Each month we bring you a handy round-up of the most exciting new releases.
This month sees long-awaited albums from Angel Olsen, Doe, Beach Slang, Scarlet Rascal, Cymbals Eat Guitars and Mykki Blanco.
Angel Olsen – MY WOMAN
Sep 2nd, Jagjaguwar | Buy
Angel Olsen’s distinctive and enchanting voice has always been at the forefront of her music, but it takes a step further into the spotlight on MY WOMAN. As Olsen matches moments of powerful, synth-laden pop and delivers brooding, melancholic melodies she demonstrates an incredible vocal dexterity. The album itself is crafted into two parts; firstly the frenetic, grungier noise of ‘Shut Up Kiss Me’ and other heavier rock and pop sounds, before leading onto the more wistful contemplations of tracks like ‘Sister’ or ‘Pops’.
MY WOMAN maintains the raw, lingering spirit of Olsen’s previous two albums whilst marking a definite evolution in her sound, allowing for a sense of empowerment and wild abandon to palpably pulse through the record. From the warped, dreamy power-pop of ‘Intern’ to the swooning, soul-tinged ‘Woman’, Olsen defies expectations to grant us something even more majestic and heartfelt, all with her characteristically disarming elegance. Kezia Cochrane
Cymbals Eat Guitars – Pretty Years
Sep 16th, Sinderlyn | Buy
An album that is both captivating and pure, Pretty Years recreates electrifying moments from the band’s life on the road, using these experiences and their living-for-every-moment attitude to do so with aplomb. There’s an accomplished and well-thought-out sound throughout, with their now well-matured lyricism sharing stories and emotions that are relatable, while also being meticulously put together.
Using their trademark cacophonic guitars, along with an innate propulsion influenced by 80s legends like The Clash, Springsteen and Bowie, Cymbals Eat Guitars manage to supply both energy and originality with many retrospective nods along the way. Start with standout tracks ‘Heart’, ‘4th of July in Philadelphia’ and ‘Dancing Days’. Sharron Wheeler-Davies
Mykki Blanco – Mykki
Sep 16th, Dogfood Music Group / !K7 | Buy
Mykki has a refined sound seldom found on a debut. Despite its short length – at just forty minutes – the album still feels grandiose and ambitious. Production from Woodkid and Jeremiah Meece gives the album airy synths and hard-hitting drums throughout.
Blanco’s voice is firstly an instrument, layered onto the production seamlessly. Even with the focus on sonics, Blanco takes the opportunity to talk about the pitfalls of social media on ‘Loner’ and opens up personally on ‘You Don’t Know Me’. “Fuck being low-key,” Blanco raps on ‘Fendi Band’ – ironic, as Mykki is unlikely to move Blanco out from their already established status in the underground scene. Callum Stevens
Beach Slang – A Loud Bash Of Teenage Feelings
Sep 23rd, Polyvinyl | Buy
The second time around, Beach Slang are diving into choppier waters, opener ‘Future Mixtape for the Art Kids’ and ‘Art Damage’ awash with rampant riffs and drenched in distortion. It’s clear though that they haven’t lost the catchy charm or the youthful exuberance that was packed to bursting in first album The Things We Do… The menacing lo-fi vocal from James Alex amps up the drama in tracks like ‘Warpaint’ and ‘The Perfect High’.
While they are not necessarily shaking up their core sound, fans of the debut will notice the band raising the bar and throwing in shots. 2016’s answer to Sum 41 have undoubtedly arrived. Oliver Evans
Tlön – Chapter II
Sep 15th, Aphelion Editions | Buy
Chapter II follows S. Chalmers and L. McConaghy’s debut album as Tlön, Truth In The 13th, which came out in 2014, and is their first record on their own Aphelion Editions imprint label.
From the off, Chapter II is an intense listen, with opener ‘Breath of a Universe’ incorporating a whole world of sounds as if the track was recorded amongst bustling city streets. ‘Dream Excavations’ is the perfect, epic send-off for an album that never loses its focus. Chapter II is a record that’s completely alive and – while there’s little in the way of definite instruments, sounds or themes – it creates a world all of its own. Will Richards
Jenny Hval – Blood Bitch
Sep 30th, Sacred Bones Records | Buy
Lots could be written on what Blood Bitch is about; in parts, it’s a fictitious vampire tale, others diary entries and even an investigation into blood itself. Hval has pointed in particular to “the purest and most powerful, yet most trivial and most terrifying blood: Menstruation.”
The album however, is a surprise. There is so much thematically going on that there’s an inherent danger of self-indulgence and alienation, yet what Jenny Hval delivers is tender and at times beautiful. ‘Conceptual Romance’ in particular dances between luscious tones, raw introspection and delicate honing. It’s an album with real depth behind to its concepts and strong, personal sharing. Thomas O’Neill
Scarlet Rascal – Scarlet Rascal
Sep 30th, Invada | Buy
The debut album from Bristol’s own Scarlet Rascal comes out on Invada Records, the baby of Portishead’s Geoff Barrow, and the same gloom that covers Barrow’s output is ever-present here. Opener ‘Pearl’ is a highlight and employs chunky, Joy Division-esque basslines and swirling guitars, feeling like the beginning of a storm.
So much punch is packed into this first song, yet the rest of Scarlet Rascal doesn’t struggle to keep up. ‘Here I Am’s spoken word vocals offer a nice rest from the barrage, without seeming pointless, and ‘Blood Orange’ is the poppiest offering here. It’s in the second half of their debut however that the band really unravel and show off all their colours. Will Richards
The Wytches – All Your Happy Life
Sep 30th, Heavenly Recordings | Buy
Here, Brighton’s The Wytches bring the noise much as they did on their debut. Their hazy psychedelia is immediately apparent – a particularly forceful and nihilistic fork of the genre. Breathy vocals and squalling guitar evoke the danger and menace of (little known late 90s band) The Pecadiloes. There’s screaming desperation in the words.
The awesome dirge of ‘Ghost House’ gives way to the positively jaunty ‘Bone Weary’ then back again for the discordant changes of ‘Can’t Face It’. As a record it’s possibly less louche and more laid back than 2014’s Annabel Dream Reader but rock’n’roll is not a tidy business and The Wytches make a magnificent, moreish mess. J-P Storrow
Local Natives – Sunlit Youth
Sep 9th, Infectious Music | Buy
Growth and evolution are two things that every band lose sleep over, but Local Natives needn’t have bothered. The band’s third album is layered with eloquence, emotion and meticulous melodies. After their beautifully-honest second album, Hummingbird, the band have tossed out their rule books and landed on the extraordinary.
It paints a picture of a band who have matured past existential crises and delved deeper into their musical souls. The euphoria is evident from the first track, ‘Villainy’, proving that Local Natives have truly perfected their harmonies and vocal play. Gone are the bubbly, electronic riffs of old, and in are the sensual tunes of new. Emmie Harrison
Doe – Some Things Last Longer Than You
Sep 9th, Specialist Subject | Buy
‘Sincere’, the lead single from punk trio Doe’s long-awaited first album Some Things Last Longer Than You typifies the glowing, steadfast nature of the London band and the record they’ve made. With a lot to say and the acumen of knowing exactly how to put it, the record prospers in its bold honesty and cut-knife hooks.
Doe have created a collection of stand-out moments that, through its theme, forms a cohesive record – namely on the tension and relief from exhaustive relationships. From the tender hope for resolve on ‘Last Ditch’ to the acerbic honesty of ‘Turn Around’ – there’s a fight for inner and social freedom; an anger that is justified and executed with intelligence. Ross Jones