Albums to watch

Designer

Aldous Harding

Designer

Third album from the New Zealand-born gothic folk singer-songwriter

ADM rating[?]

8.2

Label
4AD
UK Release date
26/04/2019
US Release date
26/04/2019
  1. 10.0 |   The Skinny

    Designer is a record entirely in the image of its creator – Harding remains as lyrically oblique as ever, and the idiosyncrasies in her voice remain her calling card – and yet one that strongly recalls Julia Holter’s Have You in My Wilderness or Angel Olsen’s Burn Your Fire for No Witness in how calmly it oozes confidence
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  2. 10.0 |   Q

    Highly eccentric and blisteringly beautiful - a record destined to worm its way deep under the skin. Print edition only

  3. 10.0 |   The Independent

    At an age where the pressure is on to have everything worked out, Harding sounds delightfully free
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  4. 10.0 |   God Is In The TV

    Brilliant collection of mystical, magical stories from one of New Zealand’s most curious and inspiring songwriters
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  5. 9.0 |   Spectrum Culture

    Designer is an album of elegant contemplation, of confidence, doubt and longing
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  6. 9.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    Designer could be considered to be the second consecutive modern classic that Harding has released. Designer is disciplined despite its speedy gestation, thoughtful and reserved
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  7. 9.0 |   All Music

    A singular talent, Harding seems to have hit her stride on album number three, and while the darkness of previous efforts is still pervasive, Designer feels like a summer record, though it's probably best suited for dusk
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  8. 8.1 |   Earbuddy

    As if by design, Aldous Harding's third album is her best
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  9. 8.0 |   The Quietus

    It's with one eye staring into the past and the other firmly fixed on the future that Aldous Harding presents this mysterious, complex and intelligent work – a third essential in as many albums
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  10. 8.0 |   NME

    A breath of fresh air in a time dense with noise and algorithmic hiss, this is an open-hearted deep dive into Aldous Harding’s colourful imagination
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  11. 8.0 |   Exclaim

    Harding continues to keep listeners on their toes with Designer which, overall, is a unique, luminous record that's about whatever you need it to be about
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  12. 8.0 |   Evening Standard

    Harding’s voice has the Germanic sincerity of Sibylle Baier combined with the dreamy archness of Broadcast’s Trish Keenan, plus something of Kate Bush’s theatricality
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  13. 8.0 |   DIY

    A real triumph
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  14. 8.0 |   Under The Radar

    The magic of her work is how she becomes more human by recognizing the alien lurking in our loves and lives
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  15. 8.0 |   Clash

    It perhaps lacks a little of the indefinable magic that made 2017’s ‘Party’ such a gripping experience, but in its ability to conjure bold, riveting songwriting it underlines Aldous Harding’s position as a truly remarkable artist
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  16. 8.0 |   Rolling Stone

    On her third LP, the New Zealand singer pivots artfully from folk eccentric to pop eccentric
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  17. 8.0 |   Mojo

    A record you don't want to turn your back on in any way. Print edition only

  18. 8.0 |   Uncut

    Harding lays bare the pain and discomfort felt in her previous work, though the road to it is far more dynamic and winding. Print edition only

  19. 8.0 |   The Guardian

    Her lyrics are inscrutable and her vocal and visual stylings eccentric, but Harding’s third album is a thing of beauty
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  20. 8.0 |   Pitchfork

    The third album from the impressionistic New Zealand singer-songwriter eludes easy classification, which makes her delicately built and beautifully rendered songs all the more alluring
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  21. 7.9 |   Northern Transmission

    Overall, Designer, is a heavenly listen that will certainly hold up in years to come, unburdened by the time-stamped pop production that defines so many modern releases
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  22. 7.0 |   No Ripcord

    There's a marked inconsistency in her voice — something lilting, sometimes guttural — navigating her usual distress with a presence that is as hammy as it is heartfelt
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  23. 7.0 |   The Music

    A record that will surely appear on the year’s best albums lists
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  24. 7.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    The ambition of the release is more subdued than its predecessor – which encompassed folk, jazz and chanteuse – but its move towards a more fulsome sound is married to a newfound ease in her diction
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  25. 6.0 |   The 405

    Suffers from overly polished production, obscuring the emotional heft of her lyricism
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