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January: 18 albums you need to hear this month

Sven Väth, Fever Ray, Nabihah Iqbal, Björk and more

  • Mixmag Staff
  • 5 January 2018
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Nabihah Iqbal 'The Weighing Of The Heart' (Ninja Tune)

As Throwing Shade, Nabihah Iqbal has built a very impressive catalogue of poised club constructions that are full of insidious synth hooks and processed voices. But here, under her born name, she’s stepping forward and letting her own guitar, vocal and songwriting dominate. That’s not to say she’s made a heart-on-sleeve singer-songwriter record, mind: for all its skill, ‘The Weighing Of The Heart’ is still deadpan in its delivery and cool in its dynamics. There are touches of minimalist composition, 80s new wave and the psychedelic shoegaze fizz of Lush and Cocteau Twins – all music where individual expression is subsumed to sound and texture. Lyrically, though, the LP examines the traps of routine and the possibilities that dreaming and music offer to escape from them – and however distanced Iqbal might seem in her performance, as a listener you’ll quickly find both real connections to the album’s themes, and the variety of gorgeous sounds that she uses to express them. Joe Muggs

8/10

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