Happy Memorial Day Weekend! The unofficial start of summer is here, along with no lack of music festivals to attend in the next few days, including but not limited to Atlantic City's new Adjacent Fest, Las Vegas' Punk Rock Bowling, Boston Calling, BottleRock Napa Valley, the return of Milwaukee Metalfest, and new Baltimore metal fest Hell in the Harbor. Hopefully you see some cool live music this weekend, or just get some time to relax.

As far as holiday weekends go, it's a pretty busy one for new albums. I highlight ten below, and Bill also tackles Water From Your Eyes, Kevin Morby, Gia Margaret, Arlo Parks, The Orielles, and more in Indie Basement.

On top of those, this week's many honorable mentions include Pere Ubu, Immortal, Miya Folick, Jay Worthy & Roc Marciano, Lil Durk, Kool & the Gang, Shirley Collins, AJJ, Radiator Hospital, Usnea, Stuck, The Dirty Nil, Wolf Eyes, The Mon (Ufomammut), Low Coast (Gameface), Daniel Blumberg (Yuck), Alborosie, Perfumed Saturnine Angels, The Pines of Rome, Cloak, Kassi Valazza, Chain of Flowers, Sophie Meiers, The Ballet, Cop/Out, Stimmerman, Troller, Simply Red, Bayonne, Guardian Singles, Versus the World, Good Looking Son, Spoils System (ex-Joshua), Divine Sweater, Matthew Herbert & London Contemporary Orchestra, Asma Maroof, Patrick Belaga & Tapiwa Svosve, Eliades Ochoa (Buena Vista Social Club), The Scary Jokes, Joni Void, Alex Anwandter, Laurent Garnier, Galen Tipton, HiTech, M. Sage, Kings Never Die, IzangoMa, Mr Eazi and DJ Edu a.k.a. Choplife Soundsystem, KayCyy/Gesaffelstein, the Entry EP, the Hudson Mohawke & Nikki Nair EP, the quickly, quickly EP, the GLASS EP, the Yng Lvcas EP, the Mournful Congregation EP, the SOM Depeche Mode tribute LP, and Nuclear War - A Tribute to Sun Ra: Volume 1 (ft. Georgia Anne Muldrow, Irreversible Entanglements, Angel Bat Dawid & more).

Read on for my picks. What's your favorite release of the week?

Kassa Overall, Animals

Kassa Overall - Animals

Kassa Overall's third album and Warp debut is all over the place in the best way possible. It's got everything from real-deal jazz instrumentation to hard-hitting rap songs to avant-garde psychedelia to floor-shaking beats, and it's loaded with an insane cast of guests. Modern jazz greats like Theo Croker and Vijay Iyer help flesh out the instrumentation, Laura Mvula lends her powerhouse pipes, and we get uniquely great rap pairings like Danny Brown and Wiki ("Clock Ticking") and Lil B and Shabazz Palaces ("Going Up"). And those are only about half of the musicians featured. It might sound overwhelming on paper, but Kassa Overall ties up every possible knot. Animals is a journey and it's very well worth taking.


Heart Attack Man Freak of Nature

Heart Attack Man - Freak of Nature

In classic punk and pop punk fashion, Heart Attack Man are irreverent but that doesn't mean they don't take themselves seriously. On their new album Freak of Nature, there's one song where the narrator compares themselves to an assassinated Kennedy and another from the perspective of a stalker threatening to kill Heart Attack Man vocalist Eric Egan in his sleep. Many of the songs are informed by, in Eric's words, "feelings of isolation, loneliness, and freakiness," but for all the dark shit on Freak of Nature, it's consistently a fun, lighthearted album. It mixes the influence of the most radio-friendly of pop punk bands (blink-182, Sum 41) with beloved underground gems (Sugar, Piebald), and there's also some weirder stuff like the Butthole Surfers/Beck-influenced "Late to the Orgy." H.A.M. embrace a handful of familiar, by-the-book pop punk tricks, yet they do it in a way that's entirely artistic, and they retain a level of grit that was often lost during the genre's Y2K-era boom that Heart Attack Man pull from. They're a rare band who feel catchy enough for arenas and punk enough for basements all at once.

