Today marks the first new music from the amazing Wildhart for three years, and what a welcome return it is. The band have gone through a lot of changes since the the release of their brilliant debut album Shine – most notably losing a member and now operating as a trio – but on His Arrows Won’t Hit Us they’re as mesmerising as they’ve ever been, front-loading on the atmosphere and gentle melodies and stripping everything else back to the very barest of essentials. Let’s hope there’s more to come.
Japanese Breakfast has made some of my favourite tracks of the last decade. Road Head and Machinist from her 2017 album Soft Sounds From Another Planet are just absolutely perfect, and her latest single Be Sweet is up there with them. The first release from her new album Jubilee which has just been announced for June, it’s completely irresistible and I can’t stop listening to it.
Imagining Machines is a twenty-minute digital-only work in three parts by Australian sound designer Daniel McCagh which, if you’re a fan of William Basinski, is probably going to be right up your street. Focussing on the slow decay and disintegration of its main, constantly shifting pads while a whirling bank of machines limber up in the background, I guess all the individuals elements are fairly morose and disquieting. Except when you put them all together, it’s beautiful. And not just, “oh, that’s pretty” beautiful, but a kind of aching, longing appreciation of something that you can’t quite comprehend existing.
Our Best Selves is the lead single from a forthcoming six-track EP from Canadian experimental producer yehno, and will be the first release on a new label, Collection Disques Durs. Visceral and hard-hitting, there’s also an incredible amount of nuance and subtlety here. One the one hand, yes, I feel on the verge of a panic attack while listening to it, but on the other, it’s actually warm and reassuring, like watching all your worldly possessions burn while realising you’re probably better off without them. I imagine.
Warm and soulful on the surface but packed with a political directness in its lyrics which are, as ever, flawlessly delivered by Noname, Rainforest packs in an outrageous amount into its relatively short running time. There are so many lyrical earworms here, but “A rainforest cries / Everybody dies a little / And I just wanna dance tonight” is the one that’s stuck with me. On paper perhaps this comes across as a little cliche, but the understated delivery makes dancing seems like the most understandable – and perhaps only – reaction to one of the many approaching global calamities we’re faced with on a daily basis.
I can already feel the backlash building against the new album from former PC Music-affiliate Danny L Harle aka DJ Danny, but frankly if you don’t find even the tiniest bit of joy in this album you’re dead inside and there is no hope for you. On A Mountain perfectly blends rave sounds from the peak of its 90s ridiculousness with crisp, thumping PC-ish production, injecting us with a mighty pure shot of rave nostalgia. Gas masks at the ready.
ttypes is the solo project of Michigan-based songwriter Tim Krauss whose music ranges from ambient instrumental, to piano pop, rock, electronic pop and various other styles. His latest – as the title suggests – is an ode to Hollywood icon, (former) cocaine enthusiast and everyone’s favourite irreverent cyborg, Robert Downey Jr.. Not that you’d necessarily be able to tell from the record itself which is a frantic rush of syrupy bleeps and washed out vocals, but check out the video for one of the purest hits of RDJ you’re likely to find outside of a Marvel set.
Keeping this brief today cos reasons but this is some really amazing synthpop from Small Black’s forthcoming LP. So stop wasting my/your time and go and listen to it.
The new single from LA noise-pop duo MUNNCAT is, according to the band, “about the growing frustration of trying to meet people in the middle who have no intention of compromising”. Now, generally speaking I am terrible at paying attention to messages in songs, but I can hear no discernible frustration in The Bygone Goodbye at all: only pure, unadulterated fun and positivity. I haven’t been this wrongfooted by a track for a while, as it’s not what I generally consider the music I gravitate towards (see: moody, nostalgic, synthy, maybe a little depressing), but I absolutely love it. So much energy, kinda reminds me a little of The Phenomenal Handclap Band, but with a lot more edge.
Lost Girls is a collaboration between Jenny Hval and Håvard Volden. Despite having worked together for close to a decade, they announced their debut album Menneskekollektivet (which roughly translates to “human collective’) only last week, along with this 12 minute epic which starts life as a contemplative, spoken-word piece before progressing through lumbering rhythms and increasingly weird, chattering synth lines. I’ve loved pretty much everything Hval has released previously, especially 2019’s incredible The Practise of Love, and everything about Menneskekollektivet suggests that trend will continue.