New music round-up (for w/e 21 July 2023)

Our selection of the best new music across a range of genres from the week ending 21 July 2023.

Mahalia has released her sophomore album titled IRL, featuring the singles ‘Terms and Conditions’, ‘Cheat’ and ‘In My Bag’ with album features including Stormzy, JoJo, Joyce Wrice and Kojey Radical. Reflecting the IRL title, Mahalia is particularly insistent on doubling down on vulnerability, internal reflection, and a desire to feel, in the realms of love specifically as demonstrated on her last project. “I feel like there’s even more personality on IRL. I want people to see me how I see myself.” Emboldened by her inflections, insights and young adulthood, Mahalia is not only breaking the mould on IRL, but determined to live life cognizantly.


Under the moniker of Jaye Jayle, guitarist/vocalist Evan Patterson has spent over a decade exploring the more abstract realms of the American singer-songwriter process. The name—a reference to a bluebird locked in a cage as a metaphor for being tethered to the blues’ pentatonic guitar style and forlorn subject matter—underscores Patterson’s esoteric relationship to browbeaten themes and old musical traditions. The three previous Jaye Jayle albums—House Cricks and Other Excuses to Get Out (2016), No Trail and Other Unholy Paths (2018) and Prisyn (2020)—found Jaye Jayle continuously experimenting with form and traversing a myriad of sonic trails. On his latest album, Don’t Let Your Love Life Let You Down, Patterson continues to push at the boundaries of American blues and folk traditions while breaking the shackles of defeat and passing into a realm residing between Western stoicism and mystic wonder.


Legendary guitarist and composer Kurt Rosenwinkel put together visionary jazz musicians Aaron Parks (Piano & Keys), Eric Revis (Acoustic Bass), and Greg Hutchinson (Drums) for his new album. The exhilarating recording Undercover: Live At The Village Vanguard is a selection of seven of Rosenwinkel’s original compositions, captured over three nights of their week-long run at the historic Village Vanguard, the legendary New York jazz club that has been host to the defining artists in jazz, including Bill Evans, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson, and countless others. Undercover: Live At The Village Vanguard captures the joyous, visceral energy of Rosenwinkel’s masterful quartet, and easily finds its place in the continuum of historic recordings made there.


A fresh chapter takes soft, sure shape for Cape Town-based singer-songwriter Wren Hinds on his new album. A gleaming set of gently dappled and poetic songs about fatherhood and fortitude, the album roots its restrained strength in an innate understanding of what matters most to us. Wren’s own life began on the South-east coast of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. His father was a musician, his mother a landscape painter. While his dad inspired Wren to record whenever and wherever he could, his mother’s artform coloured his approach to songwriting: “painting with sound” is Wren’s description, a methodology illustrated by his use of light, shade and space to communicate powerful impressions and feelings.


Alt-country and Australian Americana artist Chris Carrapetta has released his most fully realised and personal album – Nothing Left To Lose (available on vinyl, CD and digital). Musically, Carrapetta draws on the rich history of folk rock and country music. Avoiding the cliches of commercial country music, he’s found his home in the established yet still expanding alt-country and Australian Americana scene. His songs are laden with melodic vocals, rich layers of keyboards and guitars that have the hooks of indie rock and the swagger and twang of Wilco and Jason Isbell.


Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela celebrate the best in Latin American music, which “is all about dance, about rhythm” (Dudamel) on Fiesta. The album features works by Bernstein, Carreño, Ginastera, Castellanos, Márquez and Romero. The recording – live, in concert, in Caracas – showcases the repertoire with which they’ve been thrilling audiences with around the world.


Snõõper is a band who, in a 33 ⅓ RPM world, make 45 RPM music they play at 78 RPM. The DIY punk outfit maintain super precise instrumentals and skillfully melodic vocals, even though they’re flooring it almost the entire time. Formed in 2020 by vocalist/visual artist Blair Tramel and guitarist Connor Cummins, Snõõper’s initial 8-track recordings were released on DIY labels. Although not originally intended as a performance project, the duo brought these recordings to life with the additions of Cam Sarrett (drums), Happy Haugen (bass) and Ian Teeple (guitar). Their debut album “Super Snõõper”, is out now on vinyl and across all streaming platforms.


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