Pianos become The Teeth announce new album ‘Drift’, share lead single

Photo by Micah Wood

Baltimore/ D.C. post-hardcore group Pianos Become The Teeth have announced Drift, set to be released on August 26th via Epitaph. This is their first album in four years since 2018’s Wait For Love. Pre-order here.

A press release said about the album:

There is a sense of mystique and familiarity on the album, assisted by producer Kevin Bernsten (Integrity, Pig Destroyer) who recorded their first two projects over a decade ago. Bernsten’s history with the band allowed him to push them toward the future without abandoning their past. Kyle Durfey reflects, “Kevin knows who we used to be and he knows who we are now and he was really down to experiment and try anything in the studio to see how it would work.”

The band have also shared “Genevieve”, the first single from the album which sees the band lean into a more angular and atmospheric sound, similar to 2014’s Keep You which was the bands first transition away from screamo and into post-hardcore.

Listen to the new single below!

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Drift Tracklist:

Out of Sight 
Genevieve 
The Tricks 
Easy 
The Days 
Mouth 
Skiv 
Hate Chase 
Buckley 
Pair 

Art moore announce debut album and share new single

Photo by Ulysses Ortega

Art Moore, the supergroup of Boy Scout’s Taylor Vick and Ezra Furman collaborators Sam Durkes and Trevor Brooks have announced their debut album Art Moore, set to be released on August 5th via ANTI-Records. Pre-order here. The announcment also comes alongside the release of “Muscle Memory”, the second single from the album following on from “Snowy” released earlier in the year.

Listen to new single “Muscle Memory” below!

Speaking about the track the band said:

“Muscle Memory was inspired by the many phases of life we go through and the friendships that exist within them that inevitably transform as we continue through life,” Vick explains. “I wanted to write about this experience from a neutral perspective, one with the belief that it’s neither a good or bad thing but simply a given in life. It’s a more fictionalized version of my personal experience which was the kind of writing I gravitated towards most in this band.” 

A press release said of the album:

“The ten tracks that comprise the record are deft character studies, zeroing in on restless widows, shy beginners, jilted friends and friendly exes, chronicling minute moments — road trips, casual dates, games of truth or dare — with rich detail and subtle wit. The result is a world of remarkable emotional complexity, an album-length study of loneliness, heartache, and loss that’s sweet but never saccharine, sad but never maudlin. Featuring the inimitable songwriting of beloved Oakland luminary Taylor Vick of Boy Scouts set in sharp relief against lush production from Ezra Furman collaborators Sam Durkes and Trevor Brooks, it’s a quietly wondrous record — a set of songs that sketch out the struggle and beauty of coping with everyday life”

Tracklist

1. Muscle Memory

2. Sixish

3. Snowy

4. Bell

5. A Different Life

6. Rewind

7. October

8. Habit

9. Something Holy

10. Inspiration and Fun 

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black Midi announce new album ‘Hellfire’, share new single

 Photo by Atiba Jefferson

black midi have today announced Hellfire, their third album set to be released on July 15th via Rough Trade Records. Pre-order here. The announcement also comes alongside the release of “Welcome To Hell” and accompanying music video which tells the story of a shell shocked soldier’s excess and military discharge. The new album was produced by Marta Salogni who produced “John L” from the bands 2021 album Cavalcade.

Listen to the new single below!

Speaking about the new track Geordie Greep said:

Almost everyone depicted is a kind of scumbag. Almost everything I write is from a true thing, something I experienced and exaggerated and wrote down. I don’t believe in Hell, but all that old world folly is great for songs, I’ve always loved movies and anything else with a depiction of Hell. Dante’s Inferno. When Homer goes to Hell in the Simpsons. There’s a robot Hell in Futurama. Isaac Bashevis Singer, a Jewish writer who portrays a Satan interfering in people’s lives. There’s loads!

A press release said about the album:

Whereas the stories of Cavalcade were told in third person, Hellfire is presented in first-person and tells the tales of morally suspect characters. There are direct dramatic monologues, flamboyantly appealing to our degraded sense of right and wrong. You’re never quite sure whether to laugh at or be horrified.

