I coined the term ‘curse of May’, because it’s actually ridiculous how much good shit came out in May. So much good shit that it makes it especially hard to keep track – and especially easy to overlook a lot of stuff. It’s natural, I get it, it even happens to me. So this The Noise Of is as much for you as it is for me. Also, due to circumstances, a bit longer than previous editions of this pristine feature. Here we go.

Jharis Yokley – Sometimes, Late At Night

May 3 // Rainbow Blonde Records 

The drive of fusion/neo-soul, filled with jazz and afrofuturism – Sometimes, Late at Night offers a lot and remains a cohesive artistic vision of its creator, Jharis Yokley. Not a lot of coverage for this album, which is a shame. Don’t miss it, it’s beautiful.

Bandcamp // Youtube // Review

Kee Avil – Spine

May 3 // Constellation Records  

Rich and lush, this album is a shining example of how amazing some artists are at taking pop sensibilities and adding more experimental influences. Compelling and sophisticated? Damn right it is. Catchy? Hell, yeah! Kee Avil delivers a Billie Eilish-inspired art-pop masterpiece with Spine.

Bandcamp // Youtube

Fergus McCreadie – Stream

May 3 // Edition Records

Jazz again! Edition Records strikes again as one of the best jazz labels around, bringing us Fergus McCreadie‘s fantastic new album Steam. This album has a surprisingly classic vibe, despite the more modern sound making it seem like your typical GoGo Penguin-ish modern jazz – so if you are into that, go for it!

Bandcamp // Youtube

Nubiyan Twist – Find Your Flame

May 3 // Strut 

And jazz again. Yes, I know, some of you want cvlty black metal, but we are still jazzin’! How can I not celebrate a new Nubiyan Twist album? The funky and soulful jazz collective has been blessing us with great stuff for years, and they are one of the most consistent jazz outfits in London!

Bandcamp // Youtube

Kamasi Washington – Fearless Movement

May 3 // Young 

We have to thank Kendrick Lamar‘s To Pimp A Butterfly for making Kamasi Washington a household name, and he has been delivering amazing stuff ever since. The monumental Epic is arguably one of the most important modern jazz records, and Fearless Movement is another strong contender in that category. Kamasi is back!

Bandcamp // Youtube

Jessica Pratt – Here in the Pitch

May 3 // City Slang  

Remember 2015? Basically every AOTY list had Jessica Pratt‘s On Your Own Love Again on it. 9 years later, the hype cooled down, but Jessica still makes fantastic music – and listening to her new album Here in the Pitch is a wonderful and rewarding experience.

Bandcamp // Youtube

Jasmine Myra – Rising

May 3 // Gondwana Records 

Let’s Jazz! Let’s Gondwana! Saxophonist Jasmine Myra is back with her new album Rising – and on this, her second album, she creates a very special atmosphere. I had a hard time coming up with an adequate description of what exactly this sound reminds me of. In the end I landed on cheesy ’80s movies. There are some melody lines that are charmingly cheesy, and I can see smoke coming out of rainy streets in a movie from that era while listening to this. Intrigued? You should be.

Bandcamp // Youtube

Charlotte Day Wilson – Cyan Blue

May 3 // XL Recordings 

Another artist I’ve been following for years. Stone Woman was the first record I checked out from her and I loved it – Cyan Blue continues her fantastic journey through pop and modern soul.

Bandcamp // Youtube

Agriculture – Living is Easy

May 3 // The Flenser  

The black metal album that has impressed me the most this year so far. Agriculture are on the verge of exploding, and their celebrated appearance at the Roadburn Festival as well as Living is Easy played a huge role in my assumption. Don’t miss it!

Bandcamp // Youtube

NIBOOWIN – giving in

May 9 // Zegema Beach Records

Blackend? In this skramz? Ridiculous! Still, NIBOOWIN fucking slaps. If Infant Island wasn’t enough cvlt skramz for you, this will satisfy you. It satisfied me. Because it fucking slaps.

Bandcamp // Youtube

SYK – eartHFlesh

May 10 // Season Of Mist 

Criminally overlooked Italian prog death outfit SYK not only released one of the best extreme metal albums of the year, but also put themselves on my map of great bands I have misjudged in the past. Since they seem to have had a substantial line-up change, maybe it was the right nudge. In the end, this is really good.

Bandcamp // Youtube

El Moono – The Waking Sun

May 10 // Lockjaw Records

In the tradition of great UK alt-rock/post-hardcore bands like Arcane Roots or Black Peaks (both of which are underrated, and I will die on this hill), El Moono‘s debut full-length scratched an itch that I thought would die unscratched. With every spin, this album gets better and better.

