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Album of the Week: Belle & Sebastian – Late Developers

New Zealand Net Radio plays a song from our irregularly updated #albumoftheweek every hour from 9am to 12pm. Listen in @tunein at http://tun.in/sfAtE

This is a tuneful and enjoyable album from the UK indie band, their second in twelve months – put it down to lockdown productivity. Pitchfork described it as “Eerily digestible synth pop with essences of palm-muted guitar and a maniacally catchy refrain, it feels like a late-career attempt to indoctrinate new members of the cult.”

Album of the Week: Margo Price – Strays

New Zealand Net Radio plays a song from our irregularly updated #albumoftheweek every hour from 9am to 12pm. Listen in @tunein at http://tun.in/sfAtE

This is Margo Price’s fourth album (her last effort was That’s How rumors Get Started in 2020) and was produced with the assistance of plenty of big names including Jonathan Wilson, Sharon Van Etten, Mike Campbell and Lucius. These yield some great songs including the very catchy “Radio” featuring one of our favourites Van Etten helping on vocals. Pitchfork described it as “burst(ing) with easy confidence and kind, stoic wisdom”.

Album of the Week: Dermot Kennedy – Sonder

New Zealand Net Radio plays a song from our irregularly updated #albumoftheweek every hour from 9am to 12pm. Listen in @tunein at http://tun.in/sfAtE

Most of the reviews describe this heartfelt album as ‘polished’. Kennedy told Apple Music that “there’s a lot of light and darness in my life, and I need to honour both sides in every song”. Expanding his sound from 2019 debut Without Fear Dermot has produced a solid collection of really well produced often bombastic songs with enough variety to hold the interest. An Irish artist we look forward to seeing him continue building album to album.

Album of the Week: The Lone Below – Love Songs For Losers

New Zealand Net Radio plays a song from our irregularly updated #albumoftheweek every hour from 9am to 12pm. Listen in @tunein at http://tun.in/sfAtE

Aaron Dessner (The National) teamed up with The Lone Bellow for this great album that has just grown on us over the past week. Developing their Country/Americana sound to a more Indie sound it is a great collection of memorable songs that highlight the bands vocal talents, especially their beautiful harmonies. AllMusic describe the album as offering “creative abundance and possibility”. We look forward to exploring it this week.

Album of the Week: Taylor Swift – Midnights

New Zealand Net Radio plays a song from our irregularly updated #albumoftheweek every hour from 9am to 12pm. Listen in @tunein at http://tun.in/sfAtE

There is always a perverse desire to avoid choosing an obvious choice for Album of the Week, particularly on a week when Taylor Swift releases a new LP. Once again we ignore that temptation despite a number of other strong new releases this week – Arctic Monkeys, Carly Rae Jepsen, Simple Minds, A-ha, Meghan Trainor and Tegan and Sara are some alternatives that spring to mind. Perhaps in coming weeks. Midnights harkens back to the sound and some of the melodic tricks of Lover however contains sufficient inventiveness (especially in the lyrics) to be evidence of Swift’s continued songwriting prowess (and incredible output!).

Album of the Week: Tove Lo – Dirt Femme

New Zealand Net Radio plays a song from our irregularly updated #albumoftheweek every hour from 9am to 12pm. Listen in @tunein at http://tun.in/sfAtE

Tove Lo produces another solid collection of dance oriented pop with her perspective on relationships and identity. The Telegraph described it as a “riot of feisty, unapologetically forthright, dance-led pop”.

Album of the Week: Marcus Mumford – (untitled)

New Zealand Net Radio plays a song from our irregularly updated #albumoftheweek every hour from 9am to 12pm. Listen in @tunein at http://tun.in/sfAtE

Marcus Mumford felt the need to flex his songwriting muscles during lockdown. Instead of collaborating with his usual “Mumford & Sons” collective he created this solo album, working with producer Blake Mills. He deals with some very personal issues on here (NME describes it as “undoubtedly an emotional and often heart-breaking listen”), but also maintains his distinctive style.

Album of the Week: O’Jays – Back Stabbers

New Zealand Net Radio plays a song from our irregularly updated #albumoftheweek every hour from 9am to 12pm. Listen in @tunein at http://tun.in/sfAtE

Although we usually highlight new albums in the Album of the Week slot, this year we head back 50 years to the release of the O’Jays breakthrough album. The group had been around since the late 1950s, but it was Back Stabbers that took them to the big time, particularly with the single “Love Train” which was their biggest and best known hit. This album belongs in any serious soul collection and has been described as “the Pinnacle of Philly soul”.

Album of the Week: Maggie Rogers – Surrender

New Zealand Net Radio plays a song from our irregularly updated #albumoftheweek every hour from 9am to 12pm. Listen in @tunein at http://tun.in/sfAtE

We’ve been following Maggie Rogers career for a few years, and she’s produced another great body of work. Collaborating with Kid Harpoon (who played a big part in Harry Styles’ latest megahit) she is refocused but still inspired. A very smart lady (she has also knocked out a Harvard Masters in the last couple of years) she has produced what Pitchfork calls an album of “confident pop anthems” – from a point of burnout after years of touring (and study!) she has actually produced a joyful collection.