Best New Releases, June 7: Actress, Charli XCX, and more

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We’re getting close to summer—in fact, we just published our list of our favorite records of the year so far. But the sounds beginning to bubble up on new release Fridays are also beginning to reflect the sounds of warmer weather. In fact, this week sees the release of a couple of great new records loaded with pop hooks and beats, as well as a surprisingly sedate record from a producer best known for esoteric techno. Additionally there are some great records in hip-hop, hardcore, indie folk and more. Check out our picks for this week’s best new releases.

Note: When you buy something through our affiliate links, Treble receives a commission. All albums we cover are chosen by our editors and contributors.

best new albums Actress
Smalltown Supersound

Actress – Statik

Only eight months ago, Darren Emerson released LXXXVIII, his excellent chess-themed album that paired his haunting and obscure sonic approach with moments of dancefloor ecstasy. And yet here he is less than a year later with another new album, Statik, which is considerably more sedate and tranquil than the cerebral beatscape of his most recent release. Production wise, there’s still a crackling lo-fi quality that readily scans as Actress, but the actual songs are more ambient in nature, occasionally kicking up into a kick-drum pulse but mostly hovering within the ether. It’s strangely soothing, expectedly odd, and satisfying in unexpected ways.

Listen at Bandcamp
Buy at Rough Trade (vinyl)


Charli XCX – Brat

Charli XCX has spent most of her career spiking mainstream pop with an artful sense of mischief and an avant garde sensibility. It’s been there since the beginning, certainly, but it’s evolved through her collaborations with artists such as Yaeji and A.G. Cook. Her 2022 album CRASH was about as direct as Charli gets, but two years later, she’s steered back into her more creatively chaotic instincts in the best way, juxtaposing songs about fame’s trapdoors and insecurities with an aesthetic that draws heavily from ’00s electroclash in its party-ready, frantic array of beats. It’s been a while since she’s delivered something that goes as hard as “Club classics.” Or “Von dutch.” Or “B2b.” I mean, damn.

Listen at Spotify
Buy at Turntable Lab (vinyl)


Peggy Gou – I Hear You

Last year, Peggy Gou released an absolute blockbuster of a single with “(It Goes Like) Nanana,” a club track built for maximum hedonism—and one that ended up on our list of the best songs of 2023. It was also a bit out of character for the South Korean producer, who previously explored more nuanced and atmospheric dance sounds. But here, she just goes for it. On I Hear You, her first full-length album, she draws heavily from the dance music aesthetics of the ’90s—house, trance, jungle, etc.—for a set of songs that demand to be heard on the dancefloor. While she sheds much of the artful subtleties that defined her past work, she makes up for it with a set of nonstop bangers.

Listen at Bandcamp
Buy at Turntable Lab (vinyl)


Pedro the Lion – Santa Cruz

Pedro the Lion’s David Bazan revived the name of his cult indie rock project after releasing several records under his own name, officially resurrecting it with 2019’s Phoenix. Havasu follows in the series of records he’s been making with PTL mk. 2, each carrying a title named after a place of personal significance and featuring artwork with similar designs. His latest likewise contains gorgeously understated songs with moments of unexpected intensity, with often devastating lyrics to deliver the coup de grace. We’ll have more on this one soon.

Listen at Bandcamp


ShrapKnel – Nobody Planning to Leave

Two years after the dizzying, labyrinthine Metal Lung, Curly Castro and PremRock, a.k.a. ShrapKnel, take another journey through the gauntlet with their new strange, psychedelic and stunning album Nobody Planning to Leave. Featuring production from Controller 7, the album is some of the most surreal and otherworldly that the duo has ever released, which is saying quite a bit—they’re known for getting noisy, off-kilter, anything but straightforward. But the album juxtaposes an affection with classic boom-bap with the group’s tendency toward warped imagery and an approach that leans toward the weirdest fringes of hip-hop. It’s outstanding and we’ll have more on this one soon.

Listen/Buy at Bandcamp


Marina Allen – Eight Pointed Star

Singer/songwriter Marina Allen makes her return with Eight Pointed Star, two years after the excellent Centrifics. Her latest comprises nine songs of gentle and affecting folk music, driven by beautifully stark melodies and Allen’s own mesmerizing vocals. Occasionally she kicks up the energy on a standout moment like “Swinging Doors,” which escalates her sound from folk to folk rock, ushering in some energy and stellar vocal melodies, but there’s not a moment here that isn’t lovely. Stay tuned for more on this one.

Listen at Bandcamp
Buy at Rough Trade (vinyl)

best new albums - Candy

Candy – It’s Inside You

On 2022’s Heaven Is Here, hardcore troupe Candy began to integrate elements of electronic and industrial music into their aggressive, heavy sound, and on their follow-up, they continue that evolution while retaining the intensity that’s been at the core of their music from the beginning. The group’s latest features guest appearances from the likes of Mirsy, mmph, Angel Du$t’s Justice Tripp and Integrity’s Aaron Melnick, while the group adds an extra layer of electronic pulse and eerie synth atmosphere. The album ends with songs titled “Dancing to the Infinite Beat” and “Hypercore,” which give some indication of the band’s direction—they’re opening up the pit at an underground rave.

Listen at Bandcamp
Buy at Rough Trade (vinyl)

Umbra Vitae Light of Death review
Deathwish Inc.

Umbra Vitae – Light of Death

Hardcore/metal supergroup Umbra Vitae—featuring members of Converge and The Red Chord—return after four years with a set of rippers that leans more toward their own unique hybrid of sounds than their more death metal influenced debut. In our review of the album, Wil Lewellyn said, “Light of Death is the type of sonic punishment your ears deserve, a grower with every listen that spews venom out of sheer honesty.”

Listen at Bandcamp
Buy at Rough Trade (vinyl)

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