Albums to look out for in May

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This month’s wantlist.

Our favourite new albums to look out for this May, selected by VF’s Will Pritchard and Lazlo Rugoff.


Ulla

Limitless Frame

(Motion Ward)

Due: 10th May

“I made this music as a way to hug myself,” says elusive experimental producer Ulla of their latest album, Limitless Frame. Wispy synths bed down with scattered metallic interruptions, and the occasional stroke of guitar strings and sax guide an expansive, meditative mood. As intriguing as it is relieving. – WP


KMRU

Logue

(Injazero Records)

Due: 14th May

It feels strange to describe an ambient musician as a ‘breakout star’, but the past 12 months have proven a quiet whirlwind for Joseph Kamaru. He continues a prolific run with Logue, which comprises works created between 2017 and 2019. Fusing analogue synthesis with field recordings, the results exemplify the tenderness and warmth that have helped KMRU generate such a dedicated following over the last year. – WP


Jayda G

DJ Kicks

(!K7 Records)

Due: 14th May

!K7 taps Vancouver producer and DJ Jayda G to helm the latest instalment in its DJ Kicks series. Alongside new music from Jayda G herself, the compilation features Omar S, HAAi, DJ Boring, Jennifer Loveless and more. As she explains “This mix is full of nostalgia … it’s happy and sad at the same time.” – LR


Sons of Kemet

Black to the Future

(Impulse!)

Due: 14th May

Following up 2018’s acclaimed Your Queen Is A Reptile, the UK jazz group helmed by Shabaka Hutchings offer up a powerful new manifesto. Beginning and ending with a statement of rage and frustration expressed following the murder of George Floyd in 2020, the album is a taut melee of tuba, sax, and drums that reflects the group’s accomplished playing and free-flowing approach to composition. – WP


CHAI

WINK

(Sub Pop)

Due: 21st May

Japanese outfit CHAI craft “NEO-KAWAII” on their latest album, WINK, for indie staple Sub Pop. Drawing inspiration from Mac Miller, The Internet, and Brockhampton, the quartet fuse lo-fi r’n’b and hip-hop influences with pop-rock and dance-punk. – LR


Colleen

The Tunnel and the Clearing

(Thrill jockey Records)

Due: 21st May

Aiming to maximise creativity through the use of minimal tools, Colleen taps the potential of analogue instruments, a Yamaha organ keyboard, and Moog effects on her latest album. The Tunnel and the Clearing presents a tranquil coming together of analogue ambience, swirling keys, and Colleen’s own serene vocals. – LR


Bruxas

Muscle Memory

(Dekmantel)

Due: 24th May

Multi-instrumentalist Jacco Gardner and drummer Nic Mauskovic team up as Bruxas for debut album Muscle Memory on Dekmantel. “Crafting soundtracks to imaginary forgotten moments,” the duo bring together no-wave with “disco-noire thrillers”, psychedelia, and leftfield synthesiser explorations. – LR


Mustafa

When Smoke Rises

(Regent Park Songs)

Due: 28th May

Drawing influence from Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, and Richie Havens, Mustafa represents a new model of folk musician. He tells inner-city tales with the most delicate touch, and sings with a sweetness that belies the wisdom of his observations. James Blake, Jamie xx, and Frank Dukes all crop up on production duties, and Sampha makes a cameo too, but it’s clear who the central focus should be here. – WP


black midi

Cavalcade

(Rough Trade)

Due: 28th May

South London squall merchants black midi return with a high-concept LP, and are joined for the jaunt by saxophonist Kaidi Akinnibi and keyboard player Seth Evans. The album introduces a host of characters – “from a cult leader fallen on hard times and an ancient corpse found in a diamond mine, to legendary cabaret singer Marlene Dietrich” – who coalesce and cascade across the record. Expect glorious chaos. – WP


Penelope Trappes

Penelope Three

(Houndstooth)

Due: 28th May

Penelope Trappes brings her triptych of albums to a close with a focus on motherhood, anxiety, femininity, and healing. She centres her voice – cool and ethereal, yet grounded – to create rich lyrical dreamscapes that ultimately a sense of hope and comfort for the future. – WP