August 16, 2022

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6 New Albums You Should Listen to Now: Nick Cave, Julien Baker, Smerz, and More


Smerz: Believer [XL]

Believer is the debut LP from Norwegian duo Smerz. Catharina Stoltenberg and Henriette Motzfeldt announced the news with a music video for the album’s title track, which takes place in a fantastical garden. The duo wrote the songs on Believer over a period of two years. The record follows their first two EPs: 2017’s Okey and 2018’s Have fun. Revisit Pitchfork’s 2017 Rising interview “Smerz Make Uncanny Electronic Pop That Sounds Like a Secret.”

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Artwork by Benjamin Barron and Bror August

Adrian Younge: The American Negro [Jazz Is Dead]

The American Negro is the latest album from Los Angeles–based multi-instrumentalist, composer, and producer Adrian Younge, who wrote the music, played every rhythm section instrument, orchestrated a 30-piece orchestra, and recorded the band in his analog studio. Part of Younge’s multimedia project released in conjunction with Black History Month, the LP “details the evolution of racism in America,” according to press materials. The album cover is a reference to lynching postcards that existed at the turn of the last century. “Modernly, death by asphyxiation is a tool Police officers have used in killing innocent Black Americans,” as it says in the album’s press release. “The lynching of the Black Americans has to stop.”

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Cloud Nothings: The Shadow I Remember [Carpark]

Cloud Nothings have once again teamed up with producer Steve Albini, who worked on the group’s 2012 album Attack on Memory. The band’s The Shadow I Remember includes lead single “Am I Something,” which landed with a Lu Yang–directed visual last October. The Shadow I Remember also follows the band’s 2020 “quarantine album” The Black Hole Understands.

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Mia Doi Todd: Music Life [City Zen]

Music Life is the first studio album from classically trained vocalist Mia Doi Todd since her 2016 LP Songbook. Her Live Dublab Performance was released in 2017, followed by a soundtrack for A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2018. Music Life was recorded in Todd’s native Los Angeles, and features guest appearances from Laraaji, Jeff Parker, Money Mark, Fabiano do Nascimento, Sam Gendel, and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson.

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