Our selection of the best new music across a range of genres from the week ending 12 November 2021.
Makthaverskan defies traditional genre definition. Their latest album, För Allting, flitters between blissful pop and angst-ridden punk, but it’s never content to land on any one set identity for long. As Pitchfork writes of the band, the Sweden-based outfit of five former schoolmates makes “music for the margins,” and here in the spaces of För Allting is a restless, unwavering need to explore. För Allting signals a new beginning: it’s the first of the band’s recordings to have a producer (Hannes Ferm of HOLY). Propelling further into an identity that one will never fully grasp, each second of För Allting comes with something once unheard of from the group. There’s drum machines, synthesizers, and a blissful, shimmering self-awareness that what they’re ultimately creating is dream-pop for realists. Makthaverskan is unafraid to face the contradictions between beauty and rage; instead, they turn them into something completely new.
Music For Psychedelic Therapy carves a new path for Jon Hopkins sonically and philosophically. Enveloping Jon’s journeys across geographical and cosmological spectrums, the album is an inimitable and all-embodying journey in and of itself. It’s a richly rewarding and personal listening experience; one highly recommend indulging in without distraction.
Irreversible Entanglements’ third full-length album Open the Gates is ethereal shards of jagged onyx, a melancholic exploration of the post-colonial debris that surrounds us. Let’s watch and listen, as this platter snakes through the sandy ashes of possible histories, dialogues with a nervous present, and asks to be birthed into a holographic new future. “Together in holy sound!” the band stitches patient anthems out of atmosphere. Pulling from a wider sonic vocabulary than on previous excursions, the agit-jazz found here is simultaneously pre- and post-apocalypse, as bass lurches in a tranced-out loop, horns are up in the track grooves like poltergeists playing in the streets, poetry cascades like a warrior call at a satsang, the drums both wild and refined pulse with uhuru-heart cadence. This is Irreversible Entanglements on new ground; same as the old ground.
Powerhouse Americana 8-piece Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats have released their third album The Future, out now via Stax Records. Produced by Brad Cook (Bon Iver, Kevin Morby), the album showcases Nathaniel’s unique observations of our world and demonstrates that he is a writer and performer of the highest order, who seems to be smack dab in the middle of an extended creative peak.
collectif9 is a Montreal-based string ensemble whose main focus is an original exploration of the classical repertoire, including transcriptions for chamber ensemble of large-scale works. Their second album, recorded in 2018 and consisting of music by (and inspired by) Gustav Mahler: No Time for Chamber Music, is a nod to Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia, inspired in its turn by Mahler’s Second Symphony. Mahler himself often quoted his own works, and his rich instrumental textures have provided a source of inspiration for composers and arrangers alike. The programme begins with two works drawn from his First Symphony: Like a Sound of Nature and The Hunter’s Funeral, inspired by a woodcut by the nineteenth-century artist Moritz von Schwind in which the animals mourn the death of the hunter.
Radiohead have released KID A MNESIA, a multiple format triple-album release marking the 21st anniversary of Kid A and Amnesiac. KID A MNESIA collects Radiohead’s fourth and fifth albums alongside the debut of a newly compiled third disc titled Kid Amnesiae. Exclusive to this release, Kid Amnesiae is comprised of unearthed material culled from the Kid A / Amnesiac sessions. Along with alternate versions and elements of Kid A and Amnesiac album tracks and B-Sides, Kid Amnesiae features ‘If You Say the Word‘ (available now as a digital single) and a previously unreleased studio recording of ‘Follow Me Around‘.
Any release of NRBQ music is a cause for celebration, but after nearly a decade since their last full-length studio release, Dragnet brings the band back to the turntables and live venues of America. Though they don’t carry a badge, they are going to work, and after more than a year away from live performances, this is where they come in. NRBQ released their self-titled debut in 1969, and toured and recorded consistently until their 35th anniversary in 2004, when they took a hiatus until 2011’s Keep This Love Goin’. The band is keyboardist Terry Adams, guitarist Scott Ligon, bassist Casey McDonough, and drummer John Perrin. After the release of High Noon – A 50 Year Retrospective, In • Frequencies (a rarities collection), the Happy Talk and April Showers EPs, the live Turn On, Tune In, and reissues of their debut album NRBQ and All Hopped Up, NRBQ returns with their first full-length release since 2014. In addition to their version of the Dragnet theme, the album contains 10 new, original songs, all of which were written or co-written by the band—including Adams’ “Sunflower,” which was originally recorded for the 2018 film Change In The Air.
Other reviews you might enjoy:
- New music round-up (for w/e 23 April 2021)
- New music round-up (for w/e 23 July 2021)
- New music round-up (for w/e 3 December 2021)
David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television