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5 Nottingham Albums to Listen to in 2019

21 January 19

All the good stuff for your tabs from some cracking Notts musicians...

Cantaloupe
Error States (Album)
There’s no sin in synthpop. Cantaloupe’s Error States is a collection of eighties-tinged love songs for the digital generation, and they pack in more references to tech than The IT Crowd. You know Cantaloupe all wear great shoes, and at times they’re reminiscent of Arcade Fire at their poppiest. Shut Down opens with sexy, throbbing synths and waifish vocals worthy of Alison Goldfrapp or Ladytron. Crowd-pleaser Change the Record is sweet, breezy, dripping with nostalgia, and would find itself at home in an episode of Stranger Things. Breathe is a blissful chill-out track of overlapping hums, while The Flood is soaring space-angel noises. End track Bad News has a gorgeously melancholy Portishead-esque hook, while failing to dampen Error States’ utopian vibe. “It’s a complicated spreadsheet that nobody can manage but me” may or may not refer to their impressive list of vocalists. Either way, it all computes. Natalie Mills

Truhvas
4Play (EP)

Hip-hop artist Truhvas has been on the up and up for a while now. His track Horoscopes was given a premiere on BBC Radio Introducing, and he followed up on its success with three songs which all tell a story about the man behind the music. Each track is a hit in its own right, but Canerows slows down the upbeat tempo found on the rest of the EP, allowing us to hear the raw talent in his voice that’s given less focus elsewhere. Truhvas is no stranger to the business, having made music since 2002 in his mum’s studio. Seventeen years later, he is finally getting well-deserved recognition that’s been a long time coming. Alexandra Chrysotomou

Luke Peter Foster

Of the Night (Single)
Of The Night is the most recent work of Nottingham-based spoken-word artist Luke Peter Foster. With an honest depth and lyrical complexity that brings back echoes of Loyle Carner, Foster shows serious development in his sound. The addition of live guitar rather than sampling injects a melancholic realness into the song, and a sudden turn into a darker, more detailed lyrics shows Foster maturing as an artist. The whole thing is offset by the docile rhythm of the beat, emulating the calmness of night and helping to put us straight into his perfect-condition CDGs. It’s a modern ballad embodying the moral dilemmas of someone with a lot of music left to give. Oli Aston

 

Asa
Asa (Album)

His name is Asa, but you might know him as “that guy who works at Fopp”. On this self-titled debut album, Asa goes full-on Trent Reznor and pretty much writes, records and produces the whole bleddy thing, playing every instrument while he’s at it. The raw tone of the album is reminiscent of the Stooges, with the unhinged guitars, thick basslines and thumping drums as seen on songs like Ibuprofen. Asa’s wide range of influences is prevalent on this album; Bringin’ Em Down sounds like a mesh between The Clash and The Beach Boys, while Citrus Sucka A Yah-Yah show his hip-hop influence. It’s all very nineties, with a laid-back, psychedelic feel and a distinctly British twist. Matthew Williams

Ben McElroy
The Word Cricket Made Her Happy (Album)
Nottingham-based musician Ben McElroy makes ambient music with a blend of acoustic instruments and computer-processing vibes. This album, released on Eilean Records, features seven tracks with sounds ranging from pure drone in The Sailor And The Albatros, to homey, UK-styled folk in the title track. Transitions from instrumental focus in Ink Drunk to more vocal moments in All Around Prayed The Drowned Men keep the album fresh, while the happy-go-lucky titular track makes good use of strings, and final track The Yellow’un Always Wins grounds you with its natural depth. This journey through vocals and instruments offers something equally delicate and brooding, and sticks around with you long after a listen. Malvika Padin

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