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Album: Vivian Girls – Share The Joy

With their latest effort, this all-female trio from Brooklyn seek to surpass their ordinary, hastily executed kitsch in pursuit of a more exploratory sound. Emerging from the noise-pop scene of New York that has manufactured the equally derivative Crystal Stilts, the Vivian Girls have reveled in their unpolished and hurried style, stubbornly sticking to their uncompromising, primitive clatter. In Share the Joy these achingly hip darlings of Pitchfork, in some ways succeed in going beyond their familiar C86 like jangles.

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Album: Elbow – Build A Rocket Boys!

Build a Rocket Boys! is Elbow’s fifth album and follow up from their 2008 Mercury award-winning The Seldom Seen Kid. The Brit-Rockers still pedal their guitar-orientated brand of melancholy, but this time have swapped cynicism for nostalgia.

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Album: Cut Copy – Zonoscope

After 2008’s insanely popular In Ghost Colours, Cut Copy were always going to struggle to follow up with an album that packed the same punch and ability to fill the dance floor. The Australian quartet’s third instalment provides us with a more serene landscape in which, whilst still maintaining the summertime bounce and sunshine appeal of old, also offers a more experimental insight into the path the band may now take. After due consideration, this path appears one I do not want to hear much more from.

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Album: Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes

Apparently, if Swedish songstress, prolific hipster go-to girl and all-round drama queen Lykke Li “ever got as big as Madonna”, she “would want to run away and die”. As charming as this news is, her message, loud and clear, is that the Top 40 simply isn’t for her. She doesn’t need chart figures or sales numbers, especially not when she is producing material on the level of quality of sophomore effort Wounded Rhymes.

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Album: The Vaccines – What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?

The Vaccines have been tipped to be one of the biggest bands this year – even featuring in the BBC’s Sound of 2011 – yet it has been hard not to be sceptical of their success due to the contacts they apparently have at their disposal. The vocalist Justin Young used to be flatmates with Marcus Mumford and the guitarist, Freddie Cowan, is the younger brother of Tom from the Horrors, which could suggest that they have the potential to be another over-hyped pop outfit. However, What Did You Expect From the Vaccines? suggests that they also have the talent to compliment their address book.

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Album: The Streets – Computers and Blues

News of the eagerly anticipated final Streets album release has excited fans, hearing claims that Mike Skinner had returned to the high standards of ‘Original Pirate Material’ and ‘A Grand Don’t Come For Free.’ Once again Mike Skinner has produced a fresh and impressive album, reminiscent of the early work that made him the success he is. Many feel that it is definitely not his best album, perhaps third in line, and I would have to agree. Whilst this may seem harsh, this still gives Computer and Blues ample high praise.

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Album: PJ Harvey – Let England Shake

Let me first begin by stating that I like PJ Harvey. I like concept albums. I like history. And I like weird, plinky music. If these things are not true of you, you may not share my enthusiasm for Let England Shake.

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Album: Iron & Wine – Kiss Each Other Clean

Before listening to this album, my only previous encounter with Iron & Wine was via the overly twee ballad ‘Such Great Heights’, courtesy of the Garden State soundtrack. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised by the overall content of Kiss Each Other Clean.

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Album: Deerhoof – Deerhoof vs. Evil

Deerhoof have lingered in the left field of pop idiosyncrasy for more than a decade, loved by critics and existing as a name that is ever-present in the music blogosphere. While their influence is cited by many of the most innovative artists in the alternative world, they have yet to pierce the skin of the mainstream in the way bands such as Grizzly Bear have in the past couple of years. With Deerhoof vs. Evil, their critical adoration will continue, although whether they can gain the level of visibility that has so far eluded them remains to be seen.

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Album: Skepta – Doin’ It Again

Most grime novices will know the name Skepta as being that of the man partly to blame for an embarrassing dance craze, known as the ‘Rolex Sweep,’ (a kind of, ghetto Macarena). But he may also have reached your radar lately in the form of the recent chart tracks ‘Bad Boy’ and ‘Rescue Me,’ from his third studio album Doin’ it Again.