CD cover of Carrie & Lowell by Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell

The artist’s music makes a virtue of simplicity with its folksily plucked instruments and sighing vocals

DVDs and Downloads

Attila Marcel
Sylvain Chomet’s oddball foray into live action offers visual gags and stylised characters
Scalpel-sharp scripts are wielded by a crack ensemble led by Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Hilary Swank stars as the best frontiersman in the Nebraskan counties

LoneLady: Hinterland

The album mines early-1980s post-punk for inspiration

Bella Hardy

Bella Hardy: With The Dawn

Banjo and brass turn on a sixpence from jaunty to mournful in an album presented as a year’s worth of musical autobiography

Debashish Bhattacharya

Debashish Bhattacharya: Slide Guitar Ragas From Dusk Till Dawn

Indian musician inverts a common trope, and his slide guitar with its drone strings has the dexterity of a sitar

'String Quartets 1, 8 and 14' CD cover; Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich: String Quartets 1, 8 and 14

The playing of the current Borodin Quartet members has a molten intensity in this disc, which exudes authority

Lage Lund

Lage Lund: Idlewild

Norwegian guitarist heads up a rhythmically sensitive trio and interprets a set of originals, jazz standards and covers

'Violin Concerto' CD cover; Robert Schumann

Robert Schumann: Violin Concerto

Isabelle Faust is the soloist in an unusual performance on gut strings of the composer’s late, neglected concerto

CD cover of Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress by Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress

The Canadian rock band’s guitars drone and shriek — melodies materialising like angelic cohorts

Marcus Miller

Marcus Miller: Afrodeezia

Album visits Chicago with a cover of ‘Papa was a Rolling Stone’ and includes guests such as Chuck D and Lala Hathaway

'Symphonies Nos 1 and 2' CD cover; Charles Ives

Charles Ives: Symphonies Nos 1 and 2

Andrew Davis sifts the composer’s complexities with clarity, beginning with the conservative First Symphony

The Prodigy: The Day Is My Enemy

The band’s members react to middle-age by mellowing not a jot

Thomas Adès — The Twenty-fifth Hour

The Calder Quartet and the composer perform three of his works: music for the intellect as well as the imagination

Laura Marling: Short Movie

Resonant strums of 1970s English folk-rock merge with visions and sounds of the singer’s temporary US home

Joey Calderazzo: Going Home

US pianist rampages through ‘Mike’s Song’, delivers a hint of New Orleans and conjures lazy summer afternoons

Courtney Barnett: Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

Set to crunchy and grungy music, the excellent lyrics are recited by the Aussie singer in a laid-back sing-speak