Wolf Alice, Erika de Casier + more: our five favourite records of the week

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Wolf Alice, Erika de Casier + more: our five favourite records of the week

Words by Sam McNiece

Plus new releases from Elder Island, Sleep D and Biig Piig.

Friday is here, which means it’s release day for a bunch of artists at home and around the world. With so many hot releases out there to tuck into, we’ve compiled some of the best to present to you for the weekend.

This week’s top picks:

  • Erika de Casier – Sensational
  • Wolf Alice – Blue Weekend
  • Elder Island – Swimming Static
  • Sleep D & Ad Lib Collective – Flashed Glass
  • Biig Piig – The Sky is Bleeding

Read all the latest music news here.

Erika de Casier – Sensational

Hot off a remix of Dua Lipa’s Physical, Erika de Casier releases her sophomore album, Sensational.

Erika puts out a sophisticated and refined record for her second outing, feeling into themes of intimacy and trust. Her elegant voice floats above the nineties and noughties style RnB instrumentals with a sense of grace and ease.

The up and coming Portuguese-born Danish singer seems to speak directly to you with her airy vocals not unlike the late, great Aaliyah. Top tracks include ‘No Butterflies, No Nothing’ showcasing Erika’s falsetto range and ‘Polite’ – in which she talks about dating a person who she is infatuated with but is turned off by their manners, singing “if you wanna be my type you better start being polite”.

As with her first record Essentials, we’d definitely recommend listening to this record alone or with an intimate partner.

Wolf Alice – Blue Weekend

London based Wolf Alice release their eagerly-awaited third album which has been dubbed a “stone-cold masterpiece” today.

After plotting out demos in an Airbnb, Wolf Alice enlisted Markus Dravs for this record, who has previously worked with Arcade Fire, Brian Eno and Florence + The Machine.

‘How Can I Make It OK?’ is an emotional power-ballad for the ages. The first chorus of the track features a beautiful gated snare drum on top of a muted drum machine and subdued synth line that lets Ellie Rowsell’s voice take centre stage before launching into a bold second verse.

Other standouts are ‘Safe From Heartbreak (If You Never Fall In Love)’, ‘Smile’ and ‘No Hard Feelings’.

Blue Weekend solidifies Wolf Alice’s position as one of the UK’s best bands after their 2017 Mercury Prize winning album Visions of Life. 

Stay tuned for an interview with Wolf Alice online and in our print magazine soon!

Elder Island – Swimming Static

Hailing from Bristol, Elder Island create stunning sound textures on their new record Swimming Static.

The UK trio transcends genres on this LP floating between electronica, indie, pop and neo-soul with ease. Their ability to create catchy and dance-worthy tracks that can still pull on your heart strings is remarkable.

The track “Feral” is particularly special. A bossa nova beat combined with the driving bassline creates this interesting energy which reminds one of when The XX first stepped onto the scene. Other favourites include ‘Purely Educational’ and ‘Queen of Kings’.

The band have additionally released a 16-minute short film exploring their process of creating this album.

Sleep D & Ad Lib Collective – Flashed Glass

Melbourne techno scene legends combine with a six-person chamber ensemble to release a record that showcases the intersectionality between the two.

First connecting in 2018 via the Play On event series which matches classical musicians with electronic ones, Sleep D and Ad Lib Collective collaborate in creating a stunning view of modern electronic music. Bringing forth a sense of wonder, this record has some classic Sleep D fingerprints from crisp percussion to the gorgeous bass sounds on ‘Shelter’.

Mixed and mastered by Sleep D’s own Corey Kikos, who is one of Melbourne’s most in demand engineers in the dance music community, you know this will sound good in every environment.

From the subdued ‘Cavern’ and ‘Canyon’ to the more upbeat ‘Enclave’, there’s something for most electronic and classical music enthusiasts.

Biig Piig – The Sky is Bleeding

Irish born singer Biig Piig has released EP after EP since 2016, including her standout Big Fan of The Sesh Vol. 1. With the addition of this one it seems there’s no end in sight. This introspective six tracker is a step forward in creative direction as her vocal delivery has moved from soulful to restrained.

This is one of Biig Piig’s first records with a consistent tone throughout, a look inside her psyche and struggles of being a young adult. The demo style vocals bring this record down to earth and make it feel as if you’re hearing a voice memo from a friend about their life.

Perhaps the best track on the EP is ‘Remedy’, featuring FX laden guitar melodies and breathy vocals touching on themes of sexual exploration and letting go.

This record is for the big chillers and home dwellers.

Read more about our recent favourite albums here.