Fall brings an abundance of new albums. Watch out for these 3.
Finally, the music industry is – sort of? type of? maybe? – starting its post-2020 awakening. Bands that were waiting to release new albums until they could realistically envision their tour are now tentatively reappearing after an extended hiatus. Rising stars whose climbs have been delayed by the pandemic are finally taking flight. After a long fallow period, this fall’s album harvest promises to be bountiful again.
A group that is making a welcome comeback also happens to be one of New York City’s most dynamic and interesting active rock groups, Parquet Courts, which will be releasing their sixth album, “Sympathy for Life”, via Rough Trade Records October 22. their excellent and eclectic 2018 album “Wide Awake!”, produced by Danger Mouse, “Sympathy” continues the post-punk band’s flirtation with funk grooves and dance jams. (The producer of this album, Rodaidh McDonald, hosted Italo-disco nights on the London club circuit.)
But as always, the music of Parquet Courts is propelled by the tension between the head and the hips, with the itchy lyricism of vocalists Andrew Savage and Austin Brown providing a counterpoint to the dynamic rhythm section of Sean Yeaton and Max Savage. “How many ways to feel ugly have I found?” Andrew Savage wonders about the opening track, “Walking at a Downtown Pace”. It sounds as kinetic but tangy as a millennial David Byrne, while the music does its best to cheer him up.
Ever-savvy observers of the depersonalization of modern life, Parquet Courts on “Sympathy” raises an eyebrow at such ubiquitous amenities as one-touch food delivery apps and home appliances that speak soothingly, “like the voice of a man. ‘a mother “. (Siri, can you set my alarm clock for noon tomorrow?) But the group still finds hard-earned optimism both in the weird experience of being human and in newly cherished delicacies like “the smile on a friend unmasked” . Ten years after the start of his career, “Sympathy” is proof that Parquet Courts is still finding new fads in the digital age for kebabs and new ways to evolve their sound.
On the opposite coast, an artist finally ready for her moment of escape is 25-year-old California star Remi Wolf, a colorful funk-pop phenomenon with a voice and personality to spare. Her debut album, “Juno” (released Oct. 15 on Island Records and named after her beloved dog), is eclectic, upbeat and relentlessly unpredictable. You never really know what’s going to come out of Wolf’s mouth next – “It’s not a Chuck E. Cheese in Los Feliz,” for one – and whether it’s going to be rapped, hummed, or belted to the rafters of. a voice that took him to Hollywood during the 13th season of “American Idol”.
Wolf’s hyperactive pop combines Tierra Whack’s vivid imagination with Jamiroquai’s smooth 2000-era soul (and his penchant for head-turning hats). But don’t be fooled by Wolf’s cartoonish aesthetic: “Juno” songs dive into serious depths. The album’s reconciliation, “Street You Live On,” lists the damage of an endless breakup, while the single “Liquor Store” lists all of the insecurities that surfaced when, during the pandemic, Wolf went out. registered in rehab. and got sober. It’s a testament to his strong self-esteem, however, that even the darkest moments of “Juno” come to life with quirky humor. As she memorably puts it on the fiery single “Quiet on Set”: “I’m cracked the surface, crème brûlée. “
Sarah Tudzin, the multi-talented Los Angeles musician behind the outrageously named Illuminati Hotties project, is another endlessly cited West Coast fire brand with a killer album on the way. Tudzin is, in her day job, a Berklee-trained sound engineer and producer, and the music she released as the Illuminati Hotties was originally meant to be a sort of calling card for her technical prowess. Unlike some of the more reserved people on the other side of the mixer, Tudzin has proven to be an exuberantly charismatic frontman – check out the video for his catchy summer single “Pool Hopping” – and his 2018 debut. “Kiss Yr Frenemies” has won the devotion of a cult following of fans that she has come to affectionately call “Little Shredders”.
The ranks of the little shredders are probably about to grow: The Illuminati Hotties’ marvelous second album “Let Me Do One More” (released October 1 via Tudzin’s own imprint, Snack Shack Tracks) is the most complete achievement to date. this day of his idiosyncratic vision. These songs oscillate with ease between genres and moods, sometimes going from hilarious to heartbreaking in a single line: “I went to the party to suck the air from the people having fun,” sighs Tudzin over a slow burner to the guitar. Blasts of high-octane hardcore interrupt dreamy surf-pop musings – the Ramones are as much of a touchstone as the Ronettes – but somehow Tudzin keeps all the chaos together thanks to the sheer strength of his personality. (To describe her ubiquitous sound, she had to invent a somewhat oxymoronic phrase: “tenderpunk.”)
“Let Me Do One More” also features Tudzin breaking free from her old label, the besieged indie Tiny Engines, for which she released a 2020 mixtape to complete her contract. With the arrival of her long-delayed second release, it involves something that resonates with many other artists who are finally releasing records this fall: This is the one you have been waiting for.