Based on experience, March is a crazy month for releases. The start of spring brings a flood of music, most bands/PR’s wanna aim for that spring high after the winter (not so much this year) low. And here we are. I’m excited for all the great albums, and scared to write this up. Perfectly balanced, as all things should be.
I wasn’t aware how much I was craving for good and fun rock records before A Disconnect hit me. The Hyena Kill brings some of the finest elements of modern rock music together for a record which is never boring, always on point and always self-aware. Some of the Deftones nuances, especially with the vocal performance, just add to the great concoction the UK-based act crafted!
What’s in the water of South London? Seriously, the amount of captivating artists this region births is absolutely incredible. Jake Isaac is probably a bit more established as of now, since he presents his second album with Honesty. A singer/songwriter (usually indie folk), Isaac takes elements from soul and r’n’b to achieve the main motifs of his record: Warmth and longing.
There is this certain sound Tigers Jaw simply mastered, and while I don’t think I Won’t Care How You Remember Me is particular original or outstanding in context of their discography, it’s extraordinarily reliable. Bringing you back to the nostalgia lane is undeniably effective, and I can only respect and appreciate the band for being so confident with what they are.
Regional Justice Center – Crime and Punishment
March 5 // Closed Casket Activities
Hardcore is back! 2021 brought us some noteworthy hardcore releases so far, which shows a genre between tradition and reanimation. Regional Justice Center lean heavily towards tradition, but tackle relevant topics with a refreshing and necessarily pissed-off attitude. Crusty sounds and some straight up death metal riffs make Crime and Punishment a nasty and angry affair, and a must-listen for every hardcore fan!
I’m still trying to encrypt I Feel Safe With You, Trash, a compelling, yet hopeless task. You’ll never know what happens next on of Montreal‘s newest album, which makes every spin so very exciting. Slowly, you get familiar with the weird spirit of this album, never fully grasping it. A challenge which I’m about to fail again and again. Nevertheless, I don’t see myself getting sick trying.
We all hate Covid. It brings countless downsides for all of us, and especially for artists. The one positive trait I enjoy is the inspiration that those strange times of isolation bring for some artists. sincerely, e was created while indie folk artist Elizabeth Zinman aka Elizabeth and the Catapult was experiencing isolation, but it never sounds desperate. Instead it projects hopefullness and vibrance, which makes this record such a joy.
Doom, post metal, and post rock have some things in common. One of them is the tendency for mediocrity. A lot of bands just follow formulas, and it’s kinda working, but they usually fade away like boring ideas. To find something special is always a great win, so stumbling over Swamp Hawk was a victory. The Kentucky-based doom band manages to carry some heavy metal tropes without sounding cheesy, balancing heaviness and melody with elegance, and yeah: RIFFS!
The Paper Kites weren’t on my radar that much in recent years, always categorizing the Australian band as a solid outfit in the dream pop/indie folk realm, but nothing more. Roses, their newest offering, changed that drastically with the simple fact that they invited 10 artists to sing on each of the albums songs, and those names sealed the deal for pretty easily. An album with Maro, Nadia Reid, and Lucy Rose? Of course I’ll get into it. On top, it’s a wonderful collection of songs, giving me feelings I missed since I first heard Cigarettes After Sex‘s debut.
I loved Scale, Dust Moth‘s previous album, back in 2016. The release of Rising // Sailing came with some expectations from my side, and I’m very happy that the band exceeded those with ease. You can’t really explain how Dust Moth sound on their new album, which is a good thing to begin with. If you love your gaze, some alt rock, and some post hardcore, you can’t ignore Rising // Sailing.
You can easily call me a skramz enthusiast. Obviously. So it’s impossible for me to ignore such a great record like closer‘s within one stem. The album is oozing charm and energy, so it won me over in a glimpse. The playful melodies and the urgency of the songs are some of the qualities I always search for in skramz, and those are the qualities closer primarily cultivate. You like skramz as well? Don’t ignore this album!
What really brought that album home for me is its versatility. From more trap-orientated vibes to jazzy 90’s beats, SOL GLO has it all. It shines as a great example for modern hip hop, delivering a piece for everyone, and someone who likes hip hop in general will definitely enjoy this album.
Great skramz releases are a staple within The Noise Of since a couple of years. I already expressed my gratitude for that countless times in the past, screamo/skramz being an integral part of my musical identity growing up, so I dive into every promising release eagerly. Tromblon rewarded me greatly for that.