Bandcamp // Youtube

Demersal – Demersal

May 10 // Tomb Tree + a bunch of others

As long as skramz is strong, the world is not completely lost. Demersal‘s impressive self-titled album is easily one of the best the genre has to offer this year, and a must-listen for all skramzy folks. Grindy, chaotic and melodic, this hardcore-adjacent slice of skramz gives you everything you need.

Bandcamp // Youtube

Villagers – That Golden Time

May 10 // Domino

As usual here, we have a follow-up to a record I really liked. Villagers‘ previous album, Fever Dream, was one of my favorite albums of 2021, with “The First Day” being one of my favorite songs of that year. With That Golden Time, Conor O’Brien has found the lush and intricate indie pop sound that made me fall in love with the project in the first place.

Bandcamp // Youtube

How To Dress Well – I Am Toward You

May 10 // Sargent House  

How To Dress Well is a very special project, and I Am Toward You is probably Tom Krell‘s best album yet. Even trying to describe what’s going on with it is a Herculean task. In parts it reminded me of San Holo, but with soooo much more detail and layers. A stunning album from cover to cover.

Bandcamp // Youtube

EABS – Reflections of Purple Sun

May 10 // Astigmatic Records

When the Polish jazz project EABS teamed up with Jaubi for their collaboration In Search of a Better Tomorrow, it was immediately on my desk with great interest – of course I start to follow such projects, and with EABS‘ new album Reflections of Purple Sun, they progressed into fascinating territory with breakbeat, dance and ambient.

Bandcamp // Youtube

Tapani Rinne & Juha Mäki-Patola – Decaying Light

May 10 // bigo & twigetti

This ambient jazz duo blew some of us away with their 2022 album Open, so the announcement of their follow-up EP was greeted with excitement. Once again, their hypnotic and layered approach to minimalism and jazz transcends these four songs on a very high level, making it a worthy successor to their debut album.

Bandcamp // Youtube // Review

BADBADNOTGOOD – Mid Spiral: Chaos

May 15 // XL Recordings

These guys seem to be pretty busy. After cool collaborations with Turnstile and, more recently, Baby Rose, BADBADNOTGOOD‘s Mid Spiral project adds even more of this modern jazz institution to the list. With Mid Spiral: Chaos, the band delivers an awesome summer soundtrack with a twisting, pumping collection of tracks!

Bandcamp // Youtube

Claire Cross – Sleep Cycle

May 17 // Art As Catharsis

Australian (!) jazz (!) bassist (!) with an album on Art As Catharsis (!) – this checks so many ‘this will be good’ boxes that I had no chance and gave up. I know I loaded this feature with jazz, but this is very special. And you can never have too much jazz in your life.


So Totally – Double Your Relaxation

May 17 // Tiny Engines

Balls to the wall, this album immediately reminded me of my Great Grandpa, and since I love them so much, I love So Totally, too. Like, totally.

Bandcamp // Youtube

Pallbearer – Mind Burns Alive

May 17 // Nuclear Blast

Has someone in your metal friend group already raved about the new Pallbearer and told you how ridiculously good it is? If not, look for new friends. Or at least someone who will tell you how good the new Pallbearer is. These are usually the people you can rely on and bend to your will, because this new Pallbearer album is gold.

Bandcamp // Youtube // Review

Botanist – Paleobotany

May 17 // Prophecy Productions

I wrote Botanist off as a gimmick band a long time ago – yet I always checked out their new material. With Paleobotany, this project has blossomed (get it?) into something much more than I expected them to be. This is great post-black metal with a really distinct vibe and sound.

Bandcamp // Youtube

Wu-Lu – Learning To Swim On Empty

May 17 // Warp Records

UK rapper Wu-Lu is back with his fantastic jazz-hop album Learning To Swim On Empty, a fantastic piece of rap with beautiful instrumentals. When I listened to it, I just wanted to skip through it – but I ended up listening to everything with undivided attention. Twice.

Bandcamp // Youtube

Rapsody – Please Don’t Cry

May 17 // Roc Nation

Is this the best Rapsody yet? I might be biased, but for me it definitely is. A super souly hip hop album with a lot of great songs and an overall very warm and sunny vibe. Great beats guide compelling bars throughout this album.

Bandcamp // Youtube

Ghostly Kisses – Darkroom

May 17 // Akira

Especially with their last album Heaven, Wait, Ghostly Kisses became a very interesting project on my list – the dark and gloomy ambient pop, beautifully delivered. Darkroom is the latest addition and it adds more elements, makes everything richer and more interesting. Great development.

