Our selection of the best new music across a range of genres from the week ending 10 November 2023.
Nighteyes, the evocative solo project of New Zealand-born and Melbourne-based multi-instrumentalist Rachel Trainor, has unveiled her haunting debut album The Way Back Down. This ethereal collection of dark rock, folk and electronica navigates an intricate narrative through realms known and unknown, traversing themes of trauma, love, sorrow, environmental consciousness, connection, and transformation. Trainor blurs musical boundaries, seamlessly melding electronica with the haunting resonance of doom-inspired guitars and vocals. With a rich background in diverse musical, circus, and cabaret acts, Trainor’s performances have graced international stages, solidifying her presence in the professional circuit.
Bas Jan return with a polished and poignant collection of perfectly-crafted pop songs that retains their authentic indie edginess. Back To The Swamp is a heady tussle between their incorrigible DIY ethics and new responsibilities. Serafina Steer, Charlotte Stock, Emma Smith and Rachel Horwood cast an examining eye over modern times, lost love, Tarot intuition and long days in an everyday swamp. Awash with lush chorale effects, orchestral hewn loops, pin sharp electronic beats and sublime harmonies. Back To The Swamp is filled with thought-provoking stories, it’s a reflective worldview. It’s a polished and poignant collection of perfectly-crafted pop songs that retains their authentic indie edginess.
House of Belonging is a dynamic and timely collection of world premieres for choir and instruments from Conspirare featuring the Miró Quartet, violinist Sandy Yamamoto, cellist Daniel Kopp and pianist Carla McElhaney. Craig Hella Johnson leads Conspirare in a musical exploration of home and belonging. These world premiere recordings showcase the virtuosity and distinctive expressiveness of Conspirare’s vocal artists in music from composers Alex Berko, Craig Hella Johnson, Shara Nova, Kevin Puts, Michael Schachter, and Derrick Skye. The music of Margaret Bonds, Ross Lee Finney and Moira Smiley complete the album.
Hiromi has released Sonicwonderland, the internationally celebrated and GRAMMY-winning pianist and composer’s new album. Sonicwonderland represents a new musical adventure for the constantly evolving pianist and composer, who is a star in her native Japan, and burst onto the music scene 20 years ago with her debut album. Recorded with a new quartet – Hiromi’s Sonicwonder – the album features nine new works bursting with synthesizer and deep-in-the pocket grooves. Hiromi dazzles at the keyboard, striking a balance of powerful, aggressive and delicate playing. Hiromi’s Sonicwonder is a quartet featuring blossoming young talents Hadrien Feraud (bass), Gene Coye (drums), and Adam O’Farrill (trumpet) and began performing live together earlier this spring.
U.S. Girls, the experimental pop project of North American multidisciplinary artist Meg Remy, has released its first-ever live album entitled Lives. The album showcases the last five years on stage non-chronologically. The musicians on this 15-song album represent three distinct versions of the U.S. Girls live band; the “Poem Band,” a jam-oriented outsider jazz-funk unit that often stretched Remy’s deep-pocketed groovers and plastic soul ballads out the nether-regions of abstraction, the “Heavy Light Band,” which reigned in the chaos and placed emphasis on harmonious sounds of stacked female voices, and the current iteration of the U.S. Girls band that utilises synthesisers and samplers to bring a new dimension and depth of tone to her catalogue.
Good Will Remedy have been serenading and rocking Australian audiences for half a dozen years now. In that time most bands might release a couple of albums, but the prolific and hard working GWR already have five albums under their belt. Now they bring you their sixth full length release, Sunshine State. The title of the new album is “more a state of mind than location,” explains songwriter, singer and bassist Will Lebihan. “The title track is an anthem to all things good and positive – oh and Queensland of course!”
Following on from her critically acclaimed mixtape to hell with it, the debut album Heaven Knows reveals PinkPantheress’ inner self-reflection as she explores various types of relationships, including romantic, parasocial, materialistic pursuits, grief, and finding contentment within loneliness. Produced and written by PinkPantheress, the 13-track project was created alongside previous and new collaborators including Greg Kurstin, Mura Masa, Danny L Harle, Count Baldor, Phil, Cash Cobain and more. The product of PinkPantheress and these collective minds working together is an album that exhibits a new emotional depth from the musician’s songwriting paired with her saccharine vocals and earworm production.
Other reviews you might enjoy:
- New music round-up (for w/e 25 August 2023)
- New music round-up (for w/e 18 August 2023)
- New music round-up (for w/e 16 June 2023)
David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television