Still overwhelmed by this week’s batch of new albums? We don’t blame you. But we’re adding five more songs that you have to hear as well. (One of which is on one of those albums—that simplifies things a little, right?) A couple of heavy bruisers, a hypnotic hip-hop song, some subtly building slowcore and a haunting folk track. Here are this weeks Essential Tracks.
alexalone – “ALL I NEED”
In 2021, alexalone released their debut album ALEXALONEWORLD, which intertwined elements of psychedelia, slowcore and doom metal in a fusion that sounded unlike much else in indie rock (or metal) at the time. “ALL I NEED,” the first single from the just-released and just-announced new album ALEXALONE TECHNICAL RESEARCH, finds the group further refining their unique hybrid, its slow build toward a subtle but powerful climax presenting a quietly growing intensity as vocalist Alex Peterson reflects on living in the suburbs and finding solitude in outside spaces. It feels cathartic and therapeutic but not over the top, a sophisticated showing from a band whose evolution only grows more exciting.
From ALEXALONE TECHNICAL RESEARCH, out now via Polyvinyl
Maria BC – “Still”
We hit a milestone in our household this week where the inside temperature of our house finally dropped below our thermostat setting. Which makes for a perfect environment to enjoy “Still,” the second single from Maria BC’s upcoming album Spike Field. Stark and gentle, defined by intricate acoustic plucking, “Still” shares a little in common with her Sacred Bones labelmate Marissa Nadler, as well as the narcotic haze of Grouper or Midwife. It’s melancholy, gorgeous music that scarcely rises above a whisper but feels all the more captivating a result, a darkly mesmerizing gem of a song whose eventual expansion into something grand and echoing sneaks up on you.
From Spike Field, out October 20 via Sacred Bones
Armand Hammer – “The Gods Must Be Crazy”
Armand Hammer’s been in this space twice already for singles from the just-released We Buy Diabetic Test Strips (which is awesome, by the way). But the third single they released from the album just before it dropped has been one of my favorites since I had a chance to log into the advance stream. Produced by El-P, “The Gods Must Be Crazy” is frantic and disorienting, with a hypnotic beat that underscores a rapid-fire slideshow of images from Live Aid in ’85 to “dick suck glyphs on tablets.” It’s the best kind of sensory overload, three minutes of the duo firing on all cylinders.
From We Buy Diabetic Test Strips, out now via Fat Possum
Year of the Knife – “Wish” (feat. Devin Swank of Sanguisugabogg)
Year of the Knife were involved in a terrifying van accident earlier this year that left all the members with serious injuries, in particular vocalist Madi Watkins who was just discharged from the hospital after three months (!). The band decided to go forward with releasing their new Kurt Ballou-produced album in October while they’re still on the road to recovery (pre-order here, all proceeds go to the band!) and this 84-second beast of a song they released this week suggests they’ve got something intense in store. Featuring Sanguisugabogg growler Devin Swank on guest vocals, the song is a brief but unrelenting slab of pummel and roar, the kind of fury and menace you can put on repeat endlessly.
From No Love Lost, out October 27 via Pure Noise
Body Void – “Human Greenhouse”
And since we’re speaking of music that’s heavy, there’s maybe nothing heavier that I’ve heard this year than the latest from Body Void. “Human Greenhouse” is a critique of capitalism as fed to us through the internet and technology, which the band says might be the catchiest song on the album. This is, of course, all relative—this won’t be mistaken for power pop anytime soon. But “Human Greenhouse” does leave an immediate impression, its dense and harrowing array of thickly distorted guitars and eerie textures presenting an array of horrors that you can’t look away from. Nor should you. Soak this in and prepare yourself for one of the most intense metal records of the coming season.
From Atrocity Machine, out October 13 via Prosthetic
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.