Notable Releases of the Week (7/1)
It's a holiday weekend in the US (not that the US has much to celebrate right now) and that means a shorter release week than usual. There are still some great ones, three of which I highlight below, and more of which Bill discusses in Bill's Indie Basement, including Naima Bock, Guided by Voices, Gwenno, The Mary Onettes, and Vintage Crop.
On top of that, honorable mentions: Greg Puciato (read our interview with Greg and pick up one of our two exclusive vinyl variants of the album), Municipal Waste, The Dear Hunter, Randy Holden, Camp Trash, Righteous Fool (Corrosion of Conformity), Naomi Alligator, Momma, Teddy and the Rough Riders, Pembroke (Supertouch, Saetia, etc), Fime, Blood Command, Oog Bogo, Adwaith, UB40 ft. Ali Campbell & Astro, Paolo Nutini, The Inevitables vs Youth City Sound System, Options, Carlos Truly, Medicine Singers, Frank Meadows, the Hulder mini-LP, the Two Shell EP, the Massacre EP, the Loose Articles EP, the Nicola Cruz EP, the Lotic EP, the God Awful Truth/Under The Pier split, the Omnigone/Protagonist split, Nick Zinner's 41 Strings piece, the Minions: The Rise of Gru soundtrack (with covers of '60s/'70s songs by Phoebe Bridgers, St. Vincent, Caroline Polacheck, Brittany Howard, Thundercat, Weyes Blood, Tierra Whack, RZA, Kali Uchis, and more), and Robin Carolan and Vessel's The Northman score (get it on red vinyl).
Read on for my picks. What's your favorite release of the week?
Also, now that we're halfway through 2022, check out our lists of our favorite albums of the year so far and anticipated summer releases.
Moor Mother - Jazz Codes
With more access to music and shorter attention spans than ever, it can be hard to keep up with the artists who release music at especially fast rates. Some risk being too prolific for their own good, and it'd be understandable if Camae Ayewa seems like one of those artists on paper. In the past 9 months, she released the Moor Mother album Black Encyclopedia Of The Air, the album Open The Gates by her free jazz group Irreversible Entanglements, and the album Nothing to Declare by her electro-rap duo 700 Bliss, and now she's back with yet another Moor Mother album, Jazz Codes, which she considers a companion album to Black Encyclopedia Of The Air. But Camae's frequent output never induces fatigue because each new album is distinctly different than the last in consistently unpredictable ways, and Jazz Codes is no exception. Like Black Encylopedia, it's a rap album that breaks the usual boundaries of rap albums, with a backdrop that seamlessly moves between traditional hip hop beats, futuristic electronics, and organic jazz, soulful guest singers, and a delivery that blurs the line between rap and spoken word. And even though it's a companion to that album, it covers a lot of ground that its predecessor didn't. This one feels brighter, warmer, and more spacious -- it's fitting that it has colorful artwork and comes out at the beginning of summer, compared to the darker aesthetic of Black Encyclopedia. Its lively sound is aided by a number of impressive guests -- including members of Irreversible Entanglements, underground rappers AKAI SOLO, YUNGMORPHEUS, and Fatboi Sharif, soul singers Melanie Charles and Orion Sun, harpist Mary Lattimore, and more -- and Camae's lyrical prowess is as pointed as ever.
Fresh - Raise Hell
Get Better/Specialist Subject
If you follow the current UK DIY/indie-punk scene, you've probably encountered the music of Kathryn Woods, who plays in ME REX and Cheerbleederz and fronts the band Fresh -- whose lineup also includes ME REX leader Myles McCabe on guitar/backing vocals -- whose third full-length album Raise Hell arrives today. As you may expect from an album called Raise Hell, Kathryn delivers all of her words with command and conviction, and those words often tackle personal, introspective topics with universal appeal. Some of the themes lean on the darker side, but musically, Fresh's pop side is brighter and richer than ever. Their punk energy hasn't dimmed, they've just injected it with uplifting melodies and lush atmospheres that make their music sound even more powerful.
Downfall - Behind the Curtain
Sometimes when you're reviewing hardcore records, you just wanna drop the whole analytical angle and just say this fuckin' shreds. Well, it's a holiday weekend, we've all got places to be, so I'm just gonna cut right to it: this fuckin' shreds.
Read Bill's Indie Basement for more new album reviews, including Naima Bock, Guided by Voices, Gwenno, The Mary Onettes, and Vintage Crop.
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.
And check out what's new in our shop.