Avalanches’ ‘Wildflower’

Dave Faulkner
The Avalanches' long-awaited second album expands their crate-digging methods to blend heavyweight guest rappers with Californian sunshine pop.

Montaigne hits the high notes

A. H. Cayley
Unearthed by Triple J, singer-songwriter Montaigne has passionate fans, a promising future, and a glorious, if temperamental, voice.

Dope Lemon’s ‘Honey Bones’

Dave Faulkner
The debut album from Angus Stone’s side project Dope Lemon is the product of a tightknit band in a relaxed setting.

Car Seat Headrest’s ‘Teens of Denial’

Dave Faulkner
Car Seat Headrest’s Teens of Denial is not just the rock album of the year, but may be the emergence of a new musical genius.

Manchester photographer Kevin Cummins, from Joy Division to Happy Mondays

Anwen Crawford
His photographs helped shape rock mythology. Now Kevin Cummins’ iconic shots are gracing Vivid.

PJ Harvey’s ‘The Hope Six Demolition Project’ and Anohni’s ‘Hopelessness’

Dave Faulkner
New albums from PJ Harvey and Anohni address personal anguish over global political failures with unusual directness.

The irony of Father John Misty

Kate Holden
Father John Misty delivers bruising piss-taking, knowing manipulation of celebrity, and surprisingly sincere love songs.

The ACO’s Richard Tognetti maintains his daredevilry

Darryn King
Long-time ACO artistic director Richard Tognetti has lost nothing of his youthful passion and daring.

Summer Flake’s ‘Hello Friends’

Dave Faulkner
Summer Flake’s Stephanie Crase has made good on all the promises of her first album with a sound that is pensive and intricate.

Underworld’s ‘Barbara Barbara, We Face a Shining Future’

Dave Faulkner
Unbound from dance floor imperatives, techno legends Underworld’s first album in six years weaves a seductive spell.

Eska comes to WOMADelaide

Jane Cornwell
Musician Eska Mtungwazi overcame self-doubt and stereotyping to launch her eclectic solo career.