Well, it finally happened. The new releases are overflowing. Today’s a big day for new albums, and not simply because it’s the release date for the new album by Radiohead offshoot The Smile (though that’s a pretty big deal, too). The list of new albums worth hearing is too long for us to really list in one place, but we captured the best of the best: industrial rap, art-pop, an underrated late-’90s reissue and the expansive new record from the prolific Ty Segall (which is our Album of the Week). Check out our picks for the week’s Best New Releases.
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The Smile – Wall of Eyes
Only 19 months after the release of their debut, A Light for Attracting Attention, The Smile return with another set of atmospheric yet groove-heavy art rock, some of which nods even more obviously to Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood’s work in Radiohead (is that a little bit of “Like Spinning Plates” I hear?). The group’s second album is a little less scrappy, a little more free flowing in how it intertwines psychedelia, jazz, krautrock and ambiance. The group is building out their sonic world at what feels like an unusually rapid pace. More on this one soon.
Ty Segall – Three Bells
Ty Segall returns after a year and a half with one of his longest albums yet and one of his most farthest reaching, which we named our Album of the Week. In our review of Three Bells, we said, “It is the most refined of Segall’s albums, however, a 65-minute exercise in layered psych-rock arrangements and lyrical introspection that feels immersive in a way that his most blown-out power chord freakouts, fun as they remain, never were.”
Katy Kirby – Blue Raspberry
Singer/songwriter Katy Kirby makes her Anti- Records debut with Blue Raspberry, a set of beautifully written and arranged pop songs that carry an unflinching honesty. In our review of the album, Adam P. Newton said, “She balances her keen capacity for melody, mood, and tempo with a relatable sensuality that’s equal parts yearning and intense reflection. We get clear descriptions and robust turns of phrase that showcase her fearlessness as a songwriter rather than coy metaphors.”
Future Islands – People Who Aren’t There Anymore
Future Islands return with their first new album in four years with People Who Aren’t There Anymore, an album that builds on their signature blend of dreamy synth-pop along with Sam Herring’s impassioned vocal delivery. An album that carries a sense of longing and loss, it shines brightest in its bittersweet moments, like early single “The Tower.” Though it’s off to a great start with “King of Sweden,” a more darkly pulsing, post-punk-leaning standout that finds the group continuing to expand their palette. People Who Aren’t There Anymore still very much sounds like Future Islands, but that’s always a welcome sound.
Gruff Rhys – Sadness Sets Me Free
Gruff Rhys, frontman of long-running Welsh psych-pop outfit Super Furry Animals, continues his prolific streak with his tenth solo release (on top of nine with SFA, a couple with Neon Neon, etc.), an ornate and beautiful set of art-pop—what else would you expect? In our review of the album, Tom Morgan said, “This is a gorgeous record and another casual triumph by a low-key genius who seems perpetually surprised that he’s as brilliant as he is.”
Eye Flys – Eye Flys
Philadelphia noise rock brutes Eye Flys are back with their sophomore album, a concise but potent set of grimy guitars and lyrical misanthropy. In just under a half-hour, the group pummel their way through eight songs of sludge and murk, slinging one disgusting slice of power-chord and feedback-driven violence after another. It’s a motherfucker. We’ll have more to say about this one soon.
The Umbrellas – Fairweather Friend
San Francisco indie pop group The Umbrellas have released their sophomore album Fairweather Friend, an infectious set of C86-influenced jangle pop that’s a whole lotta fun. In our review of the album, John-Paul Shiver said, “This pushes everyone’s comfort zones a bit, adding just the right amount of whimsical feel so that Ferrera’s guitar washes sparkle and Stanley’s voice shines like gold. Fairweather Friend hits like a real one.”
Angry Blackmen – The Legend of ABM
The sophomore album from Chicago’s industrial-rap duo Angry Blackmen nearly doubles the duration of their 2020 debut HEADSHOTS! The Legend of ABM feels bigger, heavier, more intense, and with a handful of notable guest verses from the likes of Fatboi Sharif and SKECH185 (who were both among our rap favorites of 2023). Released on venerable noise-rap label Deathbomb Arc (clipping., Debby Friday), The Legend of ABM goes hard, leaning heavy on cacophonous beats and buzzing bass, along with its share of catchy-as-hell moments like the standout “Grind.” It’s infectious and abrasive all in one explosive sonic assault. In their own words: “This that rap caviar shit, mixed in with the mosh pit.” We’ll have more on this one soon.
Dissimulator – Lower Form Resistance
Quebec’s Dissimulator features members of death metal troupe Chthe’ilist and funeral doom cult Atramentus, and their debut album is a stunning showcase for their wildly fun and action-packed sci-fi death metal. The group draws heavy inspiration from another group of Canadiann sci-fi metal greats—Voivod—and Lower Form Resistance is a trip through alien landscapes, black holes and other treacherous terrain, big on riffs and thrilling feats of musicianship. Lower Form Resistance is an eye-popping and endlessly entertaining set of songs to open the doors for what’s starting to shape up to be a great year for metal.
Colin Newman – Bastard
Wire vocalist Colin Newman released Bastard in 1997, trading the group’s signature post-punk and new wave sounds for a more atmospheric electronic/trip-hop approach. While at the time it might have seemed a bit leftfield, particularly coming from an artist with a pedigree such as Newman’s, in hindsight it sounds remarkably fresh—even 27 years later. Reissued and expanded with an extra disc of bonus tracks, Bastard now feels like a missing link between IDM and post-rock, a sparse but invigorating set of productions that still feels connected to Wire’s most avant garde moments along with then-newer acts at the time, like Disco Inferno. An underrated gem, ripe for rediscovery.
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.