Reviewing can be a tricky balance between questionable fawning and unnecessarily cruel character assassinations. My approach is to first consider what the artist was setting out to achieve, and then whether or not that aim was successful. I've written reviews for Dork, Under the Radar, Skiddle, and The Ransom Note.

Album review: Squid - Bright Green Field

Brighton five-piece Squid may have built their brand on post-punk belters, but with their debut album, ‘Bright Green Fields’, they’re trying their hands as architects. “This album has created an imaginary cityscape,” explains drummer and singer Ollie Judge, “A kind of dystopian British cityscape.” Only around 5% of the UK is urbanised, but in the hyperreality of modern Britain, most of us are more likely to see the rolling green hills of a Windows background than we are that other 95%.

EP review: Nilüfer Yanya - Feeling Lucky?

Riding high off her excellent full-length debut, 2019's 'Miss Universe', Nilüfer Yanya returns with a smaller, more focused EP that's no less accomplished, and all the more potent for its brevity. At just three tracks long, this is more of a moreish taster, something to tide us over till the next project proper, but in answer to the titular question, 'Feeling Lucky?', it's hard to imagine anyone saying no (well, at least in the context of new Nilüfer Yanya material).

Album review: Jimothy Lacoste - The Safeway

Jimothy Lacoste is clearly having a laugh. Everything about his persona, from his obsession for high fashion that feeds into his flexing stage name, to his insistence on sticking "Getting" on the front of every song title on his debut album, feels like the result of a popstar experiment gone wrong. And yet, it works. Jimothy's ability to play this charade totally straight elevates 'The Safeway' from curiosity to curiously compelling.

Album review: Kelly Lee Owens - Inner Song

Kelly Lee Owens is many things—dream pop crooner, techno fuser, vinyl enthuser—but more than anything else, she’s a mood landscaper. Nestled somewhere between bedroom pop and dancefloor bop, her endlessly evocative electronic music charts the emotional throughlines that tie the night out to the morning after. Owens’ sophomore record, Inner Song, finds her searching tirelessly for emotional catharsis, and for meaning between the lines, but she’s forever haunted by the rhythmic pace of last night’

Film review: She Dies Tomorrow

All of us, at some point, must come to terms with the fact that everyone we have ever known will die, and that we ourselves will die. On an instinctive level we know this already; it’s what informs our aversions to the dark, or to sudden noises and creepy crawlies, but when that rational realisation crystallises, it’s hard to process. Death is too abstract a concept to truly comprehend, and so our fears instead seed into other aspects of our life, the areas where we can take control. In that way, grounded concerns distort into paranoia.

Film review: The Rental

Few trends have captured the millennial sense of self worth and (occasional) sense of self awareness as mumblecore. Defined primarily by muffled naturalistic dialogue, lo-fi production values, and a near-total preoccupation with the trials and tribulations of young middle class Americans, over the past two decades directors like Andrew Bujalski, the Duplass Brothers and Joe Swanberg have carved out their own niches in a genre characterised by nicheness.

Film review: The Rise of Skywalker coughs, splutters, soils itself and dies

Star Wars is in absolute tatters. Disney’s tenure has felt like a game of internal chicken, eyeing up Lucas’ disastrous prequel trilogy and egging themselves on to balls things up even more. There’s been a bevvy of aborted standalone films, a trilogy that totally lacked for a unifying vision (despite the first two parts both being plenty entertaining), and a fanbase that’s never been more divided on what constitutes Star Wars. $4 billion well spent, huh?

Film review: Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a rare example of pure beauty

What marks Portrait of a Lady on Fire as a more full-bodied work than its impressive romantic thread, is the wider angle Sciamma takes regarding loving relationships. With men largely regulated to off-screen spectres and the things of ancient myth, the full spectrum of female communal spirit grows in the spaces left behind. In Sciamma’s frame no woman is perfect, and yet through sororal companionship something perfect begins to take hold.

Film review: The Lighthouse fuses high contrast horror with dark comedy

The Lighthouse isn’t simply a film shot in black & white—it’s a picture that resonates deeply with stark binary contrasts, even as these oppositions frequently collapse. Where many might accuse A24 of having fanned the flame of shallow visual gimmicks since their inception in 2012, with his second feature Robert Eggers proves striking imagery and strong storytelling are no strange bedfellows

Film review: When Lambs Become Lions

When Lambs Become Lions opens on a roaring fire, or at least that’s what we have to assume. The credits roll out over several shots of a towering plume of smoke, thick black clouds billowing out from a molten orange core. It’s a striking image to start a documentary on, one that feels evasive and pointed. By presenting consequence without instigation, it not only creates atmosphere, but speaks deeply to director Jon Kasbe’s ambivalence.

Album review: FKA twigs - Magdalene

What Barnett is aiming for on MAGDALENE is perhaps best expressed by its first single, "cellophane." Everyone's trying, but those stitches don't always heal right. Sometimes it's easier to stop still, and just let yourself be overwhelmed; sometimes, we don't bridge the gaps we know we should. MAGDALENE might not be perfect, but it reverberates with the sound of someone shutting the door on a difficult chapter in their life.
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