It's been a busy week here in BrooklynVegan land (we launched a podcast!), and I'm actually out of office today, so I gotta keep things short and get straight to the new music. I highlight six new releases below, and Bill talks about more in Bill's Indie Basement, including Shearwater, The Dream Syndicate, Kelly Stoltz, µ-Ziq, Yoo Doo Right, Dion Lunadon (ex-APTBS), and more.

On top of that, honorable mentions: Rusty (Elvis Costello's reunited teenage band), BTS, Billy Howerdel (A Perfect Circle), Vieux Farka Touré, Jessie Buckley & Bernard Butler, American Aquarium, Tony Shhnow, Sam Gendel, Kreator, Mapache, Grace Ives, Silent Drive, SACK (The Lillingtons, Teenage Bottlerocket), Marco Benevento, Klaus Schulze, Max Richter, Yann Tiersen, Julius Rodriguez, Night Sins (Nothing), Ryan Shelkett (Cross My Heart, Liars Academy), LIFE, Sinead O’Brien, Liss, Erin Anne, Saya Grey, Deathwhite, Up For Nothing, Berator, Salamanda, Levon Vincent, Free the Robots, Keep For Cheap, Michael Rault, Living Room, Benny Bock, Deliluh, FKJ, Museum of Light, Dappa, Kula Shaker, George Jackson & Ensemble Intercontemporain, the A Vulture Wake (ex-ALL) EP, the Deep Throat Choir EP, the Excavate EP, the Snow Ellet EP, the M Field EP, the Gladiators comp, the Integrity reissues, the Rufus Wainright live album of Judy Garland covers, the Neneh Cherry album of collaborative reworkings (ft. Robyn, ANOHNI, Sia, Jamila Woods, Sudan Archives, Kelsey Lu & more), the Patty Griffin collection of rare demos and home recordings, the expanded 50th anniversary reissue of Elton John's Madman Across the Water, and the expanded 30th anniversary reissue of Everclear's World of Noise.

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

The Range Mercury

The Range - Mercury

It's been a long six years since electronic musician The Range (James Hinton) released Potential, and in that time, both the musical landscape and the world at large has changed a lot. It's the kind of gap between albums that could cause the world to pass you by, but one way to stop that from happening is by coming back with an album as stunning as Mercury. The Range's third long-player picks up where its predecessor left off and pushes his music to even more satisfying extremes. At this point, it feels accurate to list The Range alongside contemporary greats like Jon Hopkins, Four Tet, and Burial - sonic architects who use the tools of club music to create something so gorgeous that even those too shy to ever step foot on a dancefloor can't help but get sucked in. Through the usage of pitched-up vocal samples, glistening synths, clattering drum machines, thumping basslines, and more, Mercury provides a soundscape that's both fun and inviting and tearfully beautiful. It feels just as akin to post-rock as it does to dance music, with swelling movements that engulf the listener over time, as well as moments that provide instant satisfaction. The Range also briefly moves outside of his usual IDM comfort zone with a song like "Urethane," which samples MIK's "Ice Rink" and embraces UK grime. The album is full of intricate twists and turns, and it's even more rewarding across repeated listens.


Joyce Manor

Joyce Manor - 40 oz. to Fresno

Sometimes you gotta look backwards in order to move forwards, which is exactly what Joyce Manor did for their first album in four years. They were about to take some time off, and then the pandemic hit, and eventually, they started digging through their archives and compiled rarities from their early days for the 2020 compilation Songs From Northern Torrance. They also revisited a Never Hungover Again rarity called "Secret Sisters," which ended up kind of becoming the catalyst for their new album 40 oz. to Fresno."'Secret Sisters' kind of slams in that emo way," frontman Barry Johnson said on the new episode of the BrooklynVegan podcast, "and I was like, 'We don't have a ton of stuff that kind of slams,'" so it inspired them to come up with another song in that style, Fresno's instantly-satisfying lead single "Gotta Let It Go," and it informed the direction of their cover of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's "Souvenir," which opens the album. The album also includes a new recording of "NBTSA," which came out in rougher form for Polyvinyl's 4-Track Singles Series in 2017, and some gorgeous new songs. Barry delivers one of the sweetest, most yearning hooks of his career on "Don't Try," adopts an angelic falsetto on "Reason To Believe," and offers up some of his most vivid lyrics with "Dance With Me." It's an album that sounds like Joyce Manor just being Joyce Manor, not worrying about anything else, and it feels like some of their most freeing work.

