Usually, March is one of the strongest month in terms of release. This year, however, February gave March a run for its money. For whatever reason, I found February to be way more concetrated with high quality albums, while March was missing some high-profile releases that could impress me. This led to more focus on smaller releases, which turned out to be overly rewarding. I really hope you find something new within this newest edition of The Noise Of. Let’s get into the meat of things, shall we?
This album is responsible for so many smiles I cracked in the last weeks. When I hook up my phone to a speaker at home or in the car, I usually have all my music on shuffle, to get surprised and keep fresh with songs. Every time Fieh took the stage, I felt lighter, dancier, and just very happy. Can’t appreciate this album enough.
Imagine Ne Oblisicaris but darker, grimmer, overall more black metal-ish, and compared to the current state of NeO (being a band that constantly repeats this one idea they once had), way more interesting. Izthmi is exactly that. Some of the most interesting interpretations of black metal I’ve heard in a while, and in general one of the best metal records I’ve heard this year.
So. How to put this album into words? It’s phenomenal, impalpable, outworldly. I love every second of its intricate weirdness, the bursts of epicness which can bring tears to your eyes. Who Would Hold You If The Sky Betrayed Us? is a treasure for every music enthusiast out there, and I can’t recommend it hard enough.
There is no other voice like hers. The way Cecile McLorin Salvant tells her stories in this classic smooth jazz environment is incredibly comforting, nostalgic, and enlightening. Ghost Song continues the story of one of the most likeable and prolific figures in jazz, as always with tons of flair.
Some psychy, proggy, doomy rock album? Ususally, this would be pleasant, but not more. For whatever reason, The Tunnel, The Well, Holy Bedlam easily rises above its peers with stellar songwriting and fantastic sound. If you’re looking for something special within the aforementioned styles, there is currently no better option than JIRM‘s newest record.
I’ve stumbled upon this album relatively late in March, having seen no mention of it anywhere. It’s beyond me why no one talked about this record, since it’s one of the best sludge/doom records of the year so far. It carries a lot of vibes and moods you can find with Neurosis or Amenra, but topping things off with its own twist. Great gem.
Between releases by Saba and Denzel Curry, I wasn’t expecting any other hip hop releases to really grab me. Off The Strength was nothing more than a pleasant release within the genre at first, but I found myself coming back to it again and again to find… warmth, comfort and nostalgia. I fell more and more for Lord Apex fantastic flow and Cookin Soul‘s boomy production, and now I can’t live without it anymore.
Jazz doesn’t have to be challenging and wild. Sometimes, jazz is pleasant, eazy and comforting. Open, the collaboration between jazz artists Tapani Rinne and Juha Mäki-Patola, is a shining example of relaxing compositions, mesmerizingly dancing between warm intimacy and wide, elegant soundscapes.
Especially with some aging during the years since its release, Messa‘s Feast for Water became one of the best records of the last years for me. The pressure on its predecessor Close couldn’t have been more heavy in conclusion. It’s very impressive that the album, while not being as over-the-top fantastic as Feast for Water still is, checks all the right boxes and continues Messa glamorous career.
After numerous spins of God-Carrier, I’m still in awe of the grace that touched my mundane ears and filled my spirit with sense and wonder. Kat Hunter aka Lack The Low easily outdid herself with the best album of her young career, releasing a shining example of how artsy pop or how poppy art can be. A tremendously phenomenal statement.
The Mysterines, a charming quartet from Liverpool, quickly won me over with their vibrant sound of fuzz rock, grunge, and stoner-y hard rock. Bands like Graveyard, The Hanna Barbarians, and even Köld-era Sólstafir come to my mind while listening to Reeling, and I just can’t resist this brand of rock. This stuff is cool as hell and super slick, and I’m getting back to this record again and again.
Fly Anakin came onto my radar through his collaborations with Pink Siifu, producing some of the best hip hip albums of recent years in my books, especially the fantastic FlySiifu’s back in 2020. Now, Frank is the debut album by Fly Anakin, and it provided me with everything I wanted.
This album has no business being that good. Incredibly catchy songs and a charming delivery are the key to the magic of Papooz, and None Of This Matters Now is probably the most shining example of this formula.
A lot of modern ‘prog’ bores me. Often, it’s just a rehashing of contemporary tropes. And while Without Waves‘ Comedian isn’t groundbraking either, it carries a certain madness I can only descibe as a modern Strapping Young Lad, full of mathy goodness and fascinating ideas. A monster.
I’m usually not a fan of industrial-flavored music, but Playgrounded changed my mind, at least for this special occasion. Being on Pelagic is a seal of quality in and of itself, but The death of Death enfolds as an especially sophisticated post-metal experience that nobody interested in the genre should miss.
My fingers hurt from the amount of gushing I put from my keyboard into the online world. I just can’t stop praising Chalk Hands and their amazing debut album. As an avid lover of everything skramz, Don’t Think About Death hits ALL the right notes. It’s just fucking perfect. So very perfect.
I’m calling it now: Brad Mehldau is one of the most fascinating artists in jazz right now. The prolific pianist has been turning heads for quite a while, releasing great albums and doing great projects. However, he especially caught my interest with with Finding Gabriel, which ended up being one of the best jazz albums of the decade for me. With Jacob’s Ladder, Mehldau continues to push the boundaries of jazz, adding an amazing Mats/Morgan weirdness to his craft.
Black Fucking Cancer – Procreate Inverse
March 18 // Sentient Ruin Laboratories
This is abrasive, relentless, and no-bullshit black metal. I usually joke about how overly self-serious black metal tends to be, but if you are owning it like Black Fucking Cancer did on Procreate Inverse, I’m ready to immerse myself. A blizzard of razor-sharp riffs and bleak goodness.
Peregrine – The Awful Things We’ve Done
March 18 // Indepedent
This one record that will make you say ‘I told you so’ to your friends after you recommended it to them and they kinda don’t give a shit, only to discover it in the future and gush the shit over it. If you have any love for indie/midwest emo in your bones, you simply can’t miss Peregrine‘s amazing new album!
If you follow Topshelf Records, chances are high that you encounter great artists and great album on a regular basis. Bellows‘ new album Next of Kin is no exception. Really delicate moments of Sufjan Stevens and Elliot Smith here and there, but always mixed with borderline weird ideas. Full of color and life. Great album.
I just stopped trying to figure out when this release actually came out, so I’ll just go with that date. This is some wild ass shit which reminds me of legendary Lord Gorgeous, which I love extremely. Biggest compliment I can give out. Now figure out when you were released, album!
There is a lot of heavy shit on here today, isn’t it? Well, it doesn’t stop. Sundowning‘s new album is yet another great release in the realms of blackend hardcore and sludge. Very gritty and energetic, this layers its depth below hardcore vibes and surprises the listener with a surprising density.
I first encountered Gabriel Kahane when he participated in the phenomenal Apartment Sessions project, and was immediately infatuated. Since then, I closely followed his career, enjoying the fact that he signed with Nonesuch Records. His new album Magnificent Bird marks his best record so far, and I’m very excited to see where his career takes him!
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