And there it is, another month in the bucket. August usually marks the end of the summer hole, and the last episodes of THE NOISE OF were rather short – something I’m cool with, because these monsters take a while to get together. With September already in and a fuckton of releases on the horizon, I crave August 2023 as the the calm before the autumn storm.
Ando San – Seeing Pastures
August 4 // Independent
AND IT CRASHES. Urne have already a track record of good releases, so I was very eager to get my ears on A Feast On Sorrow – and what a experience it ended up being! This album is as harsh as it is sophisticated and elegant, expertly written and well put-together. A must listen for every fan of posty adjacent metal!
Cunabula – The Weight Of Sleep
August 11 // Sleazy Rider
This album still flies under the radar of many metal fans – and that’s a fucking shame. The Weight of Sleep is one of the better metal releases of the year, delivering incredibly charming and crushingly heavy blackend sludge with a proggy, basically avant-garde edge to it. Don’t sleep on that!
Either my sweet spot for post-metal and sludge is especially large this year, or we are experiencing an especially strong year for the genre. German outfit Bees Made Honey In The Vein Tree delivered on my sweet spots with a dark and mysterious piece of music, doomy and gazey, packed into extraordinary songwriting.
Maybe my favorite record of the year so far. Warm soul on a delicate bed of jazz – KARPEH shines through its charismatic protagonist, intricate songwriting and myriad of fantastic features, with Julian Lage being the most interesting for me personally. But that’s the magic of this album, there is so much to discover, but it also works as just a light and wholesome experience.
I’m not the biggest fan of post-punk. Especially since it’s revival a couple years back, the musical landscape is flooded with releases which are one-dimensional, both sound-wise and aesthetically. Naked Lungs is a great counterpart to that trend. Doomscroll is fucking angry, fucking noisy and fucking awesome.
I like Cory Wong – he’s an extremely prolific, extremely talented musician. Yet, I don’t think he’s a particularly good songwriter, to be honest. A lot of his material is in a ‘style-over-substance’ situation. With The Lucky One, he proved to me that he can be indeed a good songwriter – and what a songwriter! The right features for the right tracks, charismatic songs, good vibes, good pace – this albums brings the summer back.
Kioto Aoki – Paper, not plastic
August 25 // FPE Records
An album only with percussions? Son of a bitch, I’m in. Although my own musical endeavours focus on keys and strings, I have a huge interest in percussions and drums – Drumeo is my most-watched music education channel out there. And Paper, not plastic is such a fascinating and captivating piece of music that it’s simply super easy to fall for it.
Say about Holding Absence what you want – yes, they follow pop structures, yes, the look like a boy band, yes, they give off the vibe of a calculated product – but fuck all that. For me, they are one of the most talented ‘heavy’ bands out there, somewhere between alternative rock, pop and post-hardcore. The Noble Art Of Self Destrution is a prime example of modern rock songwriting, incorporating influences to the right degree and never loosing sight of the most important thing – writing fucking good songs.
You might have noticed that I’m in a bit of a post-metal rush – so many good records dropped in the last months. One of the most outstanding is The Salt Pale Collective‘s A Body That Could Pass Through Stones and Trees – the crushing energy of Amenra mixed with elegant and calm moments. A great album!
Critics’ darlings Spanish Love Songs entered tons of AOTY lists with their fantastic third album Brave Faces Everyone, so the expectations for its follow-up were high. No Joy fills those expecations with excellent songs and great sound – Spanish Love Songs are without a doubt one of the best indie bands out there.
Back in 2016, I was obsessed with the (m)edian EP. The collaboration between Ta-ku and Wafia, both Australian artists, only consisted of three songs and two interludes, but boy, it was sooo good. I’m checking out the releases of both artists ever since, but never found the same amount of greatness. Songs To Come Home To changed that.
Maybe one of the strongest debuts I’ve heard in years. If those four songs are any indicator what we can expect from this band, we are in for something truly phenomenal, truly outstanding. With heavy vibes from bands like deafheaven or Holy Fawn, this band truly stands out.
Jaimie Branch – Fly or Die Fly or Die Fly or Die ((world war))
August 25 // International Anthem
I love International Anthem as a label, and Jaimie Branch‘s projects was always a big part of this love. The last Anteloper album, Pink Dolphins, was one of my favorite jazz albums of 2022, and with her new album on the horizon, it was devastating to hear that Jaimie passed away in August 2022. This album might be her last release which sees the light of day, and it’s a reminder what kind of outstanding spirit the jazz landscape has lost.
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