Patricia Taxxon – The Best Day
The absurdly prolific musician and youtuber Patricia Taxxon recently released The Best Day, the as-of-yet latest album of hers. It’s the first time I stumble upon her work, but I’m sure to keep an ear out for upcoming ones. The Best Day is a superbly optimistic and upbeat synth pop album with an artsy touch. Nothing too flashy, but a few interesting modulations and creative choices here and there are just enough to keep my interet hooked, and complement the earworm melodies marvellously. A very nice and catchy pop album for all!
Sloth Racket – Dismantle Yourself
Sloth Racket is a London-borne experimental jazz quintet. Dismantle Yourself is the band’s seventh release, following last year’s incredible A Glorious Monster album. The group really knows how to convey those feelings of anxiety, unease, and ambiguity, and they put that to great use on every one of their release. So, be ready for an odd, deranging, and out of the ordinary time when this album comes out, on September 2.
The Richmond Avant-Improv Collective – Chance Operations (Blight)
The RAIC is really something else. The Richmond, Virginia-based collective has been releasing some mind-altering releases—Evidence 1, Evidence 2—and Chance Operations is only the latest of them, perhaps even the most surprising. The 2-CD album offers over two hours and a half of odd, challenging, awe-inspiring material from twenty musicians and inspired by John Cage. Well, I feel I could write anything and not quite accurately describe what emanates from this album. So just go and have a listen, if you dare!
Bonniesongs – Energetic Mind (Small Pond)
Bonniesongs already released some hot fire in the past, but her latest effort, Energetic Mind comes on top of it all. The Sydney-based singer and multi-instrumentalist showcases her newest compositions, and they are truly fabulous. The style she’s working in I would describe as “indie folk”, but it has more depth than a mere two words, and ties you into venomous pop melodies, complex layered instrumentation, and a whole lot of atmosphere. Just listen to the single “Barbara” for a prime example of what I’m trying to convey, here. The album comes out in August, so you’ve got quite a long while to wait, but be patient, it will come, and it is good!
Presence of Soul – Absence of Objective World (Abyss Gazer)
Presence of Soul is an amazing Japanese post-metal band. Absence of Objective World just came out on Abyss Gazer Records, and it’s a wonderful piece of art. The metal is on the more atmospheric side of things, but, just like the album cover, it’s dark and bleak, oppressive, and intriguing. It’s an album that perhaps does only one trick, but it does it expertly.
Peach and Tomato – The Ultimate Pairing (Falcon Gumba)
Peach and Tomato is a violin and viola contemporary classical duo. On The Ultimate Pairing, musicians Sana and Leonor exchange and dialogue in various wonderful ways, sometimes like a face-off and other times a thorough interplay where each one builds on what the other brings. It’s a surprisingly fun and enjoyable record, sure to pique your brains for a while.
Cloud Rat – Pollinator (Artoffact)
Michigan melodic grindcore outfit Cloud Rat is to release Pollinator this week, along with a seemingly darkwavesque bonus EP. I can only write for the former, however. Pollinator sees Cloud Rat’s members at the top of their chops, with aggressive, razor-sharp riffs and beats with a distinct penchant for melodic progressions and motives. I wouldn’t put it close to the ilk of Beaten to Death but there’s some likeness indeed. Overall an amazing and brilliant album!
Form Subtract – Autonomist
Autonomist is the strong debut EP of Philadelphia-based duo Form Subtract. They play a totally banger style of progressive metalcore with scents of nu metal and post-hardcore. Their EP is all it needs be: concise, to the point, and all killers no fillers. Oh, and it’s available for free, but consider dropping something to fund their eventual full-length!
Freese Trio – The Beast in the Blueprint
The Beast in the Blueprint is an astounding and creative album by Leeds trio Freese. Blending trip-hop and darkwave, among other things, Freese create a sombre but creatively gorgeous album. It’s full of haunting melodies and each song is very well crafted. A great album to be sure!
Dr. Purgatory – Crab Parts
Toronto indie jazz sextet Dr. Purgatory just came out with Crab Parts, a debut album in three parts, the main of which, the “Red Pony” suite, divided further into three. The band’s vision offers us a beautiful and modern collection of nu jazz, vocal jazz, and fusion jazz. At just under thirty minutes, it’s a powerful proof of concept for the band, and a taste of things to come.
Daniels – The Grass Planet Museum
Tulsa duo Daniels—stylized D A N I E L (((S)))—just released The Grass Planet Museum, an ambitious and adventurous experimental math rock enterprise. Their sound is very upbeat and hectic, slowing things down from time to time only to come back with a bigger bang. It’s a great band to discover so be sure to listen (and download) this album!
