Brendan Byrnes – Realism (Split-Notes)
Brendan Byrnes is back, everyone! Rejoice! Realism is Brendan’s fourth microtonal album, and it’s in a similar synth-pop vein as its predecessor, Neutral Paradise. Brendan’s and label Split-Notes’s aim to produce wide-appeal microtonal music is strong and clear on this record, where great care is put into making the uninitiated comfortable. Whether or not you have a history with microtonal music, this is an album all must listen.
Dumb Waiter – Tsk
Virginia-based jazz-meets-math rock quartet Dumb Waiter provides us with the successor to the amazing Heck EP. What to ask, except for more? The band has long perfected their style, their personality, so Tsk is really just them sharpening their edge, giving us the best they can be. And for that alone, you should hop in to find odd themes in weird rhythms, and have a lot of fun on the way!
Muga – Chants de femmes des Asturies (Pagans)
Muga is an experimental folk trio from Asturias, a region in the northwest of Spain, and they’ve just released an album on the amazing label Pagans. Their brand of creation seems to reside in droning, minimalist folk, which gives way to plenty of remarkable and memorable moments all throughout the forty-five-minute record. There is a lot of interplay between the violin and voice, under which the guitar provides a harmonic background and context, and simple percussion keeps the beat. Be sure to check out Chants de femmes des Asturies!
Shadow in the Darkness – Erstwhile Befell
I rarely have the chance to stumble upon such a fantastic and impressive technical death metal band nowadays. It seems to me that the scene has much more followers than previously, and most of the times upcoming albums, even of small independent bands, are hyped up months in advance in the community. So let me introduce you to Greece’s Shadow in the Darkness. Erstwhile Befell is the band’s debut album, and it’s an absolute banger! Jump right in for insanely fast riffs, great vocals, and manic drums, all on the quality level you’d expect from any album published by an established label. It’s an incredible obscure gem!
Moses Sumney – Græ (Jagjaguwar)
Moses Sumney just released an album that’s almost impossible to pin down on a genre Venn diagram. Græ is soul, jazz, rock, progressive… A simple genre tag hardly suffices. The album plays in two parts, the first of which is quite rhythmic and has a bit of a funk vibe, whereas the latter is more relaxed, atmospheric, and acoustic, and plays more like a singer-songwriter set, although filled with the same level of creativity and genre hybridization. Utter beauty.
شيران (Shyrān) / Shiran – جلسه صنعانيه مع شيران (Jlsh Ṣnʻānyh mʻ Shyrān) / Glsah Sanaanea with Shiran (Batov)
Israeli folk and pop singer شيران (Shyrān) / Shiran digs deeper into her Yemeni roots with the album جلسه صنعانيه مع شيران (Jlsh Ṣnʻānyh mʻ Shyrān) / Glsah Sanaanea with Shiran. Compared with her self-titled debut album, she moves away from modern, electronic soundscapes to shine light on traditional, immemorial music with acoustic instruments such as oud, kawala, violin, cello, and percussion. Needless to say, her voice is front and centre on this new album, fluidly singing in this beautiful Arabic tongue and maqamat. Definitely an album you can’t miss out on!