Francesca Vincentie – (Om an) i bitar, ändå hel
(Om an) i bitar, ändå hel—translated to (Although) in Pieces, Yet One—is Swedish composer and singer Francesca Vincentie‘s latest masterpiece. The album, available in Swedish and English, is at the same time a musical album and a storytelling experience more akin to an audiobook. From what I can gather, the story is of a spirit’s search expedition. In-between the spoken parts is sparse but that much more beautiful musical passages rooted in jazz and R&B, sung in Swedish on both versions of the album. In a way, the album reminds me of the astounding Nāga, by Alexandra Grimal, in the calmness and confidence of the music. This one is a unique work, however, and must be appreciated on its own.
Prudent Primate – Aphelion
It’s not the first Prudent Primate album I find myself enjoying, although it’s my first time writing about them here. Aphelion is Bristol’s nu jazz quartet’s latest offering, and it’s also their finest! From their debut 2018 album through their 2019 EP, the band has honed its sound and sharpened their own grasp of what exactly works right for them, giving way to a considerable album with zero filler content; only good vibes and amazing musicianship.
Anatrofobia – Canto fermo (Aut)
What a weird and ingenious record this is, I have to say! Anatrofobia are back from a thirteen-year silence with Canto fermo, an experimental jazz record both daring and silent. One aspect of its complex personality is the unhinged creativity at the core of the compositions, showing no shame nor restraint as to its potential or capabilities. The other side is represented by the hushed, almost shy vocals of Cristina Trotto Gatta, barely audible, providing a deranging, eerie feeling that permeates through the whole album. The two parts really are what makes the album so fantastic.
باب لبلوز / ⴱⴰⴱ ⵍ ⴱⵍⵓⵣ [Bāb lblwz / Bab L Bluz] / Bab L’ Bluz – Nayda! (Real World)
Moroccan “new Gnawa” group Bab L’ Bluz‘s debut album, Nayda!, is a modern interpretation and hybridization of traditional Gnawa music with psychedelia, pop, and funk, and the resulting product is utterly infectious and intoxicating! There are a few slower, mellower songs more typical of desert blues, but a large portion of the record is highly energetic, made to dance or bob your head in trance. Every one of the ten tracks here are masterfully thought out and executed, presenting us with a flawless album that both pays homage and challenges its roots and paves the way for something new and transcendental.
Ort – Imagine: Being an Animal
Some of the best math rock entities seem to come out of the guitar-and-drums duo. Ort is no different, and, after their 2017 self-titled, they’re back with a more fully fleshed-out follow-up called Imagine: Being an Animal. Not purely math rock by any means, the band draws heavy inspiration from noise rock and post-hardcore as well, giving something more straighforward in terms of rhythmics, but compensating with more energetic and driving riffs. It’s certainly a release that bodes well for the future of the duo.
The Central – Dentist
One of the nuttest mathcore bands out there just released a brand new surprise album: The Dentist! As you can expect if you’ve ever heard the band, The Dentist is spazztastic and femtoglobulic to a floven degree! If that sentence makes no sense to you, it emulates what you might find whet you hit the play button.