We are slackers around here and everyone at the site (myself included) rarely get around to writing album reviews or jumping on social media to share what music we are all currently into.
So we’ve decided to resurrect our old twice monthly feature called “New Jams” to briefly share what music / bands / artists that we think are super dope. The inclusions can be anything from new music, to re-releases, to new discoveries of albums, to music from the past.
Hopefully this feature will help you discover some super dope tunes as well.
Music I am currently digging
Aurora, Shame, Idols, Wolf Alice, Bell Witch, Robyn, Perel, , Luzmila Carpio, Jenn Champion, Uji, Emma Ruth Rundle. – Vana Black
Devil Master – Manifestations
Philadelphia’s Devil Master plays a bewitching combination of death rock and blackened punk. Imagine if Christian Death met GISM at a seance. They’ve been around for a couple years now and in that time they’ve released a couple of demos—all of which sold out quickly. Thankfully, Relapse Records picked up the band and compiled those demos into a compilation called Manifestations. The tracks got a remastering and reignited the same feeling I had when I first heard these demos a year or so ago. Devil Master has been one of my favorite discoveries in the last couple of years. It’s incredibly exciting to see big things happening for such an intriguing and thrilling project. – Cody Davis
Circa Survive – The Amulet (Deluxe Version)
just released the deluxe version of The Amulet, so I’ve been obsessed with the two new songs, “Dark Pools” and “Indra’s Nest” because I’m obsessed with everything they’ve put out in the last three years.
Greenleaf – Rise Above the Meadow
I’ve also been really into , I really like how atmospheric and garage-y their sound is. It’s also a little bit fantastical, like the backing track to a dive bar in a small town with a lot of folkloric supernatural occurrences. “Case of Fidelity” is my favorite song of theirs, and “Rise Above the Meadow” is the album I’ve been liking.
- Hannah Lagerquist
Chelsea Wolfe – Abyss
I am really appreciating Chelsea Wolfe’s discography. I have been playing her record Abyss much more than her others however, because I too suffer from the terrifying plagues of sleep paralysis – which rumor has it- is what this album is based on.
Julia Holter – Aviary
This is a spiraling 90-minute epic that while at times feels cosmically chaotic, is thematically grounded around the bewilderment of our daily lives. It captures the duality of ugliness and beauty; both of which encapsulate the world around us and ourselves. Aviary is a stunning work from Holter filled with strings, horns, drum machines and bagpipes to boot.
- Haley Lewis
- On the recommendation of the great Shea Serrano, I checked out the new Vince Staples album, entitled FM!. Holy shit – it’s 22 minutes of straight fire. Amazing.
- I did a deep dive into the back catalog of Lucinda Williams in late October. It’s a complete treasure trove of high-end Americana (much of it created before that genre was a thing), but “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road” is everything you want from a confessional record by a superb singer-songwriter.
- If you’re a fan of the artier, psychedelic side of mewithoutYou, I highly recommend the band’s new project untitled e.p. – Adam P. Newton
boygenius – boygenius EP
My friend Ted recently quipped, “I have what seems to be a permanent compulsion to listen to boygenius.” Same, Ted. Same. I’m a fan of all the insanely talented women in this supergroup, and when they get together to collaborate and harmonize on these beautiful songs… I just completely lose my shit. Listen to it. Now. I await your thank-you note.
Villagers – The Art of Pretending to Swim
These lads are an indie folk band from Dublin and have been around since 2008. I’ve only recently discovered them, and I really dig their sound. This nine-track album contains some real gems. I find myself returning to it again and again.
Beirut – Gallipoli
Over the years, my bestie and I have taken several girls’ trips to Santa Fe, NM. It’s a really cool town. It features a karaoke bar called Tiny’s, which is frequented by locals and is an acquired taste. If Swensen’s Ice Cream Parlor and the Laura Ashley showroom had a baby, it would be the interior of Tiny’s. It also boasts the zaniest, most random clientele I’ve ever seen in my life, which just adds to its charm in my eyes.
One night when Bestie and I were there, it just so happened that Zach Condon, the lead singer of Beirut, was there, too. At the time, we were more interested in knocking back cocktails and getting high in the parking lot to have noticed, but still. Dude was there. Only I’d never heard of Beirut. But a drunk girl I befriended in line for the ladies’ room told me he’d gotten onstage and sang, and I’ve never forgotten. I’ve since educated myself on their awesomeness.
Beirut have only released the title track of their upcoming album thus far, but I’m already sold. It’s outstanding. I’ve been listening to it on repeat, and I can’t wait to hear more. Zach, if you’re reading this, I promise to buy you a beer if we’re ever at Tiny’s at the same time again. And I may also pressure you into a duet. “Islands in the Stream,” “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” and “Cruisin'” are on the top of my list, so yeah. Please prepare accordingly.
A Star Is Born Soundtrack
Have you seen this movie yet? Have you? If yes: no explanation needed. If no: what the hell is wrong with you? Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga? Come the fuck on. It’s beyond description. Watch It. Stat. Then all will be clear.
- Amie Taylor
Doe – Grow Into It
Saw Doe for the first time recently supporting Dilly Dally at The Sebright Arms in East London and was so blown away by their neo-grunge/alt indie tunes that I had to buy the record that night. I wasn’t disappointed. The songs feel more nuanced on record than live (where sheer power propels them into your skull) and showcase a compelling gift for melody and some killer lyrics. Can’t wait to catch them again.
