The Guardian Indie

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  1. Dua Lipa is the most nominated artist for a second year in a row, joined by Essex pop star Anne-Marie on four nominations

    Dua Lipa has become the most-nominated artist at the Brit awards for a second year in a row, underlining her status as one of the UK’s biggest pop stars this decade.

    After being nominated for five awards in 2018 and winning two, for British female and British breakthrough artist, the British-Kosovan singer is nominated four times in 2019 – though admittedly just for two hit songs. IDGAF, taken from her self-titled debut album last year but still eligible for this year’s awards, was nominated for British single and British video, with One Kiss, her summer smash hit with Scottish producer Calvin Harris, also nominated in the same categories.

    Related:Anne-Marie: the platinum Essex pop star fighting anxiety and body shame

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  2. (Memphis Industries)

    Peter Brewis of Field Music and Sarah Hayes of Admiral Fallow met at a Kate Bush celebration show and began working together with the intention of him producing her. That their collaboration evolved into a band is cause for a little midwinter celebration. You Tell Me is a record of countless pleasures, one that manages to jump between different points without ever sounding jumpy for the sake of it. It’s delightfully eclectic rather than irritatingly restless.

    The opening track, Enough to Notice, is a bit of a red herring: direct and four-to-the-floor, poppy but in the sense that Teleman are poppy, rather than in the way Little Mix are poppy. But the impression at the end of the album is that you’ve been listening to a folk record, which comes from the strength of the largely acoustic tracks – Foreign Parts, Springburn, No Hurry, Jouska and Kabuki – and from Hayes’s gorgeous, lightly accented voice. There are hints of Fairport Convention, too, in the glorious Clarion Call, which offers one of pop’s most appealing sonic combinations – slide guitar and a woman’s voice – and elements of systems music in the skittering keyboard patterns of Invisible Ink.

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  3. (Jagjaguwar)

    Like all of Sharon Van Etten’s previous albums, 2014’s Are We Therewas preoccupied by a prior toxic relationship – co-dependency couched in a sour combination of abuse and affection. Its follow-up opens with a track that references that period of disquieting soul-baring in the form of a meta-confessional: I Told You Everything has Van Etten divulging the details of her traumatic past to a sympathetic new partner, but not the listener. It’s a move that acknowledges the musician’s suffering but also inches the story forward, hinting that the New Jersey native has a different life now (a suggestion confirmed by her hectic-sounding recent biography: over the past four years she has had a child, taken up acting and started studying for a degree in counselling). Change is something echoed in the sound of Remind Me Tomorrow too, a collection that sees Van Etten edge away from her trademark guitar and towards drones, piano and vintage synths.

    Related:Sharon Van Etten: ‘The more I let go, the more I progress as a human being’

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  4. Recorded in rural Texas, this atmospheric album switches from psych-pop to alt-rock to experimental lo-fi, held together by Bradford Cox’s drawl

    The eighth album by Deerhunter comes with a lot of words attached, of varying degrees of usefulness. There is a prose poem by frontman Bradford Cox every bit as incomprehensible as the stuff Bob Dylan used to append to the back covers of his 60s albums, evidently written while Dylan was speeding his nuts off. There are simple descriptors of the themes in each song: genuinely illuminating when dealing with a writer such as Cox, whose lyrics are famously made up on the spot, stream-of-consciousness style. But most telling of all might be the press release trumpeting the arrival of Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? to the world, unmistakably also Cox’s handiwork. No “it’s our best album yet and we’re psyched for you to hear it” for the Atlanta band. Instead, it’s largely concerned with glumly pondering what the point of making albums is at all: “In an era when attention spans have been reduced to next to nothing, and the tactile grains of making music have been further reduced to algorithms and projected playlist placement.” He asks: “Is it needed now? Is it relevant? Perhaps only to a small audience.”

    Related:Sign up for the Sleeve Notes email: music news, bold reviews and unexpected extras

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  5. With the uproarious Idles hitting the road, Kamasi Washington play a mind-expanding UK show, and new albums from the Specials, Weezer and AJ Tracey, here are the sounds the new year will be shaking to

    The 1975’s progress from cult status to platinum-selling stadium-fillers has looked swift and straightforward, at least from the outside, but it hasn’t come at the expense of their desire to experiment. New album A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships teems with ideas from cool jazz to glitchy electronica, brash 80s pop to Drake-ish Auto-Tune, house music to the kind of ballads designed to raise the roof at venues like these.
    Tour begins 9 January, SSE Arena, Belfast

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