For more on this LP, read the band's track-by-track breakdown.


Kari Faux

drink sum wtr

Little Rock rapper/singer Kari Faux returns with her most expansive project yet. REAL B*TCHES DON'T DIE! swerves between tough rap songs and inventive pop songs, and Kari is better than ever at combining both of those things and plenty of the in-between. Primarily produced by her partner Phoelix, the album's backdrop ranges from subwoofer-rattling hip hop beats to vintage funk to serene jazz, and Kari's versatile voice is perfectly suited for an album with a scope as wide as this one. She goes up against established rappers like Big K.R.I.T., Devin the Dude, and the late Gangsta Boo, and it's clear that Kari herself is on her way to cementing her own place in the hip hop canon--if she hasn't done so already.



Clark - Sus Dog
Throttle Records

Over two decades into his career, the great electronic musician Chris Clark has made an album that focuses on his own voice for the very first time. It was executive produced by Thom Yorke, who also sings and plays bass on "Medicine," and Thom says, "Chris wrote me to say he’d started singing, looking for feedback/advice or whatever, cuz it was kind of new shark-infested waters for him. I’ve been into what he does for years, and I ended up being a kind of backseat driver as he pieced all the oddness of it together, which was fascinating." You can definitely feel Thom's fingerprints on the album--or at least he and Clark have likeminded approaches--but Clark definitely has his own approach. Inspired by the thought "What would it sound like if The Beach Boys took MDMA and made a rave record?," Clark made an album that really might satisfy clubgoers and pop lovers alike. Having long ago proved himself as an innovative producer, Clark turns out to be a genuinely great singer/songwriter too. Thom does his aforementioned guest vocals on a track and Anika sings on the title track, but it's Clark's own voice that emerges as this album's star.



Fishbone - Fishbone EP
Bottles to the Ground

Fishbone--arguably the most influential American ska band of all time--are finally back. Their new self-titled EP is their first new release in nearly a decade, and it features original members Angelo Moore, Norwood Fisher, Dirty Walt, and Chris Dowd, the last of whom hasn't appeared on a Fishbone record since 1993 (alongside longtime/returning Fishbone drummer John Steward and new guitarist Mark Phillips). The five-song EP is self-titled, just like Fishbone's classic 1985 debut EP is (and its artwork mimics that EP too), and it was produced by NOFX's Fat Mike, who's also releasing it on his new label Bottles to the Ground. The band credit Fat Mike with steering the thematic direction of the EP towards something that addresses the current state of the world. "I know he is conscious of the need for Fishbone to make those kinds of statements," says Norwood. "[We] handed over the song selection to Fat Mike. It was an experiment. We presented him with what we thought were our best songs, and he picked 'em all. We didn't do a whole lot of discussing and just went with it." The result is five new songs in Fishbone's trademark punk-funk-ska-metal-everything style, ranging from the chill, mid-tempo "All We Have Is Now" to skank-inducing upbeat songs like "I Don't Care" and "Cubicle" to the EP's most powerful song, "Estranged Fruit," a modern update on Billie Holiday's classic protest song "Strange Fruit" that addresses the racism and police brutality that plague today's world. To quote Chris Dowd, it reminds you that society still has so far to go.



