Our selection of the best new music across a range of genres from the week ending 11 June 2021.
Rio is the fifth album from the sensational French jazz pianist Florian Pellissier. It was recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studio (New Jersey, USA), fulfilling one of Pellissier’s long-held dreams. The album was mixed by Jordan Kouby at Question de Son (Paris) and mastered by Frank Merritt at The Carvery (London, UK). Along with leader Pellissier, the record features David Georgelet on drums; Yoni Zelnik on bass; Christophe Panzani, saxophone; and Yoann Loustalot, trumpet. Pellissier says he likes to think of the record as representing hard bop – 2021 style.
From the moment she began writing her new album, Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner knew that she wanted to call it Jubilee. After all, a jubilee is a celebration of the passage of time—a festival to usher in the hope of a new era in brilliant technicolor. Zauner’s first two albums garnered acclaim for the way they grappled with anguish; Psychopomp was written as her mother underwent cancer treatment, while Soft Sounds From Another Planet took the grief she held from her mother‘s death and used it as a conduit to explore the cosmos. Now, at the start of a new decade, Japanese Breakfast is ready to fight for happiness, an all-too-scarce resource in our seemingly crumbling world.
Formed in the late ‘70s in Perth, The Scientists spent the next decade going through a myriad of lineup changes, relocating to London and recording music that fused the snap of punk rock with a blues rock trudge. After Salmon put the project to rest in 1987, the band has reunited off-and-on over the years, including supporting Sonic Youth. The recently reassembled 1986 line-up featuring Kim Salmon, Tony Thewlis, Boris Sujdovic and Leanne Cowie are touring again (first ever US dates later this year) and have been recording their first new material in over 30 years for In The Red. They sound as powerful and deranged as ever on their new record, Negativity.
The new release from Zubin Mehta and the Munich Philharmonic is Joseph Haydn’s Die Schöpfung; or The Creation. The piece is a milestone in the history of the oratorio, a work in which Haydn set new standards, going far beyond the confines of Viennese classicism. In it he describes the creation of the world with ebullient lightness, taking the first chapter of Genesis as his starting point. Scored for what at the time were novel forces, the work features picturesque tone-painting, celebratory arias and monumental choruses, all of which underline Haydn’s timeless message and invite us to acknowledge and preserve the beauty and variety of Creation.
Andrew Choi is one of the most unique and powerful singer-songwriters working right now, and Ten Songs of Worship and Praise for Our Tumultuous Times is the proof. Choi’s fourth album as St. Lenox is at turns lush and raw, with gorgeous and impressionistic instrumentation orbiting around his forceful, intense vocals and the autofictional words that they carry. This is music struck with the uncertainty and passion of faith—an album about religion, belief, and locating the self amidst such weighty and intangible concepts. Just like life itself, there’s a lot to discover in these ten songs, providing plenty in terms of revelation.
Melbourne-via-Tasmanian four-piece Quivers return with their sophomore album Golden Doubt. The record is carried by shimmering guitars and the harmonizing vocals of members Holly Thomas and Bella Quinlan. Elevated by the production of Matthew Redlich (Holy Holy, Husky, Ainslie Wills), the record explores what comes after grief, and how we throw ourselves back into love. As Nicholson explains, the album tries to bottle “the rush of feelings and fears when you give in to falling for someone. It’s also an album in love with other albums, and the other bands around us.”
Other reviews you might enjoy:
- New music round-up (for w/e 16 April 2021)
- New music round-up (for w/e 29 October 2021)
- New music round-up (for w/e 18 February 2022)
David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television