Best New Releases, June 9: Jenny Lewis, Godflesh, and more

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Jenny Lewis

Considering this is the week that we published our list of the Best Albums of 2023 So Far, we’ve had a lot on our minds and in our headphones. But it just so happens that this is also a pretty overwhelming week for new music. Among our picks for this week’s best new releases are a singer/songwriter’s welcome return, a new ripper from some industrial metal legends, a jazz-poetry debut, a playful synth-pop collab and more. Check out our picks for this week’s best new albums below.

best new releases jenny lewis
Blue Note/Capitol

Jenny Lewis – Joy’All

From the opening notes of “Psychos,” singer/songwriter Jenny Lewis signals that she’s back with another gorgeously arranged set of country-tinged rock with Joy’All, her fifth solo album. It’s not exclusively that, though; throughout its 10 tracks, she dials up the twang and then drops the fader back again through simpler, folkier tracks like “Apples and Oranges” and “Essence of Life,” while indulging in some more psychedelic downtempo in “Giddy Up.” By and large it’s more understated than albums like 2014’s The Voyager, but while she confesses “my forties are kicking my ass” on “Puppy and a Truck,” it sounds like she’s got the upper hand.

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp | Turntable Lab (vinyl)

Godflesh new album Purge

Godflesh – Purge

It’s pretty much implicit around these parts that there’s a space here reserved for Godflesh anytime they release new music. I’d say “no questions asked,” but really this is what decades of consistently great industrial metal gets you. Six years after the release of their last album, Post Self, the legendary metal duo offer up a satisfyingly crushing set of songs, rife with squealing riffs, maximum-impact drum machine crush and a familiar, apocalyptic sensibility that’s permeated their body of work since the late 1980s. An absolute beast of a record, and we’re not done talking about this one yet.

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp | Merchbar (vinyl)

Geld Currency Castration review

Geld – Currency//Castration

Australian hardcore troupe Geld make their debut with Relapse with the excoriating Currency//Castration, an absolute scorcher of an album that packs a whole hell of a lot of intensity in 22 minutes, give or take. In our review of the album, we said, “Geld never stop moving throughout the 23 minutes on Currency//Castration, less as a means of escape than of confronting a burning world and finding the strength to stand a little closer to the fire.” Spin it three times in the next hour, and while you’re at it, read our new interview with Geld, about finding stability even when you’re going through hell.

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp | Amazon (vinyl)

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit Weathervanes review

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – Weathervanes

Long a favorite around these parts (which includes being the subject of a recent Rock Docs podcast episode), Jason Isbell makes his return with a more understated but still moving set of songs. In our review of the album, Langdon Hickman says, “A great country record should make you cry a complex cry, one that’s part anger and part hurt and part lonesomeness and part joy and part dream and part memory. Weathervanes does, as expected, because it’s a record by the best hand in the country music world currently.”

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp | Turntable Lab (vinyl)

best new releases jayda g
Ninja Tune

Jayda G – Guy

Canadian producer Jayda G has built up a catalog of outstanding house singles over the past decade, with 2020’s “Both of Us” (one of our favorite songs that year) providing one of the most significant breakthroughs. With her sophomore album Guy, Jayda G leans more heavily into pop even as it remains true to her background in club sounds. It’s a fantastic new stage in Jayda’s evolution, showcasing an even wider arrange of sounds in her arsenal while establishing that her songwriting’s never been stronger. Dancing to this isn’t optional, but even while you’re caught up in physical movement, you can’t help but marvel at all the details. More on this one soon.

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp | Turntable Lab (vinyl)

best new releases decisive pink

Decisive Pink – Ticket to Fame

Kate NV’s already gotten the year off to a great start with the playful WOW (which is one of our favorite albums of the year thus far), but only a few months later she’s got another fantastic new offering to share, her debut collaboration with Angel Deradoorian as Decisive Pink. Ticket to Fame weaves together elements of minimal synth, exotica, krautrock and various other ephemera in crafting a strange and delightful mixtape of obscurities that range from silly and surreal (“Potato Tomato”) to dancefloor certified (“Dopamine”). The duo never seem to take themselves too seriously, but in doing so the sense of fun they capture is infectious and undeniable.

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp | Amazon (vinyl)

best new albums aja monet
Drink Sum Wtr

aja monet – when the poems do what they do

Jazz poet aja monet first caught our attention last year with the breathtaking “Give My Regards to Brooklyn.” And after another stellar single in “The Devil You Know,” she delivers her debut album, when the poems do what they do, on which she’s joined by jazz artists such as Samora Pinderhughes, Marcus Gilmore and Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah. It’s a mesmerizing debut as both a jazz album and a collection of verse, with immersive and dynamic musical arrangements swirling around her alternately incisive, powerful, moving and playful lyricism, which have an undeniable musicality of their own. At 83 minutes, it’s a lengthy debut, but there’s so much here to revisit and unravel, with words that’ll linger for a few hours longer.

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp | Merchbar (vinyl)

best new releases andy stack jay hammond
Sleepy Cat

Andy Stack & Jay Hammond – Inter Personal

Two veteran musicians with backgrounds in a diverse range of musical styles, Andy Stack of Wye Oak and Jay Hammond of Trippers & Askers deliver a collaboration that leans away from a more conventional indie rock approach on Inter Personal, instead embracing a kind of haunted ambience. The seven instrumental pieces on the album are heavy on mood, but they’re dynamic, immersive, offering a sense of movement and even the feeling of a changing landscape where ambient music itself more conventionally evokes stillness. At times, like on “Logging Road,” there’s even a dark undercurrent, which arises unexpectedly. It’s the best kind of cosmic road trip soundtrack.

Listen/Buy: Bandcamp

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