Notable Releases of the Week (5/21)

We're continuing to get excited about the return of live music, and this week brought tons of big announcements. Lollapalooza is happening this summer (with Limp Bizkit no less), Misfits are playing Walk Among Us in full at next year's Riot Fest (which also includes the My Chemical Romance reunion), the opening show for the 2021 BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn Festival in Prospect Park was announced, and September 2021 continues to get stuffed with festivals (Pitchfork being a recent addition). It all remains to be seen if these shows/fests will go down as planned, but we're keeping our fingers crossed!

As for this week's new music, it's another very stacked week. I highlight ten new albums below, and it's a busy week for new albums in Bill's Indie Basement too. Plus, all these honorable mentions: the surprise Navy Blue album (streaming exclusively on his website), Georgia Anne Muldrow, Erika de Casier, Patrick Paige II (The Internet), Lambchop, Mdou Moctar, Gruff Rhys, 42 Dugg, Benny the Butcher & 38 Spesh, Jaimie Branch, CHAI, Lydia Ainsworth, FACS, Young M.A, Gary Numan, The Tragically Hip, Young Nudy, Olivia Rodrigo, Colleen, Tooth and Claw (members of Die Young, Earth Crisis, Catharsis, etc), Reigning Sound, Good Sleepy, Piet Onthel, Trade Wind, BLK JKS, Sunny Jain, Sunroof (Mute Records’ Daniel Miller & Gareth Jones), Dark Lo & Harry Fraud, Eremo, Marinero, Robots of the Ancient World, Yoo Doo Right, Starlight Cleaning Co., Holiday Ghosts, Blessings, Sons of Raphael, PACKS, An Autumn For Crippled Children, Lily Konigsberg (Palberta), Nadja, the WISH EP, the Speak, Memory EP, and Monster Magnet's covers of album proto-metal & heavy psych nuggets.

Also, good news, My Bloody Valentine's classic EPs are finally streaming!

Read on for my picks. What's your favorite release of the week?

Fiddlehead - Between The Richness
Run For Cover

Have Heart were a beloved hardcore band during their initial run in the 2000s, but almost no one expected the turnout they'd get when they reunited for a hometown show in 2019 and drew nearly 10,000 people - a feat practically unheard of for a band from the hardcore community. It was part of a very brief run, and for all we know, Have Heart may never come back again. Even less likely than more reunion shows is new music, but we did just get an entire new album from vocalist Pat Flynn and drummer Shawn Costa's newer band: Fiddlehead.

Fiddlehead, who also count Basement guitarist Alex Henery as a member, almost became an even shorter-lived project than Have Heart. They debuted with the Out of the Bloom EP in 2014, but they never really approached the band with a careerist mindset. A full-length didn't come until four years later, Springtime and Blind, and as Fiddlehead have said on multiple occasions, they never really planned on making a second record. But after Pat got married and had his first child, which occurred right around the 10-year anniversary of his father's passing, he began writing a new record, Between The Richness, inspired both by his son's birth and his father's passing. "My son’s name is Richard and my father’s name is Richard, so it’s literally between the two of them, but it’s the richness of life and the richness of death," he said.

Compared to Have Heart's furious hardcore, Fiddlehead is more inspired by '90s post-hardcore, emo, and indie rock -- in a recent interview with The FADER, Alex cited Fugazi, Samiam, and Archers of Loaf -- but the passion and emotion rivals that of Pat and Shawn's former band. The songs are melodic and anthemic and they really stick with you. Some fans may prefer the slightly rawer sound of the earlier releases, but it doesn't feel crazy at all to argue that Between the Richness is Fiddlehead's best record so far. It feels more full of intent than the band's previous releases, and it feels most likely to one day be looked at with the same level of awe that people now have for those classic Have Heart records.

You can pick up 'Between the Richness' on white-in-purple vinyl from our shop, and we've also got the expanded edition of Have Heart's 'What Counts' EP on white 12" vinyl.


