Notable Releases of the Week (10/7)
Happy October! The first weekend of spooky season is a big one, and between Notable Releases and Bill's Indie Basement, we've got almost 20 new records to talk about this week. Head below for my 10 picks and head to Indie Basement for even more, including but not limited to Broken Bells, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Daphni, Dungen, The Orielles, Peel Dream Magazine, Ganser, and Pete Astor.
On top of that, honorable mentions: Will Sheff (Okkervil River), WILLOW, Loraine James, Lamb of God, Quavo & Takeoff, Faceless Burial, Cloud Rat, Gilla Band, Disq, Ozuna, Flee Lord, G Herbo, Cormega, Flohio, Counterparts, The Cult, Keiji Haino & SUMAC, Sun Ra Arkestra, A.A. Williams, Johanna Warren, Queensryche, Westbound Train, Jean Dawson, Thus Love, Goatwhore, Shabason & Krgovich, Sofie Birch & Antonina Nowacka, Macula Dog, Town Mountain, Cool Sounds, Jessica Moss, The Bobby Lees, Karin Park, Caleb Caudle, Chloe Moriondo, the Origami Angel EP, the Fucked Up EP, the Partner EP, the Ruth Radelet (Chromatics) EP, the ZOMBIESHARK! EP, the Rich Homie Quan EP, the Al Cisneros & The Bug EP, the Toosii EP, the TWIABP live album, and Andrew Broder's (Fog) score for The Show.
Read on for my picks. What's your favorite release of the week?
Open Mike Eagle - Component System With The Auto Reverse
Auto Reverse Records
Open Mike Eagle refers to Component System With The Auto Reverse as part solo album and spiritual mixtape, part green room cipher, and part showcase for his label Auto Reverse Records. That's a lot to attempt at once, but Component System With The Auto Reverse does it in a way that feels totally natural. It's got plenty of moments that show off Open Mike Eagle's increasingly good knack for eccentric rap, and his frequently-appearing pals Video Dave and Still Rift scratch a similar itch. OME also ropes in talented friends like Armand Hammer, R.A.P. Ferreira, and Aesop Rock for standout verses, while producers like Madlib, Diamond D of DITC, Quelle Chris, Illingsworth, Child Actor, and others lay down a selection of beats that fit the vibe perfectly and keep the album flowing. It's kind of like an alternative/underground rap version of Kanye's Cruel Summer, a project that's clearly a group effort but still with one creative mind in the driver's seat.
Bonny Light Horseman - Rolling Golden Holy
Bonny Light Horseman's sleeper-hit 2020 debut LP was largely made up of centuries-old folk songs re-arranged in a modern context, like Fairport Convention for the Bon Iver/Fleet Foxes generation. For its followup, the trio of Anaïs Mitchell, Josh Kaufman, and Eric D. Johnson (Fruit Bats) -- along with two frequent collaborators, drummer JT Bates and bassist/saxophonist Mike Lewis (both also Bon Iver collaborators, and the only other musicians on this album) -- chose to instead focus on entirely original material. The result is yet another gorgeous indie folk album, and one that's more similar to the debut than you might expect, given the circumstances. The songs on the debut may have technically been covers, but the arrangements were unique and innovative, and turned those centuries-old folk songs into versions unlike any other you'd ever heard. They bring that same arrangement style and those same gorgeous harmonies to their original material, and their songwriting has such an old soul that these songs could pass for folk standards if you didn't know any better. Like their debut, Rolling Golden Holy blurs the line between nostalgia and innovation, making for music that feels warm and familiar on first listen but never quite like the work of any other person or group. Bonny Light Horseman may have seemed like a one-off side project or supergroup at first (though they maintain that that was never the plan), but they've morphed into one of the most unmistakable indie folk bands around.
Pick up the new Bonny Light Horseman on galaxy blue vinyl.
Courtney Marie Andrews - Loose Future
Coming off some of the most somber, melancholic music she'd ever written, Courtney Marie Andrews was ready for a change. "I kind of wanted Loose Future to be a pop record," she recently told The Line of Best Fit. "I’ve never felt a desire to make an album like that until recently, it never felt natural to me. But I feel that after the few dark years we’ve had, the world deserved a pop record." Loose Future, which was written during the pandemic and shortly after the end of a longtime relationship, isn't without its pain, but it's about coming to terms with pain rather than letting it define you. "Loose Future is my way of saying ‘Hey, I know pain is here, I’ve lived it. Pain will always be there. Your past does not escape you, it’s in the everyday. But the future isn’t certain; anything can happen,'" Courtney said. The album was co-produced by Sam Evian, and to help her achieve her brighter, more upbeat sound, Sam suggested she rope in Grizzly Bear drummer Chris Bear, who provides the lively percussion on the album. Bonny Light Horseman's Josh Kaufman played multiple instruments on it too. As for Loose Future being a "pop record," it's pop in the way that early '70s Joni Mitchell was, not in the way the music on the radio today is. It's still earthy and folky and won't alienate any of Courtney's longtime fans. If anything, it just feels like everything she's always been working towards and some of her strongest songwriting and most gorgeous sounding music yet.
