Annie Clark aka St. Vincent has announced her 7th studio album titled Daddy’s Home, set to be released on May 14th via Loma Vista. This follows on from earlier in the week when Clark teased the announcement with posters on streets around the world along with a hotline that if rung confirmed the album. She has also shared a new single “Pay Your Way In Pain” along with an accompanying music video.
According to a press release, St. Vincent began writing some Daddy’s Home songs in winter 2019, which is around the time that her father was released from prison after being incarcerated for nine years. In a new interview with Laura Snapes for The Guardian, it’s revealed that the album’s title track was inspired by St. Vincent taking her father home from prison.
This follows on from MASSEDUCATION released in 2017 and the stripped back piano version that Clark released in 2018 MassEducation.
01 Pay Your Way in Pain 02 Down and Out Downtown 03 Daddy’s Home 04 Live in the Dream 05 The Melting of the Sun 06 The Laughing Man 07 Down 08 Somebody Like Me 09 My Baby Wants a Baby 10 …At the Holiday Party 11 Candy Darling
Naarm/Melbourne-based singer-songwriter, Maple Glider, has announced her joining the Partisan Records roster (Laura Marling, Fela Kuti, IDLES, Fontaines D.C.) in partnership with the Australian label, Pieater. In celebration of this news, Maple Glider (A.K.A. Tori Ziestch) has shared a new single and video for “Good Thing” – a song born of that frozen and fretful time just before you’re going to hurt someone you have loved by leaving them.
Ziestch explains: “I wrote this song out of a place of defeat. I was really heartbroken at this point, and very confused. I like the feeling of my independence and I think I was afraid of putting energy into the wrong people. Sometimes we make decisions out of fear and sometimes it’s because we know that it is the best decision to make. Those lines can get very blurry.”
The accompanying video was made with creative collaborator and housemate Bridgette Winten in the 5km radius around their Brunswick, Melbourne home (a limit due to Covid lockdown measures). Working with colour and contrast, and shot on Super 8, Maple Glider sweetly plays off her surroundings, whether it’s lush creek-beds or stark industrial wastelands.
Michelle Zauner aka Japanese Breakfast has announced her third album Jubilee, set to be released on June 4th via Dead Oceans. She has also shared new single “Be Sweet” along with an accompanying self-directed music video. Pre-order here.
Jubilee finds Michelle Zauner embracing ambition and, with it, her boldest ideas and songs yet. Inspired by records like Bjork’s Homogenic, Zauner delivers bigness throughout – big ideas, big textures, colors, sounds and feelings. At a time when virtually everything feels extreme, Jubilee sets its sights on maximal joy, imagination, and exhilaration. It is, in Michelle Zauner’s words, “a record about fighting to feel. I wanted to re-experience the pure, unadulterated joy of creation… The songs are about recalling the optimism of youth and applying it to adulthood. They’re about making difficult choices, fighting ignominious impulses and honoring commitments, confronting the constant struggle we have with ourselves to be better people.”
Throughout Jubilee, Zauner pours her own life into the universe of each song to tell real stories, and allowing those universes, in turn, to fill in the details. Joy, change, evolution — these things take real time, and real effort. And Japanese Breakfast is here for it.
Juan Wauters has shared new single “Unity” with Cola Boyy from upcoming album Real Life Situations, set to be released on April 30th via Captured Tracks. This follows on from “Real” which Wauters released with Mac DeMarco and “Presentation” with Nick Hakim and Benamin.
The new single is an ode to 90’s hip-hop and is both a testament to the pairs longtime friendship as well as the time it was made in. Driven by a Fresh Prince Of Bell Air style laid back beat, the pair go back and forth with Wauters auto-tuned vocals delivering sweet melodies that perfectly swirl around Cola Boyy’s sharp delivery. It’s jazzy, it’s funky and most of all it reminds us all of those sweet friendships we’re missing at the moment.
As the years roll on by and our lives change for the better or worse, the one constant through everything seems to be King Gizzard’s relentless output. They’ve seemingly done it all, from a never-ending album with Nonagon Infinity, to a jazz-infused collaboration on Sketches Of Brunswick East. Now the band seem to be taking a step back from seeing how far they can push their sound, to refining sounds that have become familiar to them. This isn’t just any release from the band it’s worth noting, this is both the 2nd and 3rd in a series of albums. 2nd in that it follows on from last years K.G., together making the K.G.L.W double album. And 3rd in the Explorations Intro Microtonal Tuning series, the other two being 2017’s Flying Microtonal Banana and K.G. What the band sought to do on K.G. was see how many of their styles they could fit within this microtonal soundscape to create an album that defined the band by being self-titled. Now on the second half of that project the band are drawing influence from themselves, to create a full project that deservedly takes the bands name.
