Exhaust is the second album from Sydney bedroom indie experimentalist hyche. Blending math rock guitars and fuzzy shoegaze textures with tightly cut, jungle-inspired breakbeats, hyche has created a fresh and unorthodox sound that still evokes a warm nostalgia. Written, recorded and produced in hyche’s bedroom during lockdown – between moving house, Uni work, endless Wikipedia scrolls and monotonous visits to Ashfield Mall – exhaust is an album as inspired by the restlessness and stagnation of life indoors, as it is the vicarious freedom of hearing someone chucking burnouts down the street.
CAPRISONGS is the playful new mixtape from British avant-pop icon FKA twigs. Featuring a star-studded collection of FKA twigs’ biggest collaborations to date, CAPRISONGS sees the London artist team up with artists including The Weeknd, Shygirl, Jorja Smith and Daniel Caesar. After her deeply emotional record Magdalene, FKA twigs has pivoted to a more optimistic, Afrobeat-inflected sound on CAPRISONGS, with the artist herself referring to it as an album that’s perfect to listen to before hitting the club. FKA twigs continues to explore vulnerable themes of reclaiming and celebrating herself, her sensuality, freedom and togetherness. This continuation of previously explored themes paired with a newly focused club-oriented sonic palette makes CAPRISONGS FKA twigs’ most all-embracing release yet.
Blak Matriarchy is the highly anticipated debut EP from Malyangapa, Barkindji rapper, BARKAA. Having already established herself as a masterful storyteller with a unique, characteristically fierce and rapid-fire delivery, BARKAA’s new EP cements her place as one of the most vital figures in local hip-hop. An embodiment and celebration of BARKAA’s Matriarchal Ancestors, her family and Blak Women throughout the generations, Blak Matriarchy is a heartfelt testament to independence and a staunch indictment of the colonial mindset.
I’m Feeling Hopeful is the stunning new album from prolific Sydney artist Milan Ring. A deeply respected and established member of Sydney’s music community, Milan Ring has developed a reputation as a sought after collaborator and creative visionary both at home and abroad. On this, her debut album, Milan Ring plays the role of singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and mix engineer, unifying her widespread talents to deliver a poignant and cohesive 14-track odyssey. Exploring themes of inward and outward love, relationships, control and freedom, the critical mind, depression, desire and addiction, I’m Feeling Hopeful sees Milan Ring interrogate differing perspectives on the human experience; finally arriving at a considered but optimistic outlook. In her own words: “When we allow our minds to run rampant we often hurt ourselves, those around us and those around them in the process. But in these moments we always have the choice to break through the negative dialogue and lean into love, forgiveness and gratitude. It isn’t easy, but life is a blessing and I’m feeling hopeful.”
Romeo is the celestial second album from London-based producer Sega Bodega. Having already carved out space as a mainstay of the deconstructed club, hyperpop and UK bass scenes, this new album affirms Sega Bodega’s reputation not only as a unique sound designer but also as a songwriter. A concept album based around a fictionalised relationship between Sega Bodega and “a girlfriend made entirely of light, named Luci”, Romeo also sports guest features from Arca, BEA1991 and Charlotte Gainsbourg, as well as a tribute to late-friend SOPHIE. Blending sincere balladry with cutting-edge production, Romeo is Sega Bodega’s most entrancing work yet.
Newcastle based musician e4444e (aka Romy Church) adds another chapter to his already impressive body of work with his sophomore album Autumnal Eve.
Following on from his debut album Coldstream Road, and coming off the back of his collaborative, live experimental work with lovedavid and Skip Wilcox INVISIBLE STONE, this new album returns to e4444e’s blend of raw plucked acoustic guitars, elements of found sound recordings, soft ethereal synths and subtly rippling samples.
e4444e’s characteristic aversion to traditional song-structures and unconventional combination of sounds on Autumnal Eve creates a unique sense of travelling through someone else’s dream; wandering alone through a world which, although unknown, is warmly familiar.
Sydney underground favourites Low Life return with their third album From Squats to Lots: The Agony & XTC of Low Life.
Continuing their tradition of documenting the reckless underbelly of sin city, the band stay true to their DIY ethos, while allowing their sound to develop into something a little more textured and withdrawn. Gauzy guitars, gleaming synths and the odd string arrangement decorate the anthemic grit that Low Life has become synonymous with. Conveying Low Life’s familiar nihilism and brutality, Mitch Tolman’s lyrics paint a picture of a life where dreams get broken, affection is fleeting and the everyday world bears a heavy weight. Despite all of this, From Squats To Lots is an ode to resilience through the grind; a testament to those who revel in the The Agony And XTC of life and a tribute to those who didn’t make it.