Notable Releases of the Week (6/3)
It's been a shortened week due to Memorial Day, and this week feels a little lighter on new albums than other recent weeks, but it definitely wasn't a light week for music news. Algernon Cadwallader announced a reunion tour, and we also got more reunion show announcements from Porno For Pyros and Saetia, plus long-awaited singles from Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Phoenix, and confirmation of a new album from The 1975. Since May is over, we also posted the best punk songs and best rap albums of the month, and we used the unofficial start of summer as a chance to round up some stuff from 2022 thus far, including 13 hardcore releases and 10 emo albums.
As for this week's new releases, I highlight seven below, and Bill talks about Horsegirl, the guest-filled Erica Dawn Lyle & Vice Cooler album (ft. Kim Gordon, Kathleen Hannah, The Raincoats, Alice Bag, The Linda Lindas, Kelley Deal, and more), and more in Bill's Indie Basement. And here are some honorable mentions: Andrew Bird, Drive-By Truckers, Polica, GWAR (read an IO interview), Dre Island, Mint Green, Vory, MC Ren, Nine of Swords, California Cousins, Merzbow & Lawrence English, Blue Dogs (first LP in 16 years, produced by Sadler Vaden), Temple of Void, Editrix, All Get Out, iamamiwhoami, Namir Blade, S.G. Goodman, Fantastic Negrito, Jasmyn (Weaves), Astronoid, Origin, Druids, Artificial Brain, Lil Tracy, Lil Kee, YN Jay, Mastermind, Big Sad 1900, Big Moochie Grape, Chelsea Rose, The Fixx, Collapsed Skull (Full of Hell), Blind Idol, Adrian Quesada, Al Riggs, Kamikaze Nurse, Kreator, Extra Arms (ft. members of Nada Surf, Braid, Sloan & more), Flaccid Mojo (mem Black Dice), The Shenandoh Electric Company (Pianos Become the Teeth, ex-Octaves), Out of Service, King of Heck, Mothman, The Suffers, Cinemartyr, the Crowning/Naedr split, the Post-Skeleton (Jazz June) EP, the ZOUS (Taylor Young) EP, the Purity Ring EP, the Supercrush EP, the Leaving Time EP, the Anklebiter demo, the Terminal Nation /Kruelty split, the RKL Live In A Dive album, and the Killswitch Engage live album.
Read on for my picks. What's your favorite release of the week?
Angel Olsen - Big Time
Since Angel Olsen debuted as a bare-bones folk singer over a decade ago, her music has gotten progressively more maximalist, peaking with 2019's grand, orchestral All Mirrors. Her next release was actually a stripped-back, acoustic version of that same album called Whole New Mess, but Angel's music hasn't really passed for folk or Americana since 2014's Burn Your Fire For No Witness. That is, until this year's Big Time, her most direct foray into country music. It's still an Angel Olsen album, still not exactly something that would fly with mainstream Nashville, but it's fleshed out with lap steel, barroom piano, and other twangy elements that suggest a love of anything from Tammy Wynette to Townes Van Zandt. The album comes a week after Wilco used country music to write an album about America, but Angel takes a more personal approach. The album came at a major crossroads in Angel's life; she began recordings just weeks after both of her adopted parents passed away, which happened shortly after she came to terms with her queerness and came out to both of them. Faced with both grief and new love, Angel wrote some of the most introspective, sentimental songs of her career, like the Nashville ballad "All the Good Times," the gently rollicking "Big Time," and sweeping, climactic anthems like "Right Now" and "Go Home." "Some truth is never known until you've lost your hand, until you've had to fight," she sings on "Right Now," and it could double as a mission statement for the entire album. It's Angel Olsen at her freest, most natural, and most honest. It's an album that manages to feel like nothing else in her discography, and like quintessential Angel Olsen, all at once.
Pick up 'Big Time' on pink vinyl.
070 Shake - You Can't Kill Me
G.O.O.D. Music//Def Jam
NJ artist 070 Shake had her first breakthrough as a guest on multiple albums from Kanye West's Wyoming sessions, including his own ye, Pusha T's Daytona, and Nas' Nasir, and two years later she released her own debut album, Modus Vivendi, which further established her as a refreshing new voice in the hip hop world. On that album, she did use rap cadences and trap beats, but it wasn't really a rap album; she sounded more like a singer at heart. Modus Vivendi almost seemed caught between what Shake wanted to be and what people expected from a G.O.O.D. Music artist, but on You Can't Kill Me, she sounds wholly original. Aside from the occasional brush with the genre, You Can't Kill Me isn't a rap album at all. It's a soulful art pop album, and this time Shake relies less on gurgly auto-tune and more on just belting it. The album's only featured guest is Christine & the Queens, and they're a very fitting pair. Like Christine, Shake makes left-of-the-dial pop music that casually defies genre and expectations. The album's full of futuristic, innovative production, and lush, multi-layered vocal harmonies. To quote Madonna, who recently featured Shake on an official remix of "Frozen," "There is no one like her."