Big Lad – Pro Rock
Big Lad’s second album (the first under their previous moniker, Shitwife, was confusingly called Big Lad… maybe album three will be called Shitwife and come out under the Pro Rock name?) is one of the most fulfilling listens of the year, an album that draws you in with big plans and then smashes your head against the curb for daring to take them seriously before picking you up and taking you out to the best nightclub Jupiter in the year 2157 has to offer. Bruised, bewildered and battered you’ll return again and again knowing that life without it is no life at all.
Paul McCartney – Egypt Station
Despite some ill advised sexually explicit lyrical content (no one wants to imagine their grandparents fucking), the latest from Macca is rammed full of his trademark grasp of infectious melody and pop hooks. Still the best Beatle. Fight me.
No one wants to imagine their grandparents fucking. – Steve Wheeler
Edgar Sekloka – Chaplinesques
Chaplinesques is on my Friday playlist – short and sweet, 10 tracks in less than 30 minutes. Chaplin films reimagined in flowing French and lyrical loveliness. It’s hip-hoppy in a genteel kind of manner and so laid back that I think it should be played over loudspeakers at times of public unrest to get everyone to chill the fuck down. – Mary Long
Carly Rae Jepsen – “Party For One”
I make no secret of my love of pop music, so lately I’ve felt a little disillusioned with the new influx of mumble-rap and copy/paste records (debatable whether this is the whole point though..) I had high hopes for Ellie Goulding’s new single “Close To Me”, an artist that I’ve always considered to at least try to do something different, but sadly it already sounds past its sell by date. That’s why I’ve clung to Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Party For One” with the gusto of a Vulcan Death Grip, because holy shit it is a certified jam. Jepsen has saved pop music. As you were. – David Dring
Hurts To Laugh – Ninteen Eighty More
I’ve been listening to this EP non-stop for the past week or two because with all that’s been going on in the world, I need something aggressive I can relate to and vent my frustration. But I’m not an aggressive guy by nature so my angry music needs to have a little fun. Hurts To Laugh nails it. Nineteen Eighty More is equal parts metal and pop. Like getting your teeth knocked out with a corn dog. – Aaron Cooper
Jungle – For Ever
This London ensemble continues to revive the vibes of Earth, Wind and Fire through groovy, delectable tunes full of soul and energy in their second studio album, For Ever. I saw them perform live in Boulder, Colorado in October and danced so hard to “Heavy, California” and their first big single, “Busy Earnin'” that I almost collapsed (the altitude here has robbed me of my cardio endurance). This whole album is full of amazing work, from the bass-heavy “Beat 54 (All Good Now)” to the self-affirming “Cherry” and the easygoing “Casio.” Take time to give this release a full through listen, and make room to dance.
Empress Of – Us
This songstress is a form of genius, mixing Spanish and English seamlessly throughout the album and within individual songs — all while demonstrating her ability to make infectious, electronic dance/pop music. Us follows her first release, Me, and they make a beautiful pair: no sophomore slump here. Check out “Just the Same” for an uplifting song that will never leave your brain or body, “I’ve Got Love,” for the a song that’ll make you feel like you’re in your own movie montage, and “When I’m With Him” for a heavy heartache done in the best way.
Boygenius – Boygenius EP
This supergroup of Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus has melded the best of the best with their new EP. I’m preferential to the vocals of Bridgers and Dacus, but it’s a bit of find your favorite for everyone.
Oh Pep! – I Wasn’t Only Thinking About You
When I heard “What’s the deal with David?” on the radio, and found out who the artist was, I couldn’t believe I had forgotten about this duo for so long! Oh Pep!’s new album is dynamite, ranging from upbeat, symphonic pop to the gorgeous simplicity of acoustic guitar and harmonic vocals, like on “Parallel.” They explore unique storylines in “Your Nail and Your Hammer” and the boundaries of love in “Asking For.” Don’t miss this Australian pair of musical masterminds who will make you feel things you forgot you could.
Miya Folick – Premonitions
This Los Angeles based musician is an unsung hero of indie, blending folk, rock and pop into a magical concoction full of lush layers. Check out the title track for a great example of how her vocals, lyrics and instrumentals intertwine with ease. And she’s not afraid to get funky and experimental on tracks like “Leave the Party” and “Freak Out.” She’s got a power anthem in “Deadbody” and a sparkling, gracious soundtrack in “Thingamajig.” You likely haven’t heard of her until now, but that’s not an excuse for why you shouldn’t.
- Kelsey Simpkins
Cellar Doors – Cellar Doors
Currently, I’m sort of into a few things; Le Butcherettes, Mono, & Oceanray come to mind. However, the biggest band in my world right now is the new debut, self-titled album by Cellar Doors. From San Francisco, Cellar Doors are a psychedelic rock band with a modern twist. Whilst it’s not the wildest thing I’ve ever heard, I still keep reaching to play it. Oh, and check out the Tilde/Nathalie Stern release from last year’s GNAW festival, you can down load it here on the Tilde Bandcamp page on a name your own price thing! – Eddie Carter
Sometimes you find bands that are truly mind blowing, for me, it’s Reignwolf – the Canadian indie/blues rock band fronted by the ever so talented Jordan Cook. Reignwolf is the mysterious, but loud as hell band that captures your attention as soon as a song of their’s begins. Distorted electric guitar riffs and scratchy, blues-sy vocals.
It’s insanely impossible not to crush on Reignwolf as they not only are amazing live, but are have this charismatic on stage presence that’ll keep asking for more. – Karen Silva