New Music Friday — “There Is No Planet B”

>>With so much music that was released 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 releases to make things easier for you. From King Gizzard’s adrenaline fueled live album to the return of Macula Dog, here are some of the highlights of the New Music Friday.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard — 'Chunky Shrapnel' [Flightless/ATORecords]

After releasing a trio of live albums to benefit Australian bushfire relief efforts in their home country, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are back with an official live album titled 'Chunky Shrapnel,' corresponding with the band’s feature-length concert film of the same name, directed by John Stewart. The new 16-track album was recorded during the group’s 2019 European tour, featuring cuts from the brutally charging “Planet B” to the spacey and intricate “Inner-Cell” and closing with the climatic medley “A Brief History of Planet Earth.” There are also three instrumental pieces that aren’t live recordings — “Evil Star,” “Quarantine” and “Anamnesis.” And due to the high-demand, the band is showing another online screening of the film tonight for only 24 hours. You can pre-order the film here.

Stream the new album here.

Macula Dog — 'Breezy' [Wharf Cat Records]

After a short break, the oddball analog wizards Macula Dog are back with a new four-track EP, following 2017’s 'Natural Dog.' The electronic duo are best known for their jam-packed and clattering electronic music, blending synths and samples reminiscent of Devo, alongside aiming towards the same ambiguity of the Residents. 'Breezy' was recorded and tracked completely live alongside the electronic artist Paul D. Millar (Ariel Pink, Gary Wilson), which serves as the first Macula Dog release recorded with an outside engineer. The soundscapes are still busy, especially on the title track, but they also sound more clearer and sleek.

Stream the new EP here.

Pinegrove — 'Elsewhere 2' [Rough Trade]

Pinegrove surprised us with another lovable new live album 'Elsewhere 2,' which primarily consists of songs from this year’s 'Marigold.' Like 2018’s 'Elsewhere,' which benefited the Southern Law Poverty Center, all the proceeds from this pay-what-you-want record will be donated to the MusicCares Covid-19 Relief Fund. “This recording marks a record of the recent past when people could gather together by the hundreds,” frontman Evan Stephens Hall said in a press release. “I also see it as a note from a future where people will gather and applaud again.” The eight-track live album was recorded during their 2020 winter tour, during shows in San Diego, Houston, Austin, Denver, Woodstock and Dallas.

Stream or purchase the new album exclusively through their Bandcamp.

AWOLNATION — 'Angel Miners & The Lightning Riders' [Better Noise Music]

Aaron Bruno and his bandmates are back with a new glamorous and experimental album 'Angel Miners & The Lightning Riders.' With its glammy title that might be an ode to T-Rex’s 'Zinc Alloy and the Hidden Riders of Tomorrow' Bruno is certainly exploring and testing his limits. The new album is filled with sonically diverse pieces that are also at times deeply personal.

From the punchy and disco-grooving “Mayday!!! Fiesta Fever,” which features none other than Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, to the airy and complex “Slam (Angel Miners,” none of these songs are anything you’d expect.

Stream the new album here.

Bananagun — “People Talk Too Much” [Full Time Hobby]

After a few colorful and vibrant one-off singles and b-sides, the Aussie psych-pop band Bananagun are getting ready to release their upcoming debut album 'The True Story of Banangun,' out June 26, via Full Time Hobby. Following the swooping psych-funk lead single “Out of Reach,” they just shared the exotic and grooving “People Talk Too Much,” blending and stretching elements of ‘60s and ‘70s Afrobeat and Tropicália with a heavy dose of brain-warping psychedelia and punchy proto-punk. Be sure to also check out the band’s latest live session via Button Pusher here.

Stream the latest single here.

Maybird — “Fried Dead Moth” [Self-Released]

The Rochester-based psych-pop outfit Maybird are back with their new hazy, lugubrious single “Fried Dead Moth.” Layered with a sonic tapestry, the new single is built around a flawless and focused groove, reminiscent of something off a Deerhunter record. Even though this song was released back in March when Bandcamp waived its revenue for 24-hours only, it shortly disappeared. But now the band made it available on all streaming services. The new single is also the first of many new tunes Maybird will be releasing in the coming months. On Monday, members Josh Netsky and Sam Snyder, aka Overhand Sam, will be livestreaming a set of songs on their social media.

Stream the latest single here.

Cafe Racer — “Russian Blue” [Born Yesterday Records]

The Chicago-based indie rock and noise pop band Cafe Racer have shared the third and final single for their upcoming third studio album 'Shadow Talk,' out May 8, via Born Yesterday Records. The new cut “Russian Blue” is more mystical and calmer, filled with layers of psychedelia that meld luscious guitar rhythms with a glow of shimmering keys.

Stream the latest single here.

Steve Gunn — 'Livin’ In Between' [Matador Records]

Steve Gunn celebrated his birthday earlier this week with a new three-track EP, entirely filled with covers. Each song shows off the guitarist’s expertise and having a broad taste in music. From his take on Michael Chapman’s beautiful and underrated “Among the Trees” to the Misfits anthem “Astro Zombies” and of course Neil Young’s intense “Motion Pictures (For Carrie),” Gunn puts his own unique spin on all three tracks.

Stream the new EP here.

Car Seat Headrest — “There Must Be More Than Blood” [Matador Records]

Car Seat Headrest’s new album 'Making A Door Less Open' is out next Friday and frontman Will Toledo just keeps spoiling us with these new singles. Following the half ironic, half cynical “Hollywood” which became a bit divisive amongst fans and critics, the band is back with “There Must Be More Than Blood,” a seven-minute epic that sounds like it will be the album’s centerpiece. With its slow-build, reminiscent of one of the band’s earlier epics, “The Ending of Dramamine,” the layering of guitars and keyboards at the song’s anthemic climax is so far the band’s most effective take at their new concept, blending electronic music with their signature indie rock style.

Stream the latest single here and check out an acoustic version played by Will Toledo in isolation below.

SiP — 'Leos Naturals' [Not Not Fun Records]

Following some cassette releases of live recordings, the Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist and modal organ grinder Jimmy Lace takes listeners on a spiritual cosmic trip on his project’s first full-length album 'Leos Naturals.' Lace’s spiraling soundscapes are mysteriously massive and inventive, blending soothing and ambient lounge music with free-flowing and deep-space grooves, placing the listener in a reflective headspace for 40 minutes.

Stream or purchase the new album exclusively through their Bandcamp.

For more music, be sure to check out our New Music Friday playlist