Author Archives

Rhys Handley

Julien Baker - Little Oblivions

Album Review: Julien Baker ‘Little Oblivions’

“Mining the depths of her own hurt and regret as she does, singer-songwriter Julien Baker has positioned herself as something of a modern scholar on the second chance.”

Taylor Swift - Evermore

Album Review: Taylor Swift ‘Evermore’

“There’s a casualness and a sense of play to ‘Evermore’ that softens its edges and indicates an artist settling into her groove.”

Yalda, a Night for Forgivness Movie Film

Review: Massoud Bakhshi’s ‘Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness’

“‘Yalda’ shows itself to be a deft treatise on how the contradictions of our modern world complicate something even as simple as saying sorry.”

Lovers Rock Movie Film

London Film Festival Review: Steve McQueen’s ‘Lovers Rock’

“‘Lovers Rock’ becomes something truly special whenever all sense of plot and character falls away entirely.”

Ammonite Movie Film

London Film Festival Review: Francis Lee’s ‘Ammonite’

“Lee has, over his two films so far, proven a dab hand at teasing out unexpressed, furtive desires, depicting both the visceral emotions and gritty physicality of same-sex romance with empathy and an understated artistic flair.”

Jónsi - Shiver

Album Review: Jónsi ‘Shiver’

“While Cook clearly has his hands on deck operating the machinery, the closing tracks make clear that it’s still Jónsi steering the ship, as impish and wholeheartedly earnest as ever.”

Hurts - Faith

Album Review: Hurts ‘Faith’

“‘Faith’ is too misguided and confused to be an actively cynical undertaking, but its desperate rush to the lowest common denominator in a bid for the broadest appeal is still nakedly apparent.”

Bumper Pop Songs 2020

EP Review: BUMPER ‘Pop Songs 2020’

“‘Pop Songs 2020’ is not a disposable work, but neither is it especially serious. It’s light, punchy and brief — a condensed showcase of its creators’ formidable pop songwriting craft.”

Angel Olsen Whole New Mess

Album Review: Angel Olsen ‘Whole New Mess’

“Olsen may have crept back into her shell, but, on ‘Whole New Mess,’ there’s finally enough space for her to invite listeners inside.”

Bright Eyes - Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was

Album Review: Bright Eyes ‘Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was’

“After a rough decade out in the wild, Oberst is home and doing what he knows best.”

Whitney - Candid Album Art

Album Review: Whitney ‘Candid’

“Whether enjoyed as a fresh musical offering or an affectionate archival excursion, ‘Candid’ is an easy album to appreciate. Its core interplay, a conversation between the old and the new, is the key to its success.”

Aminé - Limbo

Album Review: Aminé ‘Limbo’

“‘Limbo’ lacks some of the irreverent charm that drew listeners to Aminé in the first place, but there’s still plenty of perceptiveness and creativity at the heart of his approach even in this less certain, more contemplative next phase.”

Fontaines D.C. A Hero's Death

Album Review: Fontaines D.C. ‘A Hero’s Death’

“‘A Hero’s Death’ is an articulate, energetic work, bristling with moody post-punk fury, and it signals an incremental consolidation and increased sophistication to the still-green quintet’s robust, fulsome sound.”

Brigitte Movie Review - 2019 Lynne Ramsay Documentary

Review: Lynne Ramsay’s ‘Brigitte’

“‘Brigitte’ is a slight and sweet addition to Ramsay’s catalogue, and it gently leaves its impressions.”

Make Up Movie Review - 2019 Claire Oakley Film

Review: Claire Oakley’s ‘Make Up’

“When ‘Make Up’ reaches the light at the end of its twisted tunnel, its culmination is gratifying and sumptuously-realised.”

Taylor Swift Folklore Cropped

Album Review: Taylor Swift ‘Folklore’

“In its unadorned beauty, immense empathy and self-awareness, ‘Folklore’ might be Swift’s best shot at immortality so far.”

Courtney Marie Andrews Old Flowers

Album Review: Courtney Marie Andrews ‘Old Flowers’

“If one person sees themselves in the anecdotes and idioms of ‘Old Flowers,’ then this is an undeniably worthwhile work. In its brightness and simplicity, though, this record’s reach is sure to be much wider than that.”

Lianne La Havas Album Cover

Album Review: Lianne La Havas ‘Lianne La Havas’

“This is an album not bogged down in specifics, yet it is bristling with fine details that tap into the universal experience of heartbreak.”

Healing Is a Miracle Review - Julianna Barwick

Album Review: Julianna Barwick ‘Healing Is a Miracle’

“‘Healing Is a Miracle’ represents an opportunity for pause, stillness and reflection.”

Side A Review

EP Review: Twin Peaks ‘Side A’

“The strength of ‘Side A’ is the acceptance of its limitations — now is perhaps not the time for rock bands to reinvent the wheel, but instead to provide some kind of solace, support or guidance.”