The decision to award a Qobuzism is made unanimously by the Qobuz team. In most cases, a Qobuzism is given to a “crossover” album in the best sense of the term, in that it will speak to all of our users.

By awarding a Qobuzism, we aim to draw attention to standout albums across a wide range of genres. In theory a Qobuzism is intended to alert you to an artist’s debut which has ventured into unexplored territory; but albums which merit this distinction can, in practice, come from anywhere! In each instance Qobuz endorses the album entirely, working with the artist in order to give them the greatest exposure possible – both within and outside of Qobuz. 

What we love is to give our Qobuz users the chance to discover recordings which are not necessarily what they would normally go for.

Albums

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 10, 2017 | La Castanya

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
Psych pop, surf music, shoegaze and dream pop isn’t just confined to America or the UK. Even in Barcelona they master the notions of this blend of electronic notes and dreamer harmonies. There in the heart of the Catalonian capital, we find three Chileans and one Spaniard; all experts in sugary melodies oozing with dreamlike guitars and reverb, The Zephyr Bones have concocted a superb sun-drenched record. The aptly named album Secret Place is a little island of hedonistic pop where the crystalline six-strings and muffled voices make the rules. A refined treaty that brings together a blend of their contemporary influences (DIIV, Beach House, Black Lips, Wild Nothing, Real Estate, Beach Fossils) while retaining a very personal tone. This warm and sunny Qobuzissime is more than perfect to keep you toasty as winter comes creeping in... © MZ/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 13, 2017 | Universal Music

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Qobuzissime
In the latest edition of the hipster series, Lawrence Rothman seems to be the world champion. An androgynous face (and voice) made for the glossy pages of fashion magazines, a passion for the noteworthy transformations in Cindy Sherman’s photography (Rothman changes his look with every clip!) and packed full with friends who came to lend a helping hand (Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth, Angel Olsen, Marissa Nadler, Duff McKagan from Guns’N’Roses, Stella Mozgawa from Warpaint, Tom Krell a.k.a. How To Dress Well, the bassist Pino Palladino, Kristin Kontrol from Dum Dum Girls…the list goes on!). To our ears, Rothman sounds like the soul dandy/R&B from the 80s. Talk Talk often comes to mind, as well as David Bowie, Depeche Mode or sometimes Prince and, a little closer to home, Ariel Pink and How To Dress Well. But under the glitzy varnish, this début album holds songs with staggering melodies. Some compositions bring a rather cathartic style of writing with which Rothman displays his personal quest for an identity that he defines as non-binary (gender queer). This Californian, who was born in Los Angeles 35 years ago and who claims to love Charles Bukowski just as much as R. Kelly and Tupac Shakur as much as Leonard Cohen, has assured that The Book Of Law is one of the most moving albums of 2017. A highly refined Qobuzissime. © MZ/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 6, 2017 | Abbey Records

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
England possesses a unique capacity to reinvent the wheel of rock’n’roll. Although it seems to have been said time and time again, the country regularly gives birth to young groups that come to add their unique stone to an already solidly constructed building. And even if the influences may seem obvious from the outset, each personal touch elbows its way through to the front. Pale Seas belongs to this breed of musicians - the type whose music bursts on the palate from the very first taste. By the sea in Southhampton, the singer Jacob Scott, guitarist Graham Poole, bassist Mathew Bishop and drummer Andrew Richardson drew from the early albums from the likes of Radiohead and Suede in order to establish their own rock’n’roll rulebook. But even though this distinct taste for the English rock of the 90s jumps to mind throughout Stargazing For Beginners, this British foursome manages to draw up a guitar landscape, making their first album truly original. Largely recorded at night in an old Abbey, here’s a Qobuzism disc that teases the animal instincts of guitar band fans. A true revelation. © CM/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released July 7, 2017 | Vertigo Berlin

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 19, 2017 | ATO Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Qobuzissime
First of all, that voice. Anything but refined, Nick Hakim's singing is cloaked in a kind of otherness. A distant song, as if from another galaxy: the American who grew up in Washington before casting anchor in Brooklyn unfurls around her a diaphanous soul. And it certainly is soul that lies at the heart of her magnificent first album Green Twins. It is as if Nick Hakim had resuscitated Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield, but taking care to make them over a little, with a dash of folk here, or a blush of pop there. Through the melody there runs here an unexpected rhythm or there a surprising instrument: her musical imagination is vast enough to take in South American music she heard at home (her mother is Chilean and her father is Peruvian), or hip-hop from her teenage years... On Roller Skates, a deliberately rickety drum-machine backs up a piercing guitar, itself sickly-sounding, while Nicky Hakim's voice, in a halo of reverb, transforms the song into a waking dream. Every melody on Green Twins is bathed in a softness (never blandness) that reinforces the music's dreamlike quality. Because even if Hakim's voice could thrill fans of Curtis Harding, Cody Chesnutt, Roland Gift and Bilal, the music here is all very much her own, so much so that one wonders if she has in fact invented the gospel music of the third millennium. To be sure, this is the most spellbinding Qobuzissime of the year. © MZ/Qobuz
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A/B

Alternative & Indie - Released June 10, 2016 | Elektra (NEK)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Qobuzissime
Opening with a track entitled No Good? A surefire way to help listeners understand that what comes next is rock’n’roll inspired by the golden age of guitar. It’s easy to see why the TV series Vinyl chose the the track to integrate into their soundtrack. Kaleo mark their territory definitively here with energetic rock, deft instrumentalism and some great folk ballads. The vocals of JJ Julius Son goes from are at times rough, and at others, crystalline – the dynamism is impressive from start to finish. There is an element of brilliance on their album A/B (Way Down We Go). With the likes of the Jacquire King (Kings of Leon) and Mike Crossey (Arctic Monkeys), Kaleo has definitely ensured the quality of production – and the sound on this album is a testament to that fact. An incredibly diverse project well deserving of our Qobuzism award!
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 3, 2016 | Marathon Artists