Hellfire Tracklist

1. Hellfire

2. Sugar/Tzu

3. Eat Men Eat

4. Welcome To Hell

5. Still  

6. The Race Is About To Begin

7. Dangerous Liaisons 

8. The Defence

9. 27 Questions

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Soccer Mommy announces new album ‘Sometimes, Forever’, shares new single

Photo by Sophie Hur

Soccer Mommy has announced her third full-length album, Sometimes, Forever, the follow up to 2020’s color theory, which is set to be released on June 24th via Loma Vista. Pre-order here. The new album was produced by Daniel Lopatin of Oneohtrix Point Never and features “Shotgun”, the lead single from the album.

Listen to the new single below!

A press release said about the album:

It sees Allison once again tapping into the turn-of-the-millennium sensibilities she’s known for, as she advances her self-made sonic world beyond the present and into the future with experimental-minded production, an expanded moodboard of vintage touchstones, and some of her most sophisticated songwriting to date. Inspired by the concept that neither sorrow nor happiness is permanent, Sometimes, Forever is a fresh peek into the mind of an artist who synthesizes everything — retro sounds, personal tumult, the relatable disorder of modern life — into original music that feels built to last a long time. Maybe even forever

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Tracklisting

01 Bones

02 With U 

03 Unholy Affliction 

04 Shotgun 

05 newdemo

06 Darkness Forever

07 Don’t Ask Me

08 Fire in the Driveway

09 Following Eyes

10 Feel It All The Time

11 Still

Soccer Mommy has also announced a run of UK/EU dates, see below. Tickets available here.

31st August – Nottingham, UK @ Rescue Rooms

1st September – Brighton, UK @ Chalk

3rd September – Bristol, UK @ Trinity

5th September – Köln, UK @ Bumann & Sohn

6th September – Hamburg, DE @ Molotow

8th September – Stockholm, SE @ Slaktkyrkan

9th September- Oslo, NO @ John Dee

10th September – Copenhagen, DK @ Loppen

12th September – Berlin, DE @ Frannz Club

13th September – Bremen, DE @ Lagerhaus

15th September – Amsterdam, NL @ Bitterzoet

16th September – Nijmegen, NL @ Merleyn

17th September – Brussels, BE – Rotonde @ Botanique

18th September – Paris, FR @ Petit Bain

20th September – Manchester, UK @ O2 Ritz

21st September – Cardiff, UK @ Tramshed 

22nd September – London, UK @ O2 Forum

23rd September – Birmingham, UK @ The Castle & Falcon

24th September – Glasgow, UK @ Queen Margaret Union

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Empath announce new album “Visitor”, share new single

Photo by Marie Lin

Empath have announced their new album Visitor, set to be released on February 11th via Fat Possum. Pre-order here. The announcement comes alongside warmly intoxicating and dance-floor worthy new single “Diamond Eyelids” and accompanying bare-it-all music video directed by Halle Ballard.

Speaking about the new single singer Catherine Elicson said:

This song was written in a stream of consciousness from a few pieced together memories I had. One of coming downstairs at my house one morning and unexpectedly finding a friend who lives on the other side of the country asleep on the couch, and the other memory was of when a friend used to travel from Chicago an hour and a half to the suburbs to work full time at a low paying Americorps job. Collaging memories in a way that created an emotional narrative about reaching for a fleeting moment of connection and familiarity.

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Talking about the new album a press release said:

On Visitor, Empath sought to one-up the range of sounds heard on their previous album. During what he calls West Philly Christmas (the week undergrads at UPenn move out and leave piles of high-quality garbage out on the street) Randall Coon recovered a suitcase organ with a sound bank from a Jamiroquai record preset on it, which he later played on the album, in addition to running samples on Ableton and acquiring a brand new synth; Jem Shanahan, who plays a ‘90s children’s keyboard, had Portrait filter it in such a way that it sounded “less childlike”; Catherine Elicson’s vocals, buried deep in the mix on Active Listening: Night on Earth, take center stage; and Garrett Koloski’s drums are as capacious as they might be in a live set.

