Albums to watch


Emma-Jean Thackray


Debut full-length album from the Yorkshire-born London-based jazz composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer

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  1. 10.0 |   The Skinny

    Yellow brims with kindness and connection through its musical messages
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  2. 10.0 |   The Arts Desk

    However complex and ambitious the tracks, her voice and words are at the centre of them, unaffected and direct
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  3. 9.0 |   Gigwise

    A hugely addictive album of groove-locked, spiritual, psychedelic, horn-busting, chant-laden wonders
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  4. 9.0 |   Uncut

    Some of the best moments here are twitchy funk miniatures, driven by tuba basslines, distorted Fender Rhodes riffs and chant-based vocals, which leave you wanting more. Print edition only

  5. 8.0 |   Mojo

    Yellow scatterguns through P-Funk, Alice Coltrane, gospel, Sun-Ra, electric-era Miles Davis and '70s jazz-fusion with glee. Print edition only

  6. 8.0 |   Exclaim

    Thackray's auteurist approach in the studio combined with her peerless precision and control feel like a whole new genre unto itself
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  7. 8.0 |   NME

    The healing sonics on the Yorkshire-born London-based artist’s debut album provide a utopian vision to strive towards
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  8. 8.0 |   The FT

    The musical auteur brings together a large troupe of musicians for an album of free-flowing, 1970s-inspired melodies
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  9. 8.0 |   Clash

    Self-consciously designed to echo a transformative lysergic experience, ‘Yellow’ comes to embody everything Emma-Jean Thackray strives towards, and describes: you emerge in a quite different space than the one you entered in, the world around you subtly transfigured
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  10. 8.0 |   All Music

    The end result is vast and ambitious yet deliberately welcoming. Its many sounds and rhythms greet listeners wherever they are and compel them to invest in an altogether wondrous sonic journey for body, mind, and soul
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  11. 7.7 |   Pitchfork

    The debut from the English bandleader and producer is a fascinating blend of spiritual jazz and brass band that can sound full-on psychedelic while staying grounded in its clever arrangements
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  12. 7.0 |   Beats Per Minute

    As was intended, Yellow is an album of elemental joys and unity. It’s taking what is inherently a complex form of music – and is still highly technical in the hands of these players – and makes it into something for all to enjoy
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  13. 7.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    Like the UK’s Chicago ally Makaya McCraven, Thackray composed the record’s songs from snippets of sessions with her band, transforming them into final compositions that nearly sound live. And, as in any self-respecting London jazz band, there’s a tuba
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  14. 7.0 |   DIY

    ‘Yellow’ mixes it up nicely with freak-outs, group chants, P-funk and mellowing R&B
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