Album of the Week
July 23, 2019
Narratives of a near-future technological dystopia have been a dominant theme in recent electronic music. On her debut album MANIFEST, Melbourne producer Corin contravenes the bleak and Earthbound tropes of this conceptual underpinning and develops her own unique mythology. Each track on MANIFEST embodies a different aspect of the Mother Of Technology, a kind of science-fiction Mother Nature whose fragmented soul is scattered throughout cyberspace. Constructed with a vivid and warm sonic palette, Corin is able to situate her music in a cavernous, cosmic space without losing its sense of intimacy. Decorated with crystalline sequences and imposing percussion, the album gives nods to experimental electronica, grime and hard trance whilst maintaining it’s own unique sound. MANIFEST is an intricate and compelling release from Corin.
Warpath Never Ended
July 15, 2019
Warpath Never Ended is the vital new album from DISPOSSESSED. A 9 track exhibition of blackened death metal. DISPOSSESSED utilise melodic dissonance, razor sharp guitar-work and crushing rhythmic intensity as a vehicle to doze over the empty rhetoric of a self-proclaimed nation state built on lies, murder and exploitation. With an unapologetic disregard for lip service and symbolism, Warpath Never Ended makes listeners acutely aware of the complicity and entitlement that all settlers have benefitted from since colonisation. Tackling the police violence, systemic inequality, historical and current-day injustices that face First Nations people, DISPOSSESSED amplify the voice of resistance that won’t rest until the oppressive structures of colonialism are dismantled and Indigenous Sovereignty is restored.
Swallow Me Whole
July 5, 2019
Swallow Me Whole is the spectacular and devastating debut from Sydney’s Lupa J. Having already established herself as one of Australia’s most boundary-pushing and forward-thinking pop auteurs, Lupa J uses her first full-length to showcase the full and wondrous breadth of her talent, reaching previously untapped artistic heights. An incredibly brave record, Swallow Me Whole is the sound of a young artist laying herself bare, breaking down old her old self and building herself back up again over the space of an album. Along the way, Lupa J uses her art to discover the person beneath, working through themes of sexuality, healing and falling in and out of love over maximalist, heart-breaking fantasies of escapism.
Swallow Me Whole sounds as if it were painfully necessary for Lupa to make, but listening to it feels therapeutic and liberating. What makes the record so compelling is how her songwriting treads this duality with undeniable pop sensibilities and dense, twisted production. Lupa J’s debut album represents new beginnings, both for herself personally and for an artist who has finally, fully arrived in Sydney’s musical landscape.
July 1, 2019
Keepsake is the dreamy debut album from Brisbane musician Hatchie. Formed just two years ago as the solo moniker of multi-instrumentalist Harriette Pilbeam, the project has quickly gained critical praise from publications including Pitchfork and Stereogum and seen Hatchie embark on multiple overseas tours. Evoking the heart-wrenching nostalgia of early 90s shoegaze, Keepsake drifts through a kaleidoscopic sea of reverb soaked guitars and warbled synths all held firmly together by a punchy industrial-style rhythm section. Circumventing dream-pop convention Hatchie’s voice and melodic style doesn’t hide behind the static-laced curtain of hazy soundscapes but glides above the songs with breezy sophistication and confidence. Keepsake is an enchanting debut album from Hatchie, one that is both romantically sentimental and endearingly playful.
June 21, 2019
Barely out of high school, British quartet black midi have delivered one of the most buzzed-about debuts of the year in the form of their exceptional full-length Schlagenheim. Armed with an undefinable blend of frenetic post-punk, wild experimentalism and free improv jazz, black midi have quickly established themselves as the most exhilarating guitar band to emerge in years. Schlagenheim shows all sides of the foursomes’ youthful, schizoid brilliance off in a difficult but rewarding listen, one that needs to be experienced first in order to be fully believed. Playful, provocative and probably geniuses, black midi underlay the dense layering of musical ideas throughout Schlagenheim with a revolutionary, anarchic spirit, paying little respect to our ideas of structure, style or tradition. A preposterous achievement, black midi truly occupy a space of their own on their debut full-length, an astonishing, puzzling album that signals the beginning of something very exciting.