If K.G. was the album that allowed the band to set a statement for their sound, then L.W. is the weird brother that on the surface looks the same, but deep down there’s something much more sinister at work. Straight off the bat the band add a new style and sound to their catalogue with the minimalist funk inspired opener “If Not Now, Then When?”. They speak on familiar themes of climate change, that could be found all over 2019’s Fishing For Fishies, asking again of why action isn’t being taken now, why are we waiting until “the oceans turn to black, When the animals are dead”. It’s worth noting as well that the flow of the songs that was found all over K.G. is felt immediately into this album as well as closer “The Hungry Wolf Of Fate” leads directly into this opener.
On K.G. “Honey” was the band adding a more acoustic driven flavour of microtonal sweetness into the mix. On this album the acoustic tracks make an appearance in the forms of “Static Electricity” and “East West Link”, but this time there’s something much more unnerving about the sound. “Static Electricity” shifts through various movements of spacey synthesiser whirlwinds, intoxicating guitar melodies and phaser smothered solos. This song truly feels like what it must be like to travel down an electric wire into a plug socket, each movement pushing you along, losing yourself into the ether of psychedelic textures around you. It’s the band at their most left-field and therefore most exciting. Seamlessly transitioning into the Turkish folk infused “East West Link” that acts almost of an extension of the former song; a swirling link if you will. It’s in these moments that King Gizzard truly showcase their compositional and production supremacy.
There are of course the moments on that do lean into the more “rock-centric” corner of the bands sound, with the likes of “O.N.E” and “Pleura” not being too dissimilar in aesthetic to “Automation”. It’s fun to listen to but isn’t the most adventurous that King Gizzard can be. That’s not to say however that the ever-changing time signatures, thanks to drummer Michael Cavanagh, aren’t something to truly admired. Which is something that was mentioned on our K.G. review, the flow and movements that he creates to go between songs and even within songs are so seamless that they slip right by you without any trail; dust in the wind. This incredible percussion is also showcased all over the patriarchal teardown “Supreme Ascendancy”. As Ambrose Kenny-Smith hits out agains the Catholic church, “Childhoods tragically ripped from their shaking feet, Conscious yet inadequate”, Cavanagh simultaneously drives the track along whilst drawing you in to its unrelenting groove.
King Gizzard are no stranger to metal at this point, whether you’re looking at 2019’s trash outing Infest The Rats Nest or “The Great Chain Of Being” from 2017’s Gumboot Soup. And they take another swing at the sludge metal aspect of this sound in the form of 8 minute closer “K.G.L.W”. This and the opener from K.G. act as bookends for both of the albums, wrapping them neatly together. On this occasion they extend the riff out into its most doom filled form. It’s crunchy, it’s heavy and there’ll certainly be a lot of head banging at concerts. However the track could do with being about half the length. Although it’s a great melody and can act now as almost a theme tune for the band, it almost feels like a slog to get to the end of the album. You can see the band were going for more of a loose jam feel with this track but with only a few melodic changes and riffs to carry the track over its run time it doesn’t match up to some of the other long tracks within the King Gizzard catalogue, of which there are many.
These two albums are clearly not King Gizzard’s most experimental outings, but they’re not trying to be. What they are however are gateways to the wonderful world of The Gizzverse. They showcase almost every aspect of the band’s sound up to this point, whether you’re a diehard Gizz fan or a newcomer to the band eclectic sound, there’s something for everyone here. But one question still remains, who truly is the Lizard Wizard?
25 years into their career Scottish post-rock outfit Mogwai return with their 10th studio album, not including various film soundtracks and EP’s, of which their output has also been equally impressive. This far into their career and with such a vast catalogue of sounds you can almost pinpoint the moment you know that you’re listening to a Mogwai album. Whether it be the deep gloomy atmospheres or the outrageously harsh and brutal guitar passages, they’ve honed their sound to be instantly recognisable and ultimately enjoyable. Following on from 2017’s Every Country’s Sun, this new full length studio album sees the outfit delve into familiar territory whilst keeping their ever expanding sound passages open for all to inhabit.
Perhaps at this point in the career it might be fair to say that Mogwai don’t have much left to prove, they’ve certainly shown their worth with every aspect of their catalogue. And when it comes to soundtracks they have lent their dystopian soundtracks to be the backbone of others creative projects. On this album however it feels as if they’re trying to tell a story of their own, through the harsh and uneven sonic landscapes theirs hope to be found in the darkest of places. Opener “To The Bin My Friend, Tonight We Vacate Earth” slowly builds through nostalgia filled piano melodies and sparkling guitars, almost as if starting on a journey taking the first steps. And it’s only when the huge symphony of distorted guitars and grinding riffs kicks in at the 2 and a half minute mark that you feel this true sense of inspiration hitting with a wave of confidence. And on “Dry Fantasy” the arpeggiated synthesisers and flowing piano melodies invoke an almost dream like state, as you’re staring out into the morning sun watching the rise. You can feel every element of the song build until it reaches its spacey and evocative heights, capturing you in its warm and resonant feel.
