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INDISPENSABLE NEW MUSIC PICKS

March 2024

Kristine England

Mar 31, 2024

Potato Beach

Dip In

A surf-psychedelic garage band from Vienna? That is unexpected. Clearly, the five members of Potato Beach have been California dreamin’ because the sound they’ve made would inspire anyone to Dip In the seductive waters of the Pacific. As a lover of surf music, this is irresistible.


FEATURED TRACK: "Please Waste Your Time"

MIZU

Forest Scenes (NNA Tapes)

I also find the cello irresistible, so the latest work from Julliard-trained cellist MIZU is fascinating. She’s warped her sound with electronic loops and layers in past works. Forest Scenes finds her making field recordings playing with dissonance to produce a work, “teeming with texture—whispered phrases, dry foliage, dial-up distortion…” (Pitchfork)


FEATURED TRACK: “Pavane”

Nils Frahm

Day

German composer Nil Frahm is best known for his synthesis of classical and electronic music. On his latest release, he’s returned to his solo piano roots, creating a sparse and reflective album. Adding additional sounds from field recordings like birds or barking dogs softly in the distance, Frahm draws the listener into a contemplative mood.


FEATURED TRACK: “You Name It”

The K’s

I Wonder If the World Knows

It’s been seven years since the K’s released their first single, “Sarajevo.” This year they’ve finally released a full-length debut of high-energy indie rock. The four lads from Earlestown in Merseyside, are making quite a splash, with critics hailing the album as “a triumph” (Muse-Nouse), “up there with the best albums of the year so far” (Bring the Noise), and “This is an album filled with big, bombastic songs that are pure hooks” (The Indy Review).


FEATURED TRACK: “No Place Like Home”

Brother Dege

Aurora

Louisiana native Dege Legg , aka,  Brother Dege has released his sixth album of music steeped in the Cajun and blues culture of home. Playing the Dobro (a resonator guitar made by Gibson), acoustic and electric guitars and also sings. He employs guest musicians to extend the sound. You’ll feel like you’re back in the bayou when you hear it.


FEATURED TRACKS: "Where the Black Flowers Grow"

Jahari Massamba Unit

YHWH Is Love

The latest collaboration between DJ, rapper, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Madlib (Otis Jackson Jr.) and drummer Karriem Riggins (also a DJ and producer) is a percussion-heavy, jazzy affair. Elements of Soul and R&B are present throughout, with keys like piano and a Hammond organ bringing additional texture. There are also some groovy loops that glide in to enhance the mood.


FEATURED TRACK: “Massamba Afundance”

Choncy

20X MULTIPLIER

Hailing from Cincinnati, OH Choncy is back with their follow-up to last year’s debut, Community Chest. On tap once again is raw, high-powered punk rock that channels the Stooges (and vocals reminiscent of an angry Mark E. Smith of the Fall to my ears). Other critics have likened their sound to Black Flag and Minor Threat, but the opening riff from “Dead Meat” definitely feels like a nod to “I Wanna Be Your Dog.”


FEATURED TRACK: “Dead Meat”

Aofie O’Donovan

All My Friends

We end the month on a much gentler note. Aofie O’Donovan plaintive vocals and rich orchestration are featured on the featured track, a paean to suffragette Carrie Chapman Catt.  In fact, the album’s theme is the struggle for women’s equality. The album is a result of two commissions, one from the FreshGrass Foundation and the other from the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.

FEATURED TRACK: “All My Friends”

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