Album of the Week
Some Rap Songs
December 17, 2018
Some Rap Songs is the third album from hip-hop prodigy Earl Sweatshirt. After emerging as part of the Odd Future collective at the age of 16, almost 10 years ago, Earl Sweatshirt has forged a fiercely original approach to his solo material. On his latest offering the LA based rapper and producer again exhibits his knack for constant evolution, showcasing a rawer style, constructed of obtuse samples that meld elements of hip-hop and jazz reminiscent of Stones Throw legends J Dilla and Madlib. Using his family as a lyrical source of inspiration, Some Rap Songs is a thoughtful album that reflects on his own personal struggles as well as the recent passing of his father, South African poet Keorapetse Kgositsile. Earl Sweatshirt has reached new heights on Some Rap Songs, rounding out 2018 with one of the best hip-hop albums of the year.
December 10, 2018
British musician Elena Tonra has released her self-titled debut under the pseudonym Ex:Re. Taking the opportunity to step away from her duties as front woman of dream-pop band Daughter, Ex:Re illuminates the songwriter in a moment of profound self-reflection, acting as a form of catharsis for a broken romance. Lyrically, the album is Tonra at her most direct. Urgently attempting to understand and externalise all of the thoughts that accompany a broken heart. Although underpinned by suitably melancholy arrangements, the music on Ex:Re is not overwhelmed by it’s introverted nature. Driven by a dynamic rhythm section and Tonra’s hypnotic ear for melody, Ex:Re is a deeply sincere and enthralling debut album.
Palm Springs & Friends
December 3, 2018
Palm Springs is the solo moniker of Melbourne artist Erica Dunn. As a member of Mod Con, Tropical Fuck Storm and Harmony, Dunn has cemented a central place in the city’s underground music community but on her new album Palm Springs & Friends she takes the opportunity to explore a different sonic identity. Recorded during an artist’s residency program in New York in June 2017 the majority of the tracks on the album were completed in a single 10-hour session. This approach to recording reinforces the immediacy of the tracks on Palm Springs & Friends. A seven track expedition of outsider folk, set amongst the warm hiss of tape and stripped back instrumentation, Palm Springs & Friends is an intimate and arresting album.
New Kind Of Cross
November 26, 2018
Dark-synth luminary Buzz Kull returns with his second album, New Kind Of Cross. A mainstay of Sydney underground music for almost a decade, Buzz Kull has sculpted a distinctive and sophisticated approach to production and songwriting that has earned him cult status at home and abroad. Spurred on by a near-death experience the artist had in Germany and the subsequent questions of mortality and existence that emerged in the ensuing months, New Kind Of Cross coaxes us into an eerier, more menacing musical space than Buzz Cull has ever facilitated before. Propelled by arpeggiated basslines, whipcrack snare hits, neurotic synthscapes and disaffected vocal delivery, the album encapsulates the unsettling mood of its origins. However, in characteristic Buzz Cull style, New Kind Of Cross is able to evoke elements of classic darkwave and renew them in a fashion that is fresh and compelling.
Under The Weather
November 19, 2018
Under The Weather is the new album from bedroom-pop underdog, Candy. Written and recorded over a few months in 2017 – a period in which the Melbourne artist found himself without an income or home – the album is a 10-track interrogation of uncertainty and vulnerability. Despite these challenging circumstances, Under The Weather is illuminated by a subtle element of hope, one that emerges through Candy’s endearingly self-deprecating lyrical style. Painted with a palette of nostalgic guitar hooks, airy new-wave synths and punchy drum-machine patterns, Under The Weather is a heartening, honest and catchy album from Candy.
November 12, 2018
With the release of his second LP, Cocoon Crush, Berlin based producer Objekt has created one of the most impeccably crafted electronic albums of the year. Having already garnered critical acclaim from publications including Resident Advisor and Mixmag for his more club-oriented music, Objekt takes the opportunity to shift his focus away from the dance floor on Cocoon Crush. The album is an exploration of organic textures and auditory illusions that allow Objekt to reimagine the conventional palette of electronic music. Blurring the lines between real and synthesised sounds, Cocoon Crush affirms Objekt’s role as one of the most impressive contemporary producers. Alluding to a time when the boundaries of the technological and natural worlds are indecipherable from each other.
November 5, 2018
London singer-songwriter Nao has released her sophomore album, Saturn. A reference to the Astrological concept of Saturn Return, the album presents Nao at a moment of self-analysis and questioning. Shedding the skin of past experiences and beliefs to make way for a renewed sense of self. This personal evolution is reinforced through her artistic growth on Saturn. Musically, the release sees Nao shaking off some of her classic r&b and funk sensibilities in favour of a more forthright beat-driven sound, padded out with spacious and sentimental instrumental arrangements. Saturn documents a pivotal moment in Nao’s personal and artistic life and packages it into one of the most cohesive and uplifting pop albums of 2018.
Pieces Of A Man
October 29, 2018
Pieces Of A Man is the follow-up album from Chicago based hip-hop artist Mick Jenkins. Earning praise from hip-hop luminaries like Busdriver and collaborating with contemporaries like Noname, Saba and BadBadNotGood, Mick Jenkins has carved out a notable place as a distinct lyricist with an uncompromising social conscience. Pieces Of A Man showcases the rapper’s sharpened narrative sensibilities, reflecting on the realities of Black manhood in the United States. Adorned with sophisticated instrumentals and impressive guest features, Pieces Of A Man is driven by a simple but essential message from Mick Jenkins: “spread love, drink more water”.
October 22, 2018
Melbourne electronic producer Null has released his euphoric debut album, Med. An instrumental expression of Null’s own struggles with mental health, his wavering relationship with medication and the ensuing fluctuation of his mental states and experiences. Despite its deeply personal origins, Med sees Null emerge triumphantly from 3 years of obsessive writing, production and refining with an eclectic array of tracks perfectly crafted for nightclubs, outdoor parties and warehouses alike. Null’s fascination with rave culture and its history is the pulse that runs through the album. Med is an homage to 90s acid, trance and breakbeat hardcore, invigorated by Null’s meticulous ear for contemporary production and sound-design.
October 15, 2018
Jassbusters is the new album from Kiwi musical oddball, Connan Mockasin. Recorded live in Paris in 2016, the album serves as the soundtrack for Mockasin’s upcoming five-part film Bostyn n’ Dobsyn. Although written to coincide with the film, the tracks on Jassbusters inhabit a smokey, enchanting space of their own volition. A concept album shaped by his thoughtful, albeit bizarre creative vision, Jassbusters is Mockasin at his most effortless. With each song possessing a tender and meandering quality, unfazed by time or urgency. Centred around a narrative 10 years in the making, Jassbusters is a warm, endearing and expectedly offbeat third album from Connan Mockasin.