New Music Friday — From the Underground to Strengthening Legacies

With so much music that was released today and throughout the week, it can be overwhelming and difficult to determine what to listen to. But we managed to string up a list of some of the best new releases to make things easier for you. From another impressive release from U.S. Girls to Stephen Malkmus’ latest solo venture, here are some of the highlights of New Music Friday.

Stephen Malkmus — Traditional Techniques [Matador Records]

When Stephen Malkmus announced a new project last January, some of us expected a new Jicks album. But the former-Pavement frontman surprised us with another solo venture called Traditional Techniques. The new album features a variety of acoustics and guest musicians like Chris Funk of The Decemberists and Matt Sweeney. Following last year’s semi-electro and

post-punk oriented Groove Denied, Malkmus’ new album isn’t as straightforward as it seems—it’s unlike anything he’s done before. Malkmus returns with an experimental and stoner-folk aesthetic, creating a balance between the exotic and loose fuzz bursts of his twelve-string guitar (“Xian Man”) to his lyrical sensibilities (Brainwashed) and Dylan-esque storytelling (“The Greatest Own in Legal History”).

Stream the new album here.

U.S. Girls — Heavy Light [4AD Records]

Heavy Light is another ambitious and crucial album from Meg Remy’s U.S. Girls project. The incredibly experimental and avant-pop artist follows her 2018 breakthrough In a Poem Unlimited with another personal release that explores and comments on contemporary issues. Heavy Light is the definitive U.S. Girls record, where it features re-recordings of old grimy lo-fi gems like “State House (It’s a Man’s World)” and “Red Ford Radio” and was even recorded live in the studio with 20 session musicians, including E Street Band saxophonist Jake Clemons.

Stream the new album here.

Caroline Rose — Superstar [New West Records]

Caroline Rose has returned with a new concept album that follows in the style of her brilliant 2018 album LONER. But according to the press release, it’s a “bigger, badder, glitter-filled cinematic pop record.” Instead of guitars, Superstar is definitely more synth-driven with Rose’s vocals also sounding more anxious and emotive—perfectly fitting the concept of a young star’s rise and fall.

Stream the new album here.

Roses & Revolutions — “i don’t have feelings anymore” [Nettwerk Music Group]

The Rochester-based indie pop duo Roses & Revolutions released the latest track for their forthcoming dreamlike EP Under the Spell, out April 17. The new single “i don’t have feelings anymore” features frontwoman Alyssa Coco’s delicate and haunting vocals that are supported by the dark piano chords and building guitar—capturing a feeling that’s so raw and real.

Stream the latest single here.

Irontom — “Big Shot” [Self-Released]

Following last year’s single “Call Me The West,” Irontom is back with another gut-punching garage rock single called “Big Shot.” On the new single, the L.A.quintet continues to update the classic aesthetics of rock‘n’roll with frontman Harry Hayes’ brilliant Sparks-esque vocal melody and Zach Irons’ heavy eruptive guitar solo. “Big Shot” also plays into the style the band embarked on last spring on the Kid Midnite EP.

Stream the latest single here.

Swamp Dogg — Sorry You Couldn’t Make It [Joyful Noise Recordings]

The radical and legendary R&B and funk eccentric Jerry Williams Jr., aka Swamp Dogg, is back with his new album, Sorry You Couldn’t Make It, his second attempt at a soulful country album. Accompanied by some guest musicians, including Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Jenny Lewis, John Prine, Sorry You Couldn’t Make It illustrates how persistent and experimental Williams can be with his music, especially now at age 76.

Stream the new album here.

Pottery — “Take Your Time” [Partisan Records]

The young and energetic Montreal garage rock outfit Pottery are back with a brand new single for their forthcoming debut album Welcome To Bobby’s Motel, out April 10. “Take Your Time” begins with a similar buildup to Devo’s “S.I.B. Swelling Itching Brain” with its nervy and bouncy synth riff and frantic and sharp guitar riffs. There’s even a catchy and shout-along melody, similar to the last single “Texas Drums Pt. I & II.”

Stream the latest single here.

Courier Club — “It Takes Time” [Self-Released]

Courier Club is back with a new single for their upcoming EP Your Kids Live Here, out April 24 “It Takes Time” is not as explosive as the previous “We All Want to Be There,” but it’s just as energetic and dancy. It borrows from new wave and the post-punk revival-era with its strong and punchy bass and dramatic vocals, reminiscent of bands like the Killers and Tokyo Police Club.

Stream the latest single here.

ISHMAEL — “PEACE” [Universal Music (WT) Limited]

Rochester-based rapper Ishmael is back with his first song in three years called “PEACE.” The solid new single seems to be a bit of a personal tale that details anxiety and fear with Ish’s bars underlying the heavy drum machines and ironic uplifting samples. Check out the brilliant music video below that Ishmael co-directed along with Zach Stone.

Stream the newest single here.

Happy Vacation — “Just Kids” [Self-Released]

The Buffalo-based indie pop duo Happy Vacation are back with their latest single “Just Kids.” According to a recent social media post, the new track was one of the first ideas the duo had when forming and was originally written at a bachelor party. The upbeat and elastic howls pair well with the rabid synths and lush chord progressions.

Stream the latest single here.

Macula Dog — “Red’s Corvette” [Wharf Cat Records]

After a short break, the bizarre and artsy electronic duo Macula Dog is back with a new single called “Red Corvette.” Nothing is new here, it’s still just two analog wizards experimenting with an assortment of synths and samples with a style reminiscent of Devo and the Residents. Their forthcoming EP Breezy comes out April 24.