This past week has seen the release of new albums from some household names in the music industry as well as debuts from a few recently acclaimed musicians. From The Men’s glorification of rock ‘n’ roll glorification of New York City to Sunny War’s religious viewpoint on Anarchy Gospel and Robert Forster making a comeback on The Candle Flame, we take you through some of the top new releases.

New York City: The Men

New York rockers, The Men released a new album on February 3rd titled New York City. The album looks at the sounds that put New York City on the map as a rock ‘n’ roll city and how residents still managed to have fun during the lockdown. New York City follows The Men’s 2020 record, Mercy. They open with the street anthem Hardlive narrating the hardships they’ve faced in their life moving on to other songs like the American Punk Peace of Mind and a repetitive power-pop rhythm on Eternal Recurrence.

Anarchist Gospel: Sunny War

Singer, songwriter and guitarist Sunny War make her New West debut with Anarchist Gospel. The album was produced by Andrija Tokic and features Allison Russell, Chris Pierce, David Rawling, and Jim James. According to a review by Rollingstone, “Taken as a whole, Anarchist Gospel is a powerful statement from a singer-songwriter poised to become one of the year’s most vital voices in roots music.”

The album takes its title from her belief that spiritual issues of love, sin, and faith are crucial topics but don’t have to be contained by the rules of an established church. War is known for her ability to draw from different traditions: Eighties hardcore, Delta Blues, Seventies singer-songwriter, folk busking) and she integrates it well on this new LP. The album contains songs like the rock-riff No Reason, her cover of Ween’s Baby Bvtch, and a sensitive ballad on Sweet Nothing.

Heavy Heavy: Young Fathers

Heavy Heavy is the fourth album from Scottish band, Young Fathers and their first full-length offering since 2018’s Cocoa Sugar. The trio of Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole, and G. Hastings shared the album’s lead single, Geronimo last July and other songs such as Tell Somebody, Rice and I saw. The album buzzes with an array of electronic experimentalism, West African rhythms, art-infused hip-hop, soul, and rock. Heavy Heavy gives off an intoxicating, celebratory allure of a party record.

My 21st Century Blues – Raye

British singer and songwriter Raye released her debut album My 21st Century Blues on the 5th on February 3. The album harbors her 2022 hit Escapism which brought her to the limelight as well as her collaboration with Mahalia on Five Star Hotels. The new album comes after Raye made a public cry out on the refusal of her Record label to release her album after seven years with them.

The project arrives on the back of Escapism as the 25-year-old singer announces herself as the star attraction amidst the backdrop of a nightclub. She switches from house music to pop on the chattering synths of Black Mascara and a mixture of dancehall rhythms and electronic/guitarist stitches on Flip a Switch.

The Candle and The Fame – Robert Forster

Former singer-songwriter for Australian Indie rockers the Go-Between Robert Forster has released his eighth solo album. The project opens with She’s a Fighter showcases the Brisbane native’s trademark angular guitar work as he sings simply repeated lyrics, “She’s a fighter/ Fighting for good,” and glides into the reflective Tender Years with nostalgic reminiscences like “I see her through the ages…I can’t live without her.” He co-produced the album with his wife Karin Bäumler, and his son, Louis, formerly of the Goon Sax. The project enlists former Go-Betweens and Warm Nights bass player Adele Pickvance, as well as Scott Bromiley and Luke McDonald of the John Steele Singers, contributing to She’s a Fighter.

Colours of Air – Loscil and Lawrence

English Renowned ambient artist Loscil and Room 40 label boss Lawrence English collaborated on a new album titled Colours of Air. On Colours of Air, the dream duo crafts exquisitely emotive and heavily manipulated acoustic tracks on a century-old pipe organ housed in the historic Old Museum in Brisbane, Australia. Loscil and English described Colours of Air as “an iterative project, a reduction and eventual expansion” in press materials. The eight tracks are named after the colors they evoke, Violet swells in a rhythmic cadence arousing a feeling of a fleeing train. Grey delivers a distant sound of crawling sirens while Black is reminiscent of a somber church worship song.

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