After being delayed by almost a year, Chrystia Cabral will release her new “SPELLLING” album The Turning Wheel on June 25th via “Sacred Bones Records.” This follows up her critically acclaimed 2018 album Mazy Fly, an album rich in dreamy synths and instrumentation that felt both futuristic and nostalgic, offering a Sci-Fi-heavy cinematic experience like no other. For her follow-up, Cabral produced the album herself, while collaborating with a total of 31 musicians, and you can definitely hear the contributions from said musicians on her new single “Turning Wheel.” This is a short, but grand ballad that lets its ensemble of musicians be heard. You can watch the music video for “Turning Wheel” below:
Artist: Jordan Bussell
Album: Wolves & Curses
Genre: Folk/Indie Rock/Blues
When an artist can successfully convey the emotions derived from a sentimental concept and teleport you to the world they’ve built through their music, it’s an experience like no other. For Plymouth, UK based artist Jordan Bussell, it’s as if this is second nature to her. Her debut album Wolves & Curses is incredibly focused with a concept that can resonate with anyone. Written, performed, and produced entirely by herself, this is a concept album that tells the tale of a relationship gone bad. A relationship that reaches its long overdue ending, and Jordan unsparingly walks the listener through the myriad of emotions felt during the process of a relationship like this. She uses the “wolf” character to represent the curse that has been thrust upon her in this fading relationship, and she sings her woes in a way that is soothing yet dark. Instrumentally this music isn’t overbearing or overproduced. It’s subtle yet contains an atmosphere that reflects a desolate wilderness where Jordan works through her solitude. When hearing this music I can just smell the smoky campfire wood, but this isn’t just someone sitting around a campfire singing “Jimmy Crack Corn,” this is Folksy Blues with a darker and more melancholy edge that at the same time doesn’t sound too defeated. Her voice, fragile yet powerful, is beautifully comforting. It’s music that can sing you to sleep, but also captivate you with its sincere content and enthralling concept that invites you into the mind of an ambitious visionary. In a world now where the “concept album” is a rare commodity, it’s refreshing hearing an album with such vision.
Written By: Steven Sandoval
Chelsea Wolfe is set to release her new album Birth of Violence on September 13th on “Sargent House” records, and following her previously released tracks “The Mother Road” and “American Darkness,” Wolfe has released yet another track titled “Be All Things.” Wolfe has revealed that the song is about “navigating the world as a woman, reconciling the soft and the strong, balancing the warrior and the goddess, and wanting to be everything and nothing at the same time.” “Telling stories through song allows me to explore so many facets of myself, so many lives within. Some days I want to be quiet and reach my roots into the earth, and some days I want to spring up from the ground and be all things,” Wolfe explains, and that concept is beautifully expressed on “Be All Things” with it’s acoustic guitar-driven Folk-leanings and atmospheric vocals. It’s looking like Birth of Violence will be a big departure from her previous “Doom Metal” heavy album Hiss Spun with more focus on stripped down “Gothic Folk.” You can watch the video for “Be All Things” below:
Everyone’s favorite chain-smoking and cheap beer drinking musician Mac DeMarco is back. Mac has announced a new album titled Here Comes The Cowboy, which is set to be released on May 10th through “Mac’s Record Label.” He has also dropped the album’s first single titled “Nobody,” and no the album title or single isn’t a reference to Mitski’s Be The Cowboy. It has been confirmed that this is a coincidence. Mitski herself even had a laugh about it on social media. Here Comes The Cowboy will follow Mac’s fantastic album This Old Dog. You can watch the music video for “Nobody” below:
Father John Misty released his fantastic new album God’s Favorite Customer earlier this month, and one of the standout tracks off the album is without a doubt the beautiful title track featuring Weyes Blood. Now there is a music video to accompany the track, and it is directed by Tillman’s wife Emma Tillman. You can watch the video below:
Artist: Father John Misty
Album: God’s Favorite Customer
Genre: Indie Folk/Indie Rock
