Charlotte Adigéry released some of the best music of the year back in early February. Her E.P. Zandoli was a forward-thinking and artistically-stunning odyssey of fearless “Pop” which drew influences from “Electro” and a myriad of synth-driven styles, but managed to create her own distinct style. Many of us have been itching for new music from her, and today Charlotte Adigéry pushed the envelope even further with Yin Yang Self-Meditation. This is a meditative experience which finds Adigéry utilizing meditation to explore her own personal fears and insecurities in an attempt to let go and find a place of serenity, and it is truly impactful. Backed by hypnotic production from her partner Bolis Pupul, Adigéry becomes vulnerable mentioning all of the thoughts that cross her mind, and they’re all relatable and also drive the listener to a place of serenity. “This tape is an invitation to myself and eventually others to look inwards. It is a ritual for letting go. I was tired of being stuck in a narrow mental reality and I wanted to look beyond. The suffering is not caused by the problem itself. We worry about not having enough. We are anxious about rejection. We fear being misunderstood. We even fear things that lie in the future we do not control. In this meditation I invite you to follow my voice into my own mental state, through paralyzing thought-patterns and blind fears I want to say goodbye to. Openness can lead to understanding, unity and compassion,” Adigéry explains. Yin Yang Self-Meditation is available on a limited edition cassette, download and streaming services via “DEEWEE Records.” You can watch the video below:
“HMLTD” are one of the most exciting bands at the moment. The evolution of the band has been incredibly captivating going from their 2017 Post-Punk/Gothic singles to last year’s Synth-Pop heavy E.P. Hate Music Last Time Delete to their dark Electronic-laden Pop singles released late last year, they’ve been on many people’s “must watch” list and they still don’t even have a full length album! Today the band returned after what felt like an eternity with a brand new single “Loaded.” The song is about material wealth and spiritual poverty, and it’s deliciously catchy. You can watch the video for “Loaded” below:
Angel Olsen is set to release her upcoming fourth album All Mirrors on October 4th on “Jagjaguwar” records. Today she released the album’s title track as well as a Gothic-styled music video. “All Mirrors” is a hauntingly gorgeous synth-driven track with beautiful string arrangements that convey a dramatically cinematic tone, which is a noticeable departure from her previous album My Woman. You can watch the music video below:
U.K. group “ALASKALASKA” will drop their debut album “The Dots” on May 24th via “Marathon Artists.” Today the group released a new single titled “Moon,” and it is a catchy as Hell funky synth-heavy track. You can watch the music video below:
Album: When I Get Home
Genre: R&B/Alternative R&B/Hip Hop
Label: Columbia Records
Back in 2016 Solange Knowles released a powerful album named A Seat At The Table. An album that was just as much a statement as it was an adventurous exploration in the realm of “R&B” and it’s many sub-genres. With a smooth and sexy sleekness, the album touched on topics such as race, anger, and escapism through our many vices, and as important as this subject matter is, the album was never obnoxiously overbearing. Instead, Solange lured us in with her soothing vocals that displayed the importance of subtlety. As groundbreaking and acclaimed as this album was, you can imagine how much hype a follow-up would get, so naturally her new album When I Get Home is definitely receiving that hype. Unfortunately, the album does not live up to the hype. Following a highly successful album isn’t easy. The bar has been set, and most will want you to create something that is on par with the predecessor. We all know Solange has the talent to do so, but instead, most of the tracks on When I Get Home fall incredibly flat. This leads to a frustrating listen. Like A Seat At The Table, When I Get Home is filled with interludes, but the ironic thing is that all of the full-length tracks on this album sound like interludes. Each track has imaginative and quite innovative production at times thanks to a laundry list of collaborators such as Pharrell, Tyler, The Creator, Panda Bear, Dev Hynes, Steve Lacy, and Metro Boomin, but each track is anticlimactic with it’s repetition. Solange most definitely wanted to experiment more and offer a Psychedelic experience, but her ambition to explore as much as possible was a detriment to this album, making the whole thing sound completely scatterbrained. Songs like “Way To The Show” and “Stay Flo” feel like they should be a lot more impactful, but like the rest of the album, the tracks sound like unfinished rough drafts with lackluster lyrics and underwhelming vocals that get cringeworthy at times. Yes this album does feature thought-provoking subject matter, but that subject matter is translated through lackluster songwriting. Important subject matter doesn’t suffice when it comes to constructing a full album where every other element has to be up to par. Solange can do much better. Hopefully her next release will be an improvement.
Written By: Steven Sandoval
Musician Hannah Rodgers under the name “Pixx” has been making some of the most enticing “Art Pop” in the past few years. Her debut album The Age of Anxiety was one of the best albums of 2017, an album that fused various genres such as Art Pop, Synth-Pop, Dream Pop, and Post-Punk, and it all featured frequent Gothic sensibilities that offered a gloomy contrast to the album’s colorful tone. Today, Rodgers unveiled the details of her upcoming follow-up Small Mercies. The album will be released on June 7th. Rodgers has also dropped the album’s first single titled “Disgrace.” “This song is about growing up in an ultra-conservative Catholic school which was restrictive and oppressive. I think there is a lack of humanity in the way that system works, rather than teaching empathy and kindness it forces people into a dangerous self-loathing cycle. This is an ode to anyone trapped in a place they don’t feel they belong,” Rodgers says of the track. You can listen to “Disgrace” below:
Small Mercies Pre-Order:
Album: Mazy Fly
Genre: Art Pop/Experimental/Electronic
Label: Sacred Bones Records
Have you ever discovered an artist so unapologetically imaginative and creative to the point where you suspect that this artist is not from this planet? Well, Chrystia Cabral A.K.A. “SPELLLING” most certainly fits this description. Following her 2017 debut Pantheon of Me, the Oakland, CA based musician delves further into her spiritual, poetic, and otherworldly mind on her new album Mazy Fly, the first on new label “Sacred Bones Records,” which is a perfect home for her immense experimental ambitions. This album, like I mentioned earlier, is vastly otherworldly with spacey instrumentation consisting of minimal and at times dark synthesizers, bare but mood-setting drum machine patterns, and eerie sound textures that can be as nightmare-inducing as they are angelic. The album is produced almost entirely by Cabral, but she also brings along other musicians for the ride to create her own universe. The live drums and guitars that flirt heavily with “Doom Metal” on the track “Real Fun,” the pristine saxophone on the track “Afterlife,” and the subtle violin on the epic track “Under The Sun,” are all gorgeous additions to this spiritual journey of an album, and also like I mentioned earlier, the alienistic lyrical themes further prove my hunch that she is from another planet. With lyrical themes such as aliens traveling to earth to discover music and dance to Billie Holiday and “Billie Jean,” and the use of theramin that evokes the spirit of B-level “Sci-Fi” films, it’s apparent that Cabral is a visionary who constantly looks past the surface level and lays her eyes upon the stars. Though she often speaks from the perspective of someone who extremely admires the universe and it’s endlessness, Cabral explores human sentiment as well. The track “Hard to Please,” speaks on the emotional and mental toll the pain of trying to please an unsatisfied lover can take on someone, but with a constant sense of optimism, this album never strays into nihilism or cynicism, no matter how deeply personal this album can get. Though I feel like Chrystia Cabral has yet to reach her magnum opus, Mazy Fly is one giant leap toward her masterpiece.
Written By: Steven Sandoval