We all collectively breathed out a sigh of relief this week as Trump's presidential term ended, and here's to hoping this is the first step towards making 2021 a better year than 2020. There is of course still a lot to be done, and hopefully with the Biden-Harris administration and a Democratic majority in the Senate, things can actually get done over the next four years. Here's to fighting just as hard for human rights during this administration as we did during the last one.
As for new music, this is a slightly lighter week for me (the year is still young, and things really pick up next week), but I highlight four new albums below. First, some honorable mentions: Speed Stick (members of Polvo, Superchunk, The Breeders, Bat Fangs, The Love Language, etc), th1rt3en (Pharoahe Monch's new rap rock group), Rhye, Typhoon, Wardruna, Asphyx, TRZTN (ft. Karen O, Paul Banks & more), Comatose, J.U.S. (ft. Danny Brown & Black Noi$e), Sweet Soul, BRS Kash, Hus Kingpin, Anuel AA & Ozuna, YON, G Perico, Kota The Friend, Witch Egg (Osees), Palberta, Bicep, Yung, Still Corners, Kiwi Jr, Teen Creeps, Dave Depper, the Camp Trash EP, the Young Dolph deluxe edition of last year's Rich Slave, and the Bob Mould box set.
Read on for my picks. What's your favorite release of the week?
Lande Hekt - Going To Hell
Get Better Records
Lande Hekt of UK indie-punks Muncie Girls has released her debut solo album, Going To Hell. It very much feels like a "solo album" in that the music is more scaled-back and folky than Muncie Girls and also that the lyricism is much more personal. And it's also one of the best things she's released yet. You can read my full review of it here.
Here Lies Man - Ritual Divination
For four albums now, Here Lies Man have aimed to be the answer to the question "What if Black Sabbath played Afrobeat?", and they succeed every single time. They don't really change up their approach, but nobody else is taking this approach, and HLM just keep getting better and better at it. And as guitarist/vocalist/founder Marcos Garcia (who's also in Antibalas) recently told us when discussing the album's influences, they pulled from much more than just Sabbath and Afrobeat. Marcos said the album is a fusion of different energies, including classic Afrobeat energy (inspired on this album by Fela Kuti), atmospheric and cinematic energy (pre-Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd), trance inducing and repetitive energy (Can, BCUC, Kyuss, Ecstatic Vision), slow Sabbath doom energy (inspired on this album by newer doom band Monolord), metal shuffle energy (Deathchant, Hell Fire, Haunt), and epic classic rock energy (Neil Young). That gives you a very good idea of what to expect, and it reminds you that Here Lies Man don't limit themselves or adhere to a gimmick. And if anything, the songs sound more like the pre-Sabbath '60s heavy psych era than they sound like Sabbath. The riffs are fuzzed-out and tasty, the grooves are hypnotic, and the melodies are as catchy as they are psychedelic. It really gives you everything you want out of heavy psych, and, impressively, it manages to stand out in a niche subgenre that's existed for over 50 years.
CARM - CARM
Even if you don't know CJ Camerieri by name, you've probably heard his horn playing. He's a member of yMusic and he's played on records by Taylor Swift, Paul Simon, Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens, The National, My Brightest Diamond, The Tallest Man On Earth, Mouse On Mars, and more, and he was a member of Paul Simon's recent live band. His self-titled debut solo album as CARM features Justin Vernon, Sufjan Stevens, My Brightest Diamond, Yo La Tengo's Georgia Hubley & Ira Kaplan, and Mouse on Mars, and it's very cool stuff. You can read more about it (and read CJ discuss the music that influenced it) here.
Erick The Architect - Future Proof EP
Erick Arc Elliott (aka Erick the Architect) has been making music on his own since before forming Flatbush Zombies with Meechy Darko and Zombie Juice, and he's put out beat tapes in the time since the Zombies' career took off, but he's just now releasing his first "proper" high-profile solo release, the Future Proof EP. You can read more about the EP -- and my interview with Erick -- here.
Looking for more recent releases? Browse the Notable Releases archive or keep scrolling down for previous weeks.
For even more metal, browse the 'Upcoming Releases' each week on Invisible Oranges.