Monaleo - Where The Flowers Don't Die
Stomp Down

Houston rapper Monaleo rose to fame off the strength of undeniable singles like "Beating Down Yo Block" and "We Not Humping" (the latter of which really blew up after getting a remix with Flo Milli), and her debut project Where The Flowers Don't Die aims to show that she's no one trick pony. Right off the bat, she opens with "Sober Mind," the kind of piano-fueled rap ballad you can picture opening an early 2010s Drake record. "Beating Down Yo Block" is on there, as are recent likeminded singles "Ass Kickin" and "Ridgemont Baby," and Monaleo offers up other bangers in that ilk like "Wig Splitter" and "Return of the P." But she also leans really hard into a pop-R&B side on "Miss Understood" and "Cosmic Love," songs that suggest she's not just an in-the-pocket rapper but also a well-trained crooner. "We Not Humping" isn't on the album, but Flo Milli does show up on another song, "Goddess," a pop-rap hybrid that's somewhere in between the ballads and the bangers. It's a brief project, and it still feels more like Monaleo is testing various waters rather than making a Grand Statement. It remains exciting to see where else she goes from here.



Incendiary - Change The Way You Think About Pain
Closed Casket Activities

A lot has changed in the six years since Long Island metallic hardcore heroes Incendiary last released an album--the state of the world, the state of hardcore, to name two things--but one thing hasn't changed: Incendiary are a serious force. If you see them live, especially in New York, it's obvious that they're a well-oiled machine on stage and that they have a fanbase with undying love for them. Listening to their new album Change The Way You Think About Pain, you hear all the precision and force that Incendiary bring to their live shows. With perfectly-matched producer Will Putney, Incendiary churn out bone-crushing chugs and finger-pointing lyrics that take aim at a lot of the bullshit that's been going on in America lately. The band's goal was to refine their sound, rather than repeating the past or making a drastic departure, and that's what they did. Change The Way You Think About Pain is the Incendiary you know and love, in a way that feels urgent and fresh in 2023.


Jam City Presents EFM

Jam City - Jam City Presents EFM
Earthly/Mad Decent

Jam City has been a staple of UK electronic music for over a decade, and he's become an increasingly in-demand pop producer as well. Having first entered the (art) pop realm as a frequent Kelela collaborator, he more recently produced a couple Troye Sivan singles, Olivia Rodrigo's "Jealousy, Jealousy," and contributed to Lil Yachty's psych-rock album. Now he drops his own new LP, which explores his dance side and his pop side in near-equal measure. Guest singers Empress Of, Wet, Aidan, and Clara La San lend their radio-friendly voices to the album, and Jam City's production ranges from widely accessible dance-pop to late-night rave freakouts. (Show Me The Body's Julian Cashwan Pratt also lends some shouts to "Redd St. Turbulence," which very much falls into the latter category.) It's a record that reminds you that fun, easygoing pop music and interesting, creative songwriting don't have to be opposing goals.



Anklebiter - To Live and Withstand EP
Sunday Drive Records

Northeast hardcore band Anklebiter came out of the gate swinging with a 2022 demo that recalled the short, fast, loud hardcore of early 2000s bands like Mental and Righteous Jams, and now they return with a new seven-song, 10-and-a-half-minute EP that picks up right where the demo left off. Anklebiter aren't really trying to shake things up or break new ground, but they do what they do really well. They're a super tight band, and vocalist Rachael Braverman has a charismatic delivery and a way with cadences and (small amounts of) melody that really make these songs memorable.

For more, Rachael also guests on the new Stateside track that came out this week.

Pick up our exclusive pink 7", limited to 100 copies.



Sparks - The Girl is Crying in Her Latte

Over 50 years into their career, Sparks remain reliably great art pop weirdos and their 26th album The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte offers up much of the same charm as the duo's '70s classics, and their music is still so timeless and idiosyncratic that Sparks still sound like a band who could've formed yesterday. Bill's got a full review of this one in Indie Basement.


Read Indie Basement for more new album reviews, including Water From Your Eyes, Kevin Morby, Gia Margaret, Arlo Parks, The Orielles, and more.

Looking for more recent releases? Browse the Notable Releases archive or scroll down for previous weeks.

Looking for a podcast to listen to? Check out our new episode with Drain.


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