Best New Releases, March 29: Kelly Moran, Frail Body, and more

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Kelly Moran

Today’s a pretty huge release day in music for a very obvious reason that we’re just going to dance around for a moment—we’re still processing that one. But there are six new albums and one compilation of reissued material that we’re absolutely ready to slap without coveted seal of approval on this New Music Friday. Piano instrumentals, archival shoegaze, screamo, death doom metal, new shoegaze, moody gangster rap and psychedelic hip-hop—it’s a lot to queue up, so let’s go ahead and get started.

Blurbs by Jeff Terich (JT) and Mia Euceda (ME)

Kelly Moran new album Moves in the Field

Kelly Moran – Moves in the Field

On albums like 2018’s Ultraviolet, Kelly Moran created delicately mysterious compositions from prepared piano, using textural elements as much as musical ones to create a mesmerizing atmosphere. On Moves in the Field, she transitions to acoustic piano pieces but the overall effect remains one of hypnotic movement, both gentle and rhythmically driving. She’s not an electronic artist, but given the sense of fluidity and innovation within the album, it makes perfect sense that she’s part of the Warp Records roster, delivering an acoustic album with the same kind of unpredictability you’d hear in IDM. We’ll have more on this one soon. – JT

Listen at Bandcamp
Buy at Amazon (vinyl)

Deathwish Inc.

Frail Body – Artificial Bouquet

Rockford, Illinois screamo group Frail Body made their debut in 2019 with the intense, awesome A Brief Memoriam, and with their follow up, Artificial Bouquet, the group further refines their incendiary approach, delivering a set of songs that seethe with a kind of explosive beauty. They balance moments of tension and grandeur with eruptive menace, a balance of sounds that’s at once stunning and scorching. They started off strong, but this feels like a big step forward for a band who delivers excoriating music with both nuance and ferocity. We’ll have even more to say about this album soon. – JT

Listen at Bandcamp
Buy at Rough Trade (vinyl)

Ride Interplay review

Ride – Interplay

After a four year break, Ride returns with a psychedelic set of pensive and hypnagogic songs. With its stretched-out, droning bass and airy, nonchalant synths, Interplay is a step away from the high spirited shoegaze that put the band on the map. In our review of the album, Langdon Hickman said, “Ride is a contemporary touring and recording unit now, not a historical one, bringing to mind a similar shift that Wire underwent when they set themselves to rights as a modern unit. This is songwriting without anxiety, allowing itself a more amorphous shape and meditative timbre. It’s music for car rides, highway hypnosis and droning tunes creating that heathaze desert sheen in the mind.” – ME

Listen at Bandcamp
Buy at Rough Trade (vinyl)

best new releases - Roc Marci

Roc Marciano – Marciology

New York emcee Roc Marciano’s been on a hell of a streak, delivering his sixth album in three years, following recent highlights like his 2022 Alchemist collaboration The Elephant Man’s Bones (one of our favorite hip-hop records of that year). Marciology mostly finds Marciano behind the boards on a set of austere and eerie rap tracks that find him setting the mood with stunningly rich productions. His sometimes collaborator The Alchemist provides beats on a handful of standouts, and Larry June, Flee Lord and Jay Worthy each deliver a guest verse throughout, but by and large this is Roc’s show—dark, grimy and utterly mesmerizing. – JT

Listen at Spotify

most anticipated albums of spring 2024 - shabazz palaces
Sub Pop

Shabazz Palaces – Exotic Birds of Prey

Shabazz Palaces’ second mini album in two years, Exotic Birds of Prey is an appetizer-length set of tracks that reaffirms Ishmael Butler’s continued descent into psychedelia. Exotic Birds of Prey is atmospheric and disorienting, thick with ambient soundscapes and space-age funk, intertwining more conventional rap songs like “Myths of the Occult” with trippy synth-driven pieces like “Goat Me” and minute-long jungle bangers like “Well Known Nobody.” Butler packs a lot of ideas into a concise package, and it feels like a promising glimpse of Shabazz Palaces’ future—we’ll have more on this one soon. – JT

Listen at Bandcamp
Buy at Amazon (vinyl)


Coffins – Sinister Oath

Tokyo death doom metal outfit Coffins have been churning up riffs for nearly three decades, and the group are still delivering the same level of slow-moving supernatural thrills and ugly-face riffs. Sinister Oath is expectedly crushing, at times showcasing a cruel swing on highlights like “Forced Disorder” and letting the bad vibes linger on the tensely lingering lurch of the title track. The production is thick and syrupy, the riffs are set to bludgeon, and the whole thing is a reminder of how satisfying death doom can be without pageantry or frills—just no-nonsense undead crawl. – JT

Listen at Bandcamp
Buy at Amazon (vinyl)

Numero Group

Majesty Crush – Butterflies Don’t Go Away

Detroit shoegazers Majesty Crush had a brush with mainstream success back in the ’90s before eventually disbanding later that decade. They released one studio album, Love 15, via the major label-distributed Dali Records, which is included on the new Numero Group compilation, Butterflies Don’t Go Away, along with single and EP material and other rare tracks spanning the group’s short but eventful career. The 2xLP collection showcases the depth and beauty of a group whose music feels both very much of its era as well as incredibly ahead of its time given how much wider the influence of shoegaze is on contemporary music, 30 years later. A must-hear set of music for anyone who loves a good melody and a pedalboard. – JT

Listen at Spotify
Buy at Amazon (vinyl)

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