Each week a ton of new music comes out, and between our weekly singles column that gets posted every Friday, and the full album reviews throughout the week, plus live show reviews and news announcements, we get to a lot! Here’s a quick fire list of even more great albums and EPs that came out this week(ish) that we dug and think you should get on your radar too.
Algiers– Shook. The thing I love most about Algiers is you never quite know what you’re going to get from one song to the next. And I mean this as a supreme compliment as it is a direct reflection of their strength and skill as musicians and songwriters. Rare is the band that can do so much without getting lost along the way and be so impactful in the process. SHOOK is out today via Matador and is a document of a band that was already at a high level, reaching even further. The album features guest appearance from Zach de la Rocha, Mark Cisneros, LaToya Kent, billy woods and more, with many highlights across 17 songs including “I Can’t Stand It!,” “Bite Back,” “Out of Style Tragedy” and “Cold World.” They will next play NYC at Racket on 4/6. [KH]
Death Valley Girls– Islands In The Sky. The latest from the LA garage rock greats and we had a lot of thoughts on it! Read them here. [KB]
En Attendant Ana– Principia. The Parisian dream pop outfit has just released their latest album, Principia, which follows up 2020’s Juillet. It’s got plenty of jangle to spare and big standouts for me are “Black Morning,” and “The Cutoff,” a bouncy post punky jam, as well as the title track which kicks off the album. I’d love to see them soon so I’m sure hoping a US tour is in their 2023 plans. [KH]
Fat Heaven– Trash Life. The latest from the Brooklyn pop punk stalwarts,Trash Life, collects the previously released tracks from their 2018 Crybaby EP as well as two songs from their 2021 split with fellow BK pop punkers, Trashy, and adds in four brand new songs. This is a short and sweet blast, like any good pop punk record should be and to quote our earlier review of one of the new tracks, these songs are “hanging on the corner of Rancid and Social Distortion.” You can catch their energetic live show next on 3/2 at The Kingsland. [MB]
Fat Trout Trailer Park– Live At The Creamery. The Brooklyn based band has a knack for catchy, fuzzy indie pop grooves and self describe as “a post-punk response to modern life, where beyond the noise lies an incisive critique of contemporary society.” They just released a four song EP which includes live versions of the series of singles they released over the course of 2022 and it’s a fun, punchy addition to their existing catalog. [KH]
Gruff Rhys– The Almond and The Seahorse soundtrack– Super Furry Animals lead singer Gruff Rhys has released a double album today and it serves as the soundtrack to the film The Almond and The Seahorse which stars Charlotte Gainsbourg, Rebel Wilson and Celyn Jones. The album contains 22 songs, featuring both original songs with instrumental score interspersed throughout, and it was recorded in 2021 and 2022 with members of the National Orchestra of Wales and other guests. As per Rhys’ Bandcamp: “the film tells the story of archaeologist (Rebel Wilson) and an architect (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and their fight to re-imagine a future after a traumatic brain injury leaves them adrift from the people they love. The title of the film itself refers to the nicknames given to the parts of our brains that lay down new memories and hold on to the old ones.”
He also notes that the album was “recorded largely in pandemic conditions so it was a matter of recording in bursts of possible activity in various friends’ studios, homes and even scout halls as chance permitted. It’s a varied quilt work as a result.” An ambitious project for sure, but no match for the prolific Welsh singer/songwriter. Gwaith arbennig, Gruff! [KH]
Gina Birch– I Play My Bass Loud. The legendary founder of The Raincoats has just released her very first solo album, I Play My Bass Loud, proving that old punks never die. Read our full review here. [CW]
Gorillaz– Cracker Island. The long running cartoon fronted band (aka Damon Albarn from Blur and Jamie Hewlett of Tank Girl fame) has just released their eighth album. I’ve been a fan since day one and they were really one of the first electronic bands I really took a shine to, after coming off of years of grunge, punk and ska devotion in the 90s. I still love their very early catalog and the first three albums in particular, so it’s exciting to see them still at it (albeit it with some bumps in the road along the way).
22 years down the line from their self titled debut, and they’ve made a fun record that is packed with special guests like Stevie Nicks, Bad Bunny, Adeleye Omotayo, Beck and more; it has plenty to keep your feet tapping and your head bobbing. Is this one a revelation now like their debut was in 2001? No that it is not, but it still has teeth and at this stage of their career, it doesn’t need to be anything more than a solid electro pop record which it certainly is. With the one two punch of the title track opening the album with a guest spot from Thundercat, followed by “Oil” featuring vocals from Nicks, that pairing alone proves they’ve still got it. [KH]
Human Potential– Hoosi, No! I admit I may have perked up a bit when I saw the title of this album (my computer immediately autocorrected it to Hoos) but what really got me to check it out (since I had been unfamiliar with this project previously) was that it is from the creative mind of Andrew Becker, who once upon a time played drums for The Medications. They were an absolutely stellar mathy, post hardcore band that put out some of my favorite releases of the first decade of this century, the 2004 EP, Medications, and the 2005 LP, Your Favorite People All In One Place. (If I dig through my archives, I have pics of them from 2005 at NorthSix which was the precursor to Music Hall of Williamsburg.)
