Essential Tracks This Week: Just Mustard, Diatom Deli and more

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Another week down (albeit a short one), with some Essential Tracks to close it out—including dark and hazy post-punk, drum ‘n’ bass rap, immersive dream folk and grungy indie rock.

Listen to our ongoing playlist of 2022 Essential Tracks.

Just Mustard – “Still”

Wednesday, the debut album by Irish group Just Mustard, didn’t quite fit into any particular sonic space very easily, balancing Unwound-like art-core with hazier shoegaze textures and moments of dreamy pop, all cut with a layer of post-punk darkness. On paper it’s hard to see how it all connects, but in practice it’s marvelous—you begin to understand why copies of the album have become hard to find. On “Still,” their new single from upcoming Partisan Records debut , that effects-laden darkness has become ever slightly more polished up, while the tension remains. Katie Ball’s vocals are an oasis of relative calm against the group’s menacing drones and shrieking guitars, never boiling over but always seemingly on the verge of growing more dangerous. It’s a balance they craft impeccably.

From Heart Under, out May 27 via Partisan

Diatom Deli – “False Alarm”

Taos, New Mexico artist Deli Paloma-Sisk navigates serene and hypnotic space on her debut single for RVNG Intl. “False Alarm” opens gently and sparsely, with just mesmerizing acoustic guitar plucks and Paloma Sisk’s softly serene vocals. In its concise progression, however, “False Alarm” becomes something more subtly immersive, with gorgeously ambient elements softly creeping in as the song’s simple three-chord melody continues on. It’s an act of building something slowly from the ground up and then taking it back apart with gentle care.

Out now via RVNG Intl.

Spice – “Any Day Now”

When Dais Records releases something new, the natural response is to expect darkly abrasive industrial and electronic sounds, the sonic descendants of Throbbing Gristle. California group Spice are definitely not that, instead crafting a rich and grungy indie rock sound that’s loaded with hooks and intended for blasting at maximum volume on summer days. “Any Day Now” is proof of their uncanny knack for hooks and big riffs, balancing the scrappy sensibilities of ’90s indie rock with its more mainstream counterparts from that same era, but with an immediacy and edge that feels very much of the moment.

From Viv, out May 20 via Dais

Denzel Curry – “Zatoitchi” (feat. slowthai)

Denzel Curry’s done everything from throwback ’90s rap to concise, heavy hitting trap to 24-hour experiments, so it’s not surprising to hear the Miami rapper take yet another new direction on “Zatoichi,” his new single released in conjunction with a cinematic video paying homage to the Japanese film series. Produced by Powers Pleasant, the track juxtaposes atmospheric drum ‘n’ bass sounds against Curry’s introspective yet always clever rhymes: “Excruciating pain like Bane breaking Bruce Wayne’s spine.” Along with the recent “Walkin” (with a similarly Tarantino-esque clip), it finds Denzel Curry further expanding his aesthetic realm and previewing what, thus far, is shaping up to be his most ambitious album yet.

From Melt My Eyez, See Your Future, release TBA

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