INDISPENSABLE NEW MUSIC PICKS
Jun 30, 2023
Melbourne’s RVG returns with its third album, Brain Worms. Arriving alongside heaps of critical praise acknowledging frontwoman Romy Vager’s narrative strengths on a record that “that delves deeply into the personal and the universal through both angst and dark humour.” (NME) The post-punk band has added plenty of synths to its post-punk arsenal to create greater layers of sound.
FEATURED TRACK: "Noting Really Changes"
Zamrock pioneers WITCH (We Intend to Cause Havoc) have been around since the early 70s, formed by lead vocalist Emanuel "Jagari" Chanda. With elements of funk, psychedelia, and hard rock, the group carved out its niche on the Zambian rock scene before the movement fizzled out due to troubled times. After its last studio recording in 1977, the group was defunct for years. In the 2010s, however, the band seemed ripe for a revival, with interest generated from both reissues of its early recordings and inclusion in a 2019 documentary. Finally releasing a new recording, featuring Zambian rapper Sampa the Great and other guests, Zango is both rooted in the past and looking to the future.
FEATURED TRACK: "Avalanche of Love"
The Swans’ last album Leaving Meaning was released in October 2019 and featured the track “It’s Coming It’s Real.” Once the Covid lockdowns became reality, the song seemed to have been a prescient warning about the global cataclysm to come. Now Michael Gira & Co. have released their 16th album, created during the “strange disorientation” of the pandemic, with “the prevailing atmosphere on The Beggar is one of unsettling, claustrophobic unease.” (Guardian) In other words, it’s the most fitting response imaginable.
FEATURED TRACK: "No More of This"
Belgian duo Joyhauser has been a favorite of clubgoers in Europe since its inception in 2017. Finally releasing an enthralling full-length record of techno/trance/dance music, In Memoro is a culmination of technical dexterity and an innate feeling for mood and rhythm.
FEATURED TRACK: “Roam Zwei”
The title track for M. Ward’s first album in three years was inspired by a dream he had about Elvis, in which the fabled rock and roll pioneer told him, “You can go anywhere you please.” Supernatural Thing boasts guest appearances by Neko Case, Scott McMicken, First Aid Kit, Shovels & Rope, and Jim James on eight Ward originals plus covers of Bowie and Daniel Johnston.
FEATURED TRACK: "Supernatural Thing"
Chronicles of the Kid
Fresh off the success of Child of the State and a number one single, “Mercy,” Seattle native Ayron Jones has followed up with Chronicles of the Kid, his fourth album over and second major label release. With success comes complications, and these chronicles find Jones grappling with many questions about humanity -- heavy subject matter set to heavy yet soulful rock.
FEATURED TRACK: "Filthy"
An artistic polymath, Sabina Sciubba, born in Rome, raised in Germany, is fluent in six languages as well as singing, composing, acting, and visual art. The former Brazilian Girls frontwoman has released her third solo album, Sleeping Dragon, (the title inspired by Chinese military statesman and philosopher called Zhughe Liang), with songs that “ease through chamber pop, baroque, italo-disco, N.Y. East Village bossa nova, electro and punk.” (Loud and Quiet)
FEATURED TRACK: "Paris Tropical"
Teke::Teke is a French Canadian band creating a fusion of Japanese and psychedelic rock. It’s not a combination you’ll hear every day, but it works because it’s a bit retro but also fresh and groovy.
FEATURED TRACK: “Doppelganger”