Human Potential is very, very different from the work that I had been previously familiar with though and that surprised me. The genre descriptors on Bandcamp are listed as “pop” “ambient” “experimental” and “weird pop” among others. But that’s of no mind to me because I rather like weird and experimental stuff so it was pretty cool to re-discover an artist who I had loved in the past in a totally new and unexpected context. There’s a lot going on across these nine songs and I really enjoyed the trio of songs “I Have to Leave Because There Are No Rivers Here,” which might be the most straight forward on the album before it gives way to the dark and forbidding instrumental “Zwunck” which then shifts to “Some Small Anti-Christ at the Art Show,” a deeply experimental track that goes from gentle and abstract with individual percussion elements to heavier post punk with a full drum kit just before the three minute mark to build to a shattering crescendo.
Becker has an extended discography as Human Potential, Hoosi, No! is his fifth album overall. I’m very much looking forward to finding out what mysteries lie in store on the other four albums. [KH]
Jenny O– Spectra. Part electro, part psychy garage rock and a whole lot more, Spectra is out today via Mama Bird Recording Co. It is the follow up to 2020’s New Truth and Jenny O’s fourth album overall. There’s a lot to sink your teeth into on this record, O is “a classically trained composer and double bassist who studied jazz and experimented with trip hop in the early 2000’s before making her way to California and back to rock n’ roll” and it shows in the nuance and layers contained throughout. She performed the guitar, bass, synth and organ parts on the album and had production help from Kevin Ratterman. Via a press release O says Spectra is a “contemplation on what it means to be a weirdo, to communicate, and ultimately, to be useful.”
I’m a big fan of the tracks the warbly acoustic fueled “The Big Cheese,” bouncy rocker “Solitary Girl,” the smooth and subdued “Prism,” and the positive anthem “You Are Loved Eternally.” She is soon to embark on a Midwestern tour. Here’s hoping we see her in NYC soon, too. [KH]
Miss Grit– Follow The Cyborg. The Brooklyn based artist has released their debut full length, read all about it here. [CW]
Mui Zyu– Rotten Bun for an Eggless Century. Eva Liu (who also fronts Dama Scout) has released her debut solo album as Mui Zyu today via Father/Daughter and it resides in an ambitious dream pop landscape, a kaleidoscope of electronics, subtle guitars and piano; it is a sweeping diary of identity, folklore and self exploration.
Per her Bandcamp “As mui zyu, Hong Kong British artist Eva Liu navigates the tricky territory of ever-changing identity, merging fantasy and folklore to create a stage for self-acceptance and deliverance. On her debut full-length Rotten Bun for an Eggless Century, Liu utilizes chopped-up soundscapes, delicate industrial ambience and sweet pop melodies to introduce a character––a guide––who can be stretched across worlds to offer the catharsis of patience, perseverance and understanding. This isn’t a character formed from a desire to escape or flee the real world, but rather a way to submerge even deeper into ourselves. Rotten Bun for an Eggless Century is a reflection of everyone, and everything, that made us who we are.” [KH]
Model/Actriz– Dogsbody. The Brooklyn based experimental industrial art noise band released their debut full length, Dogsbody, today via True Panther after several singles over the last seven years and it’s a ten song diary that is the culmination of many years in the Brooklyn underground scene. Chock full of a range of feels from rapid fire beats and jittery, gasoline doused guitars to walls of fuzzy electro noise like in “Sleepless,” which starts out on the subtle end (for this band anyway) before it consumes you. The big highlights for me are “Mosquito” and “Amaranth” both of which are on the more chaotic end of the spectrum. The band will play new NYC venue, Racket, on 4/20. [KH]
Plëzher– Stick It In. Raw AF crusty dbeat from Amiskwaciwâskahikan, Treaty 6 territory (Edmonton, “Canada”), this band “crack[s] the whip at colonialism with their hard and fast songs and their poignant feminist/anti-fascist lyrics.” Interestingly—and awesomely—the band features a dual bass, no guitar, buzz saw attack and boldly declare “an evening with Plëzher will bring you to your knees.” Their lyrics mince absolutely not one shred of a word and these four songs will get you fired the fuck UP. My favorite is the closing track “Traitor Bitch,” the pro choice anthem we need everywhere and particularly south of the US/Canadian border right now. [KH]
shame– Food For Worms. The third album from the London based band is here today on Dead Oceans and sees the band really hitting their stride. In his review of their previous single, “Fingers of Steel,” Mike said “It’s obvious shame makes music for them, and everyone else just happens to be on board.” I’m inclined to agree AND be fully on board because that’s the best possible ethos a band can have, if you’re doing it for any other reason than for yourselves, then it’s the wrong reasons (once a punk, always a punk!). “Six Pack” is a wah drenched number with frenzied drumming I love, and it’s my favorite song on the album, other standouts include the postgazey “Yankees,” “The Fall of Paul” and the building “Different Person.” They’re on a run of UK/European dates now and will next hit NYC on 5/14 at Warsaw when on the North American leg of their tour. [KH]
Uncle Pizza– Frog Era. Uncle Pizza is a “silly queer emo punk band based in Brooklyn” and today they have a brand new album. Read all about it here. [CW]
Check out these other recent reviews for even more new music:
Black Belt Eagle Scout- The Land, The Water, The Sky
Lily Mao & the Resonaters- Human Being Animal
Quasi- Breaking The Balls of History
Yo La Tengo- This Stupid World