The essential albums of the last few months
Nao Saturn RCA
Soul star Nao’s second LP marks a decisive shift in sound and outlook from her 2016 debut, prompted by the end of a relationship. If her first album was indebted to Prince, the follow-up has a richer, neo-soul influence that showcases her dizzying vocal range. The sound of a woman set free.
Thom Yorke Suspiria XL
The Radiohead frontman’s trademark paranoia finds new dimensions on this film soundtrack, where skeletal lullabies weave around mangled synth fantasias, ancient-sounding chants and fingerpicked daydreams. As a stand-alone album, it ranks alongside his finest solo work.
Marissa Nadler For My Crimes BELLA UNION
On her eighth album the Boston singersongwriter is at her most powerful yet, taking stock of a relationship as it circles to a halt. It’s the sort of material her voice was made for – lovelorn, meditative, regretful, the whole thing sounding like a strong drink in a low-lit bar from the past.
Robyn Honey KONICHIWA
The Swedish electro-pop queen’s first album since 2010 takes her fascination with sadness to a new level, deconstructing heartbreak with the precision of a watchmaker as she pulls out all the emotional cogs and catches. Absence may define Honey, but Robyn’s presence is always felt.