“Our approach to songwriting, and what we constantly try to improve upon, is finding the meeting ground between all of our distinct points of view and ideas we are trying to achieve sonically and conceptually,” Elicson says. “We never want to be tied down to one type of song or sound, and we love all kinds of improvisational music. We try to fit everything we love into each song, and hopefully produce something new and exciting through that process of synthesis.” 

Visitor attempts to fill space, both physical and psychic, visible and invisible. The album’s cover was photographed by Andrew Emond, who captures the interiors of abandoned buildings. “The spaces look lived in and altered by humans but no humans are present,” Elicson reflects. “The songs are similar in the sense that they talk about the ‘space’ between people. They’re not about specific people per se, but they illustrate the feelings people leave between each other, these subjective experiences. You can think of Visitor as a soundtrack to the memories and feelings that remain in places people have left behind.” 

Tracklisting:

1. Genius of Evil
2. Born 100 Times
3. Diamond Eyelids
4. Passing Stangers
5. Corner of Surprise
6. House + Universe
7. Elvis Comeback Special
8. 80s
9. V
10. Bell
11. Paradise

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Hiatus Kaiyote announce new album ‘Mood Valiant’

Photo by Tré Koch

Hitaus Kaiyote have announced their next album, Mood Valiant set to be released on June 25 via Brainfeeder/Ninja Tune, pre-order here. The first single released is “Get Sun,” featuring legendary Brazilian composer/arranger Arthur Verocai.

This is the first album since 2015’s critically acclaimed Choose Your Weapon and the first since lead singer Nai Palm was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018. In a statement she said:

“I guess after the breast cancer scare I decided that I needed to prove to life that the offering I have is genuine. My only wish is to live and offer my experience of time and beauty.”

Listen to the new single below.

Tracklist:

  1. Flight of the Tiger Lily
  2. Slip Into Something Soft
  3. Chivalry Is Not Dead
  4. And We Go Gentle
  5. Get Sun [ft. Arthur Verocai]
  6. All the Words We Don’t Say
  7. Hush Rattle
  8. Rose Water
  9. Red Room
  10. Sparkle Tape Break Up
  11. Stone or Lavender
  12. Blood and Marrow

Joy Guerilla – The Park Is Closed Album Review

Infinite Lens – 2021

LA based fusion-jazz outfit Joy Guerilla, made up of Magda Daniec and Adam Grab return with the follow up to 2018’s Skyline. An album that was inspired by the sights and sounds of the West coast of America. Through funky upbeat melodies and riffs the band painted the sunny and vibrant landscapes that populate the bands hometown. Recorded around the same time as Skyline, The Park Is Closed is the darker side of that setting; both in time and feeling. A similar palette of sounds, but this time that cool air of the night sky is washed over them.

From the get go the band literally places you into this setting with opener “Nightfall” that sparkles with dancing melodies as an almost ominous wave of synthesised sounds washes over the soundscape. Then into “Earthsuit” you’re thrown into a mix of funky sub bass lines, driving beats and a sexy saxophone solo courtesy of Mike Maher of jazz heavyweights Snarky Puppy. Written as an ode to the Earth, this song place you in all the joyous moments of the night. As each layer of groovy melodies is added towards the latter half of the track you feel as if you’re walking down a nighttime LA street, people heading to bars, there’s life in the city. And this ability to position you directly into the spaces that the band was drawing influence from is one of the greatest aspects of this album.

The darkness that the band leans into on this album comes out especially on tracks like “The Great Stress” which is infused with heavy arpeggiating synthesisers and chaotic sound samples flitting in and out of the soundscape. Although the saxophone melody may seem upbeat and joyous, underneath the sound of a deep, ominous movement of synth pads and layers feel as though they’re trying to break out into the forefront; the stress slowly building. Then on closer and title track “The Park Is Closed” the band fuses field recordings of bug samples and spacey analogue mellotron sounds to create a sound that is washed in the serenity of night. The intoxicating melodies remind of those times staring out of the window, watching the hidden world of the nighttime come alive. Eventually incorporating some quick flourishes of heavy jazz-fusion beats, until the track slowly fades out with some sinister sounding synths. A small reprise comes back in just when you think it’s all over of 8-bit instruments, as if these are the end credits of the video game you’ve just completed.

