Saddle Creek – February 2nd

When one of Stef Chura’s best friends passed away, she told herself she had to make at least one record before she died. After years of home-recording, the Michigan musician made it into a studio and ended up with Messes, the debut album she self-released last year, since picked up by Saddle Creek. Inspired by folk greats and 90s feminist punk, the record marries a ton of emotion with bold collages of spiky guitars. ‘Faded Heart’ – an ode to her late friend – puts Stef’s trembling voice front and centre, while on ‘Thin’ she sings sighs of world-weary disappointment. Not everything is so despondent – musically, Messes is full of warm indie rock, like ‘Spotted Gold”s mile-a-minute dash, that feels like riding through life’s disorder on a lightning bolt.

Buy: Stef Chura – Messes