13 albums not to miss in May

Featuring new records from Ed Sheeran, Lewis Capaldi, Arlo Parks, Lola Young, SBTRKT, The Lemon Twigs and more

Summer’s here. It’s not, of course, but it also is – since this is the month of three bank holidays (thanks Charlie) and the first of the year’s big festivals. If you have any time between The Great Escape, Creamfields, Slam Dunk and Coronation Quiche, there’s plenty of great new music to listen out for – from SBTRKT to Subtract.

Here’s our pick of the best and biggest new albums due for release this May:

5 May

Ed Sheeran –  -(Subtract)

Ed Sheeran - Boat [Official Video]

“Sheeran promises to dig deeper than he ever has before on Subtract. Supposedly stripped-back in both sound and subject matter, the album will explore the anxieties and tragedies that Sheeran has faced over the last couple of years, with singles ‘Eyes Closed’ and ‘Boat’ both tear-jerkers. Let’s see where he leads us next on his musical, mathematical journey.” Caitlin


SBTRKT - L.F.O. (feat. Sampha & George Riley) [Official Lyric Video]

“Aaron Jerome is back with his first SBTRKT album in six years. Where his 2011 self-titled debut seemed to set the sound of popular electronic music for the rest of the decade, THE RAT ROAD opens the portal to the future-past with fragments of chill-wave, synth-wave and, well, general retro waviness.” John

The Lemon Twigs – Everything Harmony

The Lemon Twigs - In My Head (Official Video)

“Most bands would say they’re pretty good at melody. Most bands would be right. But most bands probably listen to The Lemon Twigs and feel like packing it all in. It’s like all the best bits of McCartney, Alex Chilton and 70s AM pop, filmed in soft focus and played through the headphones of angels. Just one listen to the title track is enough to realise they’ve only gone and made their masterpiece.” Mark

SQÜRL – Silver Haze

SQÜRL - Berlin '87 (Official Music Video)

“King of the underground Jim Jarmusch has been making music for years – mostly for his own avant-garde films, but also with friends like Tom Waits, Wu-Tang Clan and Dutch minimalist lutist Jozef van Wissem. Forming SQÜRL from the ruins of Bad Rabbit in 2009, the band haven’t released an album yet because, frankly, they’re far too cool for that sort of thing. Already sounding gloriously oppressive – making no-wave Bauhaus metal into a genre no one knew they needed – this is music for people who love sunglasses and hate the sun.” Paul

Claire Rosinkranz – Just Because

Claire Rosinkranz - Never Goes Away (Official Lyric Video)

“Rosinkranz is one of those artists that you’ve probably heard floating around on social media without necessarily putting a name to the sound. But there’s every chance that she could be a huge name in bedroom pop before too long, with her debut album set to drop early in May. Lead single ‘Never Goes Away’ is Rosinkranz’s distinct brand of playful and summery – a confident and very promising start.” Caitlin

12 May

Sumos – Surfacing

Sumos - Small Talk

“Manchester’s Sumos are in a pretty good position to deliver the album of the year, particularly for fans of the sacred tradition of Mancunian jangle. Advance singles ‘Small Talk’ and ‘Finding A Way’ beg the question: “where the hell did these guys come from?” Snappy, fuzzy, jangly instant gratification that fizzes around your brain like you poured a DibDab in your ear.” Mark

19 May

Lewis CapaldiBroken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent

Lewis Capaldi - Wish You The Best (Official Video)

“It’s f*cking shit, honestly, don’t even bother with it. I’m f*cking sick of hearing it at this stage already, so do not bother getting it. It’s a total piece of flaming sh*te. That’s all I have to say on it.” Lewis Capaldi there, doing his best to promote his new album on the red carpet at this year’s BRIT awards. He could be right, of course, but the first three No.1 singles released off his second album are a very long way from flaming sh*te, showcasing some of his most poignant and emotional songwriting to date. Bring tissues.” Ali

Hannah Jadagu – Aperture

Hannah Jadagu - Admit It (Official Video)

“Sub Pop signing Hannah Jagadu has a sweeping grasp of contemporary indie rock with an individual take that is likely to make any music fan happy. From the cool, bubbly pop of ‘Admit It’ to the cathartic head nodder ‘Say It Now’, her debut, Aperture, is sure to be full of further surprises.” John

26 May

Arlo Parks – My Soft Machine

Arlo Parks - Blades (Official Video)

“Parks’ soft, searching indie pop has the intimacy of low-fi and the self-assurance of an artist with twice her tenure. Dig into the lyrics and there are wonderful things to be found, but none of the singles from My Soft Machine so far are hard work – Parks knows how to tread the line between easy and rewarding listening. Her debut album, Collapsed In Sunbeams, was universally acclaimed – it’s time to get on board before her sophomore record sends her astronomic.” Caitlin

SparksThe Girl Is Crying In Her Latte

Sparks - The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte

“2022 was the year of Sparks – with Annette, and a cracking Edgar Wright documentary, helping the Mael brothers get a comeback without ever really going away in the first place. The second wave continues rolling this year with a new musical in the works and this new record, which has already given us the best music video of the year. What else on this list would get Cate Blanchett moving?” Paul

AJJ – Disposable Everything

Disposable Everything (Official Music Video)

“Arizona folk-punks AJJ have long stared into the abyss, fretting themselves into a frenzy. On Disposable Everything, all those worst fears come true but somehow life goes on. Loved ones die, the world goes to hell and time keeps ticking. The Mountain Goats-esque ‘Dissonance’, the mounting despair of ‘Death Machine’ and the title track, the delicate grief of ‘White Ghosts’… everything points to this being the band’s strongest set of songs yet.” Mark

Lola Young – My Mind Wanders And Sometimes Leaves

Lola Young - Don't Hate Me

“British singer-songwriter Lola Young is probably still best known for her cover of ‘Together In Electric Dreams’ used in John Lewis’ 2021 Christmas campaign. Whilst a gorgeous cover, it’s hardly representative of her gritty, emotional indie pop and truly astonishing vocals – see recent single ‘What Is It About Me’ for proof. With another of her latest singles, ‘Don’t Hate Me’, gaining traction on TikTok, this could be a big year for Young.” Caitlin

The Dirty Nil – Free Rein To Passions

The Dirty Nil - Nicer Guy (Official Music Video)

“The Canadian trio serve up a tasty blend of pop punk with a harder post-hardcore edge. What sets them apart from all the other bands with a similar vibe is that The Nil have always sounded like they’re having way more fun than anyone else. Single ‘Nicer Guy’ finds Luke Bentham still shredding his vocal cords and churning out massive riffs but this time in the service of just trying to be a better person.” Mark

Tickets are on sale now or soon for many of the names on this month’s list at, with a lot of major tours and dates still to be announced this year.