Gareth O'Malley

Marina & The Diamonds - Radioactive

A good pop song, and an even better single.

We Were Promised Jetpacks - In The Pit Of The Stomach

Sometimes it pays to have high expectations.

The Wonder Years - Suburbia I’ve Given You All & Now I’m Nothing

The Wonder Years have almost perfected their brand of 'realist pop-punk'.

You Me at Six - Sinners Never Sleep

By their standards, this is a wildly ambitious move.

The Chakras - Build Me A Swan

'Build Me A Swan' has been a number of years in the making, and is well worth the wait.

Remember Remember - The Quickening

'The Quickening' may not be instantly accessible, but it's remarkable nonetheless.

The Whip - Wired Together

Intense, layered, but pure pop at its heart.

LightGuides - Samba Samba Samba

There is no question that LightGuides know exactly what they're doing.

First Listen: Error Operator - The Weeknd - Gone RWK

'Shifting the focus from the vocals to what's going on around them'

Runaround Kids - Linked Arms

Full-bodied without feeling in any way polished.

Kids In Glass Houses - In Gold Blood

An immersive, story-driven record that never becomes too heavy-handed, despite its dark origins.

Fionn Regan - 100 Acres Of Sycamore

It's the moment Regan comes into his own as a songwriter.

We Are Losers - Sunset Song / Cheerleader

Five minutes of straightforward lo-fi pop that goes straight for the jugular.

Handsome Furs - Sound Kapital

The focus is on big hooks and even bigger choruses.

The Japanese Popstars - Controlling Your Allegiance

The great leap forward we always knew they were capable of.

Patrick Wolf - Lupercalia

The joyous, euphoric counterpart to its unsettled and brooding predecessor.

The Japanese Popstars: ‘Working Under Pressure Has Its Benefits’

DIY's Gareth O'Malley gets in touch with Declan McLaughlin (aka Decky Hedrock) for some grilling.

Tellison - The Wages Of Fear

Without a shadow of a doubt, one of the albums of the year.

The Antlers - Burst Apart

A little lighter, and considerably more expansive.

Mother Mother - Eureka

For those who enjoy ambitious, sweeping pop and are looking for their new favourite band, look no further.

Mojo Fury - Visiting Hours Of A Travelling Circus

It's the equivalent of a patchwork quilt, but this is its best asset.

Wild Beasts - Smother

They can take risks like this with complete confidence.

Clock Opera - Belongings

Trading in 'chop-pop' for pure accessibility was a smart move.

The Chakras - We The People

An uptempo track driven by bass and drums.

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