Jesse Mac Cormack "SOLO"
In the deepest depths of the Pandemic, with a relationship in its ending, Jesse Mac Cormack recalls sending a text to his therapist: “I’m not meeting with you every week just to hang out,” the bilingual musician wrote. “Je veux que ça saigne”—for the work to “bleed.” To mean something. The next time they met, his therapist explained: “That message you sent me? You were really sending it to yourself. You were taking a decision.”
That decision—to move forward, to change and have the courage to love yourself—is the journey of the past two years and also of SOLO, which gleams and shivers and pulses with the heartbeat of an artist in beautiful evolution. A softer album than his debut LP Now (2019), it is nonetheless riven by the fear and flood of disappointment that marked these recent years—and the singer’s childhood.
As on Now, Mac Cormack plays almost every instrument himself, surrounded by a soundtrack of one. Across 10 rippling tracks, the singer summons a sonic world that’s razor-edged and intimate, influenced by the textured electronics of James Blake, Little Dragon, Caribou and SUUNS. Drum machines stutter under blooms of synths; curses float below swirls of loving sound.
Devon Kay & The Solutions "Grieving Expectation"
Grieving Expectation is the 4th studio album by Devon Kay & the Solutions and it’s first on Pure Noise Records. The band recorded and engineered the album themselves with their respective home recording equipment and was mixed and mastered by longtime collaborators Mike Kennerty (All American Rejects) & Erik Atwell (Telethon), respectively. The album is a collection of maximalist pop punk songs pulling from every genre imaginable. Masking nihilistic musings with “sugar in your teeth” pop music has become a mainstay for Devon Kay & the Solutions and with Grieving Expectation they’ve expanded on that idea ten fold.
Field Work "Stations"
What does the Earth sound like? In Stations, the 10th volume in the Field Works series, producer Stuart Hyatt approaches that question with a team of scientists working on the EarthScope experiment. Using sophisticated ground recording devices, Field Works has created a new type of music in which human voices sing along with the actual voice of the Earth. Stations features an all-star ensemble of vocalists and instrumentalists, including Hanna Benn, Janie Cowan, Masayoshi Fujita, Stuart Hyatt, Laraaji, Qasim Naqvi, and Brad Weber.
Ibibio Sound Machine "Electricity"
Electricity was produced by the Grammy Award– and Mercury Prize–nominated British synthpop group Hot Chip, a collaboration born out of mutual admiration watching each other on festival stages, as well as a shared love of Francis Bebey and Giorgio Moroder. The fruits of their labor reveal a gleaming, supercharged, Afrofuturist blinder.
Electricity is the first album Ibibio Sound Machine have made with external producers since the group’s formation in London in 2013 by lead singer Eno Williams and saxophonist Max Grunhard. True, 2017’s Uyai featured mixdown guests including Dan Leavers, aka Danalogue, the keyboard jedi in future-jazz trio The Comet Is Coming, but Hot Chip and Ibibio Sound Machine worked together more deeply throughout the process, collaborating fully. Along the way, the team conjured a kaleidoscope of delights that include resonances of Jonzun Crew, Grace Jones, William Onyeabor, Tom Tom Club, The J.B.’s, Jon Hassell’s Fourth World, and Bootsy Collins.