Mach-Hommy - Pray For Haiti

Mach-Hommy is one of the most elusive, intriguing voices in experimental underground rap, and Westside Gunn and his Griselda label have been at the forefront of the noir-ish boom bap revival, and -- after letting the world know that they were friends again at the end of 2020 -- they come together once more on Mach's new album Pray For Haiti, which Westside Gunn executive produced and released on Griselda Records. Gunn also appears on three songs (along with a standout verse from frequent Mach-Hommy collaborator Tha God Fahim and some spoken word by Griselda's Keisha Plum), but his presence is felt throughout. The pair brought in a handful of regular Griselda producers (Conductor Williams, Camoflauge Monk, Denny Laflare, DJ Green Lantern, and more), and the songs really exist somewhere between the classic Griselda sound and Mach-Hommy's more mind-bending approach. Mach fills the album with memorable punchlines, but Pray For Haiti is an important album for more reasons than just uniting two of the strongest minds in underground rap. 20% of proceeds from the album will go to the Pray For Haiti Trust Fund, "which will be used to finance computer science education in Haiti—more specifically coding."

"Pray For Haiti is not catering to anyone’s preconceived notions of what something artistic should look like," Mach says. "I am exercising my own indelible right to whatever the fuck it is that I want to do. I want to help Haiti build a strong future with this contribution. I believe that we can make something happen, even if it's brick by brick, and school by school."


Kaonashi - Dear Lemon House, You Ruined Me: Senior Year
Equal Vision/Unbeaten Records

Kaonashi's Equal Vision debut Dear Lemon House, You Ruined Me: Senior Year is a highly ambitious concept album about the androgynously named character Jamie, who navigates high school bullies, mental health, an abusive father, and much more, and it's set to some of the most uniquely chaotic post-hardcore you'll hear all year. I recently interviewed the band for a feature, and you can read that for much more about this album.


Downhaul - Proof
Refresh Records

Throughout Richmond band Downhaul's sophomore album Proof, they embrace the humble tone of indie rock, the self-expression of emo, and the expansiveness of post-rock, as well as a little sludgy desert rock ("Bury"), twangy alt-country ("About Leaving"), and more, and it's all tied together by Gordon Philips' nasal-voiced, plainspoken, highly unique voice. When recently writing about their song "Standing Water," I said they remind me a little of Restorations, a little of The Hotelier, but mainly they just sound like themselves, and that's true of the entire album too. They manage to evoke the nostalgic, longing feeling that you tend to get from bands devoted to classic emo, while sounding like complete individuals. Part of it is Gordon's unmistakable voice, but another part of it is his lyrics, which are too personal and specific to have possibly come from anyone else.


Mannequin Pussy - Perfect EP

Some musicians (and listeners) ended up gravitating towards softer music during the pandemic, but Mannequin Pussy took the opposite approach, turning their isolation-induced frustration into rage. "We just figured if we forced ourselves into this situation where someone could hit 'record,' something might come out," singer/guitarist Missy said. What came out, is some of the loudest, hardest music of MP's career. They've always been a punk band, but they usually lean on the indie rock side of the genre. On Perfect, they're churning out punk ragers in the most traditional sense (except on the more ethereal closing track "Darling," the exception that makes the rule), and it's awesome to hear Mannequin Pussy embracing this side of them. Just judging by the songs on Perfect, it sounds like this band is gonna be ready to explode when they finally hit the road later this year.


YG & Mozzy - Kommunity Service
Mozzy Records/4Hunnid/EMIRE

YG and Mozzy are two West Coast rappers at the forefront of the G-Funk revival, and both are incredibly prolific. It's not always easy to keep up with everything they do, but they've now put their heads together for the quick 10-song project Kommunity Service, and you should not miss this one. It opens with "Gangsta," a West Coast-flavored rework of 50 Cent's East Coast classic "Wanksta," immediately connecting the dots between 50's early 2000s world-domination era, his then-mentor Dr. Dre's classic early '90s era, and the recent comeback of loud, in-your-face rappers populating the mainstream. It's a great way to open the album, because you probably know in about three seconds if this record is gonna be up your alley, and YG and Mozzy deliver from start to finish. The two of them sound like they had a lot of fun recording this thing, and it's also a lot of fun to listen to. They bounce off each other as smoothly as that classic-sounding G-Funk bass bounces off the drums, and their styles go very well together. They sound similar enough that it's seamless when one stops rapping and the other takes over, but different enough from each other -- and from most other rappers -- that you always know exactly who you're listening to.


