AllPoints – February 9th

We imbue everything new with hope. A new year, a new album. But there’s nothing which dumbstrucks us more than the sight of a new-born baby. “My brother had a daughter, the beauty that she brings – illumination”, Sufjan Stevens sang on an album rife with death and devastation. Cusp is Alela Diane’s take on motherhood, though it’s not all hope. It’s filled with awe and terror in equal measure, and of just feeling “so tired”. That contrast presents itself everywhere, from the weary and plonking piano on ‘Albatross’ to Ryan Francesconi’s soaring orchestration which competes with Diane’s low and honeyed vocals throughout. Cusp is exactly the kind of album you’d hope to hear two months into a new year. It is triumphantly gorgeous, but above all, it gives us the “weightless, brightness abandoning” hope that 2018 might bring something better.

Buy: Alela Diane – Cusp

Live: Union Chapel on April 12th