Recorded in Crown Heights, Brooklyn over a three-year period from 2019 to 2022, Nappy Nina’s new LP Mourning Due is billed as “a record that considers grief a currency and questions who is owed what”. Her voice throughout is hushed and contemplative, backed up by nicely varied production characterised by dreamily looped samples and raw, complex drum patterns. Weeping Waltz featuring a guest spot from Cavalier is a stand out, but the entire album is definitely worth a listen.
SZA – Conceited
Lol at everyone who’s already published their end of year list! (TPW’s is coming tomorrow – thanks for asking). SZA’s SOS is one of two albums released last week that will definitely making my list, so my slackness in publishing has turned out to be quite a canny move. Usually if an album pushes over the hour mark it’s a warning sign for some damaging indulgence and self-regard, but there are so many good tracks – Conceited not least among them – that in this case the extended running time is entirely justified.
Ingredient – Wolf
Ingredient is the collaboration of Toronto poets, composers, producers and friends Ian Daniel Kehoe and Luka Kuplowsky. Released last week, their self-titled debut came together over the course of six months in their shared home studio they frequented daily, with vocal contributions from Thom Gill and the alto sax Karen Ng. Sitting somewhere between the 80s soft rock of John Moods and the dreamy alt-r&b of Toro Y Moi, Ingredient is melodic escapism of the very highest order.
Erik Hall – Canto Ostinato (Sections 17-30)
Canto Ostinato is the new volume of classical minimalism from musician and producer Erik Hall. Written for four pianos in 1979 by Dutch composer Simeon ten Holt, the piece is freshly framed as an intimate, hour-long solo performance consisting of multitracked grand pianos, electric piano, and organ, with Sections 17-30 out now ahead of the full album. For fans of Steve Reich, Philip Glass and meditative modern classical in general.
Tomberlin – easy
I’m not sure anyone does deep melancholy quite as well as Tomberlin. Released today, her new album i don’t know who needs to hear this… was structured around the need to “examine, hold space, make an altar for the feelings”, and while not exactly a departure from her 2018 album – and one of my all-time favourites – At Weddings, there’s definitely been a progression: a sense of expanding boundaries; of actually being able to see the horizon in comparison to the lo-fi ultra-intimacy of her debut. easy is the album opener, and manages to be haunting, inviting, despondent and peaceful all at once.
“The desktop of my mind has been cleared. Now it’s time to clutter it up again.”
A founding member of the band Sky Larkin, Katie Harkin has just released her debut self-titled solo album. In the intervening years she’s toured and recorded with some of the most successful and acclaimed indie rock acts in the business, including Kurt Vile, Courtney Barnett, Waxahatchee and Wild Beasts, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that Harkin is an absolute gem of an album: urgent, expressive, affecting.
I’m incredibly grateful to Katie for taking the time to answer some questions for The Predatory Wasp… and if you haven’t yet listened to the album, I highly recommend you do so.
Congratulations on the release of your debut album – it’s brilliant. When did you start recording it, and was the process generally positive, stressful, invigorating, a combination of all of these… or something else entirely?
Well thanks! I felt a huge amount of growth through the process. I recorded it without a label (we founded our own to release it- Hand Mirror), and though organising everything and clinging onto hard drives as I moved between studios in different time zones was stressful, it was thrilling to do it all on my own terms.