Our selection of the best new music across a range of genres from the week ending 3 September 2021.
Montreal band SUUNS’ fifth full-length album The Witness – their first for Joyful Noise Recordings – marks a shrewdly offbeat left turn from their previous work. The tried-and-true narrative for a band of this nature is always to ‘move to the deep end’ or ‘out of the comfort zone’. In some ways that rings true on The Witness, though one could say these eight movements actually show SUUNS in their most comfortable, candid state. Self-recorded and self-produced over the majority of 2020 – a year of strife, solitude and reflection –, The Witness finds the band holding a magnifying glass over their own default state of playing and performing. It’s a swift departure from previous album Felt, which exults in harvesting haphazard ideas in their embryonic, demoed versions, as if letting loose a glorious fireworks display into the heavens.
If much of DJ Seinfeld’s previous work was characterised by a sepia-tinged haze, a result of the producer’s deliberately lo-fi production techniques, then brand new album ‘Mirrors’ sees his music come firmly into focus. “On this album I wanted to retain a lot of the raw emotionality that brought people to my music in the first place,” says Armand Jakobsson, better known as DJ Seinfeld. “But I also wanted to become a much better producer. It’s been an arduous process but it’s a real statement of where I’m at as a producer and person right now. I’ve been through various sonic explorations in the past few years but have come to understand what people like about my music and how to move forward with it.”
Kinds of Love, the new album from Renee Rosnes, is a celebration and meditation on the myriad of forms that love has taken in the pianist’s life. The staggering all-star quintet that Rosnes assembled for the occasion – saxophonist Chris Potter, bassist Christian McBride, drummer Carl Allen, and percussionist Rogério Boccato – represent a deep web of friendships and collaborations stretching back decades in some cases. The recording date marked one of their first times back in a studio after the long dry spell of 2020, and Rosnes seized the opportunity to craft a full album’s worth of brilliant new music.
Jimmy Tamborello – a.k.a. Dntel – returns with a collection of 10 pop-infused vocal hymns, simultaneously perfect dance floor fillers and lullabies. Away is the second of two Dntel albums to be released in 2021 by Morr Music in collaboration with Les Albums Claus. While The Seas Trees See showcased Tamborello’s more intricate and quiet side, Away embraces his love for pop music. A genre which like no other has been resonating the advancements of technology from the very beginning. Songwriting was sequenced and computerized on such a large scale that it would change the sonic aesthetics of the charts forever.
Conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra have released their next instalment of The British Project. This release marks the third chapter of the project, presenting works by Elgar and Vaughan Williams after last October’s release of Britten’s Sinfonia da Requiem. Which was followed earlier this year by a second instalment, presenting the Symphonic Suite from Walton’s opera Troilus and Cressida. The Britten and Walton works are framed by Elgar’s Sospiri and Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis.
Charging onto Australia’s indie singer-songwriter circuit comes proud Djugun siren Nidala with her captivating debut EP Colours of My People. Out now via Bundjalung based label Lustre, Colours of My People is an enthralling collection of indie-rock, folk, blues roots and soul that sees the destined artist-on-the-rise nestling in comfortably amongst the likes of Alice Skye, Emma Donovan and Thelma Plum as the scene’s latest leader of Indigenous excellence. The EP features Nidala’s highly successful singles ‘One Of Those Days’ and ‘Said Too Much’ which have each garnered overwhelming support from community radio and media across the country and beyond.
Tora’s third album A Force Majeure is out now. The 11-track album features singles ‘Put Down Your Phone’, ‘Inundated’, ‘Call On Me’ ‘Why Won’t You Wait’ and ‘When Will I Learn’ and captures the essence of a band who have found themselves a world away from the normalcy they were accustomed to. As a definitive snapshot of the type of band Tora is today, A Force Majeure is sophisticated, mature and beautifully contemporary in both sound, feel and execution.
Other reviews you might enjoy:
- New music round-up (for w/e 23 April 2021)
- New music round-up
- New music round-up (for w/e 11 June 2021)
David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television