Storefront Church - As We Pass
Sargent House

Storefront Church is the project of Lukas Frank, who's drummed in Phoebe Bridgers' band and appeared on her albums, and the first song of his debut album As We Pass features DIIV frontman Cole Smith, but neither of those affiliations really prepares you for what to expect from As We Pass. It's a 9-song collection that's largely made up of bluesy, gothy, emo-y melancholic songs that sometimes sound like a cross between '90s Cure deep cuts and Nirvana Unplugged. (Lukas also cites Scott Walker as an influence, and you can hear that too.) Most of the album is bare-bones and somber, but Lukas also revs things up for the noise punk of "Faction from Under the Grove," and that fits right in too. With As We Pass, Lukas enters a long, line of depressive singer/songwriters, but even with over half a century of music like this, something about Lukas stands out. He grips you right off the bat with album opener "After the Alphabets" -- the kind of song that can make you drop everything and listen as soon as his voice comes in -- and the album stays that compelling throughout. Even with connections to established artists and the great Sargent House label behind him, this doesn't feel like the smash arrival of a hot new buzz artist; it's the subtle arrival of a songwriter whose songs creep up on you and knock you out when you're least expecting it. Usually, that's even better.


Lord Huron - Long Lost
Republic/Whispering Pines

In the decade-plus that Lord Huron have been a band, they went from Animal Collective-y freak folk to a more polished folk rock sound that helped them gain steam in the Mumford era, and then they found themselves with a surprise moment of fame when their 2015 gem "The Night We Met" was memorably used in Netflix's 13 Reasons Why. The success of that song earned the band a major label deal, and they used their big budget wisely, bringing in Flaming Lips collaborator Dave Fridmann and having their big art rock moment with 2018's excellent Vide Noir. It's the biggest-sounding and best record of their career by no small margin, and sometimes when you make something that big, you want to simmer down a bit on your next album. That's exactly what Lord Huron have done with Long Lost. It's still a fairly ambitious album -- it's some type of vague concept album, full of interludes and recurring themes, but it's a calmer, breezier album that wholly embraces the band's rustic folk side and departs from the maximalist psychedelia of Vide Noir. Some might see it as a return to form, but it really doesn't sound like any other album in Lord Huron's discography. Ben Schneider's recognizable singing and songwriting style is the only thing it has in common with any of its predecessors. The folky vibe of this one isn't Mumford-esque or Animal Collective-y, or really anything modern at all. More than any other Lord Huron album, Long Lost has an old soul; it's sooner comparable to Roy Orbison than to any trendy indie band. It sounds like, perhaps more than ever before, that Lord Huron made the record they wanted to make, without worrying at all what people expected of them.


Jo Mersa Marley - Eternal EP
Ghetto Youths International

To echo something I said when reviewing Skip Marley's Higher Place EP last year, the Marley family has been a dominant force within reggae since the beginning because each new generation genuinely brings something new to the table. It might be easy to get cynical and accuse the younger Marleys of benefiting from nepotism, but that cynicism fades once you listen and realize that they learned from the best and made it their own. The 30-year-old Jo Mersa Marley -- Skip's cousin (and Stephen's son and Bob's grandson) -- has been one of the latest Marleys to leave their mark in the reggae universe, and his new seven-song EP Eternal is a triumph. The EP features contemporaries like Busy Signal, Kabaka Pyramid, and Meli, and like those artists, Jo makes enjoyable, forward-thinking music that blurs the lines between reggae, dancehall, and modern hip hop. It's literally and figuratively not his grandfather's reggae; it embraces the hypnotic rhythms of '70s reggae but it sounds like music that only could have been written in the past few years. Reggae's really been thriving lately, and Eternal is on par with a lot of the current greats.


Yautja - The Lurch

The undefinable heavy band Yautja are back with their first album in six years and first for Relapse, The Lurch. As you might expect from Yautja, the album navigates between sludge metal, punk, grind, noise rock, and more, slow and bulldozing at times, whiplash-inducing at others, and constantly changing shape. It's as weird and unpredictable as it is heavy and cathartic, and the Nashville band use the musical intensity to address the backwards-thinking social/political ideas that have been pushed to the mainstream in recent years. "We’ve got our bubble of friends and artists and businesses, but you drive 30 minutes out of town, and you see confederate flags or people wearing t-shirts that say, ‘Redneck Lives Matter,’" bassist/vocalist Kayhan Vaziri said when the album was announced. "So there’s a lot of frustration there, and some of the lyrics pertain to that." It's extreme metal, so the lyrics aren't always clear, but the frustration and the anger and the unfiltered aggression always is.



Looking for more recent releases? Browse the Notable Releases archive or keep scrolling down for previous weeks.

For even more metal, browse the 'Upcoming Releases' each week on Invisible Oranges.

And check out what's new in our shop.