Our selection of the best new music across a range of genres from the week ending 20 October 2023.
Sybarite5’s first studio album in five years, Collective Wisdom, showcases their unique and award-winning blend of classical, folk, and contemporary genres. With three new members added to their ensemble, they showcase a spectacular lineup of world premieres by Curtis Stewart, Jessica Meyer, Pedro Giraudo, Jackson Greenberg, and Pulitzer finalist Michael Gilbertson, as well as never heard before arrangements of music by Komitas and the Punch Brothers.
Norwegian alternative R&B-soul singer-songwriter Beharie has shared his debut album Are You There, Boy? out everywhere now. The bright, wistful album meets Beharie where he is today and invites listeners into a brand new, carefully curated sonic world. Through vibrant melodies and delicate, smooth vocals, the artist explores nuanced themes of love, self-doubt, desire, longing and pain with his heart on his sleeve.
The word “philanthropy” is defined as “the practice of performing charitable or benevolent actions” or “the love of humankind in general” by the Collins English Dictionary. For Volker Bertelmann, aka Hauschka, music is as much about how it sounds as it is an opportunity to engage in discussion and exchanges of ideas. Perhaps too modest to consider his music a benevolent or charitable act, Bertelmann unquestionably displays “a love of humankind” through the compassion and openness of his new music. While not the obvious choice for an instrumental album dominated by the ever-changing but distinctive sound of prepared piano, the Academy Award and BAFTA-winning composer named his 15th solo studio album PHILANTHROPY, and it fits.
Apocalypticism (out now), the third album by Moon Walker, is both his most conceptual and most personal yet. Over eight eclectic tracks, Moon Walker imagines an apocalypse and confronts society’s troubling inclination towards a hive mind. Much like his earlier work, Moon Walker is unafraid to confront harsh truths and pull back the curtain on the deeply flawed layers of American society.
Punk rock masterminds Floor Space have released their third album Maybe This is It, produced by John Naclerio (My Chemical Romance, Brand New) recorded at Nada Studios. Maybe This Is It is an honest and angry, yet bright and cathartic 10 track rock record drawing from notes of ‘punk rock politics’, catholic school trauma, self sabotage, heartbreak, self acceptance and silver linings.
Saxophonist Léon Phal has dropped his new album, Stress Killer. Picking up from his last album Dust to Stars in 2021, this new LP delves even deeper into the area between nightclub and jazz club culture. As a graduate of Lausanne’s Haute École de Musique, he’s a key artist within the much spoken about French new jazz scene. With a notoriety that goes beyond the borders of Europe, this Franco-Swiss musician paves his own path in his own way, alongside his faithful quintet of; Arthur Alard (Drums), Rémi Bouyssière (Double Bass), Gauthier Toux (Keyboards) and Zacharie Ksyk (Trumpet).
Emilie Kahn’s new album, Maybe, is a collection of shimmering, lovesick pop music, dispatched from the space between yes and no. Over 14 tracks, the Montreal musician oscillates from sunburned hopelessness to a quickening confidence, sharing vivid stories from the life + times of a singer with a five-foot harp and a heart full of desire.
Other reviews you might enjoy:
- New music round-up (for w/e 3 November 2023)
- New music round-up (for w/e 7 April 2023)
- New music round-up (for w/e 25 November 2022)
David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television