Post Malone - Twelve Carat Toothache
As we've learned over the years, fame does not always mean happiness. Post Malone has touched on this before on songs like "Hollywood's Bleeding" and "Rich & Sad," and now, after releasing two consecutive chart-topping albums, he's toned down his goofball persona in favor of an entire album that frequently grapples with mental health struggles and addiction. Twelve Carat Toothache is the most melancholic Post Malone album to date; he peppers in a few bangers, but most often delivers a mournful, auto-tuned croon over an atmospheric, drumless soundscape or a gentle acoustic guitar. Guest appearances come from The Weeknd on the album's one straight-up pop song, "One Right Now," Doja Cat on the very Doja Cat-like "I Like You (A Happier Song)," Gunna on "I Cannot Be (A Sadder Song)," The Kid LAROI on "Wasting Angels," Roddy Ricch on "Cooped Up," and Fleet Foxes, who bring their signature harmonies to "Love/Hate Letter To Alcohol."
Stay Inside - Blight EP
Stay Inside's great 2020 album Viewing sounded like the last 30 years of emo in a blender, but for its followup, the Blight EP, the Brooklyn band are zeroing in on the darker, heavier, more art rock-oriented vibes of the genre's mid/late 2000s era. It's a sound that still feels under-explored compared to other subsets of emo, and Blight really brings something new to that table. Here's what I wrote earlier this week about "Hollow" in my list of best punk songs of May, which really applies to the EP overall:
Just as Thursday's mid 2000s albums were inspired by living on the outskirts of New York City during Bush-era war and terrorism, Brooklyn band Stay Inside's Blight EP is inseparable from the fact that it was written while NYC was in full lockdown. The feeling of that period of isolation comes through in this song's desperation and melancholy, and it resonates just as strongly today as this type of stuff did 16 years ago.
Queen of Jeans - Hiding In Place EP
Good things really do come in small packages. Philly indie band Queen of Jeans' first release since 2019's great If you’re not afraid, I’m not afraid has just four songs, but they're four of the most remarkable songs the band have ever written. Three of the songs were recorded with Will Yip and the other with Gladie's Matt Schimelfenig, and the production is the biggest and cleanest of their career yet, but even more stunning is Miri Devora’s voice, which soars on this EP like it never has before. The songs came together during the pandemic and Miri says they have a "sense of loneliness and even longing that I think for many have gone hand-in-hand with the pandemic," and she adds that the title of the EP "is like hiding within these walls that we were confined to, but it’s also about hiding within yourself and not being able to necessarily express any kind of fears or desires you have," but these don't sound like the kind of songs you write when you're getting adjusted to being confined to a small space; they sound like wanting to bust out of one. These are warm, widescreen indie folk songs that feel built for outdoor music festivals. Maybe missing the opportunity to play things like that is what pulled these out of Queen of Jeans, maybe it's just a coincidence. Either way, this EP marks a serious step-up for the band and I can't wait to hear what they do next.
No Pressure - No Pressure
Triple B Records
The Story So Far have been touring this year, but it's been four years since they released new music, and in that time, members have been busy with side projects. One of those side projects is frontman Parker Cannon's band No Pressure, which also features Light Years' Pat Kennedy and Regulate's Harry Corrigan, and they just dropped their self-titled debut album on Triple B Records, following their 2020 debut EP and their 2021 singles "Bed of Nails" and "Can't Forget." Like the earlier releases, this is straight-up, no-nonsense pop punk, with all the circle-pit-inducing rhythms and sugar-rush melodies but not an ounce of overproduction. TSSF's last album found them offering up some pretty appealing genre-blurring experiments, but if you want Parker at his (pop) punkiest, do not sleep on No Pressure.
Cold Mega - Cold Mega
Muck Tracks/Pop Wig
Justice Tripp, frontman of Angel Du$t and Trapped Under Ice, has just surprise-released his self-titled debut solo album as Cold Mega. It's out digitally via Muck Tracks, and cassettes are available via Pop Wig. The eight song album was largely recorded by Justice himself (but has guest vocals from Militarie Gun/Regional Justice Center's Ian Shelton on "No Sum"), and it flirts with a handful of different styles of music, including punk, jangle pop, electronic, rap, and more. "Production is more about perspective than genre. I want to make music that is less about style, but the way I see the world," he says. "COLD MEGA is a way for me to use every tool possible to create the sounds in my weird little brain--nothing standing in the way of me making something authentic to myself, for better or worse." It feels kind of like a way for Justice to experiment with ideas that might not fit on Angel Du$t albums, but it still manages to come off like a cohesive piece of work; Justice's unique approach to music and his instantly-recognizable voice tie everything together.
Read Bill's Indie Basement for more new album reviews, including Horsegirl, and the guest-filled Erica Dawn Lyle & Vice Cooler album (ft. Kim Gordon, Kathleen Hannah, The Raincoats, Alice Bag, The Linda Lindas, Kelley Deal, and more).
Looking for more recent releases? Browse the Notable Releases archive or scroll down for previous weeks.
For even more metal, browse the 'Upcoming Releases' each week on Invisible Oranges.
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