This is late, are you even surprised anymore? Thought not. I've decided to start May now. Not sure why, I just have, okay? Okay. There's a lot of Australian stuff going on this week. It was unintentional but music from Aus and New Zealand is so good at the moment... with the harsh exception of one of the releases below.
Albums and EPs Released Last Week:
Airling - Hard to Sleep, Easy to Dream This is good eh? Pretty sure this is on the verge of things I'm not typically supposed to like but Airling perfectly hits the genre mark between catchy pop and more ambient electronic. Hannah Shepherd uses featured artiste Tom Iansek's contrasting vocals just the right amount too, which does give the album a bit more of an edge than it would have it was just her. I've listened to this album a stupid amount of times in the space of 24 hours and as a result it has replaced RKCB's debut EP as my album to journey home being sad to. A soundtrack. In particular I adore 'Bloodshot Blue', the lyrics are poignant, the tone is just right and the pre-chorus is to die for. This record is stunning. 9/14 tracks added to library.
BLISS N ESO - Off The Grid You know I've raved about Australian hip hop this year right? Well after all of that, I've been slapped in the face with the new not good BLISS N ESO album. Everything that was exciting and innovative and current about Thundamentals, Spit Syndicate and Horrorshow feels like it's been omitted from this record. The most baffling thing are the guest features. What is the identity of Mario? Surely this isn't 'Let Me Love You' Mario? And I'll be damned if I can take Watsky even remotely seriously post-The Project U podcast. Surely no one in Australia is buying into this, right? The strangest thing is that they do touch on some actual relevant topics like we hear on 'Dopamine' and 'Devil On My Shoulder', but their delivery is so insincere it's hard to emotionally invest in. There's a line on 'Great Escape' that describes how they've been in the rap game for ten years "before the internet and chat rooms". Oz isn't that far behind the rest of the world, is it? No tracks added to library.
Cashmere Cat - 9 This is Cashmere Cat's debut album and it is flat out not what I was expecting, especially given the singles on the lead up. (Although in saying that, 'Throw Myself A Party' hasn't actually made it on to the record.) I guess in a way one should be grateful that it's not just one long pop song but on the flip side... the majority of this record is wishy washy electronic nonsense with the big name features going to waste more often than not. The SOPHIE collaboration on '9 (After Coachella)' is nigh on unbearable, both The Weeknd and Francis and the Lights are insignificant on 'Wild Love', and Ariana Grande's vocals amount to very little on 'Quit'. You have to wait until the album's final three tracks for what I really wanted from 9 and two of those songs we've already heard. No tracks added to library.
Fortunes. - Undressed Who are Fortunes.? Where have they come from? Because this is a release that has made me genuinely excited about music in 2017. I have a vague recollection of listening to their previous EP Jacket but I think I had some fairly mixed feelings about it. Undress, however, is undoubtedly excellent. Something that Tom Aspaul brought my attention to during the first episode of The Middle Eight Podcast was men openly singing about men. I guess it's just something I never really paid attention to beforehand but it's a really refreshing thing to hear and there's a lot of it going on on Undress. This EP is also just the right amount of quirky and off the wall to still be pretty easy listening but possesses depth that you wouldn't get on your bog-standard electronic/RnB/pop release. The whole EP added to library.
Gorillaz - Humanz Is this what all Gorillaz projects sound like? I can't recall them being quite so heavy on the features in previous cycles but this definitely seems like overkill. It's really at the point where I'm not sure who Gorillaz are or what they're actually making because there is so much focus on other artists on Humanz. To be honest, Anthony Fantano's review of this album is probably the best one you need - not that these are reviews, but you get my drift. On a first listen I didn't hate a lot of this album, but going back over it, I don't really care that much for any of it either. Like, do I want to hear any of this again? Not particularly... 2/26 songs added to library. Yep, 26.
JMSN - Whatever Makes U Happy I'm a little unsure how I feel about JMSN releasing so much music in quick succession... it doesn't feel right, you know? Almost too good to be true, maybe. But in saying that I think I prefer this shorter album to the "full-length" that he put out last summer. It's actually a bit weird writing so much praise for a singular man so often but JMSN's vocals are never not flawless, and it's difficult to tire of his jazz tinged RnB sound. 6/8 tracks added to library.
Sandro Cavazza - Sandro Cavazza These vocals got me shook. Surprise, he's Swedish! This is Sandro Cavazza's debut EP and it's very good but I honestly can't describe, other than his extraordinary vocals what sets it apart from other singer/songwriter releases of a similar ilk... but something does. Cavazza has already done vocals on tracks for Avicii and Lost Frequencies so it's surely only a matter of time before he gets his big break and these four tracks will definitely give him a helping hand. 'So Much Better' is very good in particular, and Lord does this have some real sync potential. 3/4 tracks added to library.