When DVNE burst into the metal scene with Asheran back in 2017, everyone who noticed knew that they were one of the most interesting new acts in metal, so eyes were kept open. After signing with Metal Blade, the band finally graced us with a new album, and it was all I personally hoped for. Compelling compositions, a strong narrative, and a very confident stylistic vision, Etemen Ænka satisfies curiosity and makes hungry for more.
A very enchanting art pop extravaganza, with some fascinating sprinkles of kraut rock in between. William Doyle is no stranger to good music, having several releases with his moniker East India Youth as well as under his own name under his belt. On Great Spans of Muddy Time, he dances elegantly from one delicate arrangement to another, leaving the listener with awe and wonder.
Oh I love those little gems. Just 5 songs, pretty/normal impressed me with amazing energy and a great sense for songwriting. Anyone who likes midwest emo/post hardcore with a more 90’s-esque vibe have to check in on those guys. You’ll have a good time.
We obviously have a new dream team in hip hop. Pink Siifu & Fly Anakin have such a fantastic chemistry together, which they showcased impressively with their 2020 release FlySiifu’s, turning heads with irresistible flow and sharp bars. $mokebreak continues their winning streak, and I’m already looking forward to their next effort.
More from The Midnight is always a good thing. While I really don’t care about synthwave anymore, The Midnight is the shining exception. Monsters was one of the finest records of 2020, and Horror Show is an awesome little extra for every fan of the project.
Speaking of great collaborations in hip hop: Brooklyn-based rapper KOTA The Friend was a busy bee during the last year, ruffling a lot of feathers with his fantastic album Foto, and now he teamed up with producer Statik Selektah for To Kill A Sunrise. Crisp and warm beats, drawing influences from more classic East Coast rap and boom bap to create an experience which feels familiar, wholesome, and evocative.
Hedvig Mollestad and her fantastic trio are no stranger to this feature, since I’m an avid fan of their music, especially their fresh mix of stoner/psych rock and jazz. Ding Dong. You’re Dead is the newest addition to the band’s impressive catalog, and they prove once more what an interesting project they have here.
Alice Phoebe Lou is a treasure, and I would like to simply quote her about the new album Glow: ‘This album is an outlet. A place I blew off steam. I poured my most personal feelings, experiences & realisations into it and I stand before you completely naked, encouraging you to go to that place within yourself.’
Russia was always great soil for skramz, and this trend continues with the new wave of screamo. Летние войны translates to ‘Summer Wars’, and I just hope it’s a direct anime reference for Mamoru Hosoda‘s movie of the same name, which would make the band even more lovable. They don’t need that, but it would be nice.
I’m a Josh Scogin fanboy by heart, loving the first Norma Jean album, his run with The Chariot as well as his current project ’68. While their first album In Humor And Sadness feels pretty familiar with Scogin’s previous work, ’68 progressed into more garage/noise rock territory, using chaos as a flavor, not the main dish. Give One Take One is a stellar example of artists just mastering their craft and having something to say, which makes it one of the best records of the year so far.
Cat out of the bag: I never really cared for Genghis Tron, although I always respected them for their influence and standing within their niche. Dream Weapon is the effort by them which I really clicked with, exceptionally so. Only some glimpses remind us of their old sound, in general Genghis Tron morphed into something mostly new, which carried them to new heights, at least in my book.
I’m still working on really understanding Miscellany, and it’s the most fun procedure. Kilchhofer made me really curious with the element of sound design in electronic music, so Origamibiro fantastic feel for the placement of aural elements hooked me in a second. Off to more discovering and wonder.
Tune-Yards releases were always somehow interesting, but they never stuck with me for longer. I had fun with one spin, and then it was gone. sketchy. on the other hand hit me and grabbed me, leading me through captivating compositional depths and quirky, lighthearted moments. The perfect record if you are looking for some more experimental art pop.
How can you not like this album? There is so much charming stuff going on here, and Tako Tsubo never stops enchanting. The French lyrics carry a sense of class, the groovy bass lines will get your hips moving and the general pulse of the albums makes you smile all the time. This will bring the summer.
K pop can be a bit frightening. Its relationship reaches from a nice and unusual Western appreciation for Asian music to a weird, kinda twisted form of cultural voyeurism. The gap isn’t as big as one might think, and if you find the right artists, it can be a very intriguing musical realm. IU is one of those artists, and her interpretation of k pop, mixed with funk and 90’s r’n’b is both compelling and accessible.
Collection From The Whiteout continues Ben Howard journey through the rivers of multi-layered modern folk music, tender and powerful simultaneously. Every song tells a story worth listening to, that’s what I always liked about Howard. He’s a real narrator.
Vibora – Botánica
March 26 // Independent
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