Labrinth sparks euphoria, Chromatics go grey, Carla dal Forno looks sharp and more this week. I didn’t have time to write about these albums, but I gave them a quick scan and liked what I heard. Check them out below, along with quotes from their press releases. I’ve included Bandcamp links where possible so you can buy the music straight from the source — assuming you like what you hear too.
Euphoria (Original Score From the HBO Series)
THE PRESS RELEASE: “Written and recorded in close collaboration with the show’s writer Sam Levinson, Labrinth’s original compositions feature prominently throughout the series as a sonic companion to the show’s angst-driven narrative. The resulting 26-track collection is a genre blending mix of gospel, soul and electronic influences, indicative both of Labrinth’s imitable style as well as the show’s deeply moving storyline. “My experience with Euphoria has made me a better musician. It was a dream come true to give wings and add magic to the different storylines. It was a collaborative effort among Sam Levinson, the crew and the cast – I only added texture to an already phenomenal show. I hope that anyone who listens to the music embraces feeling something.”
Closer to Grey
THE PRESS RELEASE: “Music Is Medicine.” Yep, that’s pretty much all this Los Angeles outfit have to say about their first album in seven years. Judging by all the hysteria surrounding its surprise release, you’d think it was the most important album of the year. In fact, it’s a pretty decent electro-pop affair that features the usual mix of dark, noisy synths and sweetly chilly female vocals. There’s even the mandatory classic cover — an album-opening version of Sounds of Silence.
Carla dal Forno
Look Up Sharp
THE PRESS RELEASE: “The London-based artist enters a new era in her peerless output pushing her dub-damaged DIY dispatches to the limits of flawless dream-pop. In a transformative move towards crystal clear vocals and sharpened production, Look Up Sharp is an evolutionary leap from the thick fog and pastoral stillness of her missives, You Know What It’s Like (2016) and The Garden EP (2017). Three years since her plain-speaking debut album, the Melbourne-via-Berlin artist finds herself absorbed in London’s sprawling mess. The small-town dreams and inertia that preoccupied Carla dal Forno’s first album have dissolved into the chaotic city, its shifting identities, far-flung surroundings and blank faces. Look Up Sharp is the story of this life in flux, longing for intimacy, falling short and embracing the unfamiliar. Dal Forno connects with kindred spirits and finds refuge in darkened alleys, secret gardens and wherever else she dares to look. Conceived as a whole, Look Up Sharp is a singular prism in which light, sound and concept bend at all angles. A deeply personal but infinitely relatable album its many surfaces are complex but authentic, enduring but imperfect, hard-edged but delicate. A diamond. Look up sharp or you’ll miss it.”
THE PRESS RELEASE: “An album for a sunny day in the depths of an inevitable dystopia, The Protagonist radiates with a sense of urgency and inspiration — every song fraying at the edges from Imani Coppola’s barefaced need to deliver her message, coming from a place of love, hurt, deep emotion, or a momentous compulsion to be abrasive as f. As a mirror to her sense of urgency and chaos, The Protagonist shifts genres like a gymnast, flawlessly morphing from the Country hoe-down of Blackteria to the rhythmic 60s girlgroup of Rattle to the piano-led balladry of Contributing Member of Society without a misstep or tumble. Taking on a dazzling balancing act of production and instrumental dexterity, each twist and turn, the sonic swerving, punk energy, and 90’s pop broken up by hammering drum machine attacks of The Protagonist will force you to rewind and listen again until every song is wedged in your brain like a bedazzled ice pick. “Musically I wanted to apply myself in every way I possibly could,” she explains, making sure that all of these precise and purposeful arrangements are as personal as possible. “I wanted the music to truly reflect who I am. I wanted to touch every instrument, write and play every part, put love and attention into the strings, show my vulnerability, my weaknesses and my strengths.”
Everything is Oh Yeah
THE PRESS RELEASE: “From the music sensation who asked Johnny, Are You Queer?, the incredibly talented Josie Cotton, comes this long lost album originally recorded in 1986 but never released…UNTIL NOW! This album was to be the follow up to Josie’s second album for Elektra, the critically acclaimed From The Hip! Features special guest appearances by Brian Setzer of The Stray Cats, Hunt Sales (Iggy Pop, Tin Machine), producer Geza X (Dead Kennedys, Germs), Paul Roessler (45 Grave, Nina Hagen) and more!”
All I Have
THE PRESS RELEASE: “Eddie Johnston, better known by his stage name Lontalius, is a singer/songwriter from Wellington, New Zealand. In March 2016 he released his debut album I’ll Forget 17, on Brooklyn based indie label, Partisan Records. His sophomore album, All I Have, was recorded in Los Angeles with Grammy Award-winning producer Om’Mas Keith (Frank Ocean, Jay Z, Sun Ra).”