Every Monday (in this case Tuesday), Ghettoblaster is looking back to new albums released the previous week. Below you’ll find several albums released on Friday, September 2nd that we believe are definitely worth a listen.
The Hecks – The Hecks (Trouble In Mind Records)
The debut lp of Chicago post-punk trio The Hecks is raw yet nuanced, you wouldn’t expect an album this lo-fi to be this dynamic. It straddles the line between catchy & melodic, and dissonant & abrasive. They implement a speak-sing punk style akin to Parquet Courts. Each song is a surprise, designed with droning ambient tracks to make you zone out, so they can take you off guard with what they do next. Yet, all songs are connected by an uneasiness throughout, even the brightest track has traces of dissonance. This album is delightfully dark and subtly spectacular.
Izzy Bizu – A Moment of Madness (Epic Records)
22 Year old British singer Izzy Bizu recently gained success via BBC Radio and now has released her impressive debut album. Gliding from soul to r&b to pop, each song is catchier than the last. Bizu is a fierce and powerful vocalist, with backing instrumentals running the gambit of styles. This album feels like a throwback to early aughts pop music. It is an incredibly addictive album and establishes Bizu as a force to be reckoned with.
Angel Olsen – My Woman (Jagjaguwar)
On her sophomore solo album Angel Olsen departs from the lo-fi folk/rock style from her debut, into a raw rock/dream-pop hybrid. Though there are many sounds that were not present on the first album, but what they do have in common is being driven by guitar. This album has a wealth of diverse guitar sounds: from the low rumble of “Shut Up Kiss Me” to the echoing twang of “Heart Shaped Face,” Olsen reminds us that she knows her way around a six-string. Produced by Olsen and Justin Raisen, this album is crisp and shimmering, where her last had a crunchy lo-fi charm. On this record Olsen faces harsh realities, sometimes with strength and wit, other times with fear and uncertainty. While I would ordinarily be turned off to an album where a majority of the songs are about love, Olsen poses interesting questions about love and what it means to be a woman (and a human) with lyrics like, “Will you ever know the same love that I’ve known?” and “What is it my heart’s made of?” Olsen reinvented herself for this album and the result is her best work yet.
serpentwithfeet – blisters (Tri Angle)
If you see a guy with a beard, a septum piercing, and a pentagram tattoo on his forehead you would assume he’s in a metal band. You certainly wouldn’t think that his music would be exceptionally tender and vulnerable. However, that is the case with 27-year old Josiah Wise, whose debut ep as serpentwithfeet is a spare, beautiful showcase of his staggering vocal range and intricate songwriting. Produced by acclaimed electronic artist The Haxan Cloak, the backing compositions are rich yet subtle, often with epic swells that, when paired with Wise’s falsetto, make tracks all the more powerful. His affected harmonies often give a gospel vibe to his R&B style, with lyrics that are deep and abstract. Wise told Pitchfork that his music focuses on, “cultural trauma, cultural mourning, African American mourning,” on his Twitter page he describes the album as, “my 28 years of un-answers.” What we hear on this album is Wise trying to heal from this trauma and trying to make sense of it all. This is a glorious vocal album that gives James Blake a run for his money.