It's been another eventful week in music. Beyoncé, The Cure, and The Sisters of Mercy all began highly-anticipated tours. Lots of music festival announcements came. Sum 41 are breaking up. The list goes on. Plus, there are a lot of great new albums out this week. I highlight seven below, and Bill tackles more in Bill's Indie Basement, including Alison Goldfrapp, BC Camplight, Island of Love, Craven Faults, Daisies, James Ellis Ford (Simian Mobile Disco), Rahill (Habibi), and Memorials (Wire, Electrelane).

On top of those, we've got lots of honorable mentions, including Cattle Decapitation, Eluvium, Symphony Orchestra (Badge Epoque Ensemble, US Girls), The Hooters, Moby, YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Midwife & Vyva Melinkolya, Heem, Charlotte Cornfield, waveform*, JasonMartin (fka Problem), Pap Chanel, Mike Gordon (Phish), Béla Fleck, Dropkick Murphys, Oval, Helen Money & Will Thomas, Jeffrey Silverstein, Esben and the Witch, Impetuous Ritual, Seán Barna, Bokani Dyer, Potter Payper, Burial Clouds, Soulkeeper, Bruce Cockburn, Parker Millsap, Lake Nakoma (Alabama Shakes), Softee, Lucy Liyou, Ky, Wila Frank, Chloe Gallardo, Sub Focus, Easy Dreams, Jonas Brothers, the Downhaul EP, the Chuck Strangers EP, the Belinda Carlisle EP, the WAR remix EP, the RP Boo comp, and The KVB's psychedelic covers album.

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

Overmono_Good Lies_4000x4000px

Overmono - Good Lies

Overmono is the UK electronic duo of brothers Tom Russell (aka Truss) and Ed Russell (aka Tessela). They've got EPs and singles dating back to 2016, and they've separately got music dating back even further than that, but Good Lies is their first full-length, and it arrives on the heels of tons of anticipation--some are already calling them the UK's next massive dance duo. It's easy to see why; like another certain massive UK brotherly dance duo (whose own instant-classic debut album arrived ten years ago this month), Overmono know that a catchy vocal sample can go a long way. Their production is creative, their beats are built to get bodies moving, and their sampled hooks make Good Lies a widely accessible record that you don't need to be a seasoned clubgoer to appreciate. They've clearly absorbed a ton of different styles of dance music, and they've fused it all into something that's cohesive, something that nods at the past but primarily looks towards the future.


Hot Mulligan

Hot Mulligan - Why Would I Watch
Wax Bodega

If the phrase "fifth wave emo" means anything to you, then Hot Mulligan is probably already a household name in your house, but if they're not, let Why Would I Watch be your introduction to this great band. It's their best album yet, and it has the power to transcend the niche corners of emo and pop punk that Hot Mulligan have occupied these past few years. It's got the huge, sugar-sweet hooks of pop punk, but Hot Mulligan come at them with post-hardcore grit. Vocalist Tades Sanville is always on the verge of screaming, even when Hot Mulligan are at their catchiest, and every song finds this band swinging for the fences, playing as hard as possible, intent on winning over anyone who's listening. Within those throat-shredding hooks are some genuinely heavy topics that range from addiction to death to familial issues to severe anxiety to internalized Christian guilt, and Hot Mulligan sing every song like they mean it. Recent tourmates The Wonder Years are an easy comparison to make--both bands mix unabashedly poppy melodies with intensely raw emotion--but Why Would I Watch also takes some thrilling detours away from that sound, like with the American Football-esque "This Song Is Called It's Called What It's Called" and the scrappy acoustic track "Betty." And even when Hot Mulligan tone things down, they're just as arresting as when they're screaming their hearts out.

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


Madison McFerrin, I Hope You Can Forgive Me

Madison McFerrin - I Hope You Can Forgive Me

Brooklyn artist Madison McFerrin started her career with two EPs that were performed entirely a cappella, following in the footsteps of her father Bobby McFerrin, whose "Don't Worry, Be Happy" was famously the first a cappella song to ever top the Billboard chart. She eventually expanded her musical palette to include instrumentation on 2019's You + I EP, a collaboration with her brother Taylor McFerrin, and throughout the pandemic, she picked up a knack for production herself. The fruits of her labors reveal themselves on I Hope You Can Forgive Me, Madison's first full-length album. The album was largely self-produced, and many of the instrumentals and backing vocals were handled by Madison herself as well, though a few of her friends lent their talents and there's one guest vocalist: her father Bobby. She had already proven herself as a singer and songwriter long before making this album, but her newfound knack for production work really makes her songs shine in a way they never have before. Her minimal, atmospheric style takes cues from '90s neo-soul and 2010s alt-R&B, and her powerful songs on this album would fit nicely next to anything from Erykah Badu to Solange to SZA. You can still hear her a cappella roots coming through too, like with the swirling vocal arrangements of "God Herself." It's a capital-A Album, clearly a different beast than her EPs, but it's also relatively brief; its lean ten songs always leave you wanting more.