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Qobuzissime
No effects. No frills. No guests. No nada. Just songs, nothing but songs. Max Jury hasn’t completed a quarter century on this earth, yet his obsession remains with a timeless art of old: writing. The young American is clearly a man of taste and his world visibly (and audibly) collides with that of Neil Young, Townes Van Zandt, Gram Parsons, Randy Newman, Paul McCartney, Harry Nilsson and Tony Joe White, among others. His first album brings together many songs that you’ll be humming to yourself at the end of the night. On the facade of this almost-classicism, Jury integrates sublime melodies and sophisticated arrangements. He has opted for the piano rather than guitar here, interestingly enough. Jury has long since realized the inextricable link between country music and soul. Knowing this makes the heart of his art truly jubilant. © MZ / Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 16, 2015 | Barclay

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Qobuzissime
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Alternative & Indie - Released July 31, 2015 | Warner Bros.

Distinctions Qobuzissime
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Alternative & Indie - Released July 31, 2015 | Warner Bros.

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
After she completed extensive touring in support of Is Your Love Big Enough?, Lianne La Havas visited Jamaica with her native Jamaican mother and connected with distant relatives. Additionally inspired by her Greek roots through her father -- hence the album's title -- and possibly fortified by her experiences recording with Prince, Alt-J, and Tourist, Blood is no mere rehash of the Top Five U.K. debut that preceded it. Matt Hales, aka Aqualung, remains on board as a production and co-writing partner, but he contributes to fewer songs. Among the collaborators here are Stephen McGregor (son of Freddie McGregor), retro-soul specialist Jamie Lidell, Disclosure's Howard Lawrence, and pop heavy weights Mark Batson and Paul Epworth. La Havas goes for a bigger, bolder, more produced sound without glossing over her singer/songwriter/guitarist origin. The point is made in the opener, a storybook love song about being swept away that is carried on a rhythm firmer than anything heard on the debut. On "Tokyo," La Havas' yearning and state of disorientation is intensified by hazy effects and an appealingly chunky and slow groove that wouldn't be out of place on Jessie Ware's Devotion. "Midnight" and "Ghost" likewise wouldn't have the same resonance if merely sung and strummed, while "Never Get Enough" enters discretely but repeatedly veers into a dissonant stomp of lust and vexation. A few moments, like the wistful "Wonderful" and candid closer, are as hushed and restrained as the first album's highlights. The most vivid autobiographical song is "Green & Gold," a standout Lidell collaboration referencing La Havas' growth into an adult who is proud and understanding of her background and identity. This work leaves the debut, impressive as it was, in the dust. ~ Andy Kellman
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 24, 2014 | Warner Bros.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Qobuzissime
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 6, 2014 | Play It Again Sam

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Qobuzissime
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 22, 2014 | Infectious

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
The 2012 Mercury Prize winners begin their sophomore outing with the subversively titled "Intro," a four-and-a-half-minute highlight reel of what's to come that pairs the monastic chanting that prefaced An Awesome Wave's first single, "Fitzpleasure," with a pastiche of new age and worldbeat-blasted ambient pop that suggests Mogwai by way of Peter Gabriel's Real World studios circa 1990 -- it's both planetarium laser light show and art installation ready. The muted yet equally heady "Arrival in Nara," all fingerpicked electric guitar and diffusive synths, and its more muscular yet no less monkish second half, "Nara," do little to rein in the holistic atmosphere that's so decisively laid out in the remarkably potent This Is All Yours' opening moments, which makes the arrival of the punchy, carnally minded "Every Other Freckle" and the meaty, Anglo-Motown thump of "Left Hand Free" so thrilling, but hardly unexpected. After all, this is a band that proved with its debut that it can go from icy, distant, and often excruciatingly beautiful to downright feral at the crack of a snare drum (or pots and pans, as the group's humble, dorm room beginnings often required), and This Is All Yours does little to tarnish their reputation as choirboys with dark passengers. That penchant for edgy refinement, along with frontman Joe Newman's elastic voice, remains the band's most effective weapon, but it's hard to pinpoint where and when that magic occurs, as it's so effortlessly woven into the group's sound. It's somewhere in between the autumnal and apocalyptic, Miley Cyrus-sampling "Hunger of the Pine," the bucolic, recorder-led "Garden of England," and the oddly soulful, midnight-black posturing of "The Gospel of John Hurt," and it gets under your skin, where it somehow manages to both hurt and heal. ~ James Christopher Monger
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 27, 2014 | Arista France

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime - Hi-Res Audio
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 13, 2014 | Believe Recordings

Hi-Res Booklet + Video Distinctions 4 étoiles Rock and Folk - Qobuzissime
Since he released his first album Early In The Morning in 2010, James Vincent McMorrow has been creating an intoxicating concoction of folk and soul. His slight falsetto has much in common with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver or James Blake and gives his musical a certain dream-like quality. To write Post Tropical, the Irish singer-songwriter shut himself away on a farm on the Mexican border. The result is an album which reaches towards the sublime with its pure and refined melodies and harmonies, evident from the very first bars of album opener Cavalier. McMorrow strips back, and the result is a bewitchingly superb second album.