‘Queen Over Plegethon’ from London psychedelic metal newcomers Five The Hierophant hits way over the eight minute mark, but refuses to let up for even a second. The entire track is an instrumental sludge assault, bulging with ambient guitars that pierce some kind of eerie brass section backdrop.

With some funk elements infused with a magnificently heavy bass groove, if the sound of impending doom could be put to record this is precisely what it would sound like.

‘Appointments’, from Julien Baker’s highly antipipated second album ‘Turn Out The Lights’, is an extremely sad and poignant record. There’s such an openness and subtlety to the lyrics that the words feel like they were invented to be sung over a softly strummed electric guitar and piano.

After the brilliance 2015’s ‘Sprained Ankle’, she continues to make this particular sound her own. Her guitar and piano playing becoming so distinct that surely years from now anything that even slightly resembles it will be known simply as “the Julien Baker sound”.

Accompanied by a stunning video, ‘Appointments’ seems to tackle the difficulty of facing the mundanity of life whilst simultaneously being trailed by your demons. A perfect song to softly drift back into the beautiful, soft, dreamy world of Julien Baker’s music.

‘Strawberry’, Pale Lungs’ latest EP is as driving and ambient as it is harshly melancholy. Each track offers a range of musically diverse layers that drift through themes of change and growth.

Opening song ‘Sanctuaries’ bulges with heaviness, but manages to be both sparse and perfectly soft and melodic in all the right places.

Released last month, just as the band embark on a US tour, the song is the perfect accompaniment to a diverse range of feelings. Beginning with a stirring lightness that leads into an outro raging with the line “one day I won’t need you the way that I need you”, it is a great track from a band who are really finding their sound.

Death and loss are a part of all of our lives; often they are themes that lie at the heart of the art we create or consume. In Phil Everum’s case, they form the basis for the most heartfelt, unfortunate turns of genius.

Written in the wake of the death of his wife to cancer – an artist and the mother of his child – Mount Eerie’s ‘A Crow Looked At Me’ drifts through the darkest of places trying to find light and meaning in the saddest aspects of life and death.

With all the softness of Iron And Wine and the poetic touch of a young Leonard Cohen, ‘Swims’ is a truly pained, delicate song about what it means to lose your muse.

Times are bleak, and records seem to get more drawn out and increasingly impossible to relate to with every year that passes. The same cannot be said for Dancehall.

Singer Timothy V’s proclamation of chemical imbalances and oceans swallowing entire towns on latest track ‘Virgin’ offer refreshing insight to the psyche of young people living in such strange times.

With a screamingly catchy chorus, and an ear damaging good guitar hook, the track finds the post-punk band outdoing themselves yet again, proving that you don’t need a fifty minute full-length record with a lengthy title to capture the imagination or spirit of the times.

Just a three minute punk song and a video recorded in a local off-licence: what more do you need?

It’s probably no accident that ‘Driver’s Side’, the second track from Table Talk’s newest EP ‘Where I Am Without You’, sounds like a great Weakerthans song.Delving into the intricacies of every small thing you do or enjoy – in this case smoking cigarettes after work – being picked apart by someone you love, Table Talk manage to rediscover a brand of mature, laid back pop.

Dare I even say the kind of mature, laid back pop that led to the mid-90’s mainstream explosion of bands like The Get Up Kids and Saves The Day.With an enormously catchy chorus and some delicate, brilliant songcraft, it serves to fill the more pop orientated, less twinkly and emotionally fraught shaped hole that definitely exists within the pop-punk/emo genres right now.

(Side note: this track might, just might, make Motion City Soundtrack’s breakup feel okay for a while. Let’s hope whatever comes next is just as good.)

Written in the wake of a number of deaths and suicides of close friends, Sorority Noise’s second record is both a sad and graphic reflection of an extremely testing and painful time for the Connecticut band. The verses of ‘No Halo’, the brutally honest opening track of second album ‘You’re Not As _______ As You Think’, are deceiving in the way they evoke the steady vibes of an Interpol or National song, but with a chorus that bursts with vital urgency it soon explodes into something far more stirring and ferocious.

Weightily melodic and lyrically challenging, ‘No Halo’s strength somehow owes to both its directness and its ability to deceive. A song that doesn’t so much lead the way into the album as much as it smashes open the door to a complex, artfully somber collection of sincere tracks written with explicit emotion.

What began in Aaron Powell’s bedroom as a drone rock project recorded and released via cassette tapes, Fog Lake has slowly edged further into the periphery of the mainstream.

Just off the back of a tour with emo giants Foxing, new record ‘Dragonchaser’ carves beautiful, atmospheric dream pop against the typically drone heavy backdrop of what’s become expected of the Canadian lo-fi trailblazer.

First track ‘Novocaine’ finds Powell exploring the pensive, gentleness of Slowdive whilst managing to find the more blunt, post-rock edge of Slint or Pavement. A beautifully melancholy track that pines for the quiet of days spent inside “waiting for anything”.

Tigers Jaw offered new song ‘Guardian’ as one that deals with “the struggle of being someone’s support system while dealing with your own anxieties and issues.”

A densely layered track that continues the bands formidable alliance with the excellent Will Yip (Title Fight, La Dispute), it deftly explores the negative effects of channeling your focus on someone else to the neglect of your own mental state.

New album ‘spin’, out May 19, will mark the bands first release since the departure of four of its members (including former singer and guitarist Adam McIlwee).

Brilliantly hooky, with a warmth typical of the newer Tigers Jaw sound, ‘Guardian’ nods firmly to The Cure, safely standing up against everything else that has come before it from the Pennsylvania emo band.