Path of Flowers, Hyperdrama, Science Fiction and extra

Path of Flowers, Hyperdrama, Science Fiction and extra


On this installment of What We’re Listening To, Engadget writers and editors talk about among the latest music releases we have had on repeat. It is secure to say there’s some selection on this checklist.

Sierra Ferrell appears virtually like an anachronism in 2024, however in the absolute best manner. She has this easy, old-timey nation type that’s at factors paying homage to the likes of The Carter Household or Flatt and Scruggs (her sensible covers of songs as soon as carried out by the latter duo are completely seared into my mind), and it’s simply so refreshing. Path of Flowers, Ferrell’s second studio album, toes just a little additional right into a extra fashionable sound, but it surely maintains this deeply Americana really feel that simply appears to roll off the West Virginia-born artist so naturally.

Nation music isn’t only one factor, and neither is Path of Flowers. It meanders via totally different flavors — folks, bluegrass, hints of jazz — but it surely manages to take action in a manner that feels cohesive when it’s all taken collectively. The wistful “American Dreaming” and “Want You Nicely” are offset by sillier, whimsical numbers like “I Might Drive You Loopy” or the deep minimize cowl, “Chitlin’ Cookin’ Time in Cheatham County.” Tracks like “Cash Prepare,” “I’ll Come Off the Mountain” and “Lighthouse” are immediately catchy. “Why Haven’t You Cherished Me But” and “No Letter” really feel like classics within the making.

After which there’s the cheekily sinister, scorned-lover’s lament, “Rosemary.” It’s one of many songs that first obtained me hooked on Sierra Ferrell years in the past, as I think about is the case for lots of followers who’ve adopted Ferrell’s profession since her busking days or her unforgettable GemsOnVHS performances. I used to be virtually nervous to listen to it on Path of Flowers, with a full manufacturing, after loving the uncooked, stripped-down recording I’ve been replaying on YouTube for thus lengthy. However they’ve accomplished a fantastic job of capturing that magic, and “Rosemary” could also be my favourite monitor on the album. It’s laborious to choose, although.

Someday early final 12 months, I found one thing I didn’t notice was lacking from my life: medieval fantasy doom steel. I used to be at a present on the gloriously trippy Brooklyn Made watching an opener forward of the band I’d gone there to see, and unexpectedly discovered myself witness to an on-stage choreographed sword combat (nicely, there was a scythe concerned too) between a girl in chainmail and somebody carrying a hooded rat masks and lingerie. I’d already been enraptured by the band’s heavy, immersive riffs and the singer’s hypnotic Nineteen Seventies-esque vocals, however in that second, yeah, issues actually clicked into place. This was my introduction to Fortress Rat, and it was a rattling good one.

I’ve been eagerly awaiting the discharge of their debut album ever since, and from the second it dropped final month — an LP known as Into the Realm — I’ve just about been enjoying it on a nonstop loop. It will truly be embarrassing in the event you had been to examine the variety of occasions I’ve listened to the album’s standout ballad, “Cry For Me.” It’s a haunting, emotional tune that actually takes you on a journey and I’m just a little obsessive about it. Into the Realm opens robust with the boppy “Dagger Dragger,” and a few actual heavy-hitters observe in tracks like “Feed the Dream,” “Contemporary Fur” and “Nightblood.” “Pink Sands” is a slow-building powerhouse, and I’ve even discovered myself loving the three roughly minute-long instrumental interludes that tie the entire album collectively.

Doom bands love a very good theme (as do I), and we are likely to see numerous weed, witchcraft, science fiction and fantasy pop up all through the subgenres that fall below this umbrella. Fortress Rat undoubtedly isn’t the primary to have a shtick, however there’s a sure freshness to the band’s much more particular, self-described medieval fantasy model, maybe as a result of they decide to it so laborious. Their ‘70s and ‘80s influences are apparent, but every thing they’ve put out thus far nonetheless feels unique. Some individuals may discover the entire thing gimmicky, however I feel it’s working. Particularly since they’ve the chops to again it up. I’m excited to see the place Fortress Rat goes from right here.

Woman with No Face, Allie XOne other tune I’ve been listening to an embarrassing quantity as of late is Bizarre World, off Allie X’s newest album, Woman with No Face. I in some way haven’t drained myself of it but, it makes me go completely feral. Woman with No Face is stuffed with synth-pop gems, like “Off With Her Tits” — a dancey, angsty anthem certain to resonate with anybody who has skilled dysphoria round their physique picture — “John and Johnathan,” “Black Eye” and “Staying Energy.”

Membership Shy, Shygirl That is only a assortment of straight-up bangers. It’s not even 16 minutes lengthy, but it surely actually hits. In the event you want an prompt mood-elevator forward of an evening out, this album is it.

