Wait, it’s already May? What’s happening? Well, time is relative, and we only experience time through change and progression. Time and philosophy and all that shebang! Obviously, my head is in the clouds right now, so what’d be better than to talk about music to get my feet back on the ground? April saw the release of numerous records of outstanding quality, and I’ll list the very best on the newest installment of The Noise Of!
There is no scenario in which I wouldn’t gush about Duster. This band is so special and important to me, and especially with their progression into even spacier territory, they’ve shown that they’ve still got a lot to tell. I highly recommend to listen through their whole discography, which is a wild and trippy ride!
Very happy to finally have a proper Beau Diako album. After a number of interesting projects, primarily Pigarette and Zoology, you can really feel all the influences that helped Beau progress as an artist. A very sweet neo-soul/electronica album for the modern guitar fan.
A surprise, but a welcome one. Didn’t expect much from prog this year besides the upcoming Porcupine Tree album, and I didn’t expect to get much out of Everything To Everyone. The new album by Airbag frontman Bjørn Riis is a wonderful prog treat for all those on a dry spell for dreamy prog.
A magical band. I’ve been following Širom for years, enjoying every album along the way. With The Liquified Throne of Simplicity, the band continues their fascinating journey into Slovenian folk music with an open mind to reflect upon the musical zeitgeist. A band you can’t miss.
Besides her stellar work with The Internet, I felt that Syd‘s solo stuff was always lacking. I was expecting the same for Broken Hearts Club, only to end up pleasantly surprised with how cohesivly written and tightly produced this album came out. Easily her best solo work, and one of the smoothest records of April!
The sexiest man in country since Conway Twitty has a lot of weight on his shoulders. Making country cool again, being sexy as hell, and delivering this awesome-ass album is no easy feat. Needless to say, Orville Peck rides this Bronco home with ease and elegance, and I pity everyone who’s missing out!
Wanna know about the post-metal band that will make you shrug at all the other post-metal bands? Belgium-based group Divided is relatively new to the scene, but they already reign supreme with their outstanding EP Riser. There is so much to praise here, from the heavy-hitting riffs to the phenomenal vocal performance, so how about you go find out for yourself?
Bree Van Reyk – Superclusters
April 8 // Hobbledehoy Record Co.
Attentive readers might remember that I’m a huge sucker for good sound design, and if an artist dabbles in binaural production, I’m all in for it. Bree Van Reyk‘s fantastic new album Superclusters doesn’t stop with just that, adding intriguing compositions and charming ideas on top of it. A great experience!
If you like hip hop and still sleeping on Billy Woods, you should change that immediately. Not only is he part of one of the most exciting projects in the genre with Armand Hammer, he also released arguably one of the best rap albums of 2019, teaming up with beat producer par excellence Kenny Segal for the tremendous Hiding Places, only to release the equally fantastic Brass with Moor Mother one year later. His newest offering Aethiopes is weird and challenging, but damn.
It’s really hard to pinpoint how Epitaphe‘s new album sounds. It bounces between doom and black metal, carrying a certain bleakness while feeling strangely warm at the same time. There is a certain elegance and grace within those songs – contrasting the gritty sound and harsh disposition. A sophisticated metal album for everyone who is searching for something special.
I’m no fan of reworked versions of already released albums. Most of the time they fell pointless and like a lazy attempt from a band to sell something with little work attached. That may sound harsh, but it’s simply too rare to encounter reworkings with actual value. Spanish Love Songs, one of the best indie bands currently working, exceeded the norm with Brave Faces Etc., giving their masterpiece Brave Faces Everyone new life and the audience just more Spanish Love Songs. Always a good thing.
This might be one of the best records of the year. No other album mesmerized me like GRIEF did, it haunts me, it inspires me. The balance between simplicity and compelling complexity is astonishing, and I’ll keep nagging my surroundings about Samora Pinderhughes for months to come!
Good feeling, won’t you stay with me just a little longer? With Jerry Paper on repeat, this is an easy thing to ask. His previous album Abracadabra brought me through the summer of 2020, so I was eagerly awaiting his follow-up. Free Time is a tad bit weirder, but makes me smile and dance. Thanks Jerry!
An experimental ambient album released through The Flenser? This sounds like a typical no-brainer in terms of greatness, like most of the stuff that is put out into the world by the label. Cremation Lily‘s Dreams Drenched in Static is a shining example of what ambient as a style is capable off, condensing vibrant and intense ideas into mesmerizing soundscapes.