Those who find Joshua Tillman AKA Father John Misty pretentious definitely won’t be won over by his new album’s cover art or album title, and even the fact that there’s a track on this album titled “Mr. Tillman,” but those who admire his sharp lyrical content, passionate vocals, and attention to the importance of subtlety in music will swoon when hearing his new album. God’s Favorite Customer is the title, and unlike his masterpiece Pure Comedy, the majority of these songs find Tillman looking inward. Tillman revealed that this album was inspired by an event in which his life “blew up.” He will not elaborate on what that event entailed, but it’s clear that this was a time where he truly had to fight his personal demons. This isn’t a concept album, but there are recurring themes all throughout. Themes of depression, self-awareness, and the impact the aforementioned subjects have on his marriage. Like a true Jack Torrance, his madness was the result of his living in a hotel for a long period of time, but instead of developing homicidal tendencies, Tillman’s depression was enhanced. This is without a doubt his most personal work, with his relationship with his wife tying the album together. In a way, these are realistic love songs, songs that display the unsureness and dependency of being in a relationship or marriage. Tillman paints the realities of being in love, both light and dark. From the separation anxiety on the track “Please Don’t Die,” which features a gut-wrenching chorus sung from the perspective of his wife pleading him not to take his own life, to the encouragement to accept the fact that no relationship is as perfect as the ones you see in the movies on the track “Disappointing Diamonds Are the Rarest of Them All,” this is an unsparing album that lays it all out on the table, and it’s perfectly crafted with detailed but also subtle instrumentation. Tillman has the incredible talent to put us in the headspace he was in whilst staying at that hotel, and he even pokes fun at the situation on the track “Mr. Tillman” where he sings from the perspective of a hotel concierge trying to professionally explain his frustration with Tillman’s behavior. It’s truly incredible how Tillman can walk us through such dark subject matter while having us maintain our comfort. You might even laugh at some of the album’s wit. Tillman is aware of his music’s self-indulgence, but instead of parading it around with a “look at me i’m a genius” attitude *cough* Kanye *cough* he uses it to therapize himself, and the result is some of the best songwriting in music today.
Written By: Steven Sandoval
Father John Misty will release his new album God’s Favorite Customer tonight, and while we wait, we can enjoy another new track from the upcoming album titled “Please Don’t Die,” as well as an awesome stop motion animated music video to accompany it. You can watch the music video below:
With so much music being released constantly, it’s hard sometimes for an aspiring music critic with a day job to cover every single new album with a full length and in depth review (Trust me i’m trying!) Especially since this year has already been an incredible year for new music, so here is a roundup of new releases that I enjoyed but didn’t have a chance to review.
Artist: The Voidz
Genre: Experimental Rock/Lo-Fi/Indie Rock/Post-Punk/Synth-Pop
Julian Casablancas is mostly known for being the lead singer of “The Strokes,” the band that was often regarded as the leading force in the “Garage Rock Revival” movement in the early 2000’s, but in recent years Casablancas’ eccentricity and wide array of musical influences have transcended the “Pop Rock” category “The Strokes” have fallen into. This is all thanks to his new band “The Voidz (F.K.A. Julian Casablancas + The Voidz.)” Following the band’s 2014 debut Tyranny, their new album Virtue features even more diversity and unpredictability as the band charges through various genres with oddball antics, lyrical content rich in existentialism and politics, and beautiful melodies, and even though it’s easy to spot which genres the band pulls from on each track, the band by no means emulates anyone, instead this vast mixture of genres results in “The Voidz” fully developing their own hybrid of sound. It’s the sound of “The Voidz,” and it is glorious.
Artist: Halfway Good
Song: Letter To A Friend
Genre: Alternative Rock/Indie Rock
Visalia, CA based “Halfway Good” have been working hard on new music and on their unpredictable and often hilarious podcast. Our first taste of new music following the band’s debut full-length album Arts and Crafts is the acoustic driven “Letter To A Friend,” and it’s an uplifting number with a catchy as Hell and sing-a-long-able chorus. It’s a reminder that no matter how much of a struggle you’re going through with whatever roadblocks or curveballs that are obstructing your progress, it’s important to remain optimistic, because that optimism can drive you to better the situation. Whether or not this track is about a specific person is unknown, but this song is delivered in a way that sounds like the band is talking to all of us, and in a world now where even some of the best music delves into melancholia or cynicism, it’s nice to hear something truly uplifting.