An aspect you quickly realise about this album is just how many movements and shifts the band packs into each song. For instrumental bands it can be often too easy to lean into just jamming out a sound and feeling where the song could go through various solos. That isn’t the case on this album however. Every moment and musical shift feels like it has purpose and meaning. On “Million Dollar Neighbourhood” the track begins with a bouncy funk beat, moving to a more loose saxophone interlude, then descending into a moments of space jazz until finally ending with an off-beat, indie centric synth groove. Through all these transitions every change is seamless and the way you’re moved from one notion to the next is like travelling across the great highways of America ; state after state passing you by.

What Joy Guerilla have achieved on this album is showcasing their incredible ability to turn simple melodies and phrases into sonic landscapes that are bursting with life. It’s worth playing both albums back to back to get a true sense and feeling of the story that the band is telling here.

Gruff Rhys announces new album ‘Seeking New Gods’, shares new single

Photo by Mark James

Gruff Rhys has announced his seventh solo album Seeking New Gods, set to be released on May 21st via Rough Trade Records, pre-order here. He has also shared new single “Loan Your Loneliness” along with an accompanying video.

Seeking New Gods started off as a biography of active East Asian volcano Mount Paektu, but as he investigated it, his ideas for songs became more personal, taking on themes he’s explored since at least Super Furry Animals’ “Slow Life.” “The album is about people and the civilizations, and the spaces people inhabit over periods of time,” says Gruff. “How people come and go but the geology sticks around and changes more slowly. I think it’s about memory and time. It’s still a biography of a mountain, but now it’s a Mount Paektu of the mind. You won’t learn much about the real mountain from listening to this record but you will feel something, hopefully.”

Watch the new video below.

Tracklist:
1. Mausoleum Of My Former Self
2. Can’t Carry On
3. Loan Your Loneliness
4. Seeking New Gods
5. Hiking In Lightning
6. Holiest Of The Holy Men
7. The Keep
8. Everlasting Joy
9. Distant Snowy Peaks

Japanese Breakfast announces new album ‘Jubilee’, shares new single

Photo by Peter Ash

Michelle Zauner aka Japanese Breakfast has announced her third album Jubilee, set to be released on June 4th via Dead Oceans. She has also shared new single “Be Sweet” along with an accompanying self-directed music video. Pre-order here.

Jubilee finds Michelle Zauner embracing ambition and, with it, her boldest ideas and songs yet. Inspired by records like Bjork’s Homogenic, Zauner delivers bigness throughout – big ideas, big textures, colors, sounds and feelings. At a time when virtually everything feels extreme, Jubilee sets its sights on maximal joy, imagination, and exhilaration. It is, in Michelle Zauner’s words, “a record about fighting to feel. I wanted to re-experience the pure, unadulterated joy of creation… The songs are about recalling the optimism of youth and applying it to adulthood. They’re about making difficult choices, fighting ignominious impulses and honoring commitments, confronting the constant struggle we have with ourselves to be better people.”

Throughout Jubilee, Zauner pours her own life into the universe of each song to tell real stories, and allowing those universes, in turn, to fill in the details. Joy, change, evolution — these things take real time, and real effort. And Japanese Breakfast is here for it.

