Bruce Springsteen’s 19th album – Western Stars – his first studio release since 2014 is a sound investment for anyone who loves The Boss. Poignant, weary and character-driven comes to mind when listening to Springsteen’s new collection of songs that are all basically about loners and other lost souls. In a nutshell the old statesman seems to dig deep into his bag of tricks pulling off arguably his best album in ages.
Does anyone still care about Madonna out there? Well, if we are to judge Madonna’s new album Madame X by how much we are talking about it, then the answer is probably yes. Or is it a case of that we just want to talk about Madonna, so we can tear her down and remind ourselves how irrelevant she is as an artist nowadays? I certainly hope it’s not the latter. In short, Madonna on Madame X is happily chasing trends but eccentric enough to remind us that well, she’s still Madonna!
There is no better time to be a fan of indie folk music than now. Sam Beam better known as Iron & Wine together with members of Calexico, who all first worked together way back in 2005, are back with a new collaborative effort called Years to Burn. With eight tracks to make you feel right at home, I already cannot get enough of the soothing strumming guitars of The Bitter Suite and Follow the Water or the otherworldly instrumental (featuring a jazz sounding trumpet) of Outside El Paso. While the album’s last track makes for a great singalong, I’m afraid I’m going to go for Father Mountain with Beam’s infectious vocals as my favourite track on the album thus far.
It’s a real treat to hear some wonderful music this week and Doom Days, Bastille’s incredible third album fits that bill perfectly. The album has been described as “a record of hope for turbulent times” and it is no more evident in its unyielding title track, a song about modern anxieties from phone addiction to climate change denial. As a new listener to Bastille, I find their approach to indie pop completely engrossing. I look forward to immersing myself with this wholly inventive album.