The Guardian Indie

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  1. By focusing on physical product and clever marketing, acts are sprinting up the charts

    Gary Numan, Mogwai, Maxïmo Park, the Coral, Sports Team, Shame. Not the lineup to a cancelled two-day festival in Kidderminster, but acts who used D2C marketing to land high-charting albums. This ugly acronym stands for direct-to-consumer, and means pushing sales of physical records – often limited-edition – via their official stores and those of indie retailers. Their maxim, to quote Dua Lipa via Olivia Newton-John, is: let’s get physical.

    Related:The Guide: Staying In – sign up for our home entertainment tips

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  2. (EMI)
    For their first album since 2009, the Norwegian duo keep things pared back to explore the complexity of love and desire

    Love, and how it makes you throw in all your chips before you’ve even seen your cards, is the subject of this beautiful return from the Norwegian indie-folk duo. Eirik Glambek Bøe and Erlend Øye emerged at the turn of the century and were quickly lumped in with the likes of Turin Brakes and the dull “new acoustic” movement, but the purity of their Balearic-sunlight melodies, infused with the elegance of bossa nova, have consistently set them apart even if their body of work remains small: this is only their fourth album in 20 years, and the first since 2009.

    Songwriting this unadorned requires melodic strength and confidence, but the pair never waver from their acoustic guitars and occasional violin. Fever is the only song with a drum beat; Catholic Country – featuring Feist, and one of KOC’s best ever songs – and others play up the percussive quality of their stringed instruments to add urgency and even a little funk.

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  3. Jim and William Reid fight to win back albums using US law which reverts rights to artists after 35 years

    The Jesus and Mary Chain are suing Warner Music Group (WMG) for $2.5m (£1.77m) for copyright infringement after the company refused to terminate its ownership of five of their albums including the 1985 debut Psychocandy.

    In a lawsuit filed in California, Jim and William Reid invoked section 203 of the US Copyright Act of 1976, which allows authors to ask copyright holders to revert rights 35 years after a work is published, Pitchfork reports.

    Related:The greatest Scottish indie bands – ranked!

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  4. From drill’s high watermark to Tuareg rock, Colombian pop and London jazz, here are our music editors’ picks of the best LPs from the first half of the year

    Related:Nick Cave and Warren Ellis: Carnage review – the firebrand returns

    Related:‘Nature is hurting’: Gojira, the metal band confronting the climate crisis

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  5. (Atlantic)
    The Welsh singer brings an operatic seductiveness to her ballads against misogyny

    There are very few artists who create as thoughtfully as Marina Diamandis, formerly Marina and the Diamonds. “I am here to take a look inside myself,” she confides on the title track, sleekly propulsive electropop with a cheering message of self-acceptance. The self-loathing of Electra Heart, the 2012 concept album she addressed to the worst parts of herself, is banished, as are the many romantic imbroglios of 2019’s Love + Fear. What’s inside Marina today is deep concern for women and the world outside, and her best songs couple the personal and the political.

    The music is pleasantly accessible, rather than daring, although you could imagine legendary producer Trevor Horn remixing Venus Fly Trap’s elegant take on 80s synth funk. Lyrically, it’s brimming with bristling ambition. Man’s World’s first two verses breezily link the Salem witch trials and 18th-century painter François Boucher with Marilyn Monroe and hypocritical, homophobic autocrats. Pandora’s Box may be a collection of limp balladeer cliches, yet it follows the bruising New America, her savage rebuke of the failure of the States. Anti-misogyny manifesto pop could easily become clumsy and overwrought, but the joy Marina invests into her mannered, quasi-operatic delivery makes sedition sound seductive.

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