For much more on this album, read our recent feature and listen to our interview with Barry on the BrooklynVegan podcast.


awakebutstillinbed For Your Health

For Your Health / awakebutstillinbed - Hymns for the Scorned split EP
Twelve Gauge

For Your Health emerged out of the modern screamo scene -- their 2019 split with Shin Guard is basically already a DIY screamo classic -- but when they released their 2021 debut album In Spite Of, certain songs showed off a more melodic side, and singer Hayden Rodriguez frequently namedropped My Chemical Romance (who the band covered back in 2018) as an influence in interviews. They still haven't gone full-on The Black Parade or anything, but with Hymns for the Scorned -- their new split EP with awakebutstillinbed -- For Your Health are leaning into their melodic side more than ever before, and this might even be stronger than their screamier material. Their two songs, "Disarmament" and "A Word Of Warning For The Pyrrh Of Heart" (both produced by TWIABP's Chris Teti), sound straight out of the early 2000s emo boom, but it's not a rehashed version of that sound so much as it's an improvement upon on it. On this split, For Your Health sound like a band I wish existed back then, and I honestly can't think of any artist in particular that ever did sound quite like this. Meanwhile, the other half of the split features two songs by awakebutstillinbed, which both come from the sessions from awakebutstillinbed's long-awaited, still-unannounced sophomore album. awakebutstillinbed also toe the line between melodic emo and harsher screamo, so they're a great fit for a split with FYH, but they approach those genres in entirely different ways. Shannon Taylor has had one of the most distinct voices in emo ever since absib dropped their instant-DIY-classic debut LP in early 2018, and she's an even stronger vocalist now, switching between caustic yells and soaring melodies at the drop of a hat. And these two songs sound even bigger, bolder, and more varied than anything on absib's debut. These songs make me really excited for LP2, but until then, this split already feels like it's gonna go down as a crucial document of emo's latest wave. It finds two of the genre's most promising bands at thrilling turning points in their fast-growing careers.


Michaela Anne

Michaela Anne - Oh To Be That Free
Yep Roc

Since singer/songwriter Michaela Anne released her last album, 2019's Desert Dove, she got sober, had a child, and her mother suffered a near-fatal hemorrhagic stroke, all while the COVID-19 pandemic was already altering the lives of Michaela and everyone around her. That all led to her new album Oh To Be That Free, which Michaela says "turned out to be exactly what I needed to hear when I was at my lowest." She and her husband -- who engineered, produced, and played many of the instruments on the album -- made the album in their own, and if they invited other musicians to play on it, they mostly chose musicians that Michaela has known or worked with for years. The result is an album that grapples with having your world turned upside down, but also has a sense of comfort, and suggests that perseverance is within reach. Michaela conveys these feelings with a gorgeous collection of songs that pull from a variety of folk and country influences, with a timeless feel that sits nicely next to Michaela's heroes like Patsy Cline and Tammy Wynette, as well as a freshness that goes good with the new Angel Olsen album. Intimate songwriting meets sweeping string arrangements, lyrics are introspective yet inviting, and it makes for an album that feels tucked-away and grand all at once.



Yatra - Born Into Chaos

Maryland metal trio Yatra have been gradually evolving their sound since debuting as a stoner doom band with 2019's Death Ritual, and then going more in a blackened sludge direction across two 2020 albums, Blood of the Night and All Is Lost. Now, with their fourth album and first for Prosthetic Records, they're fusing their blackened sludge side with a more overt death metal influence than ever before, and the result is their chunkiest, grooviest, and most abrasive album yet. Guitarist/vocalist Dana Helmuth's shrieks are more venomous than ever, and the riffs and rhythms nail a balance between infectious and brutal. A lot of underground metal bands seem to pick a specific subgenre and stick to it, so it's refreshing to hear one that's constantly moving between different lanes.



ELUCID - I Told Bessie
Backwoodz Studioz

I'm out today and haven't actually gotten a chance to hear this album, but I'd be remiss not to point you in the direction of the latest solo LP by ELUCID, aka one half of Armand Hammer, who have been on fire lately. ELUCID's Armand Hammer partner billy woods co-executive produced it and appears on four of the songs, and there's also one with Pink Siifu and Quelle Chris, and production comes from The Alchemist, The Lasso, Kenny Segal, Messiah Musik, and more. The title is a reference to ELUCID's grandmother Bessie Hall, who passed away in 2017. "I remember her silver afro like a halo atop her head. I remember the Westerns that were always on television in the living room. I remember. I remember her pouring early ideals of Black consciousness into me. I remember the stories and lore," ELUCID said. "Since she left this plane, I have felt her presence and voice in my life more than ever. With this album I want to pay tribute to her and acknowledge her continuing impact on my life path."


Read Bill's Indie Basement for more new album reviews.

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.

Soccer Mommy vinyl

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