New Music Weekly is your one-stop shop for new releases in the world of music each and every week. From the best of the best to some of the rest, Mark Conroy is here to give you the low down on what you might have missed. This week: Brockhampton, Chance The Rapper, Grapetooth & More…
Animal Collective ‘Hair Cutter’
One of the best experimenters in alt-pop history, Animal Collective have had a rough time of it of late. They peaked with 2009’s Merriweather Pop Pavillion but their last two came-and went records have felt like they’ve stretched their sound to a breaking point. Now they have announced a new audio-visual album entitled Tangerine Reef, released in collaboration with Coral Morphologic to commemorate the 2018 International Year of the Reef. ‘Hair Cutter’, the first snippet, is hard to gage on its own and without the accompanying visual. It’s a suitably atmospheric voyage into the hidden depths of the ocean. Complete with surreal vocals that’s drone in unison and an eerie submerged sounding production that manoeuvres glacially, this is surreal wallpaper music. Not much else.
Grapetooth ‘Trouble’ and ‘Violent’
Grapetooth is the surprise collaboration between Twin Peaks’ Clay Frankel and producer Chris Bailoni. The duo have so far released two blistering tracks that greatly diverge in terms of genre and style. ‘Violent’ is a new wave as a tidal event, a stomp that charges with euphoric zeal while lamenting the blood thirsty realities of human nature. ‘Trouble’–which technically came out last autumn but it only formally dropped on streaming services in July 2018—is an altogether different, but no less impressive, animal. It’s soul music in a space station. Frankel’s trademark howl energises its surroundings, a vocal wrecking ball the crashes in but also complements the playful, church choir voices that emerges behind him.
Waxahatchee ‘Chapel of Pines’
The beautiful ‘Chapel of Pines’, set to appear on the upcoming EP Great Thunder, is a major shift away from the incendiary, folksy rock of Katie Crutchfield’s last record as Waxahatchee. Opening with a quintessential, Nashville line of southern longing (“Missippippi I’m alone”), this is Cruchfield leaning hard on her Alabama roots. It makes sense, considering the original version of the song was written years ago when Crutchfield was in a duo actually called Great Thunder. In a stripped back affair about lovelorn self-acceptance, it’s her voice that stands out as it cracks with emotion and soars with new found confidence.
Chance The Rapper ‘65th & Ingleside’
Chance was busy this past week. He dropped four new tracks—it’s not yet clear if these will appear on the upcoming album he reportedly made with Kanye West—and bought the Chigagoist, a local online publication that covers news in his home city. As for the songs, they are a bit of mixed bag. He’s more irritable than usual, with these four musical workouts suggesting some of the light criticism he’s been getting in recent months has been getting to him. ‘65th and Ingleside’, a love letter to his new fiancé Kirsten, is the strongest of a fairly lukewarm batch. In it, Chancelor Bennett endearingly self-reflects, lamenting his getting caught up in his own hype. A hype that’s preventing him settling down with the woman he loves. “I was sleeping with you every single night/But I was still tryna act single right?” he asks of himself pointedly.
Brockhampton ‘Truman 1998’
After some very serious accusations of sexual misconduct that led to a member being (rightfully) kicked out, the fate of the mega-popular hip-hop collective Brockhampton seemed to be up in the air since dropping 3 rather good albums in 2017. Any potential hiatus never came to be in the end with the group dropping a couple singles this past month. ‘Truman 1998’, the most recent, is a dizzying dose of paranoid, SoundCloud rap. The track shakes with anxiety as the anarchic beats bounce around like a madman in a padded cell. The verses by the various members all crackle with suspicion but it’s Matt Champion who shows us how debilitating personal insecurities are what really plague the conspiracy fearing mind: “I hate on myself when I look in the mirror/Hear them lil’ voices all up in my ear/Why do I care how I look?/Why do I care what they say?”.
JEFF The Brotherhood ‘Parachute’
Consisting of, unsurprisingly, the brothers Jake and Jamin Orrall, JEFF The Brotherhood are a prolific rock duo who for their upcoming LP Magick Songs, have added a bigger band (and sound) around them. ‘Parchaute’ is a sweeping an spacious effort, a deft mix of prog and indie that moves gradually but serenades peacefully.
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