Bubblemath – Turf Ascension (Cuneiform)
Accolades like “the best prog band in the last decades” should not be overlooked as mere exaggerations. Indeed, they are statements worthy of examination. Bubblemath has been on my radar since their 2017 release Edit Peptide, and reading back at this five-year-old critique, I find nothing more to add for Turf Ascension, so I’ll just paraphrase: it’s complex yet groovy prog. Definitely one of the best prog rock album of the year so far!
Dalila Kayròs – Animàmi (Subsound)
Italian singer Dalila Kayròs has at this point played in so many of my favourite and most memorable albums that it’s a given that I’ll absolutely love anything she puts out. Case in point: Animàmi. This dark avant-pop album epitomizes the musical endeavours of Kayròs: atmospheric, creative, thought-provoking, immersive, and beautiful. You can instantly recognize her distinct vocal style, which is somewhere between Björk and Bush. Everything on this album is top-notch, so be sure to listen to it and immerse yourselves in it!
Extra Life – Secular Works, Volume 2
Unfortunately, I was unaware of Extra Life before this album, so I haven’t got to hear Volume 1 before, but I’ve come across Charlie Looker during my musical peregrinations, and I’m very happy to be here for Volume 2. Looker has a strong presence in pretty much everything he touches, especially when it comes to voice, thanks to his recognizable style and timbre. In Extra Life, it’s Melisma Monday every day of the week! I guess that’s part of the character of this project, and I absolutely love it! It gives off Medieval-ish vibes to the songs, which is then amplified by fanfare-like trumpet and horn! Truly a stunning progressive album from start to finish!
Contemplator – Morphose (Nefarious Industries)
I don’t think I need to introduce Contemplator anymore. Christian Pacaud’s instrumental progressive metal project has been heard far and wide, thanks to consistent care, thought, and effort put into their two previous records. With Morphose, Contemplator gains some fluidity, but seems to give away nothing in exchange. In a personal communication, Christian indeed confessed that this one is much more playable and feels more natural to him in comparison to Contemplator’s previous albums. Well, here’s hoping to see them tour for this one! This album is out on the 29th of July; in the mean time, you can already listen to two incredible tracks, but the best parts are still left to uncover!