The Acacia Strain

The Acacia Strain - Step Into The Light and Failure Will Follow

The Acacia Strain were ahead of their time, and they continue to get even better and break out of whatever boxes people try to put them in. As a band with elements of metal and hardcore that initially took off in the early/mid 2000s, they've been lumped with the metalcore boom of that era. As a band who flirted more directly with death metal than many of their peers, they've been considered pioneers of deathcore. With today's increasingly big crop of bands fusing death metal and hardcore, it's hard not to see The Acacia Strain as clear predecessors of that as well. On their two new albums Step Into The Light and Failure Will Follow, they're all of these things and more. Step Into The Light is the more "typical" of the two albums, a death-y metalcore album that's in line with the band's classics and sounds just as fresh as the newer bands The Acacia Strain have been touring with lately, or whose vocalists appear on this album--Sunami and Chamber. (And in case you haven't noticed how much this band rides for newer generations when they hit the road, recent tourmates include Undeath, Sanguisugabogg, Dying Wish, Creeping Death, Fuming Mouth, Escuela Grind, Vomit Forth, and more.) Whether you're coming to the band as a longtime fan or because their continued relevance has piqued your interest, the thrilling, bone-crushing Step Into The Light will not disappoint. On a much different side of the spectrum is Failure Will Follow, an album of three lengthy songs that goes even further down the doomy path of 2019's expectations-defying It Comes In Waves. It has guest singing from heavy music-adjacent alt-pop artist iRiS.exe. and guest shrieks from TAS' recent tourmates Dylan Walker of Full of Hell and Ethan McCarthy of Primitive Man, and it's actually closer to those bands' new collaborative album than it is to classic Acacia Strain. The whole thing is great, but the figurative and literal centerpiece is the 17-minute "Bog Walker," which sounds like The Acacia Strain's version of a Sleep song. It's a song I'd guess very few Acacia Strain fans saw coming, but it stands out as one of their very best in recent memory.

Pick up our exclusive banana swirl vinyl variant of 'Failure Will Follow.'


Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean

Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean - Obsession Destruction
Redscroll Records

Not only are The Acacia Strain's two new albums out today, there's also a new album from fellow Massachusetts band Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean, who are opening TAS' album release shows (alongside Escuela Grind and Vomit Forth). It's their first full-length, following four EPs dating back to 2017. It was recorded by TWIABP's Chris Teti, mastered by Cult of Luna's Magnus Lindberg, and features artwork by the late Mariusz Lewandowski, whose work here is as stunning and unmistakable as ever. Chained to the Bottom of the Ocean are named after a Thou song (and they've played together too), and I think Thou fans would very much like this band too. They definitely sound like they take cues from Thou's blackened, sludgy post-metal, and they've got their own sense of towering intensity. This immersive, hour-plus-long album is something you can really lose yourself in.


Never Ending Game

Never Ending Game - Outcry
Triple B Records

Detroit heavy hardcore band Never Ending Game put out their debut LP Just Another Day in late 2019 and played just a few shows before Covid lockdown happened, but now they're back and better than ever on their sophomore LP Outcry. It's just as tough as the debut, but a lot catchier and more "song"-oriented, with gang-vocal singalongs, melodic metalcore riffs, a guest vocal appearance by Trapped Under Ice/Angel Du$t's Justice Tripp, and more. We've got a lengthy feature on the album by Hugo Reyes--check that out for more.

We've also got an exclusive splatter vinyl variant of the N.E.G. album, limited to just 250 copies.


Ascended Dead

Ascended Dead - Evenfall Of The Apocalypse
20 Buck Spin

Following their 2017 debut LP Abhorrent Manifestation and a 2021 split LP with Atomicide (both released on Dark Descent), San Diego death metallers Ascended Dead have signed to 20 Buck Spin (also home of related band VoidCeremony) for their sophomore album, Evenfall Of The Apocalypse. Ascended Dead's old school-style death metal isn't breaking much ground (they gain a lot of comparisons to Morbid Angel, who actually just wrapped up a tour with Ascended Dead's Charlie Koryn on drums), but that hardly matters when your music kicks this much ass. Don't overthink it; just hit play and let Ascended Dead knock you off your feet.


Read Indie Basement for more new album reviews, including Alison Goldfrapp, BC Camplight, Island of Love, Craven Faults, Daisies, James Ellis Ford (Simian Mobile Disco), Rahill (Habibi), and Memorials (Wire, Electrelane).

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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