Review and video: Eight unmissable music releases this April

Damon Albarn. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP) Damon Albarn. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP)

Alex Flood
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
2:23 PM

Music fanatic Alex Flood looks at the biggest new music releases coming up in April 2014.

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• Manchester Orchestra – Cope (Favourite Gentlemen, April 1)

Indie-rock veterans, Manchester Orchestra, mark their ten-year anniversary with the release of their fourth LP, Cope. With their last two efforts having failed to break the top twenty in their native US, the southern upstarts from Atlanta, Georgia are hoping that their alternative brand of anthemic choruses and infectious guitar riffs can finally make the kind of impact they’ve envisioned.

• Mobb Deep - The Infamous Mobb Deep (Infamous Records, April 1)

This eighth studio effort from American hip hop duo, Mobb Deep, has been in the works since 2011, but was unfortunately delayed due to a feud that broke out between the New York duo. Thankfully, Havoc and Prodigy have since reconciled and are set to release double album, The Infamous Mobb Deep, on Fools’ Day. With one disc comprising of entirely new material, and the other of unreleased tracks from the recording sessions for the Queens titans’ seminal 1995 record, The Infamous, the extended album will be an excellent chance for loyal fans to hear some new Mobb material for the first time since 2006’s Blood Money.

• John Frusciante – Enclosure (Record Collection, April 7)

The enigmatic, former-Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist will release his eleventh solo album, Enclosure, this month, and represents “the achievement of all the musical goals I had been aiming at the previous five years,” according to the incendiary axe-man. Known as one of the hardest-working and most creative artists in the industry, Frusciante’s music has taken a distinct turn towards experimental electronica since 2009’s Empyrean, and latest single, “Scratch”, six minutes of rhythmic rattlings and bassy beats, shows no sign of any reversion to more traditional, guitar-based music.

• Ratking – So It Goes (XL Records, April 8)

Raucous rebels from the Big Apple, Ratking, have often drawn close comparisons with fellow rap collective, Odd Future, for their more industrial brand of quick-witted, urbanised hip hop for the 21st century; and whilst they’re due to support Odd Future man, Earl Sweatshirt, on his upcoming tour of the States, the three-piece hope to come out from under the yolk of their influences this month with their debut record, So It Goes, due on April 8 via the well-respected XL records.

• Eels – The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett (Vagrant Records, April 21)

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Mark Everett’s band of rag-tag, bearded folkies from the Sunshine state have been making progressive, alternative-rock for close to twenty years now, and The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett will be their sixteenth studio album. With consistenly better success in Ol’ Blighty than in their native country, Eels may be hoping that this latest album will be the one that finally enables them to make their homecoming as heroes across the pond.

• Rodrigo y Gabriela – 9 Dead Alive (Rubyworks Records, April 28)

The legendary Mexican guitar duo of Rodrigo y Gabriela, purveyors of beautifully wistful, Latino balladry, will release their fourth album late this month, revealing the news through a twitter update thast described the forthcoming record thusly: “Each track is a personal celebration of individuals of who have passed on, but through their deeds and words still resonate in the 21st century.” Although arguably slightly morbid, 9 Dead Alive is sure to be yet another fantastic episode to the couple’s story.

• Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots (Parlophone, April 28)

The incomparable Blur frontman and serial collaborator releases his highly-anticipated debut solo effort under his own name, Everyday Robots, in the last week of April. The already released tracks, “Everyday Robots” and “Lonely Press Play”, are indicative of a more melancholic tone than his previous work with the Britpop group, featuring industrial, electronic elements and a vocal timbre not dissimilar to London art-rockers Golden Silvers. Having recently been announced as headlining Suffolk festival, Latitude, 2014 is shaping up to be another big year for the Essex musician.

• Pixies – Indie Cindy (Pixies Music, April 28)

Indie Cindy will be the Boston post-punk, poster boy’s fifth record, and their first since 1991’s Trompe le Monde, 21 years ago. Having lost critically-acclaimed bassist and lynchpin, Kim Deal in 2013, the band have yet to overcome their doubters since their reunion in 2004. Whatever happens, April 28 is a perfect opportunity to reimagine some of the nineties most exciting and influential music output.

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