New Music Radar — Tangled Up in the Headphone Wires

>>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 Jehnny Beth’s crushing debut solo effort to Naeem shedding his previous name on his daring new project, here are some of the best releases of the week.

Jehnny Beth — 'To Love Is to Live' [Caroline Records]

Savages singer Jehnny Beth goes solo on her debut 'To Love Is to Live,' which shows the frontwoman delving into subject matter dealing with gender identity, sin and power. The new solo debut ranges from chaotic art-punk with heavy dosage of industrial music to atmospheric and tender piano ballads. However as wide-ranging as the tracklisting is, every track here places Beth’s unique lyrics front and center. It also features many guest talents including Atticus Ross, Romy Madley Croft of The xx and even actor Cillian Murphy. 'To Love Is to Live' is an impressively well-crafted and constructed album and hopefully it will not be Beth’s only solo effort.

Stream the new album here.

Naeem — 'Startisha' [37d03d]

Breaking away from his old hip-hop project under the name Spank Rock, Naeem’s new album introduces him as a relentless and genre-bending artist who has spent a half-decade of soul searching and exploring new styles. 'Startisha' is Naeem’s first album under his own name, which is loaded with left-turns, impressive collaborations and musical odes. There are some Spank Rock elements on a couple tracks, including “Let Us Rave,” which is one of the more aggressive tracks the album offers, but the slower and more introspective songs dominate the album’s mantra and spiritual journey. There’s also a fine blend of Naeem’s wild production style that’s packed with heavy percussion and spacey synth chords correlating with the album’s creative expression. 'Startisha' isn’t only introducing us to Naeem’s growth and change, but it also allows us into his personal space as a queer black man living in America.

Stream the new album here.

GUM — 'Out In The World' [Spinning Top Records]

A mastermind behind psychedelic melodies, GUM, aka Jay Watson (Tame Impala, POND), has doubled down on his prolific psych-rock reputation with his new and imaginative fifth solo album 'Out In The World.' The new project features some of Watson’s best vocals and most engaging instrumentals to date, especially on the album’s hazy opener “Weightless in L.A.” It’s not surprising that one of the scene’s finest artist’s perfectly balances ambitious songwriting with gooey sonic textures and tinges of jangly folk rock. 'Out In The World' is one of Watson’s most adventurous albums, but more importantly, it’s his most cohesive.

Stream the new album here.

Leah Senior — 'The Passing Scene' [Flightless Records]

The now Melbourne-based folk singer-songwriter Leah Senior is back with her third full-length album 'The Passing Scene.' The new album shows Senior moving towards a more folk-pop direction and is jam-packed with upbeat and playful instrumentals that’s paired well with her unique and abstract lyricism. It's catchy melodies mostly deal with the fraying relationship between humans and the natural world. In a recent interview with The Music, Senior described her relationship with nature and how it’ll always connect to her music. “I suppose, growing up in the country, it never really leaves you,” she says. “I’m always dreaming about moving back there, and I’m sure that’s shaped how I view nature and the way I connect to the world.” Senior has also shared two new live at home versions of “Ocean Quilt Lady” and “There’s No Fish In The Sea” both off the new album.

Stream the new album here.

Gorillaz — “Friday 13th” (ft. Octavian) [Parlophone]

Gorillaz have shared another Song Machine track that features London rapper Octavian called “Friday 13th.” The new song marks the fourth episode of their Song Machine series which follows “Aries” and last month’s standalone single “How Far?” which featured the late Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen. “Friday 13th” continues with the woozy textures that have been present on past Song Machine tracks, but feels more like a deep cut. In a 'Humanz'-esque way, Damon Albarn completely cedes from the track, giving the spotlight to the young rapper and doesn’t even show up until the outro. With its airy and trippy synths and reggae dub groove, there’s a lot of creative liberties on “Friday 13th,” which continues the aesthetic of this new Gorillaz project.

Stream the latest single here.

Ron Gallo — “You Are Enough” [New West Records]

The Philly-born, but now Nashville-based artist Ron Gallo recently dropped a really nice new single called “You Are Enough” which he dedicates to “anyone feeling beat down and inferior.” The new single also features his now-wife and collaborator Chiara D'Anzieri, aka Chickpee, along with production from Ben H. Allen (Animal Collective, Gnarls Barkley). “You Are Enough” is extremely universal and has a colorful pop aesthetic at its forefront, which differs from Gallo’s more garage punk style. But Gallo has always been obsessed with the human condition. In a recent email interview with WXPN, Gallo says the single’s colorful aesthetic comes from a period of self-isolation and self-embrace with “tastes, colors, joy, the ugly shit, growing up outside of Philly on ‘90s hip-hop, Top 40, candy, skateboarding and video games.”

Stream the new single here.

Naked Giants — “Take A Chance” [New West Records]

The Seattle power trio Naked Giants are back with the first glimpse of their forthcoming sophomore effort 'The Shadow,' out Aug. 21 via New West Records. After a couple EPs, a strong debut and also being part of Car Seat Headrest’s seven-piece live band, Naked Giants are steadily building up their reputation as a tremendous rising band while also searching for a sense of maturity in their music. The explosive new single “Take A Chance” still embodies their signature garage rock style, but is more focused with its sing-along charm and dance-rock groove that’s similar to their 2017 single “The Age of Information.” It’s also layered with buzzing synths and a lo-fi slide guitar and serves as the perfect anthem for right now. In a statement, the trio said “‘Take A Chance’ is a new step in the dance-the-stress-away attitude we’ve had since the band was formed. This time around it’s a bit more focused — we’re exploring these big unanswered questions in our lives, like the mechanisms of privilege and oppression or the capitalist oxymoron of individualism and assimilation, and we’re pairing it all with a danceable backbeat to tell people it’s ok to get up off the couch and do something about it.”

Stream the new single here.

Built to Spill — 'Built to Spill Plays the Songs of Daniel Johnston' [Ernest Jenning Record Co.]

In 2017, Built to Spill were invited to play a few shows as Daniel Johnston’s backing band as part of his final tour. Before joining up with Johnston, the band rehearsed the songs prior and enjoyed what they had heard and decided to record the songs as a tribute, saying “This is what those rehearsals sounded like.” The band recorded the songs in August 2018 as a trio including the band's only permanent member Doug Marsch, Jason Albertini and Steve Gere. The tribute album was in its final stages of production before Johnston passed away last September. The new album serves as a stunning tribute that gives a deep understanding to Johnston’s delicacy and talent, who was truly one-of-a-kind and shows just how much he was appreciated.

Stream the new album here.

For more music, be sure to check out our New Music Radar playlist below.