The year is now halfway through, and it’s already given us a whole load of amazing records we love to play over and over again. The staff here are Gigantic are all totally passionate about music, so come check out all the albums that we have been buzzing about in 2023!
Well worth the wait. A lot of experimentation with styles and sounds but I wouldn’t expect anything less from them at this point!
Blending ambient electronica with dream pop, post rock and shoegaze; the sphere of influences bdrmm continues to swell to an enormous size. The Hull-based band could have easily buckled under the pressures of both second album syndrome and the sheer weight of their own creative ambitions. Instead, they have more than risen to the challenge and released a record that will no doubt be considered a masterpiece in their promising career and a vital addition to anyone’s collection in 2023. I Don't Know is out today on Mogwai's Rock Action Records and bdrmm kick off their promotional tour in November - CLICK HERE to book your tickets!
Supergroup of all supergroups, real nice lyrics and harmonies, some great songs to have a little cry to also :’)
Stand-out tracks: “Letter To An Old Poet”, “Leonard Cohen”, “Not Strong Enough”, “True Blue”.
Indie supergroup boygenius released their debut LP this year and had already amassed a huge following having only previously released one EP in 2018. But, with previous catalogues of music from Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker as an indication of what was possible, it’s not hard to see why the anticipation for The Record was high.
The Record is an incredible effort, with strong singles and infectious album tracks which gives each of these gifted musicians their own time to breathe and complement one another. It takes just enough style from each of the members’ previous work and blends it in a way that is fundamentally new and exciting.
What’s most endearing about The Record, though, is where its feeling of comradery, friendship, and childlike joy is most defined. In between its mournful moments are the warmest sunbeams of affection that is only uniquely found in female friendship.
boygenius play The Piece Hall, Halifax on Wednesday 23rd of August - CLICK HERE for tickets.
This debut album is full of filthy breakdowns, riffs, screams and more in a complete sexy mix of hardcore and metal chaos that is executed very well. They have explored environmental concerns & their dying hope for the government in their lyrics. Keep an eye on this South London band if you love the heavier brutally honest side of music.
My favourite tracks: “Hurt Locker”, “It All Returns To Nothing”, “An Affirming Flame”.
10 years have passed since Fall Out Boy's infamous hiatus came to an end, and their output since then has been somewhat shaky. With their eighth LP So Much (For) Stardust though, it feels as though Fall Out Boy finally have something important to say rather than just a contract to fulfil, and we’ve seen the return of a former spark that had been somewhat lacking since their comeback.
So Much (For) Stardust goes far beyond simply being a pop-punk throwback record. While we’re certainly closer to that sound than we've been for over a decade, the record shines brightest when it utilises Patrick Stump's (vocals, guitar) gift for composition, combined with Pete Wentz's (bass, lyrics) much-admired lyricism to create songs that are so far from what you’d expect from a Fall Out Boy track, such as disco-inspired "What a Time to Be Alive".
Without a shadow of doubt, So Much (For) Stardust is Fall Out Boy's finest work in at least 15 years, and is a perfect amalgam of each of their seven previous albums.
I’ve been walking around screaming “BE MY WARRIOR” with any friends that know it ever since it came out – “Cowboy Nudes” is the unrivalled anthem of the year. Having said that the whole album is so refreshingly fun, ambitious & full of energy. Song-wise, there’s so much variety - it’s all weird, feels good & slaps, what’s not to love?
Side note: Snake Sideways – Do Nothing comes out today & will obviously be album of the year.
Geese tour in September - CLICK HERE for tickets.
Janelle Monae’s latest effort The Age of Pleasure is a perfect cocktail of self-expression, queerness, sexuality and – above all – pleasure.
Where its predecessor Dirty Computer dabbled in these themes in between moments of anger, identity, and politics, The Age Of Pleasure is a near-perfect 31 minute shot of soulful serotonin. It fuses afrobeat, reggae and pop together in an intricately woven and succinct track list; in places it transitions so smoothly you don’t even realise you’ve moved on to the next song.
The Age of Pleasure is already a summer classic that’s central emotion is joy. Crucially it feels as though it’s exactly the record Monae needed to release in a time where, all too frequently, it’s difficult to publicly celebrate your authentic self. And yet, in The Age of Pleasure she does it so beautifully.
Mellow, sentimental but upbeat piano-driven jazz-pop, very cool, very nice.
Top Tracks: “Irony Would Have It”, “Mortician”, “Suspend Your Disbelief” & that one drum fill in the outro of “Museum”.
For a band that made waves over the last two years with a song called “Big Disappointment”, the highly anticipated debut album from Ian Shelton’s Militarie Gun certainly does not disappoint.
Packed front to back with hooks and endlessly relatable lyricism, I can’t see another record knocking this off its perch for 2023.
Country music’s poster boy Wallen’s 3rd album! An eclectic mix of styles spanning from more traditional country (Thought You Should Know) to anthemic rap cuts (Cowgirls) the album plays in total cohesive harmony. Wallen explores and reflects on his past and present, many themes accessible to everyone. This could very well be THE album that brings the inner country fan out of everyone.
My favourite tracks: “Last Night”, “Thought You Should Know”, “Cow Girls (Feat. ERNEST)”.
In this new wave of emo, Paramore once again find themselves at a pivotal point in their career where they're effortlessly redefining the genre that brought them into the limelight almost 20 years ago.
This Is Why is a delicious blending of Bloc Party-inspired dance-punk, Talking Heads-esque rock, and good old-fashioned pop-punk. Somehow, Paramore released a record this year that appears as though it's their tightest, most meticulously planned and refined of their career; yet in contrast, it feels as though they have, in part, relinquished some control.
Paramore’s sixth record is almost gloriously feral in places: unapologetically honest and deeply personal, with its best moments coming from an outpouring of political outrage, aching emotional turmoil, and tongue-in-cheek self-deprecation.
It may be a well-trodden path for loudmouth Jason Williamson and producer Andrew Fearn, yet again mixing up DIY beats with spat-out bars of street poetry rage, but the Nottingham pairing’s latest LP UK Grim has proven to be the best Sleaford Mods album since seminal record Divide and Exit. Gritty, witty, but never pretty – it’s a vital addition to the ultimate Marmite band’s back catalogue.
A bonkers collection of tunes built around the twin centrepieces of “Struttin’” and “I’m Pissed”. Is it punk? Is it funk? Who cares! You don’t have to understand, you just have to let the madness in 😊
Thumpasaurus play Chalk, Brighton on Friday 18th of August - CLICK HERE for tickets.