Our selection of the best new music across a range of genres from the week ending 10 December 2021.
The Myth of The Happily Ever After is a homegrown project by Biffy Clyro that represents a reaction to their #1 album A Celebration of Endings and a rapid emotional response to the turmoil of the past year. It is the yin to the yang of A Celebration, the other-side-of-a-coin, a before-and-after comparison: their early optimism of 2020 having been brought back to earth with a resounding thud. It’s the product of a strange and cruel time in our lives, but one that ultimately reinvigorated Biffy Clyro.
One of the leading composers of today, Sofia Gubaidulina, has had her 90th birthday. Deutsche Grammophon mark the occasion with a new album simply titled Sofia Gubaidulina. The record features three profound and spiritual orchestral works, all of which have been recorded for the first time. Andris Nelsons conducts the Gewandhausorchester Lepzig, featuring soloist Vadim Repin, who is the dedicatee of violin concerto Dialog: Ich und Du.
Haley Dahl and her 21 bandmates – known collectively as Sloppy Jane – recorded their new album Madison at a place called Lost World Caverns in West Virginia. It’s first time ever an entire album has been recorded in a cave… A record born out of a breakup so deeply intense, the only thing dark enough to carry it is the place in which it was recorded; each song an attempt at saying goodbye to someone. The cave represents the concept of forever for Dahl but doesn’t just stand to be a metaphor. The cave serves as an instrument: it is completely and totally integral to the record’s architecture.
Bola Sete – Samba in Seattle : Live at the Penthouse, 1966-1968 is the first official release of the legendary and influential Brazilian acoustic guitarist Bola Sete’s live recordings at the Penthouse jazz club in Seattle. Samba in Seattle is a significant addition to the recorded legacy of an oft–sampled musician (A Tribe Called Quest, J Dilla and Dan The Automator) whose career straddled bossa nova, jazz–pop and early New Age.
The Times: My Picture Gallery – The Artpop! Recordings is a 6-album box set collection. The record contains the complete recordings released between 1981 and 1986 by Edward Ball’s indie mod band The Times including their albums ‘Go! With The Times’ (recorded 1980 but released in 1985), ‘Pop Goes Art!’ (1982), ‘This Is London’ (1983), ‘Hello Europe’ (1984), ‘Up Against It’ (1986) and ‘Enjoy’ (1986).
Nick Murphy & The Program have a new album, Take In The Roses. If you’re wondering, Nick Murphy is the alter ego of Chet Faker, and the LP is his first with a new band featuring Nick Kinsey (Waxahatchee, Kevin Morby), Jake Falby (Chet Faker, Julie Byrne), Tim Lappin and Tim Mislock and was produced by longtime collaborator Dave Harrington (Darkside). Written and recorded pre-pandemic at the legendary Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, Texas, Take In The Roses was recorded almost entirely live. The album’s Americana influences and stretched out soundscapes set it apart from Murphy’s previous work under his own name and as Chet Faker.
Canadian producer Jamison Isaak’s teenage exposure to iconic French house music videos cast a spell on him that still holds. Now performing as Teen Daze, his new record Interior is an ode to electric futures glimpsed in ecstatic heights, from bedrooms to big rooms. It’s an album of first loves refracted through prisms of wisdom, wounds, and wonder. Filter house and flashing lights; soft acid and vaporous neon; bumping clubs in spiral towers. Interior is Isaak’s love letter to his own artistic awakening, to the paradigm shifts inherent in youthful discovery and remote dreaming – your world exploded, your life forever changed. It’s music of skylines, escape, and sensual energy, forever cresting through nights that never end.
Other reviews you might enjoy:
- New music round-up (for w/e 16 July 2021)
- New music round-up (for w/e 3 December 2021)
- New music round-up (for w/e 17 December 2021)
David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television