Friday is here, which means it’s release day for a bunch of artists at home and around the world. With so many hot releases out there to tuck into, we’ve compiled some of the best to present to you for the weekend.
This time around, we’re spotlighting the lush sophomore record from Australia’s own Tash Sultana and the latest from Scottish post-rock veterans Mogwai, as well as a disco-tinged epic from SG Lewis and two stellar local releases from June Jones and Slomo.
- Tash Sultana – Terra Firma
- Mogwai – As The Love Continues
- SG Lewis – times
- June Jones – Leafcutter
- Slomo – L-Dopa
For more music news, head here.
Tash Sultana – Terra Firma
Nearly three years after the release of their debut LP Flow State and months after teaming up with Fender for the release of a historic signature Stratocaster, Melbourne multi-instrumentalist Tash Sultana has unleashed Terra Firma. It’s an album that showcases Sultana’s talents in a manner many have never heard before, resulting in a record packed with smokey grooves, soulful songwriting and an undeniable air of triumph.
Packed with busy basslines, funk horns and some stellar guitar work, Terra Firma kicks things off with the instrumental ‘Musk’ before careening into acoustic cut ‘Crop Circles’, giving Tash a chance to show off their astounding vocal range.
Previously released singles ‘Greed’ and ‘Beyond The Pine’ are packed with lush arrangements and funky backbeats, while a John Mayer-inspired duet with rising talent Josh Cashman on ‘Dream My Life Away’ and the Bon Iver-esque ‘Maybe You’ve Changed’ display a significant amount of songwriting prowess – something that’s come secondary to Sultana’s instrumental arrangements on past efforts.
‘Blame It On Society’ sees Sultana address her rising profile and the accompanying anxiety it brings atop of slippery Stratocasters and synths, while the ambient double-header of ‘Let The Light In’ and ‘I Am Free’ close things out in style. Far and beyond, Terra Firma serves as Tash Sultana’s best album by a long-shot, recasting the looping sensation as a true dynamo of the studio and an exceptional songwriter to boot.
Mogwai – As The Love Continues
With a career spanning 25 years and a formidable amount of music under their belts, Mogwai show absolutely no signs of easing off the accelerator. On their tenth studio album As The Love Continues, the Scots play to their strengths and present an hour-long slog of hypnotic space rock that’ll serve as another fine entry into their catalogue.
Recorded over Zoom (!!!) with Flaming Lips producer Dave Fridmann, As The Love Continues kicks off in fine fashion with the sprawling opener ‘To The Bin My Friend, Tonight We Vacate Earth’ and its TalkBox-drenched follow-up ‘Here We, Here We, Here We Go Forever’, offering a back-to-back dosage of textbook Mogwai – think scattered drums, cavernous guitars and plenty of colour.
The album picks up speed two tracks later with ‘Ritchie Sacramento’, which sees frontman Stuart Braithwaite lament the death of Silver Jews’ David Berman, while ‘Fuck Off Money’ and ‘Ceiling Granny’ see the band dish up oodles of fuzzed-out fun to occupy the album’s mid-stretch.
Despite ending on a relatively subdued note with ‘Supposedly, We Were Nightmares’ and ‘It’s What I Want To Do, Mum’, As The Love Continues is a record that sees Mogwai continue their fine form, and proves that even 25 years in, those Scots still do post-rock better than anybody.
SG Lewis – times
After a slog of EPs, guest appearances and remixes, young English producer SG Lewis has stepped out in fine form on his debut full-length times. It’s a record that’s heavy on the groove and holds nothing back in the way of extravagance, recalling all the joys of the disco era with a modern sheen that makes it all the more insatiable to listen to.
On ‘One More’, Lewis teams up with Chic legend Nile Rodgers for a four-to-the-floor ode to dancefloor debauchery, with the swaying, 808-driven ‘Heartbreak On The Dancefloor’ almost serving as a comedown to the funk that preceded it thanks to Frances’ vocal appearance. Canadian R&B star Rhye shows up for a delightful appearance on the bouncy opener ‘Time’, while Robyn and Channel Tres come together in fine form for ‘Impact’ – undeniably the record’s strongest track.
Of course, the impact of an album this groovy is sure to be muted by the dancefloor-neutering impact of the pandemic, but times is a tonne of fun nonetheless. SG Lewis continues to win, and there’s few reasons to complain about the plush funk served up on this release.
June Jones – Leafcutter
Acting as her first self-produced full-length effort and expanding on the universe created by her former band Two Steps on the Water, Leafcutter depicts June Jones as a true master of song and style. It’s a record breaming with blissful electronic arrangements, striking lyricism and artistic confidence, and reaffirms Jones as a true force to be reckoned with in Melbourne’s musical community.
The wonderfully spacious ‘Jenny (Breathe)’ starts Leafcutter off in fine form, with the contrast between Jones’ vocal harmonies, sweeping strings and oscillator-synced synthesisers on following cut ‘Remember’ making for one of the album’s best moments. On recent single ‘Home’, she melds contemporary production methods with lovelorn lyricism and a dynamic vocal delivery, while ‘Therapy’ combines smooth saxophone licks and a hypnotic beat to soothing effect.
If Leafcutter is anything to go off, June Jones is still right at the top of her game, and will continue to be for a while yet.
Slomo – L-Dopa
On L-Dopa Melbourne trio Slomo combine post-punk, psychedelia and shoegaze for a rollicking, immersive debut effort. The record, mixed and mastered by local legend Mikey Young, is equally as freaky as it is simply fun, painting a portrait of a group with an impressive degree of sonic cohesion and versatility.
The reverb-soaked ‘Fit Right’ sets a strong tone for the record thanks to Jem King’s breathy vocal performance and spacious guitar technique, while the largely instrumental ‘Waco’ picks up the pace to show off Slomo’s post-rock and shoegaze leanings in style.
Meanwhile, the synthy freakout of ‘Mono’ sees the band traverse into Krautrock territory thanks to its squelching synths and Callum Walkinshaw’s motorik rhythms, while bassist Tom King guides the wonky timing of ‘Elephant’ with ease for short, yet sweet, sojourn into grunge. A killer debut effort from these guys.
Never miss an update – sign up to our newsletter for all the latest news, reviews, features and giveaways.
The post Tash Sultana, Mogwai + more: our five favourite records of the week appeared first on mixdownmag.