New Music Roundup, August 6th-August 12th

Standard

Lingua Ignota – Sinner Get Ready

★★★★

Released August 6th, 2021 on Sargent House Records

After 2019’s Caligula brought her a wider audience, Kristin Hayter moved out to rural Pennsylvania to explore the tensions between her, Catholicism, and atheism. The resulting album plays with church organ harmonics as well as more deeply American instruments like the dulcimer and the banjo. It’s still deeply rooted in her noise aesthetic, but the noise is made from different voices and identities now.

Foxing – Draw Down The Moon

★★★

Released August 6th, 2021 on Hopeless Records

Big, buzzy indie rock that doesn’t present anything new but does display a good sense of dynamic interplay, and that will get you far enough.

Laura Stevenson – Laura Stevenson

★★★☆

Released August 6th, 2021 on Don Giovanni Records

Steel-wrought and nimble-fingered folk rock, like Stevie Nix fronting early Iron & Wine.

Kississippi – Mood Ring

★★★

Released August 6th, 2021 on Triple Crown Records

Have you ever considered what Chvrches would sound like if they were less synthy and more cross-over countrified? Why would you consider such a thing? Are you stoned on bad mids?

Liam Kazar – Due North

★★★☆

Released August 6th, 2021 on Woodsist Records

Seventies-style singer-songwriter material rich in synth work and those blaring SNL/plastic soul era Bowie saxes.

Willy Mason – Already Dead

★★★★

Released August 6th, 2021 on Cooking Vinyl Records

Tough, wiry stuff that sounds uncommonly like a rougher-edged version of singer-songwriter albums from the early 1980s.

NEWMAN – Futur II

★★★★

Released August 6th, 2021 on Ferry House Records

How long will I be doing this? How long before this system of musical consumption is disrupted by disaster and catastrophe? I was just reading the IPCC report that has us pegged at +1.09 now, and +1.5 regardless of what we do. +1.5 is disruptive, destructive even. +2 – one of the better scenarios by 2050 – is extremely bad. +3 – a likely scenario in any event – is civilization-ending. The cover of Futur II really speaks to me and my entire generation, and our children’s generation as well.

Oh, and the music is good, too. Retro-tinged downtempo that feels contemporary and nostalgic at the same time. But, really, in the face of the onrushing holocaust of climate change, who gives a shit?

Ah well. Gotta do something with the remaining days.

Ishmael Ensemble – Visions Of Light

★★★★

Released August 6th, 2021

Moody electronic production paired with searing UK nu jazz makes for a hell of a fine experimental record from the Bristol collective led by saxophonist Pete Cunningham.

The Umbrellas – The Umbrellas

★★★☆

Released August 6th, 2021 on Slumberland Records

Cool, swinging DIY alt-pop that borrows heavily from those easy days of the early 90s when this kind of thing was called college rock, or jangly – bands raised on R.E.M. that had been sneaking listens to early shambling/C-86 cut with fey Sixties SF psychedelia when they were in the bathroom.

Glass Spells – Shattered

★★★☆

Released August 6th, 2021 on Negative Gain Records

Banger of a synth pop record, but I’m not totally sold on the vocalist.

Lovelorn – What’s Yr Damage?

★★★

Released August 6th, 2021 on 6131 Records

Stoned alt-synth with that strict kinda beat, lo-fi like they did it in the storage closet of their run down apartment building.

Esses – Bloodletting For The Lonely

★★★

Released August 6th, 2021

A dead ringer for that early-mid Eighties Batcave goth sound, but updated with modern production touches.

Devour – Smiling

★★★☆

Released August 6th, 2021 on Rebel Waves Records

Annie Shaw has been doing this since she was three and has finally started getting some attention after touring with Against Me! Recorded in two days, Smiling is a buzzsaw indie record that leans toward the underground heroes of the early Nineties for inspiration.

Barney Artist & Mr Jukes – The Locket

★★★☆

Released August 6th, 2021 on Locket Records

Look, I don’t really like Bombay Bicycle Club so take this with a grain of salt, but I think Mr Jukes should stick to this deftly engineered sort of boom-bap beat creation. Barney Artist fills his role pretty well, but I’ll the production over the MC any day.