Wanna meet your new favorite band? Introducing Swiss doom folk outfit Soldat Hans and their new album Anthaupt. This band initially caught my interest with their previous album Es Taut, which was a phenomenally put-together record, so I was more than excited for their new release. Anthaupt didn’t disappoint – this is an album full of dark elegance and intricate songwriting. A masterpiece.
Haru Nemuri is a goddess. I was so stoked for her new album, because a new release of hers is always a bag full of surprises. Nemuri dances between genres with little to no effort, making mesh-ups work other artists could only dream about. SHUNKA RYOUGEN is adventurous and bold, and another example of the vibrant world of Japanese music.
I wasn’t that fond of S. Carey‘s music before, but Break Me Open reached me in a way only Black Sea Dahu managed to do earlier this year. There is a somberness in these songs, met with warmth and comfort. Once again, the contrast found in the nooks and crannies of Break Me Open are the reason I became so infatuated with this record, and I’m looking forward to delve deeper into it.
Glasgow-based singer/songwriter Kathryn Jospeh has been on my radar for many years. I’m always looking forward to new material, and was especially pleased with for you who are the wronged. While there is always a bit of sorrow in her songs, the subtle longing and the power Joseph conveys in her music never fails to amaze me. Another beautiful album.
Green-House – Solar Editions
April 22 // Leaving Records
What, do you think that I could ignore a Green-House release for The Noise Of? You’re damn right, I couldn’t. One of my favorite ambient artists around continues to grace us with fanatastic release. While Solar Editions doesn’t have the level of greatness Music for Living Spaces and Six Songs for Invisible Gardens, it’s still more Green-House. A good thing in my books.
I keep an eye out for the Canadian label Arts & Crafts since they released Busty & The Bass‘s Eddie, so I was glad catching the release of Georgia Harmer‘s debut album Stay In Touch. While it resembles the grungy bedroom pop the likes of Soccer Mommy or Beabadoobee, Stay In Touch feels a bit more relaxed, a little more timeless. A very promising start for Georgia Harmer, and a potential highlight of the year for me.
Claire Rousey – everything perfect is already here
April 22 // Shelter Press
Claire Rousey and two tracks just over 15 minutes. If you can’t enjoy the simple things in life, is life really worth living? Sometimes, all you need is thick blanket of soundscapes wrapped around you like a freaking anaconda. Breathing is irrelevant.
Murderbait from Portland, Oregon shouldn’t be in my wheelhouse based on how they sound. Gothic-y dark rock, Type O Negative vibes off the charts, and a morbid feeling to their song should disqualify them as something I appreciate, so it’s especially remarkable that this album caught me with its elegance and continues to amaze the living shit out of me. Chapeau.
The ferociousness of Profound Morality is something resembling the sheer energy of END‘s Splinters From An Ever-Changing Face, but here it’s mixed with moments of calm composure – this contrast makes for one of the most intense musical experiences of the year. What a monster.
You probably see the term sludge thrown around regarding Pyrithe, but this doesn’t give you the right idea what they sound like. Monuments to Impermanence is noisy and gritty, mathy at parts, but always fascinating and compelling. I’m bummed that this hasn’t received a lot of praise and coverage within the metal community, and I hope the recognition will grow through the year. This album really deserves it.
Back in 2018, Tomberlin‘s debut album At Weddings really enchanted me. The intimacy and warmth of this record was something special. Now, New York-based artist Sarah Beth Tomberlin is back with her new album i don’t know who needs to hear this…, and she lost nothing of her magic.
People were crazy about Kelly Lee Owens previous album Inner Song, so I was a bit surprised how little buzz LP.8 received. Owens’ newest offering dabbles a bit more in experimental territority, opening up her already impressive aural pallette for more influences and even bolder ideas. Progression is key!
So, I keep honking and honking and honking, still sad. What do they want from me? Maybe the honking won’t fix my sadness at all? If so, Ebi Soda‘s subverted my expectations like the slippery jazz combo they are, and just left me with an awesome-ass album. Maybe the real fight against sadness were the honks we made along the way.
Bones & grayera – Withered
April 29 // Independent
There is a really interesting vibe going on with Withered, it’s a bit cloudy and mumbly, but also heartfelt, sweet, and smooth. One of the more interesting hip hop records of the year, at least stylistically.
Thanks for scrolling.