Bandcamp // Youtube

Billie Eilish – HIT ME HARD AND SOFT

May 17 // Interscope

I really like Billie Eilish‘s work and I love the approach she took with HIT ME HARD AND SOFT. This is more of a homage to her early career, a bit more subdued than Happier Than Ever, a bit more angsty ’90s kid, a bit more ‘fuck a big promo campaign’. You can tell there’s not as much talk about it, but that’s a damn shame.

Listen here! // Youtube

Beth Gibbons – Lives Outgrown

May 17 // Domino

Not surprisingly, this is spectacular. Perhaps the best album of the year. Damn, how good it is! With her first solo album, Beth Gibbons shows that the magic she created with Portishead and her collaborations is definitely still in her, and it shines brighter than ever.

Listen here! // Youtube

Autolith – Artificial Heaven

May 17 // Independent

I first heard of Autolith when they did their great split with Knoll, and I was excited to hear their new stuff. And what can I say, this shit blows my mind. With sprinkles of black metal, death metal, hardcore and sludge, Artificial Heaven is the sonic punch in the face you need from time to time.

Bandcamp // Youtube

Frédéric D. Oberland, Grégory Dargent, Tony Elieh, Wassim Halal – SIHR

May 24 // Sub Rosa

Pure magic. SIHR came out of nowhere, but with the involvement of Frédéric D. Oberland (from Oiseaux-Tempête and countless other projects), this was a no-brainer. We premiered a song from this album, and the album definitely lived up to the excitement that premiere caused.

Bandcamp // Youtube

Caoilfhionn Rose – Constellation

May 24 // Gondwana Records

Impressive how Caoilfhionn Rose has developed her music. There is a lot more going on here than on her last album Truly, and I appreciate that. Another Gondwana win.

Bandcamp // Youtube

Locusts And Honey – Teach Me To Live That I Dread The Grave As Little As My Bed

May 24 // Hypaethral Records

This is so evil and I love it. Super dense atmosphere, hellishly heavy and crunchy. If you like it dark and gloomy, don’t miss Locusts And Honey!

Bandcamp // Youtube

Young Jesus – The Fool

May 24 // Saddle Creek

Welcome To Conceptual Beach, the Young Jesus album from 2020, was not only one of my favorite records of that year, but also one of my absolute favorites of the last 10 years. Since then, I’ve been eagerly awaiting new music from the project – with Shepherd Head, John Rossiter continued his streak of greatness, and The Fool also lived up to my expectations.

Bandcamp // Youtube

Vince Staples – Dark Times

May 24 // Blacksmith Records/Def Jam Recordings

Ever since his self-titled album, I have loved the direction Vince Staples has taken his art in. Deeply personal, his albums, including his latest Dark Times, hit hard without the big spectacle. Witty and emotional, Dark Times is a must-listen for anyone who enjoys grounded and clever storytelling in hip-hop.

Listen here! // Youtube

Oddisee – And Yet Still

May 30 // Outer Note 

Oddisee is fantastic and y’all should listen to everything he puts out.


Thou – Umbilical

May 31 // Sacred Bones Records

This may be the tamest Thou record, but it is one of my favorites. This is surprisingly focused, yet it still carries the band’s trademark nastiness, and yes, it’s still unhinged. Thou is a force of nature.

Bandcamp // Youtube // Review

Sheena Ringo – Carnival

May 31 // EMI

This is wild. Colorful and rich, Sheena Ringo‘s seventh record is the most beautiful fever dream this year, and no matter what kind of music you like, you need this experience. Like I said, it’s wild.

Apple Music

Norcal Nick & Blu – When the Future Finds the Past It Will Sound Like This

May 31 // Independent

Anything with Blu on it is at least worth checking out, and this EP is no exception. A fantastic little hip hop gem, full of great beats and great bars. Good stuff!

Apple Music

The Marías – Submarine

May 31 // Atlantic

Super warm and comforting, LA’s The Marías have been consistently releasing great material, and their new album Submarine is no exception. Sprinkled with jazz, soul and a bit of psychedelia, this is the perfect album for a lazy summer afternoon!

Listen here! // Youtube

Arooj Aftab – Night Reign

May 31 // Verve

Arooj Aftab is a very special artist. What she does is unparalleled and I can’t compare her art to anything else. Her fantastic collaborative album Love In Exile took her to new heights, and Night Reign is an equally impressive follow-up.

Listen here! // Youtube

Aseitas – Eden Through

May 31 // Total Dissonance Worship

All things must come to an end. Even this article. Thank God. And thanks to the depths of every imaginable hellish scenario, we finally got a new Aseitas album that is crazy and wild and awesome. And hey, the band finally clicked with me. About time.

Bandcamp // Youtube

Thanks for scrolling!

Toni Meese

Toni Meese

I know more than you.

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