One of our favourite albums of the year so far has been Cusp by Alela Diane. It’s arguably her strongest collection of songs to date and should sound wonderful when she plays Union Chapel on Thursday. The same night also sees Gwenno play from her latest release Le Kov (another album we enjoyed) at Hoxton Hall. Hannah Peel deservedly attracted plaudits last year with her album Mary Casio: Journey To Cassiopeia. Combining electronics with brass, it was one of the most distinctive albums of 2017 and she celebrates it with a special performance at the newly re-opened Queen Elizabeth Hall on Saturday.
Other female singer-songwriters gracing the capital this week are Siobhan Wilson (who will be at St Pancras Old Church on Thursday) and Jessica Lea Mayfield (who will play the Borderline on Wednesday). In perhaps a more unexpected live appearance, R&B trio En Vogue play a rare London show at Indigo2 on Tuesday.
It’s fair to say Arcade Fire’s last album Everything Now received “mixed reviews” (although we thought more positively of it than others). They play a trio of shows at Wembley Arena from Wednesday to Friday (read our five star review of their show at York Hall last year here). Another big name playing London this week is Thurston Moore who premieres his new work GALAXIES at the Barbican on Saturday (it is described as a “symphony of 12-string guitars” which sounds very Thurston Moore).
Swiss/German pair Grandbrothers bring the electronically-tinged modern classical of last year’s excellent Open album to Rich Mix on Tuesday. Two new albums we’re looking forward to hearing meanwhile are those by serpentwithfeet and Rival Consoles. Soil by serpentwithfeet (New York artist Josiah Wise) isn’t out until June but he plays a show at Village Underground on Friday. That’s the day that Persona, the new album by Rival Consoles, is out and he plays a show at XOYO the night before to help launch it. Another Erased Tapes-signed artist, Peter Broderick, is in London this week; he’s always worth seeing live and appears at the Jazz Café on Sunday.
Two big names from the old school indie scene also arrive in London next week. The Pastels play two shows at Café Oto on Friday and Saturday while Shonen Knife appear at the Garage. On the same night down in south London Kero Kero Bonito another, more contemporary band that draw influence from Japan appear at new venue DIY Space for London. Finally, they’re not as well-known as they should be but forward-thinking, folk-influenced chamber ensemble North Sea Radio Orchestra play an early show at the Lexington on Sunday. They don’t play live very often so this is a rare chance to see them. We can’t think of many better ways to spend a Sunday late afternoon.
The latest announcement of contemporary music shows at the Barbican features a show by acclaimed electronic artist Oneohtrix Point Never. He presents MYRIAD on 7th July, a performance being described as a ‘concertscape’ and the first where he will have a live band with him.
Both Hookworms and Poppy Ackroyd have recently played shows in London but have announced more later in the year. Hookworms will be at Kentish Town Forum on 24th November and Poppy Ackroyd will play a show at the Purcell Room on 10th October.