This 70’s sci-fi space sound is one that Mogwai embrace on many occasion on this album. But more often than not it can at times use elements that can seem slightly cheap or even annoying that take away from the intensity of the rest of the sound. On “Here We, Here We, Here We Go Forever” the vocoder effect thats layered over the lead guitar line is just too obnoxious so that you can’t focus on any other element of the driving sound. It’s like trying to watch the band play whilst someone is explaining to the entire history of Doctor Who. And on “Fuck Off Money”, another showcase of the band still being able to invent humorous track names, the song opens with the familiar vocoder smothered vocals, which sounds as if Daft Punk had tried to do emo rock, nice in concept but the final result becomes unsavoury. Thankfully however the second half of the track is redeemed be Mogwai doing what they do best, get loud. The huge cacophony of sounds reaches truly euphoric heights as every instrument battles it out to see which can have the lead in this war for power rock supremacy.
This feeling of euphoria is something the band plays into heavily towards the second half of the album. On the grunge infused “Ceiling Granny” the riffs are huge, the searing lead guitars sail into the stratosphere and once every instrument combines together to the chorus’ high rise you feel that this must be what it’s like to have the sun explode in your face. The high end of the mix does occasionally become so overwhelmed with the level of sonic intensity that it can ring out with great levels of white noise, but this is probably to be expected at this point from Mogwai. Then on “Pat Stains” the band moves through various swaying melodies, assuredly adding in various bubbling synthesisers until the climax of the track reaches a blissfuly woven whirlwind of distortion and strings. Once the storm passes you can feel the relief after the chaos as you realise you’ve overcome this great tribulation.
Sitting at just over an hour, the journey this album takes you can at times feel like those long hauls down the motorway, watching the scenery pass by and it all just seems to be the same, rolling hill after rolling hill, never bringing too much stimulation to pass the time. On “Drive The Nail” the band seems to get locked into the one chord punch for a while, to then bring in some glittery synthesisers and whack a distortion pedal on. Except this time the song has as much drive as a Fiat 500, it’ll get you where you want to go, but don’t expect anything breathtaking from it. And although “Midnight Flit” borrows elements of the bands soundtracking portfolio, incorporating gliding strings to sway the track through its movements. After the 4 minute mark however you feel as though you’ve heard all that can be offered already, and instead the track overstays it welcome, never really bringing any more movements or levels of textures.
What’s certain about this album however is that Mogwai can still express so much, whilst saying so little. Whether it be through blistering, swirling soundscapes that transport you into the cosmos, or serene atmospheres that reminisce in that lost love you never had, Mogwai will always be able to soundtrack some aspect of life.
Wolf Alice have today announced their 3rd album Blue Weekend, which is set to be released on June 11th via Dirty Hit. This follows on from 2017’s Visions Of A Life which won the Mercury Prize in 2018. The group have also shared new single “The Last Man On Earth” from the upcoming album along with an accompanying music video directed by Jordan Hemingway. Pre-order the new album here.
“It’s about the arrogance of humans,” said Rowsell, explaining the lyrics. “I’d just read Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle and I had written the line ‘Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from god’ in my notes. But then I thought: ‘Uh, your peculiar travel suggestion isn’t a dancing lesson from god, it’s just a travel suggestion! Why does everything need to mean something more?’”
The new video will premier at 7PM GMT.
Speaking on the new album Roswell said “This album is for other people,”. “Sometimes you hear a song and it makes you feel better, or you hear a song and it makes you feel seen. I remember feeling blue about something, and thinking, ‘I wonder what songs I can listen to that will be about what I’m feeling right now’.”
She continued: “It was almost as if I was desperate to feel better about something, and I would go down any path to feel not alone in something, or to understand it more. And I’ve never really done that before intentionally, I’d never really sought it out.”
1. ‘The Beach’ 2. ‘Delicious Things’ 3. ‘Lipstick On The Glass’ 4. ‘Smile’ 5. ‘Safe From Heartbreak (if you never fall in love)’ 6. ‘How Can I Make It OK?’ 7. ‘Play The Greatest Hits’ 8. ‘Feeling Myself’ 9. ‘The Last Man On Earth’ 10. ‘No Hard Feelings’ 11. ‘The Beach II’
Today, enigmatic London-based duo Gal Go Grey, the product of Argentinian saxophonist Ignacio Salvadores aka Galgo and Tom Grey, a London born experimental producer, return with their new single “Smoke“. The new track is accompanied by a new video for “Smoke / FLAMA” encompassing both of their recent releases ahead of their self-titled debut album, which is due out 16th March via Good Question. Pre-order HERE.