Overrider – the city eats the stranger//the city eats the sky

★★★

Released August 6th, 2021

Ambient/industrial crossover work that plays with being edgy without actually stepping over and being edgy.

Nas – King’s Disease II

★★★

Released August 6th, 2021 on Mass Appeal

The king’s disease is the same it was the last time around: Nas is rich, he’s living the good life, and that’s all he can really talk about. Even when he gets serious, it’s spun through quickly and then left behind for more good-times luxury rap (like his brief track near the top about the death of Tupac). And look: this is all fine. The man is writing about what he knows right now, and even if it comes across like one of those money-talk seminars that all the MBAs attend he’s still got that golden Nas flow and Hit-Boy’s professional production. It’s better than NASIR, the most disappointing out of G.O.O.D.’s legendary 7-song album summer of 2018 (including ye), and it’s probably on par with 2012’s late-career comeback Life Is Good. It’s just, you know, not relatable to non-rich people.

Pink Siifu – Gumbo’!

★★★☆

Released August 6th, 2021 on Dynamite Hill

The album is aptly named – this is a thick, rich stew of sounds both aggro and laid-back but always funky. It’s swampy and it complements the goddamn disgusting heat we’re under perfectly.

Fredo Bang – Murder Made Me

★★★☆

Released August 6th, 2021 on Def Jam Records

He could use an editor – some of this stuff just doesn’t land with any impact – but when he does hit, he hits hard. The under-three-minutes aesthetic is also very much appreciated; his ability to get in and out in 2:30 is a talent that he’s cultivated quite well.

Abstract Mindstate – Dreams Still Inspire

★★★★

Released August 6th, 2021 on YZY SND

Once upon a time in the early 90s EP Da Hellcat and Olskool Ice-Gre met at Jackson State even though they were both from Chicago. They formed a mixed duo and became something of an underground hit in their home city, debuting in 2001 with We Paid Let Us In! Record company shenanigans led to a lack of sales. By the time they recorded their second album Still Paying in 2004 (which I think is only available illegit) Gre had become friends with then-star producer Kanye West. Kanye corralled John Legend, Common, and David Banner but the album was pretty much vaporware, as were the three mixtapes Gre scraped together over the next year. After that, they went their separate ways amiably. EP Da Hellcat became plain old Daphne Mitchell and left rhymes behind for spreadsheets as a behavioural analyst. Gre got into the A&R side of the industry and ended up working for G.O.O.D. Music. One morning Daphne got a call from her old partner – Ye wanted to get Abstract Mindstate back together. Dreams Still Inspire is the first fruit of that Yeezy intervention; the man produces but the focus is really Gre and EP, who return to their roots and bring back that pre-Wu old school vibe to their cadences. They manage to make that old rhythm sound timeless and it’s honestly refreshing to hear that sound again with crisp modern production. The fact that, at 49, they’re charting a return to an artform they thought had long since passed them by is an interesting enough story on it’s own – but to do it well? Kanye’s outlandishly bizarre chaos is still capable of producing magic, it seems.

Canid – Saint Serpentine

★★★

Released August 6th, 2021

Blackened doom, which means the Iommi riffs are smashed out with a hammer until they’re blurred movements and the howling of the damned suffuses everything.

As December Falls – Happier.

★★

Released August 6th, 2021 on ADF Records

You could go back twenty years and find this exact same record.

Borracho – Pound Of Flesh

★★☆

Released August 6th, 2021

Ten years ago Borracho were bouncing around the AOTY lists of people deep into that desert rock sound. Now they seem stuck in the same old riffs and a crummier production sound.

Vixenta – Polarity

★★★☆

Released August 6th, 2021 on Floating Downward Records

Deafheaven (among others, of course) has really opened the door for post-black metal to become an actual thing. Australia’s Vixenta draw on some more close-to-home influences to develop a record that still has that overwhelming black metal howl but also brings different riff styles and atmosphere in. It may not be world-shaking, but it helps blaze a new path all the same.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s