And the Album of the Year Thus Far Is...

A Flourish and a Spoil by Pennsylvanian geniuses The Districts (who've been touring in the UK with Temples) is the most beautifully constructed, poetic and instrumentally spot-on album I've heard in a long time.

As much as I love the punchy, blow your brains out belters by fully fledged rockers such as Drenge, The Strokes and Royal Blood, songs like Suburban Smell that feel like mini novellas on albums by an emerging young band like The Districts really strike a chord with me for their purity, originality and skill.

The album as a whole is an indie masterpiece, and the opening track (4th and Roebling, the name of a Brooklyn junction where they parked their van on their first visit there) hooks you instantly with its unfathomably perfect combination of subdued and aggressive instrumentals, sultry lyrics that introduce you to the general reflective mood of their music and carry you flawlessly through the rest of the album.

Listening to the album in full, it's easy to assume this is the product of a band finely tuned from years of experience in the industry, and that its construction was brimming with nostalgic hindsight. It's not; this is only their second LP (Telephone is the first, also wonderful), and they're all aged 20 or under, which is quite frankly ridiculous. A Flourish and a Spoil has a slight hint of The Black Keys' early discography, it has that same kind of promising excitement intertwined with an unruffled attitude.

Even the darn cover is cool.

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