The new track encompasses woozy layers of jazzy guitar chords, not too dissimilar to those that are found on many of King Krule’s tracks. Backed by a driving hip-hop groove, Salvadores’ vocals float in and out of the soundscape, almost like smoke from a flame. The spacey sonic landscape created lures you with its warm and intoxicating mix of samples and synthesisers, leaving you gazing at the grey surroundings that encompass the mood.
The Horrors have announced a new EP Lout, set to be released on March 12th. The band have also shared the title track from the upcoming EP, “Lout”, which sees the band take a more industrial metal attack to their sound.
“There’s something about it which feels like a return to a heavier sound but really it’s a million miles away from anything we’ve done,” said keyboardist Tom Furse. “Keeping the sound aggressive and the beats heavy was a central tenet, everything seemed to fall around that.”
Bassist Rhys Webb added: “It’s the nastiest music we’ve made since [2007 debut] ‘Strange House’. An intense barrage of industrial noise. A return to the spirit and attitude of our debut LP but blasted into the future.”
“In the past whenever we’ve written stuff with a harder edge it’s come from the energy we get from all playing together in a room but creating this kind of atmosphere remotely was a different challenge,” said Badwan. “It’s the same level of intensity as the 100-miles-an-hour stuff we’ve done in the past but the anger is somehow more channelled. I can’t wait to play these songs live as there’s so much freedom in that kind of chaos.”
Free from the pressure of the usual release schedule treadmill, Webb explained how the band enjoyed the act of “not making record for anybody except ourselves” – with that liberating spirit feeding into their next album.
“With so many platforms now lost, the pressure to deliver a single for radio or to get on TV just doesn’t exist any more and is probably all the better for it,” he added. “The only thing we need to worry about is making the most exciting new music we can. We’re lucky enough to have been together for 15 years and to be working on our sixth studio LP.
“It seemed like the perfect time to go in guns blazing, no holds barred full on Horrors, the way it should always be.”
Meg Duffy certainly has many acclaims under their belt, aside from the Hand Habits solo project they’ve recorded with the likes of The War On Drugs, Weyes Blood and William Tyler, also making up a part of Kevin Morby’s live band. And although this EP may be only two tracks, or three if you count the digital exclusive remix of “What’s The Use” from their sophomore album Placeholder, they pack so much vibrancy within this small amount of space that this is certainly another accolade they can hang on their already bountiful mantle of achievements.
“4th of july” opens with Duffy’s signature stripped back feel, over dissonant chords that gently build with fluttering vocal layers and tambourines until the huge cacophony of pounding drums and soaring harmonies takes the track to an incredible height of emotional intensity. All whilst Duffy’s laidback vocals ooze with a natural cool that invites you in and lets you stay for the whole journey. “But don’t cry, demolition baby, Always blowin’ it up, And getting so stuck, Both hands in the dirt” they sing on the emphatic chorus and bathe in the notion persistence. No matter the challenges they face, and the chaos that may surround them, Duffy is assuring the listener that if you work on it, with both hands in the dirt, you’ll get there.
When it comes to covering Neil Young, there always has to be an aspect of respect given to the original recordings, not to sound exactly the same, but also a touch of innovation that allows a cover to become unique. Thankfully Duffy’s cover of “I Believe In You” from Young’s critically acclaimed 1970 album After The Gold Rush has both of those aspects in bounds. Produced by roommate Kyle Thomas (King Tuff) the cover has a certain air of nostalgia coated over the sound. Whether it be from the slow chugging grit infused guitar, or the distant sparkle of piano interludes this track feels both fresh and yet comfortably reminiscent. Surrounded by Duffy’s warming doubled vocals, the track moves from strength to strength as new distant sounds and flourishes are introduced.
Then the remix of “what’s the use” brings a new sense of surrealness to Hand Habit’s sound that wouldn’t be found on any of their previous works, yet still feels in character. Through glitchy vocal manipulation and driving beats this sound is at times weird and at other times alluring. From it’s indie folk roots to almost hyper-pop new form it serves as both a showcase of Duffy’s natural vocal flair and Katie Day’s ability for sonic manipulation.
This EP is significantly shorter than anything else in the Hand Habits catalogue, but that doesn’t mean it’s any part less enjoyable. Rather standing as an insight into where Duffy might be taking the project next, and what has lead us along this gratifying journey so far. If you’re looking for a 10 minute way to make your day better, this is certainly it.