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!
Black Midi – Schlagenheim (Rough Trade)
Black Midi‘s newest effort departs from their free-rock improvisation-fuelled fever dream with Damo Suzuki and into the realm of composition once again. On Schlagenheim, they move easily from math rock to noise rock to experimental pop to post-rock to—I don’t know—other stuff! It’s a brilliant and amazing album, but one that is pretty hard to categorize and to describe. Well, I would expect no less from the band! That album is prog as hell, always flowing from one place to another, and it’s weird. You’ll love it! I do.
Ensamble Peripecia – Cataclismo
The Argentine Peripecia ensemble offers us a surprising and delectable experimental post-rock opus with Cataclismo. The group uses extended instrumentation and creatively so! Their six compositions on the full-length are diverse and most interesting in various ways. From the atmospheric crescendo of “Kinoglaz” to the more melodic and melancholic “La niebla”, to “Sun Girls”, which is more like a progressive rock tune, you’ll find great music. On top of it all, it’s a name-your-price release!
Kid Millions & Sarah Bernstein – Broken Fall (577)
Kid Millions is a drummer well-known in experimental music circles of Brooklyn, and Broken Fall is his latest collaboration with Sarah Bernstein, a violinist-singer from New York who’s also well known for avant-garde jazz. On this album, the two clash violently and amazingly. They offer us seven songs, or improvised sessions, adding up to almost forty minutes of mind-bending, ear-challenging, and neighbours-calling-the-copsing noise. Their synergy is bewildering and necessary in one’s life.
Alexander Noice – Noice (Orenda)
Okay, this has got to be one of the best experimental pop albums of the year. Is it even that genre? I cannot tell. It definitely has pop sensibilities and deep roots in it, but it also has the backbone of avant-prog, such as Yolk or jazz like Freaks. It also has the pomp of The Knells but without the full choir . . . In the end, it’s an astounding album perhaps more fitting alongside Zappa than Coltrane or Björk, but at home anywhere near those three.
Dreare & Izanasz – Portaali
The Czech post-metal trio Dreare collaborates with musician and visual artist Izanasz for a forty-five-minute single track coupled with a forty-page art book. With such a length, “Portaali” has more than enough atmosphere to engulf the whole solar system in it. The song goes from one drone to another and sprinkles polyrhythmic post-metal riffs throughout the ordeal as a way to spice things up and keep the rollercoaster going from intense highs to dreadful lows. It’s an absolutely superb track-album and an amazing addition to the genre. It should be regarded as a necessary listen for instrumental post-metal, and perhaps atmospheric djent would fit the bill as well.