Artist: Jack White
Album: Boarding House Reach
Genre: Blues Rock/Garage Rock/Funk/Spoken Word/Hip Hop
Despite the ramblings of Jack White in recent interviews that can make anyone who despises pretentiousness cringe, Mr. White’s immense talent and genius still shows greatly in his music. His new album Boarding House Reach features the most interesting and innovative music in his solo catalog. This album finally reflects the eccentric persona White projects to the public with it’s experiments with genres one would normally deem unlikely when it comes to White’s music, and following his “Dad Rock” dominated music he’s been creating for years and years, it’s about damn time he lets his bizarre side shine.
Artist: Johanna Warren
Album: Gemini II
Genre: Folk/Indie Folk/Acoustic
Johanna Warren definitely does not write the kind of “Jimmy Crack Corn” Folk music you can sit around the campfire and sing along to, but the beautifully melodic and heartfelt music she has created on her new album Gemini II with it’s infectious guitar picking and atmospheric sound textures offers a gorgeous backdrop to the angsty and at times dark lyrical content. It is evident that singing her sorrows is very therapeutic for her, and hearing her sing with such sincerity and passion is a great experience.
Artist: Car Seat Headrest
Album: Twin Fantasy (Face to Face)
Genre: Indie Rock/Alternative Rock
Following an incredible debut record for a major label like “Matador” and much critical acclaim, going back and re-recording an older “Bandcamp” album may seem like a bold move. Especially since the older version with it’s Lo-Fi sound and DIY aesthetic is what garnered much of the band’s fans and attention in the first place, but now that lead songwriter Will Toledo is backed by a full band, and now that he revealed that he finally knew how to finish the record 7 years after it’s release, it was clear that Toledo knew what he was doing, and the result of this re-recorded version of the beloved “Twin Fantasy” is proof that re-recording it was very necessary. This new version is cleaner, it’s tighter, it’s punchier, and improves on the many interesting ideas the original version had, and somehow Toledo sounds even more passionate when singing these songs 7 years later. Many of us are dying for new material, but this re-recorded version of “Twin Fantasy” is a real treat for old and new fans alike.
Album: New Material
Genre: Post-Punk/Indie Rock/Gothic Rock
“Preoccupations” don’t really break new ground with their new album New Material, but the band’s ambition to create uncompromising “Post-Punk” with a gloomy flavor that reflects some of the best “Gothic Rock” of the 80’s drives this record to success. With it’s minimal but hard hitting instrumentation, reverbed walls of sound, and poetically nihilistic lyrics, this album contains all of the best elements of “Post-Punk,” and it solidifies this new scene of “Post-Punk” bands keeping that spirit alive.
Artist: Harm’s Way
With a band like “Code Orange” changing the landscape of “Metal” with their incorporation of outsider genres into the very one-dimensional genre of “Metalcore,” it’s nice to go back to the sound that inspired the band in the first place, and Chicago’s own “Harm’s Way” definitely know how to deliver that sound. The band is fine with what many people label a “corner,” and they run with it creating the most aggressive and violent sounding “Metal” today.
Artist: Yamantaka // Sonic Titan
Genre: Experimental Rock/Progressive Rock
Canadian collective “Yamantaka // Sonic Titan” are known for their theatrical and almost cult-like live shows, and their studio albums carry that same weight. Their new album Dirt is back to business as usual with their rollercoaster of emotions jumping from atmospheric and dreamy to heavy and sinister, and it’s an artistic experience that has no limits.
Artist: Anna von Hausswolff
Album: Dead Magic
Swedish musician Anna von Hausswolff has never had an interest in writing traditionally structured and straight-forward music, but her new album Dead Magic is easily her most accessible release, but don’t let that fool you, this is still a drony and highly experimental album, but it’s a lot brighter this time around, and when those unexpected sinister moments appear with her screeching vocals and almost “Doom” like guitars, it adds a lot to the intensity as opposed to some of her previous material which features a consistent dark tone all throughout.
Artist: A.A.L (Against All Logic)
Album: 2012 – 2017
Genre: Deep House/IDM
Producer Nicolas Jaar never fails to express the artistic and innovative merit “Electronic” music has with his compositions that are more headier than they are danceable, and with his new album under the moniker “A.A.L (Against All Logic)” he also proves that danceable four to the floor music can be experimental. He does this by providing music with numerous samples, clever production techniques, and soulful and at times Jazzy backdrops. This is an “Electronic” album for a thinker.
Written By: Steven Sandoval