Former X Factor contestant Lucy Spraggan's conversational, storyteller style - the very same that won over millions of viewers when she took part in the show in 2012 - has only progressed thanks to time and experience. On her fifth album, the 27-year-old singer-songwriter is in a really great place, and she's clearly excited to share it with her fans. This mood, combined with her skilful songwriting and performing, makes for a joyful, uplifting listen. It's almost possible to forget that she ever came from a reality show, so unique and refreshing is she as an artist.

The album is full of bops and singalong-friendly tracks, matched with lyrics about feeling better following mental health issues. Peppy opening track Breathe is as radio-friendly as could be, but listen to the lyrics and it goes beyond just a nice guitar tune. Then there's the cheekily-titled Don't Play This On The Radio, a playful dig at not getting airplay over the years. End Of The World sounds like a romantic ode to her wife, and Stick The Kettle On with Scouting For Girls - released as a single to support Calm (the Campaign Against Living Miserably), shows her deftly using her experiences to help others through music. 8/10


Given what a seismic pop event each new Vampire Weekend record has proven to be, it's almost impossible to believe that their latest, Father Of The Bride, is only their fourth. What's more, how is it that without a studio album since 2013 they can still be so present in the modern pop psyche?

The answers are easily found here - Ezra Koenig's New Yorkers are again painting with a varied palette, and as ever the song-craft rarely falters. Running at 18 tracks, most no longer than a few minutes, and bouncing frantically from genre to genre, Father Of The Bride is more than a little reminiscent of the White Album. As with that Beatles triumph, Koenig and co now seem to be sitting more comfortably than ever within their own skin - for evidence of that look to a trio of lovelorn country songs with Danielle Haim which would be unimaginable on their itchy self-titled debut.

Nonetheless, the band still feel at their best when being inventive, and to that end Father Of The Bride really hits its stride around the midway mark. In perhaps the best run on the record, Sympathy, Sunflower and Flower Moon respectively glide through Ennio Morricone, '60s Psych and Afrobeat with a sleight of hand few others could match.

And while it perhaps lacks the instant classics of its three predecessors, there's plenty in this record to capture the imagination after six long years of waiting. 8/10


Replacing guitars with synths, this eight-track offering is the alternative version of Editors' 2018 release Violence. The original was already hailed as a departure from the band's indie-rock style, with the group seemingly dipping their toes into the electronic scene. The Blanck Mass Sessions takes this further, releasing the result of producer Blanck Mass's deconstruction of their usual sound.

Opening track Barricades is a new release, exploring their electronic side with punchy drum machines. Hallelujah (So Low) and Nothingness showcase frontman Tom Smith's strength of vocals, without being overwhelmed by the use of synths in both. Violence has the build-up of a good electronic track but the chorus feels too busy, and five minutes in it becomes a tiring listen.

Although this album takes Editors out of their comfort zone, at times it feels as if the vocals and the production aren't in perfect harmony. Fans hoping for something different from Editors can be encouraged by this release: although the companion album doesn't quite reach the heights of the original, it is likely to go down well in venues and fields during the summer festival season. 7/10


Ten years away have not calmed The Wildhearts down and the Geordie four-piece come storming out of the gates on their return with the raucous Dislocated. The band's classic line-up - frontman Ginger, fellow guitarist CJ, bassist Danny McCormack and drummer Ritch Battersby - are reunited and it quickly shows as the sly wit of Let 'Em Go recalls their classic Greetings From Sh**sville - there may be nobody better with a well-deployed swear word, and certainly few other bands who could carry off Fine Art Of Deception's "Bulls**t" backing chant.

Only Little Flower and My Side Of The Bed truly stand out in the second half of a good-not-great album, but by this stage the band are playing with house money, and overall it is just great to have them back - the forthcoming tour should be a treat for fans old and new. 6/10


Camden Town indie rocker Johnny Lloyd is the man who finally made Billie Piper happy. When he met the Olivier Award-winning actress she was in the middle of a messy divorce from Lewis star Laurence Fox, her second husband after Chris Evans. Lloyd had also recently gone through a difficult break-up - with his vaunted indie band Tribes, whose second album had failed to match their much-hyped first.

Three years on, they appear to have found domestic bliss. Their daughter, Tallulah, was born in January and Lloyd is writing the music for Piper's directorial movie debut, Rare Beasts. On Next Episode Starts In 15 Seconds, Lloyd's voice is softer, tempered by the challenges of fatherhood and a newfound distance from the debauchery of Tribes. Lloyd's checklist of famous friends - Frank Turner, Hugo White of The Maccabees, and Adam Prendergast of Harry Styles's band - adds a dash of star power to proceedings.

The album sounds like a series of diary entries. Recorded in two or three takes each, it feels like a series of snapshots from Lloyd's life. Fatherhood has prompted him to tear away the well-trodden indie tropes Tribes were often guilty of falling back on. What's left is far more pleasing. 6/10