Welcome to another edition of “Weekly New Releases”. We must admit, we’re a few days behind schedule this week, but believe us when we say it’s for a very good reason. The sheer volume and outstanding quality of submissions we received have been truly remarkable. As always, we’re committed to bringing you the freshest and most exciting music from around the globe, but this week presented us with an enviable problem – there was simply too much fantastic music to sift through! So, after spending a little extra time diving deep into the wealth of talent sent our way, we’re thrilled to finally present to you our handpicked selection of this week’s new releases. As they say, good things come to those who wait, and trust us, this week’s lineup is well worth the wait. So, without further ado, let’s delve into the exciting world of new music!
eliza elliott – “Are You Ever?”
As one listens to “Are You Ever?” by New York City-based singer, songwriter, and producer Eliza Elliott, a profound sense of longing and regret permeates the sonic atmosphere. The melancholy alt-pop track, reminiscent of the works of Samia, Clairo, and Phoebe Bridgers, provides a candid and raw exploration of the aftershocks of a dissolved relationship. Elliott’s lyrical exploration of yearning and remorse is achingly apparent in lines like, “You’re not God’s favorite, but you’re mine. I think about you all the time. And all the rocks we collected — did you throw them back?” The thought-provoking, metaphorical question seems to not only encompass their shared memories but also echoes a mournful plea for answers that, perhaps, will never come.
The instrumental composition of “Are You Ever?” mirrors the song’s thematic depth with somber guitar riffs and synth loops, creating a poignant and haunting backdrop for Eliza’s distorted, emotive vocals. The production choices here effectively mimic the tumultuous waves of grief and mourning, rendering the listener an intimate spectator of Elliott’s introspective journey. The track thus serves as a testament to Elliott’s talents as a songwriter and producer, deftly turning personal heartache into a universal narrative of love, loss, and the agonizing process of moving on. The introspective lyrics, coupled with the moving sonic landscape, make “Are You Ever?” a cathartic anthem for anyone navigating the complex terrain of lost love.
Helenor – “Warm Ways”
“Warm Ways,” the debut single off Helenor’s forthcoming sophomore LP, ‘A Public Place,’ marks a significant evolution for Brooklyn-based artist David DiAngelis. This carefully crafted track offers an inviting, reflective journey into the mind of its creator, managing to straddle the line between the intimacy of bedroom pop and the expansive sounds of indie art-pop. DiAngelis has transitioned from a one-man project into a full-fledged band while maintaining his DIY roots, and the outcome is as refreshing as it is meaningful. With an ethereal blend of lead guitars and a comforting undercurrent of synths, Helenor has created a captivating soundscape that takes listeners on a soothing drift akin to “floating in a cool body of water along the side of a highway.”
One can detect the influences of Alex G, MGMT, and Blur in Helenor’s chilled out, engaging, and distinctly indie offering. “Warm Ways” is more than just a song; it’s a vivid, narrative exploration of self-awareness and transformation, conveyed through relatable lyrics and engaging melodies. The recurring question “How do you escape from always having an escape plan?” resonates deeply, framing the listener’s experience in a paradox of seeking stability amidst constant change. Whether it’s the sweltering Brooklyn summer heat or the struggle of a mid-pandemic move, DiAngelis’s experiences seep into his songwriting, imbuing it with a potent sense of authenticity. The metamorphosis of Helenor, both musically and thematically, is a journey worth joining, promising to be an exhilarating ride through the complexities of life, love, and the human condition.
Elephant Path – “Unfold Into”
“Unfold Into,” the focus track from Elephant Path’s debut album ‘Expectations,’ which is due out this Friday, echoes with a captivating depth and timelessness that hints at the band’s various influences, from Wilco to Elliott Smith. A significant gateway to the full album experience, this track stands out as a poignant, War on Drugs-esque journey through intricate sonic landscapes. The song presents a remarkable blend of textured soundscapes layered over familiar acoustic foundations, resulting in a comforting yet exploratory musical experience. It’s a winding path that draws you in and holds your attention, inviting you to immerse yourself in Elephant Path’s uniquely crafted world.
As a solo studio-based project, Elephant Path has transformed into a sonic exploration of love, experience, and outlook, and “Unfold Into” epitomizes this ethos. The lyrics are open and introspective, mirroring the intimate nature of the music itself. With its repeating refrains about healing and feeling love “unfold into,” the song strikes a delicate balance between hope and melancholy. Elephant Path’s storytelling is immersive and heartfelt, delving into the universal experiences of vulnerability, growth, and self-discovery. This song, like the rest of ‘Expectations,’ promises to be a testament to the transformative power of introspective music, marking Elephant Path as a name to watch out for in the indie music scene.
clay pigeon – “come down”
“Come Down,” the debut single from clay pigeon, the Montreal-based project fronted by James Clayton, is an exquisite contemplation of repeating cycles, love, and loneliness. The song acts as a powerful opener, setting the stage for what seems to be a promising narrative arc in their forthcoming album. The composition reverberates with a haunting quality reminiscent of artists like boygenius and Big Thief, marked by Clayton’s lyrical prowess and the band’s skillful production. As the lyrics cycle through repeated themes, the band invokes a profound sense of melancholic introspection, grounding the listener in Clayton’s reflections on time, memory, and fading relationships.
