As for this week's new albums, I highlight five below and Bill tackles more in Indie Basement, including Girl Ray, Activity, Holy Wave, Annie Hart, Art School Girlfriend, and more.
On top of those, this week's honorable mentions include The Front Bottoms, Emil Amos (Om, Grails, Holy Sons), Spirit Night, Star 99, Mikaela Davis, Rick Hyde, Miles Kane, Stolen Jars, Computerwife, An Autumn For Crippled Children, Vinyl Williams, William Matheny, Eric Din (The Uptones), Flaer, Teenage Wrist, Closetalker, Beth Bombara, Yo Gotti and DJ Drama, Tyla Yaweh, Homeboy Sandman, Daedelus, Iceboy Violet, Gaadge, Dippers, Mammoth WVH, Rick Springfield, Joshua Ray Walker's covers album of female artists, the Rachel Bobbitt EP, the Metro Marrs EP, the Fun Boy Three box, the Self Defense Family live album, and The Jesus and Mary Chain live album.
Read on for my picks. What's your favorite release of the week?
Florry - The Holey Bible
Whatever indie/art rock tendencies were obscuring Francie Medosch's love of country music when she started Florry in 2018 have entirely faded away. Their new album The Holey Bible is as rustic and ramshackle as it gets. It was made with a 10-piece band, and it feels entirely communal. With five members that sing, The Holey Bible doesn't have "harmonies" so much as it has the vibe of people sitting around a campfire and singing with each other, not worrying about whether or not they're perfectly in key. The band is from the city of Philadelphia, but it really does sound like you're listening to a band play in the middle of the woods, away from civilization and electricity. It scratches the same itch as country-leaning indie acts like Big Thief and Wednesday (and it's out on the same label that released Wednesday member MJ Lenderman's Boat Songs), but it doesn't sound quite like either of those bands. At the risk of overly romanticizing the record, it just sounds like such an authentic, organic portrayal of exactly the thing it's trying to be, and the songs really hit.
Chris Farren - Doom Singer
Chris Farren describes the making of his last few solo albums as "lonely" and "doubt-ridden," so for Doom Singer, the former Fake Problems singer made the process more collaborative, bringing in producer/instrumentalist Jay Som, his Antarctigo Vespucci partner Jeff Rosenstock on bass and saxophone, and Macseal's Frankie Impastato on drums. He also said that he "wanted to open these songs up" compared to previous records, and Doom Singer is indeed some of the most spacious, biggest-sounding music he's ever made. It's got big, crunchy, power pop bangers like "Bluish," "Get Over U," "Screensaver," and "Cosmic Leash" that give peak-era Weezer a run for their money. It's got guitar solos that are as melodic as they are heroic. It dives into other territories like the sax-fueled sophisti-pop of "First Place" and the bouncy, McCartney-esque title track. There's still some underlying darkness and doubt throughout these songs, but this a flat-out fun rock record and the world could use more records like it.
For more on this album, read Chris' list of music and other stuff that influenced it.
Grupo Frontera - El Comienzo
Texas norteño band Grupo Frontera started to break out within the Latin music community in 2022, and then when Bad Bunny lent his voice to this year's "un x100to" and brought them out during his Coachella set, they skyrocketed to the forefront of regional Mexican music's global takeover. Now they've released their first full-length album, El Comienzo. The 11-song, 32-minute album features "un x100to," their breakout cover of Morat's "No Se Va," and other recent singles like "Que Vuelvas" (ft. Carin León) and "Frágil" (ft. Yahritza y Su Esencia), and it's a lean album that already feels like a best-of with no filler. (The cliché that you get your whole life to write your debut album rings true here.) Bad Bunny's voice may have helped Grupo Frontera reach listeners who don't pay close attention to Latin music, but these other singles are already massive hits too, and the just-released songs are just as undeniable as the established ones. With their knack for upbeat rhythms and addictive melodies, Grupo Frontera's music feels built to please crowds, and it's hard to imagine El Comienzo doing anything other than that.
Bambii - Infinity Club
With singles dating back to 2019, even more years of DJing (including tour-DJing for Mykki Blanco), and key contributions made to Kelela's new album Raven under her belt, Jamaican-Canadian producer/DJ Bambii now releases her first lengthier project, the eight-song Infinity Club EP. Throughout the EP, Bambii brings together the worlds of dancehall, grime, jungle, R&B, and more into a multi-cultural, multi-genre, innovative dance party. Guest vocals come from UK MCs Lady Lykez and Ragz Originale, and UK singer Aluna (of AlunaGeorge), and all these different ingredients swirl together into one cohesive thing--an approach inspired by her years of DJing. "When I make music," she said in an interview with The FADER, "I’m trying to achieve the thing that I witness pretty much every night."
M.A.G.S. - Destroyer
Elliott Douglas grew up in the Buffalo punk scene, and like a lot of punks, he first rejected music on the radio but later embraced it, and the combination of his past and his current, more open-minded outlook started to inform his own music. "It can have the energy and attitude of punk, but have more colors," he said in a 2021 interview with Mia Hughes for MTV News. That approach really comes alive on his new album Destroyer, which bridges the gap between funky alt-pop and riffy post-hardcore in a way that sounds totally seamless. Elliott co-produced the album with prolific hardcore producer (and former Defeater member) Jay Maas, and together they really made this album sound big. It's got walls of guitars, soaring hooks, and it feels like the kind of album that'll really turn heads whether you're into heavy music or pop music, and especially if you're into both.
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 Pool Kids.