June 14, 2019
Solipsisters is the tranquil third album from Melbourne experimental pop songwriter Katie Dey. Solipsisters sees Dey exploring themes of body dysmorphia and trying to transcend your bodily existence, translating her refusal to be bound by the human form into the most self-assured and controlled work of her career to date. Throughout the record, Dey’s lyricism cut through with a renewed confidence, wrapping her slicing observations of isolation, depression and disconnection in a sonic blanket of warm synths, lavish loops and modulating vocals. Full of immaculate atmospherics and textural fog, Katie Dey’s Solipsisters feels like a staticy, private transmission sent hurtling through empty space straight from her Melbourne bedroom into your’s.
June 7, 2019
ZUU, the fourth studio album from Denzel Curry, is his stunning and complicated tribute to his hometown of Carol City, absorbing all the pain, trauma and belonging its brought to his life. An integral part of the South Florida scene that’s shaped the sound of modern hip hop, Curry has always come across as knottier and more ambitious than his peers – but his latest LP is by far his most accomplished to date. From Miami Bass to coke rap epics to the lo-fi Soundcloud boom of recent years, ZUU delves into the sounds and influences that make up the rich tapestry of Miami rap history, taking in one of hip hop’s most underrated with passion and fury. Bristling with a familiarity that comes from knowing a place with all its subtexts and ins-and-outs, Curry crafts an album which feels truly lived in. ZUU not only places Denzel Curry in the lineage of his great Miami forebears, it also solidifies his reputation as one of the most exciting artists working in hip hop right now.
Atlanta Millionaires Club
May 31, 2019
21-year-old Georgia native Faye Webster has offered her strongest effort to date with her serene third album, Atlanta Millionaires Club. Retaining the luscious, country-tinged instrumentals of her previous records, Webster broadens her idiosyncratic songwriting on Atlanta Millionaires Club by injecting new pepperings of jazz and hip hop. The curious genre blend marries her sleepy, intimate balladry with the rich musical history of her home city. Backed by lazy pedal steel, twangy guitars and soulful horns, Webster’s dreamy and transportative compositions evoke both Kacey Musgraves and Aaliyah in equal measures, touching on themes of romantic escape and heartsick desperation with her own witty lyricism and self-deprecating persona. Atlanta Millionaires Club is a generous yet understated record that downplays its true weirdness, while flickers of Webster’s burgeoning brilliance shine through the contradictions and odd beauty of her small, quirky masterpiece.
Amyl & The Sniffers
Amyl & The Sniffers
May 27, 2019
The self-titled debut from Melbourne firebrands Amyl and the Sniffers is a burst of primitive and febrile punk at its most potent. Across the record’s lean runtime, the Melbourne foursome hold nothing back, managing to capture and bottle the unfiltered adrenalin and unhinged mania of their formidable live shows. Carried by the righteous, pissed-off anger of their force-of-nature frontwoman Amy Taylor, Amyl & The Sniffers taps into a history of guttural garage-punk and beer-soaked pub rock better than any other record this year. Without entirely reinventing the wheel, Amyl and the Sniffers’ debut LP demonstrates the power of simplicity, a brattish attitude and the obscene fun of throwing all abandon to the wall.
Nothing Great About Britain
May 20, 2019
Nothing Great About Britain is the irreverent debut from Northampton rapper slowthai. A visceral blend of the energy, politics and presentation of punk with the jagged and bleak sounds of early grime, Nothing Great About Britain is the MC’s snarling critique of a post-Brexit Britain. It’s a vision of his home country in 2019 which is potent and profoundly grim: a nation torn apart and crumbling under misguided nationalism, rising social injustices and irreconcilable political partisanship. Slowthai tears down these forces with sardonic wit, cutting through the skittish production with his razor-thin flow, while personal stories of growing up in a council estate wrought by financial hardships and domestic turmoil bring a human face to the costs of this toxic political landscape.
What emerges from Nothing Great About Britain is a cautious glimmer of optimism, a faith in humanity that says that working class people will always succeed in spite of a society which was never designed for them. This record has made Slowthai impossible to ignore, solidifying his reputation as a vital new voices while also producing one of the most authentic musical responses to traumatic political and social upheaval in recent memory.