Round-Up, May 14th-May 20th

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Sons Of Kemet – Black To The Future

★★★★☆

Released May 14th, 2021 on Impulse! Records

A consistently funky jazz workout that binds African and American strains of Black identity and rhythms into a cultural tour de force.

Babe Rainbow – Changing Colours

★★★★

Released May 14th, 2021 on Flightless Records

Saying “They look like castaways from an Eighties frat house in Cape Cod and play lithe psychedelic funk-rock that sounds like hazy summer days” is just a long-winded way of saying they’re Australian.

The Black Keys – Delta Kream

★★★☆

Released May 14th, 2021 on Easy Eye Records

When the old masters got old, they curled in, got gnarled, chewed rubber and cut throats with their guitar licks. None of this applies to the Black Keys, but they do fall back into their old habits of mining a roadhouse groove into midnight, so it’s still a pretty good spin.

Sarah Neufeld – Detritus

★★★☆

Released May 14th, 2021 on Paper Bag Records

The Arcade Fire violinist produces a sweeping album of modern chamber music that deals in urgency and a sweet sort of yearning.

Matt Berry – The Blue Elephant

★★★

Released May 14th, 2021 on Acid Jazz Records

It borrows heavily from old Swinging London psychedelia (and early-glam Bowie) but it does it in such a slick way that you can’t really be mad about it.

Pardoner – Came Down Different

★★★★

Released May 14th, 2021 on Bar/None Records

Parquet Courts and Guided By Voices influences distilled into a riotous clamour. It’s nice to see things come out of San Francisco that aren’t squalling OCs psych-rock.

Smol Data – Inconvenience Store

★★★

Released May 14th, 2021 on Broken Camera Records

Solid enough indie rock that will fit in well on whatever twee summer playlist you decide to make this year.

Sara Bug – Sara Bug

★★★

Released May 14th, 2021 on EggHunt Records

If you’re hard up for Big Thief-style indie rock, here you go I guess, it should maybe tide you over until the new record drops.

The Chills – Scatterbrain

★★

Released May 14th, 2021 on Fire Records

“Pure pop songs for the new normal” it absolutely isn’t. Sometimes there’s sparse and sometimes there’s just straight-up boring.

Juliana Hatfield – Blood

★★★☆

Released May 14th, 2021 on American Laundromat Records

A thumpy rock album about the shitty situations we find ourselves in today, brought to you by one of the most underrated songwriters of the 1990s.

Fightmilk – Contender

★★★

Released May 14th, 2021 on Reckless Yes Records

When we talk about bands biting the Eighties, the idea that they’re borrowing wholesale from The Pretenders is not usually one I consider. Here we are, though.

Old Sea Brigade – Motivational Speaking

★★☆

Released May 14th, 2021 on Nettwerk Records

The War On Drugs without that added studio oomph. Even the cover looks War On Druggy. Let’s not go in this direction, okay?

Holly Macve – Not The Girl

★★★★

Released May 14th, 2021 on Modern Sky Entertainment

Aching country-soul, like Angel Olsen after a fifth of Jack Daniels.

Throat – Smile Less

★★★☆

Released May 14th, 2021 on Svart Records

A roiling, clanging album that scrapes up the mud from the depths of 90s sludge and makes it sound somehow contemporary.

Liar Thief Bandit – Deadlights

★★★

Released May 14th 2021 on the Sign Records

With a better singer, this would be a great garage-hair metal crossover.

Kira Skov – Spirit Tree

★★★☆

Released May 14th, 2021 on Stunt Records

The globe-travelling Danish folk artist teams up with a big list of collaborators, including Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Mark Lanegan, and Bill Callahan. Gothic folk that isn’t afraid to also conjure up some wonder and delight here and there.

Fatima Al Qadiri – Medieval Femme

★★★☆

Released May 14th, 2021 on Hyperdub Records

Romantic and dreamlike, Medieval Femme takes the medieval poetry of Arab women as a jumping off point to make surreal ambient soundscapes.

Grave Miasma – Abyss of Wrathful Deities

★★★

Released May 14th, 2021 on Sepulchral Voice Records

You know, it’s funny. This band has been doing their white-knuckle death metal thing for nineteen years, and while that sounds impressive it just means they go back to 2002. That was my second year of university, which wasn’t-

oh. oh god.

Panopticon – …And Again Into The Light

★★★★

Released May 14th, 2021 on Bindrune Records

One of those one-man RABM bands that have popped up like dandelions in the spring over the last several years, but one with a solid grasp on structure and a penchant for beautiful moments of aching Americana interspersed among the despairing blastbeats and haunting melodies.

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