7 Great Albums That May Have Passed You By This Week
New albums from Ibeyi, Mourn, Crushed Beaks, Atari Teenage Riot and more
You know about the big releases each week, but what about those smaller albums which may have passed underneath your radar. Don’t miss out on the smaller, lesser-known gems which might become some of your favourites. We’ve rounded up seven of the best new album releases from this week: discover Crushed Beaks’ joyous noise, the prayer-like songs of Ibeyi and more.
Ibeyi – Ibeyi
Nineteen-year-old French-Cuban twins Naomi and Lisa-Kaindé Díaz admit they spend most of their time screaming at each other, but when penning their soothing songs, they’re on the same twin-telepathy wavelength. This debut is informed by tragedy: in 2006, the twins’ father (famed Buena Vista Social Club percussionist Miguel Díaz) passed away. In 2013, so did their older sister. But while there’s heartache here, ‘Ibeyi’ is uplifting and prayer-like; its songs often built only from earthy drums, piano and palm-slaps. Tracks like ‘Oya’, ‘Think Of You’ and ‘River’ have a sparse, ghostly quality reminiscent of early Regina Spektor or Björk. Innovative and comforting.
Mourn – Mourn
The first song Barcelona teenagers Mourn wrote was called ‘Boys Are Cunts’. If that makes the quartet – all 18 bar 15-year-old bassist Leía Rodríguez Bueno – sound angry, this debut paints them as positively feral. The prickly guitar on ‘Your Brain Is Made Of Candy’ heralds an angsty, PJ Harvey-indebted, nine-song slanging match. ‘Marshall’, written about “a friend’s asshole ex-boyfriend”, asks “When will you SHUT UP, MARSHALL?” over brittle punk, and the excellent, grungy ‘Jack’ simply screams ”GO FUCK YOURSELF!”. Just as the vitriol threatens to become too much, ‘Squirrel’ offers humour (“Seriously, you’ve got a squirrel in your hair”). ‘Mourn’ exhibits a young band fully aware of their own qualities: fierceness, confidence and brutally simple songwriting.
Crushed Beaks – Scatter
South London’s Crushed Beaks have taken their time to release their debut album. After forming in 2010, the band – recently bolstered to a three-piece by bassist Scott Bowley – released three singles before 2013 EP ‘Tropes’. An album was expected but failed to materialise until now. Opener ‘April’ immediately makes up for ‘Scatter”s late arrival with chiming guitars that cut through its barrage. The powerful ‘Rising Sign’ is a blast of joyous noise of the kind that made Crushed Beaks such an exciting proposition way back when, and previous single ‘Grim’ is a bouncing pop tune. That pop feeling is what lies at the band’s core, making for an exuberant record that is well worth your time.
Atari Teenage Riot – Reset
Alec Empire’s most feted on-record incarnation remains well titled. Atari Teenage Riot still use a 1980s Atari computer to manage the digital signals that power their sound, and the results still offer an abrasive and violent collision of musical and political ideas. On this follow-up to 2011’s ‘Is This Hyperreal?’, the Berlin quartet seem more necessary than ever. The buzzing throb of the title track and songs like ‘We Are From The Internet’ attack government surveillance of online communication but, rather than just complain, ATR use anger as an energy, urging us to wrest back control. The volume remains punishing, but this record triumphs in melodic subtlety, political nuance and conceptual clarity.
The Wave Pictures – Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon
Led by guitarist David Tattersall, The Wave Pictures have a history of rewarding collaborations. Previously, the London trio have worked with the similarly prolific likes of Stanley Brinks, Darren Hayman and The Mountain Goats. For their 13th album, they enlist Chatham art-punk Billy Childish as producer and co-writer, with invigorating results. The ‘Drive My Car’ groove of ‘I Could Hear The Telephone (3 Floors Above Me)’ and Childish’s clanging riff on ‘Pea Green Coat’ revel in bluesy ‘60s rock. ‘Fake Fox Fur Pillowcase’ proves Tattersall’s love of intricate solos and way with an arresting lyric (“The fried chicken house smells worse than death”) are thriving. It sounds like the start of another beautiful friendship.
Sir Richard Bishop – Tangier Sessions
Ex-Sun City Girls guitarist Richard Bishop – who’s established an accomplished trade in world guitar sounds over the years – self-recorded ‘Tangier Sessions’ in Morocco. Working at night from a tiled room in a rooftop apartment, the 54-year-old coaxed songs out of an aged guitar of unknown provenance he’d picked up months earlier in Geneva. The result is a beguiling – albeit, at seven tracks, rather short – set of intricate, finger-picked songs. Rapid and languid by turns, the record is spiced with atmospheric, Middle Eastern licks – veering north for a choppy, Latin feel on ‘Safe House’ and ending with the honeyed fretboard devotional of ‘Let It Come Down’.
Charlotte Richardson Andrews
Hey Colossus – In Black & Gold
Hey Colossus are a band with punk ethics that make alternative, heavy rock oblivious to stylistic fashions in music, and with great consistency. ‘In Black & Gold’ is the London-based six-piece’s eighth album in a superb 11-year run and fittingly – as their first for Rocket Recordings, home of Goat – it finds them hitting a stripped-back psychedelic groove. Opener ‘Hold On’ is loose, hazy, and full of foreboding and single ‘Hey, Dead Eyes, Up!’ finds them in more typical Melvins-like sludge territory. On ‘Lagos Atom’ they experiment with dub within a post-rock setting and they end with ‘Sinking, Feeling’, a slab of heavy, half-time doom. A more diverse and calculated album than a usual Hey Colossus offering, and all the better for it.