Album of the Week
May 26, 2023
Aperture is the debut studio album from New York based singer-songwriter and producer Hannah Jadagu. Originally from Texas, the 20 year old university student recorded her first EP entirely through Garageband on her iPhone. On Aperture, the lens becomes much wider, with Hannah Jadagu’s intimate and honest songwriting spilling out of her bedroom and into the world. The record is a distinctive take on indie rock, with songwriting that is comfortable and unhurried. Backed by a soundscape oscillating between genres yet wholly cohesive, the album’s grungey guitars share stage with swelling string arrangements, while dreamy, shoegaze acoustics sit comfortably among soulful rhythm sections. On the album title, Hannah Jadagu says Aperture refers to choosing ‘what to carry with you from your experiences and what to leave behind, what to close the light on.’ From her DIY beginnings to releasing her debut on famed indie label Sub Pop, Aperture marks the arrival of a future star.
billy woods & Kenny Segal
May 19, 2023
Brooklyn rapper billy woods and Los Angeles producer Kenny Segal team up once more on Maps. Part travel diary, part scrapbooked memoir, Maps is a story of the road. Written as billy woods was thrust back into a hectic, post pandemic touring cycle, his distinctive, ruminative flow reflects on past journeys and the uncertainties of the future ahead. woods’ rhymes are a carefully balanced consideration of the world around him, explored in both the granular and universal. They’re soundtracked by producer Kenny Segal’s dusty, atmospheric beats: a redux of the pair’s 2019 standout album, Hiding Places. On Maps, the sonic canvas is even wider, as crunchy drums share stage with blistering jazz and cinematic string crescendos. The pair are joined by memorable guest appearances from Danny Brown, Quelle Chris and Aesop Rock, as well as alumni from wood’s pioneering independent label Backwoodz Studioz, including ShrapKnel and Armand Hammer partner ELUCID. Dizzyingly captivating in its density, Maps is another standout chapter in billy wood’s prolific career as one of underground hip hops’ most essential artists.
What If You're Right & They're Wrong?
May 12, 2023
What If You’re Right & They’re Wrong? is the debut album from Sydney punk trio Display Homes. Legends of the local scene, Display Homes showcase their sharp, angular post-punk lean with memorable hooks and an undeniably fun, dynamic energy. With each member of the trio skillfully playing off each other, the band weave together earworm bass lines, zealous vocals and bright guitar melodies. The record is dedicated in loving memory to their dear friend and Display Homes guitarist Darrell Beveridge, whose beautiful and intricate guitar work shines through each of the ten tracks. What If You’re Right & They’re Wrong? references a classic, beloved punk and post-punk sound and sees Display Homes instill a sense of frenetic boldness that is precisely executed, releasing one of the most invigorating punk records of the year.
May 9, 2023
London musician Nabihah Iqbal returns with her long-awaited second record DREAMER. The intimacy of DREAMER is manifested in its hazy production and Nabihah Iqbal’s hushed, lo fi vocals. Despite its tranquil sound, DREAMER delves into her encounters with grief and melancholy. The introspection in DREAMER was the result of a few pivotal moments in her life in the past few years; from her studio being burgled and losing all of her work including her long-awaited new record, an injury, burnout and then finding out the news of a close family member’s serious diagnosis. Suddenly travelling to Karachi gave Iqbal a new perspective on music, starting her record from scratch with just an acoustic guitar and a harmonium. Finishing the record by travelling through the UK whilst purposefully disconnected from the internet, Nabihah Iqbal fully immersed herself in her own thoughts and emotional processing. Through DREAMER, glimmers of hope peek through the darkness, offering the listener a comforting soundscape for their own healing.
April 28, 2023
Sydney punks Optic Nerve, have released their debut album, Angel Numbers. The band have quickly become a force of the Australian underground – evolving their raw, hardcore sound, with a distinct country twang, alongside lush studio instrumentation, including flute, acoustic guitar, and a heavy dub-influenced echo. Singer Jackie De Lacy casts 13th century French Christian mystic, Marguerite Porete, as the “main character” of the album, burnt at the stake for her unwavering belief in a free-spirited faith. 33 minutes and 33 seconds long, Angel Numbers is crafted with absolute intention – speaking in signs and in symbols, channeling the fiery love of Porete, Optic Nerve invite you to imagine meaning into being. In their words: “If you desire like us, your desires will always exist beyond the constraints of this violent world.”