Pangaea – Vespr
Pangaea is back! I’ve already written about a single from their previous album, but things take a darker turn on their newest one, Vespr. The band keeps their progressive edge close by and cranks the heaviness up a few notches. It’s a rewarding album with plenty of riffs to bang your head to. Utterly recommended!
Pás de problème – The Shape of Party to Come
Pás de problème‘s latest feels like a party, hence its name. The Portuguese band blends in experimental rock with a hefty dose of klezmer music, as well as hints of many other musical traditions from all around the world as vignettes that are stitched to the main fabric here and there. The band often makes use of odd time signatures, which brings up the math rock element, but it’s so distinct that it cannot be described by that sole word. Overall a brilliant album!
Tides from Nebula – From Voodoo to Zen (Long Branch)
The Polish progressive post-rock trio’s newest album is a gem. From Voodoo to Zen sounds like an electro-rock album at times, at other times part of a math rock album, but is generally very post-rock sounding. Either feel you find yourself in, it’s a well-composed piece of music, and it’s quite fun to listen to, either fully absorbed in the songs or as a musical background to something else you’re doing.
Prissy Whip – Swallow
Succinctly, Prissy Whip is a weird band. I love weird bands. On Swallow, the band offers us a delivery that is part avant-prog, part experimental pop, part noise rock, and all fun! Their sound mostly consists of altered vocals, dissonant guitars, and effects-laden bass VI, as well as some very unstable riffs and melodies. Awesome.
Car Bomb – Mordial
Car Bomb never cease to reassert their dominance on the mathcore-djent scene, ever since their debut Centralia. Mordial doesn’t aim to change a winning formula, but does tweak it a tiny bit. There’s definitely a fair amount of melodic singing on this record, more than I can recall on previous releases, but it adds a welcome breath of fresh air and diversity to the band’s sound, and something to contrast with the spastic chugs, programmed guitar sounds, and blast beats. Definitely one of their best, if you ask me!
Ḥashshāshīn – بدخشان (Badaxšān) / Badakhshan (Art as Catharsis)
Ḥashshāshīn is back! Their debut album, nīhsāhshsaḤ, was amazing and sublime, and, after a break of about three years, the band comes back with an upcoming sophomore. بدخشان (Badaxšān) / Badakhshan is named after a historical region comprising parts of Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and China. It served as a powerful catalyst and inspiration for the music on record. Speaking of which, the compositions on the album are as excellent as ever, perhaps honing that mystical edge even sharper through the proficient use of timbre, repetition, progression, and rhythm. بدخشان (Badaxšān) / Badakhshan is truly mesmerizing and hypnotizing. It’s an album that will grab you from start to finish. It’s out on September 27.
John Ghost – Airships Are Organisms (Sdban Ultra)
Upon first listening, Airships Are Organisms immediately made me reminisce Canadian prog act Glaswegians and the timeless Tubular Bells. This was perhaps only a temporary passage, but it was nonetheless present strongly in the opening piece, “Deconstructing Hymns”. In fact, the entirety of John Ghost‘s opus is highly diversified and masterfully crafted. As they put it, the album is “an exploratory symbiosis drawing on electronics, post-classical, cinematic atmospherics + jazz”, and I’ll have to agree with them. Airships Are Organisms draws as much from contemporary classical and jazz as it does, at times, post-rock and drone. It’s a truly stellar full-length that will be out in late September.
Kodian Trio – III (Trost)
Kodian Trio is here again with the third instalment of its utterly monstrous improvisation. I’ve already mouthed how disconcerning the trio sounded like, and it’s much the same thing here. The three musicians are at the top of their art and their synergy is totally out of this world.
Lingua nada – Djinn
Noise rock band Lingua nada are back, this time donning the stylized name لينغوا ذدى. Comparing this new opus to their last one, Snuff, it seems a bit more on the accessible side of the spectrum, but it ultimately sounds like an alt-rock or pop group going straight into psychedelic and experimental sounds, which is mighty fine by me. Djinn is varied and surprising in a lot of ways, full of effects and cool compositional devices. Totally recommend that album for those looking into weird pop rock music.
Threnody – A Paradigm of Suspicion (Trost)
A Paradigm of Suspicion is the newest album of the Threnody trio, made up of saxophonist Martin Küchen, bassist Johna Berthling, and drummer Steve Noble. This is almost an hour of freely improvised jazz split up into four tracks. All throughout A Paradigm of Suspicion, you can sense the chemistry and purpose of the three musicians together, making for a memorable and remarkable experience. Be certain to give it a shot!
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