Watch the new video below.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – L.W. Album Review

KGLW – 2021

As the years roll on by and our lives change for the better or worse, the one constant through everything seems to be King Gizzard’s relentless output. They’ve seemingly done it all, from a never-ending album with Nonagon Infinity, to a jazz-infused collaboration on Sketches Of Brunswick East. Now the band seem to be taking a step back from seeing how far they can push their sound, to refining sounds that have become familiar to them. This isn’t just any release from the band it’s worth noting, this is both the 2nd and 3rd in a series of albums. 2nd in that it follows on from last years K.G., together making the K.G.L.W double album. And 3rd in the Explorations Intro Microtonal Tuning series, the other two being 2017’s Flying Microtonal Banana and K.G. What the band sought to do on K.G. was see how many of their styles they could fit within this microtonal soundscape to create an album that defined the band by being self-titled. Now on the second half of that project the band are drawing influence from themselves, to create a full project that deservedly takes the bands name.

If K.G. was the album that allowed the band to set a statement for their sound, then L.W. is the weird brother that on the surface looks the same, but deep down there’s something much more sinister at work. Straight off the bat the band add a new style and sound to their catalogue with the minimalist funk inspired opener “If Not Now, Then When?”. They speak on familiar themes of climate change, that could be found all over 2019’s Fishing For Fishies, asking again of why action isn’t being taken now, why are we waiting until “the oceans turn to black, When the animals are dead”. It’s worth noting as well that the flow of the songs that was found all over K.G. is felt immediately into this album as well as closer “The Hungry Wolf Of Fate” leads directly into this opener.

On K.G. “Honey” was the band adding a more acoustic driven flavour of microtonal sweetness into the mix. On this album the acoustic tracks make an appearance in the forms of “Static Electricity” and “East West Link”, but this time there’s something much more unnerving about the sound. “Static Electricity” shifts through various movements of spacey synthesiser whirlwinds, intoxicating guitar melodies and phaser smothered solos. This song truly feels like what it must be like to travel down an electric wire into a plug socket, each movement pushing you along, losing yourself into the ether of psychedelic textures around you. It’s the band at their most left-field and therefore most exciting. Seamlessly transitioning into the Turkish folk infused “East West Link” that acts almost of an extension of the former song; a swirling link if you will. It’s in these moments that King Gizzard truly showcase their compositional and production supremacy.

There are of course the moments on that do lean into the more “rock-centric” corner of the bands sound, with the likes of “O.N.E” and “Pleura” not being too dissimilar in aesthetic to “Automation”. It’s fun to listen to but isn’t the most adventurous that King Gizzard can be. That’s not to say however that the ever-changing time signatures, thanks to drummer Michael Cavanagh, aren’t something to truly admired. Which is something that was mentioned on our K.G. review, the flow and movements that he creates to go between songs and even within songs are so seamless that they slip right by you without any trail; dust in the wind. This incredible percussion is also showcased all over the patriarchal teardown “Supreme Ascendancy”. As Ambrose Kenny-Smith hits out agains the Catholic church, “Childhoods tragically ripped from their shaking feet, Conscious yet inadequate”, Cavanagh simultaneously drives the track along whilst drawing you in to its unrelenting groove.

King Gizzard are no stranger to metal at this point, whether you’re looking at 2019’s trash outing Infest The Rats Nest or “The Great Chain Of Being” from 2017’s Gumboot Soup. And they take another swing at the sludge metal aspect of this sound in the form of 8 minute closer “K.G.L.W”. This and the opener from K.G. act as bookends for both of the albums, wrapping them neatly together. On this occasion they extend the riff out into its most doom filled form. It’s crunchy, it’s heavy and there’ll certainly be a lot of head banging at concerts. However the track could do with being about half the length. Although it’s a great melody and can act now as almost a theme tune for the band, it almost feels like a slog to get to the end of the album. You can see the band were going for more of a loose jam feel with this track but with only a few melodic changes and riffs to carry the track over its run time it doesn’t match up to some of the other long tracks within the King Gizzard catalogue, of which there are many.

These two albums are clearly not King Gizzard’s most experimental outings, but they’re not trying to be. What they are however are gateways to the wonderful world of The Gizzverse. They showcase almost every aspect of the band’s sound up to this point, whether you’re a diehard Gizz fan or a newcomer to the band eclectic sound, there’s something for everyone here. But one question still remains, who truly is the Lizard Wizard?