Post-rock is a genre dominated by textures. Soundscapes are crafted, layering electronic instrumentals and guitars over complex percussion to form a musical experience and casting aside the usual structure of the rock genre. Scottish band Mogwai are no exception to this. Twenty-four years after the exceptional Young Team LP, the band is still releasing music, and their new studio album, As the Love Continues, does a delightful, though safe, job delivering the shimmery haze and atmosphere that post-rock employs.
Harlecore is the long-awaited debut LP from PC Music affiliate Danny L Harle (HUGE DANNY). In an Arte Tracks video released in 2020, Danny is quoted saying, “The one thing that we maybe all [PC Music] dislike is things halfway between things. If you’re going to make something loud, it’s got to be the loudest thing you’ve ever heard. If it’s going to be quiet, it’s got to be incredibly quiet. If it’s got to be simple, it has to be the simplest thing in the world.” Harlecore lives up to this by unapologetically exploring the extremes with pure indulgence.
Black Dresses have been broken up for nearly a year, which makes any release from them surprising, but few things could be as surprising and exciting as a brand new full-length album. This surprise release sees Black Dresses going even deeper into the spheres of industrial and metal that the band have flirted with since their inception. Forever In Your Heart sees both vocalists, Devi and Rook, at their most intense and aggressive –– and their best.
By Kiah Easton, Editorial Director
[Awful Father; 2020]
Key tracks: “Spell Book”, “Fist of the North Star”, “Come Outside, We Not Gone Jump You”
2020 has been a suboptimal for most but Father seems to be unphased in terms of productivity, putting out his second project of the year. Contrasting Tha Thingz I Do For Money’s stripped-back, dirty pallette, Come Outside, We Not Gone Jump You has a much more meshed sound, with each element glued tightly together making singular waves of sound.
Gorillaz returns with what is perhaps their most ambitious project to date, Song Machine. Instead of a traditional album release format, the album is essentially a collection of singles, as each song is accompanied by an “episode,” lyric video or both on YouTube.
No one would have blamed JPEGMAFIA for having a misstep in 2020 after his track record of fantastic albums. The man is due for a flop at this point, but it seems like Peggy is incapable of slipping up. Over the past few months, Peggy has released a slew of singles back to back, and now, he’s stitched them all into a beautiful Frankenstein’s monster of a project. EP! proves that Peggy is a master of his craft. Who else could add a few flourishes to previously released tracks and have it stand as one of the most coherent, satisfying projects of the year?
By Ethan Bloomfield, Contributor[Merge; 2020]Rating: 6/10 Key Tracks: “The Last Place I Saw You Alive”, “Bell Swamp Connection”, “Getting Into Knives” What can be said about The Mountain Goats that hasn’t been? John Darnielle and company have created 13 studio albums and some of the biggest indie classics for the better part of three decades….
By Lauren McCain, Columns Editor [Republic Records; 2020]Rating: 7.5/10 Key tracks: “positions”, “34+35”, “safety net (feat. Ty Dolla $ign)”, “pov” After the whirlwind of her albums Sweetener and thank u, next less than five months apart in 2019, in 2020, Ariana Grande brings a more intimate, sultry R&B sound to the table with Positions. Positions makes…
By: Kwase Lane, Features Editor
[cutting edge/8902 Records; 2020]
10, Tricot’s second album of the year, demonstrates an almost unbelievable amount of technical and conceptual refinement compared to their previous projects. Like always, the quartet weaves together complex polyrhythms, gentle melodies and impassioned cries, but 10 is marked by the sense of ease that each piece generates. The album flows from aggressive guitar riffs to mild, barely whispered vocals, all the while being imbued with an intricate serenity that feels unknowable and familiar at the same time.
By Lauren Patterson, Copy Editor Hip-hop duo Run The Jewels have announced a limited edition T-shirt collection, “Hold Our Hands,” with Charitees. The announcement came Monday via Twitter, urging voting and supporting organizations. All proceeds from the tees go to corresponding charities, Brooklyn Vegan reported. Read more: Japanese electronic group Black Boboi announce new album…
By Jonah Krueger, News Editor[Epitaph; 2020]Rating: 8.5/10 Key tracks: “Come Heroine”, “Reminders”, “Limelight”, “Deflector” Touché Amoré has rightly become an emo A-lister, managing to vary its approach to songwriting while remaining remarkably consistent in quality with each release. Yet, the glamorous rise of the band was abruptly halted with the release of their fourth album. …
By Kiah Easton, Editorial Director[Ninja Tune; 2020]Rating: 5.5/10 Key tracks:”Kane Train”, “Believe in U”, “Inner Eye” Machinedrum, a.k.a. Travis Stewart, delivers a product fitting for his moniker. A View of U is a clean, percussion-heavy project hosting a total of nine different features, from Father to Tigran Hamasyan. Reflecting this lengthy list of collaborators, the…