April 24, 2023
Yallah Beibe is the highly anticipated record from Ugandan rapper MC Yallah. Continuing her musical partnership with longtime collaborator Debmaster, MC Yallah spits hard-hitting verses in Luganda, Luo, Kiswahili and English backed by Debmaster’s industrial, bass-heavy production. Rounding up a number of her peers in the Hakuna Kulala/Nyege Nyege Tapes artistic community such as Chrisman, Scotch Rolex and Duma’s iconic vocalist Lord Spikeheart, the record showcases MC Yallah prowess as unmatched and uncompromising as ever. MC Yallah is a central player in the flourishing East African underground, and Yallah Beibe cements her status as one of the most exceptional MC’s in the world right now.
Scan & SUS1ER
Trying To Do Better
April 14, 2023
Scan & SUS1ER release their anticipated debut collaborative album, Trying To Do Better. A euphoric and vibrant record, Trying To Do Better sees Sydney rapper Scan and Melbourne via Perth producer SUS1ER embark on a hero’s journey, with the intention to depict the pursuit of fulfillment and self-actualisation. The Funny Gang members bring their vision to its fullest potential with longtime friends and collaborators Lovefear, WALKERRr and effective.power, and even a feature from Rhode Island rapper and Shed Theory associate Joeyy. What results is a record that’s both introspective in theme yet still brimming in energy, thanks to Scan’s earnest yet quick-witted lyrics and SUS1ER’s bouncy and detailed production. Trying To Do Better is not only a celebration of friendship, but the mark of things to come for two of the most unique artists of the Australian underground.
With A Hammer
April 7, 2023
Six years after the release of her influential debut EP, Yaeji unveils her debut album With A Hammer. Inspired by a diaristic period of self-reflection, Yaeji examines her relationship to anger and how it can be effectively channeled into creation and transformation. These ideas come alive across With A Hammer, as she not only knocks down genre expectations and norms, but radically reconstructs them again. The result is a thoughtful art-pop record with excavations from the world of dance music; not only Yaeji’s distinctive take on house, but also trip hop, rumbling dubstep bass and energetic breakbeats. Her distinctive vocal personality is also supported with live instrumentation for the first time – a kaleidoscopic collage of woodwind, strings and Yaeji’s own guitar playing. After years of shifting the contours of popular music from the underground, on With A Hammer Yaeji steps into a sound that’s new, but still wholly her own – proving that she’s only just getting started.
March 31, 2023
SMOOVE KILLA is the debut mixtape from Sydney reggae and dancehall superstar, Gold Fang. With tracks that sway between playful to clubby to vulnerable, all while backed by irresistible riddims, the mixtape is a testament to Gold Fang’s distinct artistry and impressive range. Traversing rap, reggae, R&B, dancehall and soul effortlessly with both his charismatic flow and tight bars, SMOOVE KILLA showcases Gold Fang’s versatility whilst continuing the legacy of his influences, from Shabba Ranks who he covers on the mixtape, Damien Marley, and his own father Errol Renaud who pioneered reggae in Australia. Helping realise his ambitious vision are Gold Fang’s varied collaborators, including producers Swick, Korky Buchek, and Miggy as well as guest vocalists Shanae and CD. SMOOVE KILLA fortifies Gold Fang’s place at the forefront of the Afro-Caribbean artistic diaspora in Australia, as well as positioning him alongside his peers globally in evolving the future of Caribbean sound.
JPEGMAFIA & Danny Brown
SCARING THE HOES
March 24, 2023
On SCARING THE HOES, the new collaborative album between JPEGMAFIA and Danny Brown, two decades of experimental hip hop collide. JPEGMAFIA brings his usual rapid-fire attacks on industry posers and twitter-finger critics, alongside his signature, hyper-detailed production style, bringing us into a kaleidoscopic digital world. Bass boosted drums punch through the chipmunked pop and soul samples, with the fourteen tracks constantly keeping you on your toes with its unpredictable, bombastic production. On SCARING THE HOES, JPEGMAFIA teams up with one of underground hip hop’s legends, Danny Brown. Known for his distinctive voice and memorable punchline lyrics, Danny Brown’s candy flipped delivery synergises with JPEGMAFIA’s own commandeering flow. SCARING THE HOES has an infectious energy and sense of fun, never taking itself too seriously. Yet its ever-shapeshifting and frenetic nature is testament to the craftsmanship of both artists; a reminder of why JPEGMAFIA and Danny Brown have been, and still are, two of modern hip hop’s most cutting-edge artists.