Courtney also made us a list of influences behind the album.
Gillian Carter - Salvation Through Misery
Screamo has always been a good soundtrack when the world is fucked, which makes now a very good time for Florida screamo greats Gillian Carter to return with a record that bandleader Logan Rivera describes like this: "With the way life was affecting me, it made sense to play heavier. So, it’s the darkest and angriest we’ve ever been." It really finds them leaning into their metallic side, with everything from bits of tornadic black metal to ten-ton riffage, and Logan's screams are as desperate and apocalyptic as ever, as he takes on an array of topics that range from panic attacks to deep depression to self-medication to death. Song titles like "Life Is Hell, Hell Is Fucked," "Forced Into A World of Shit," and "Watching A Friend Die" make the subject matter of this album clear, and Logan delivers with lyricism that can make your skin crawl.
Indigo Sparke - Hysteria
Australian singer-songwriter Indigo Sparke's sophomore album Hysteria is a big step forward from her 2021 debut, Echo. Its haunting songs are the most memorable of her career so far, from intense folk tracks -- like standout "Blue," which she calls "one of the closest songs to my heart I have ever written" -- to hazy dream-pop stunners like "Sad Is Love." Having had Big Thief's Adrianne Lenker produce her debut, this one was produced by The National's Aaron Dessner, who also played on the album, alongside multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily and The Walkmen drummer Matt Barrick. Together, they created a multi-layered backdrop rich with autumnal melancholy, and at the forefront of it all is Indigo's voice, which sounds even more powerful than it did on her debut. "The new album definitely has an edge to it that the last album didn’t have," Indigo said in a recent interview with Atwood Magazine. "It is spirit and voice forward. It is intense and different." It truly is, and it grows on you more and more with each listen. [Amanda Hatfield]
Indigo also made us a list of influences behind the album.
Pick up the new Indigo Sparke on transparent cloudy clear vinyl.
NNAMDÏ - Please Have A Seat
Nnamdi Ogbonnaya has always done everything all at once, and Please Have A Seat -- his latest album and Secretly Canadian debut -- is no exception. It's a constantly shapeshifting concoction of art pop, avant-garde electronics, rap, indie rock, and about a dozen other subgenres that can sound as fidgety as someone flipping through radio stations every 30 seconds. It's clearly an ambitious project -- one that NNAMDÏ wrote, produced, and performed entirely himself -- and you can tell that so much care and attention to detail went into it. Just don't call it weird.
Pick up the new NNAMDÏ on walnut brown vinyl.
Jivebomb - Primitive Desires EP
Baltimore band Jivebomb debuted last year with the JVBM EP, which caught the attention of Flatspot Records, and their Flatspot debut Primitive Desires is even better. It was recorded with J Robbins collaborator Matt Redenbo at J's Magpie Cage studio, and then mixed and mastered by Jon Markson (Drug Church, Regulate, etc), and it's got a bigger, clearer sound than JVBM, but it's still as caustic and raw as songs like these need to be. Jivebomb lean on the short, fast, punk side of hardcore, recalling anything from classic bands like Negative Approach or current bands like Scowl (who they're touring with soon), and they're not exactly reinventing the form but they've got kickass songs that punk/hardcore fans should find nearly impossible to deny. The whole EP is five songs that are over and done with in less than six minutes, and that's all the time Jivebomb need to cement this EP as some of the best stuff you'll hear in this banner year for hardcore.
Joyce Wrice - Motive EP
Joyce Wrice released one of last year's most promising R&B debut albums with Overgrown (and we included its Freddie Gibbs-featuring single "On One" in our list of 2021's best R&B songs), and now she keeps the momentum going with the new Motive EP. It's got five songs, three of which were produced by Kaytranada, whose always-innovative style pairs perfectly with Joyce's strong, airy delivery. All five songs are great, and Joyce moves seamlessly between inducing nostalgia for late '90s/early 2000s-style R&B and sounding totally modern.
Alvvays - Blue Rev
Few bands in recent memory have pulled off classic '80s-style jangle pop in a wholly modern way like Alvvays have, and they just keep getting better. In fact, Bill calls this one their best by a mile in his Indie Basement review, and you can head on over to the basement to read that in full.
Pick up the new Alvvays on blue marble vinyl.
Sorry - Anywhere But Here
UK indie rock band Sorry diversify their sound, write some of their best songs yet, and hold a mirror up to the gloomy world on their great sophomore album Anywhere But Here. Bill's got a full review in Indie Basement.
Pick up the new Sorry on opaque seafoam vinyl.
Read Bill's Indie Basement for more new album reviews, including Broken Bells, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Daphni, Dungen, The Orielles, Peel Dream Magazine, Ganser, and Pete Astor.
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.