If you’re anything like us, you’re probably overwhelmed by the sheer number of albums being released on a weekly basis.
Popdust’s weekly column, Indie Roundup, finds the five best albums coming out each week so that you don’t have to. Every Friday, we’ll tell you what’s worth listening to that might not already be on your radar.
The Weather Station, Ignorance
On Ignorance, the latest album from folk-jazz project the Weather Station, bandleader Tamara Lindeman has created some of her most lush work yet. Much of the album was inspired by Lindeman’s own climate anxiety, and trying to to make sense of her own percieved responsibilities: “I should get all this dying off of my mind / I should know better than to read the headlines,” she sings on the rousing “Atlantic.” Spearheaded by Lindeman’s haunting vocals and fleshed out with piano and a stunning string section, Ignorance is a symphony for loneliness in a decaying world.
Tele Novella, Merlynn Belle
Tele Novella channel their small-town Texas roots into stunning psychedelic folk. Their latest album Merlynn Belle — their first full-length for the seminal label Kill Rock Stars — draws on influences like folk pioneer Connie Converse and indie-pop icons the Magnetic Fields. Infusing that singer-songwriter charm with elements of medieval baroque music and vocals that rival Mitski’s, Merlynn Belle is a master class in updating the classics.
Sarah Mary Chadwick, Me and Ennui Are Friends, Baby
Me and Ennui Are Friends, Baby is the latest release from Melbourne singer-songwriter Sarah Mary Chadwick. Consisting of only a solo piano and Chadwick’s gutting vocals, the album serves as a reflection on an especially dark period in her life: in the period between Ennui and her last record, Chadwick endured a devastating breakup, grieved the death of both her father and close friend, and tried to end her own life. While these staggeringly heavy topics are the backbone of Ennui, Chadwick’s dark humor makes this record a template of catharsis.
Black Country, New Road, For the first time
Gaining initial popularity in the wake of young post-punks like Black Midi and Shame, Black Country, New Road are throwing all rules out the window. The band’s debut full-length, For the first time, brings a welcome resolution to the steady buzz they’ve been garnering over the past year or two with only a couple of singles to their name. On For the first time, jazzy interludes interject moments of buzzing hardcore and complex post-rock. Albeit polarizing, Black Country, New Road take risks — and that, alone, is worth applauding.
Octo Octa: She’s Calling EP
Maya Bouldry-Morrison — a.k.a. Octo Octa — is one of the most exciting electronic musicians to arise in recent years. Her new three-song EP, She’s Calling, toes the line between clubby beats and ambient music. Dance is crucial to Bouldry-Morrison as both an art form and mode of communication, but She’s Calling testifies to her talent, even when dancing in crowded, public spaces is off limits. As is typical of Octo Octa, these songs offer a spiritual experience.