The track’s lyricism is superb, capturing the essence of life’s cyclical nature in which elements of our daily existence, such as the “same bottle of wine” or the “same blue TV screen light,” take on deeper significance as they become metaphors for emotional repetition and stasis. Clayton’s vocals oscillate between a simmering quietude and desperate questioning, asking, “are you ready to come down?” This line seems to encapsulate a longing for change amidst the sameness, imbuing the track with a palpable yearning. With “Come Down,” clay pigeon confidently positions themselves as insightful observers of the human condition. Their debut’s promise lies not only in their ability to masterfully articulate life’s complexities but also in their potential to evolve this introspective exploration throughout the forthcoming album.
Baker – “Baltimora”
“Baltimora,” a standout track from Canadian artist Baker, paints an intimate and harrowing portrait of struggling against life’s undertow. The song, from André Bluteau’s project’s second album ‘Blood Sport,’ gives voice to the personal battle of striving yet feeling like you’re sinking, wrapped in a layer of earnest and ‘crafty’ production. The lyrics serve as a testament to personal resilience, even amidst the downward spiral of stress, depression, and debt. The introspective writing style, reminiscent of artists such as Alex Cameron and Donny Benét, captures the dichotomy of despair and determination in a candid and poetic way.
The depth of despair in the lyrics of “Baltimora” is raw and real. Phrases like “overly stressed,” “alive and depressed,” and “declined and in debt,” expose a deep-seated struggle, yet the questioning “Am I doing it right?” and the assertion “This is me at my best” adds a defiant, poignant spin. The song perfectly encapsulates the feeling of walking a tightrope, of balancing on the brink of hope and despair. It’s a brutally honest representation of emotional turmoil that many can relate to. Overall, “Baltimora” is a potent offering from Baker, one that uses melancholy and introspection as tools for crafting a captivating sonic narrative.
BOWIE – “Good All On My Own”
On the first single, “Good All On My Own,” from her upcoming EP ‘The Right Way Up’, art-pop provocateur BOWIE asserts her independence with unflinching honesty. The song is a blistering rebuke to societal expectations and traditional gender roles, recalling the assertiveness of top-tier feminists like Noga Erez and Ashe, while also incorporating stylistic nods to the Beatles. The track bursts with a summer storm of drums and synths, creating a sonic tableau as defiant and multifaceted as BOWIE herself. Its message is both universally relatable and strikingly personal, offering a refreshing take on individuality and self-acceptance.
The song’s lyrics illuminate BOWIE’s journey toward self-discovery, cutting through societal norms and stereotypes with lines like, “I never had no friends, I never had a home, I never loved myself, but loved to be alone,” and, “I was a fool and thought that I could rule the world being a girl.” There’s a powerful subtext of self-awareness throughout, as she dismantles preconceived notions of femininity and takes control of her narrative. By the end of the song, after a crescendo of anthemic grunge and the supportive backing of a choir, BOWIE drives her point home with conviction: “I’m good all on my own.” The track stands as an emphatic declaration of self-reliance, presenting BOWIE as a bold and unabashed voice in the landscape of modern pop.
Booster Club – “Failure”
In their latest single, “Failure,” North Carolina’s Booster Club delivers a punchy ode to frustration and tenacity that lives up to their self-described College Rock Revival™ vibe. The track is an adrenaline-pumped melee of sonic defiance, reminiscent of a knock-down, drag-out brawl—exhilarating, chaotic, and unapologetically raw. The influences of Pixies and The Replacements are worn on the sleeve, but Booster Club offers more than mere homage. The song balances on the tightrope between anthemic hooks and art-rock chaos, establishing the band as a fresh voice amid their revered forebears.
“Failure” is charged with the essence of late-night caffeine binges and existential anxieties, providing a compelling and authentic snapshot of indie rock in the post-pandemic era. Lyrics like “Gummed ham, in a tin can/That’s my head/Before you were in it,” and “Impressed with your dry rot/And matchbooks/You drown a smile/With your system,” are steeped in self-deprecation and introspection, anchored by the triumphant refrain, “But I don’t feel like a failure.” In this volatile interplay of noise and melody, Booster Club masterfully channels the spirit of college radio’s past, while injecting a healthy dose of contemporary sensibility into the mix. With “Failure,” they declare their resilience and refuse to bow down to the struggles, be they personal or collective, encapsulating the angst and resolve of the modern indie-rock ethos.