As ever, we’re starting out a new month by poring over the schedules of upcoming album releases and distilling the slew of new music on offer into the form of a convenient list of the ten records you really, really should hear over the next four weeks or so. May looks like a particularly strong month — there are at least two albums that might well end up on our year-end Top 10 list (Savages and Majical Cloudz), along with a bunch of other good stuff from the likes of The National, Beaches, Standish/Carlyon, and plenty more. (And there’s also a new album from Spin Doctors, a fact that we will be pondering deeply for days. The world is a cold, dark place.)
Beaches — She Beats (May 3)
Psych quintet Beaches hail from your correspondent’s native Melbourne, and their self-titled debut was one of the great pleasures of the ’00s — a churning, unruly monster of a record, it took the driving beats and guitar wig-outs of bands like Neu! and allied them to a melodic sensibility, creating songs both powerful and decidedly hummable. This record takes the band’s sound a step further; it features spiritual forefather Michael Rother, for a start, and from the sound of the two tracks we’ve heard so far, also contains some of the band’s best songs yet.