OOIOO "nijimusi (Bandcamp)"
From Thrill Jockey:
Sounds created for no reason. Sounds that come and go, and disappear into the air like a scent, as soon as they materialize. Atonal phrases that hold the meaning of words that existed before the advent of language. The wonders of a vortex pulsing with life. Just as a new discovery is actually a new way of looking to see what has always been there, OOIOO, seemingly from the core of their being, created a world of sound made up of parts well known that is strikingly precise and intensely original. After a six year hiatus, OOIOO has created a new album that goes back to the roots of being a four-piece band. The music shows the full spectrum of the unique sound they have crafted throughout the years, which can only be described as “OOIOO”.
Aoife Nessa Frances "Land Of No Junction (Ba Da Bing)"
Look. I hate to get completely reductive and just throw a bunch of RIYLs at you in these blurbs. But sometimes the RIYLs are so perfect that you just gotta lead with them. So, then, readers, if–like me–you like yourself some Yo La Tengo, some Stereolab, some Nico, then you should definitely be excited for the debut album from Irish performer Aoife Nessa Frances (which has been named Uncut’s Album Of The Month for January 2020). Co-produced by Cian Nugent, Land Of No Junction (Ba Da Bing!) is a hazy, gauzy dose of stunning psych pop. Warm guitars, synths, and Aoife’s vocals mix together into a sunset of warm glowing warming glows. Check out the supremely YLT-esque “Blow Up.”
Oval "Scis (Thrill Jockey)"
From Thrill Jockey:
Oval began in the early 90’s and rapidly gained acclaim for its innovations in electronic music. Composer Markus Popp championed software intuition over his own role in music making for many years, anticipating the AI trend in composition by nearly 30 years. Early albums found a critique of the entire system of recorded music built into every gesture. Popp toured with a desktop computer and projected his screen, constructing remarkably evocative and emotional performances from file manipulation. Each new Oval release saw Popp radically redefine his practice, introducing new elements and embracing new creative challenges, integrating cutting-edge technology and processes into his practice to ensure that each record sounded as contemporary and exhilarating as the last.
New album Scis and its companion EP Eksploio see the producer focus on composition, working with a fresh palette of sounds to create his most emotive work to date. Popp injects a newfound playfulness into his complex loop architectures, with both album and EP exploring and subverting elements of club music. The intricate, organic drum sounds Popp introduced on the Oh! EP and O album have here been replaced with driving electronic rhythms, albeit still approached by Popp as an instrumentalist rather than a beat-maker.
Check out the quirky build of “Impecco.”
of Montreal "UR FUN (Polyvinyl)"
Though its always been a great time to be a fan of of Montreal, the last few years have been especially varied and prolific. UR Fun (Polyvinyl) is the culmination of the last stretch of records. This is as bouncy, poppy, and as fun as his music has ever been. Forgoing recording with a band and instead locking himself at his home studio for 12 hours a day recording and sequencing himself, UR Fun is as true a representation of the inside of Kevin Barnes’ mind as we’ve ever been gifted with (unless you also happen to be a doctor with access to an x-ray he had taken after wearing a very tight hat for too long*). Every song on this album could, and should, be a chart-topping single. Like a David Bowie album from the 80s, or Cyndi Lauper’s She’s So Unusual, this is stacked from top to bottom with artistically leaning pop mastery. I hate to recommend a song here since really, every song on here is a focus track. But check out the driving “Polyaneurism.”