Stampede: Quantity 1, Orville Peck Orville Peck’s first launch in his fringeless period is a duets album, the primary a part of which was launched on Friday and options artists together with Willie Nelson, Noah Cyrus and Elton John. I haven’t had a lot time to spend with Stampede: Quantity 1 but, however I’m into it thus far. “Conquer the Coronary heart” ft. Nathaniel Rateliff and “How Far Will We Take It?” with Noah Cyrus really feel like they mix the most effective components of Pony (2019) and Bronco (2022). Bronco got here in two waves, so I count on we’ll see a Quantity 2 for Stampede earlier than lengthy, too.

— Cheyenne MacDonald, Weekend Editor

At any time when I hear the phrases “banger” or “bop,” I don’t take into consideration artists like Taylor Swift. I take into consideration the nebulous musical style generally known as bed room pop. Bop, in spite of everything, is correct there within the identify. Hannah Jadagu is a bed room pop wizard of the very best order. Her first EP was made solely on an outdated iPhone and nonetheless slaps, although she has since graduated to actual recording studios. Jadagu’s newest full-length on Sub Pop, Aperture, is stuffed with each bangers and bops, and my favourite is the lovelorn “Say It Now.” Take heed to this factor. It simply stands out as the excellent pop tune and is completely crying out for some street journey singalongs. The shoegaze-adjacent “What You Did” is one other basic and can be at residence on any first rate summer time playlist.

— Lawrence Bonk, Contributing Reporter

Justice’s first full-length launch Cross from 2007 is one among my favourite albums of all time. Not solely did it outline the crunchy digital sound of the weblog home period within the late 2000s and early 2010s, it additionally felt like a brand new French duo had picked up the place Daft Punk left off following 2005’s Human After All. Now Justice is again with its fourth album in Hyperdrama. However as a substitute of being impressed by a particular style of music like we heard in Audio, Video, Disco’s stadium rock tracks or Lady’s disco-fueled beats, this album feels extra just like the soundtrack to a moody sci-fi thriller, virtually as if that is Justice’s alternate actuality tackle the Tron: Legacy soundtrack.

“Generator” is an authorized banger and doubtless the tune that sounds probably the most like basic Justice. “Neverender” and “One Evening/All Evening” are additionally highlights, although I feel Justice might have leaned a bit too closely on Tame Impala to provide this album persona. “Pricey Alan” delivers tremendous easy vibes and Thundercat makes a pleasant look and finishes issues robust in “The Finish.”

The one factor I actually miss is a minimum of one really danceable monitor like we obtained on the entire band’s earlier albums. I additionally need to admit that among the songs within the center mix collectively in a less-than-memorable manner. So whereas Hyperdrama isn’t the top-to-bottom masterpiece that Cross was a decade and a half in the past, extra Justice isn’t a foul factor.

— Sam Rutherford, Senior Reporter

Over the previous few weeks, I’ve largely been listening to songs from Science Fiction, the primary biggest hits album by J-Pop artist Utada Hikaru. I have been a fan since they launched their debut album First Love again in 1999, when individuals had been way more prone to be weirded out by the truth that sure, you may get pleasure from music with lyrics in a language you do not perceive. Utada has been out and in of the J-Pop scene since then, and there have been lengthy stretches of time after I would not hear something about them. Each new music drop is a present, particularly this album, because it’s tied to an upcoming live performance tour, which they solely do as soon as in a blue moon.

Utada skilled a resurgence in 2022 when their songs “First Love” and “Hatsukoi” — which additionally interprets to “old flame” — had been featured in successful Japanese drama collection on Netflix known as (you guessed it) First Love. These tracks are, in fact, in Science Fiction, which additionally contains songs from varied factors in Utada’s profession.

The album will take you on a journey from once they largely wrote R&B-inspired pop to an period when their music grew to become extra experimental, and it’ll introduce you to their present sound, which is each mainstream and distinctive. Whereas among the re-recorded variations of their older songs like “Touring” do not fairly hit the mark, it is nonetheless a very good illustration of who Utada is as a musician. As a long-time fan, although, this album is not only a assortment of songs to me, however a set of reminiscences from totally different phases of my life.

— Mariella Moon, Contributing Reporter

There are just a few causes that “Starburned and Unkissed” stands out towards the I Noticed the TV Glow soundtrack, which is replete with not solely beloved mainstays like Damaged Social Scene’s “Anthems For A Seventeen-12 months Previous Woman” in addition to different unique songs from luminaries like Phoebe Bridgers and Hop Alongside’s Frances Quinlan. If cornered, I might say probably the most sensible factor about “Starburned and Unkissed,” its biggest energy, is that it is just a bit too sluggish.

Each word stretches and yearns with the impatience of adolescence, verges on operating out of air, of snapping in two. Very similar to the scene of the completely and equally sensible I Noticed the TV Glow it was written for, it captures the sleepy anxiousness of a too-warm highschool, overcrowded and isolating. The heaviness of its crushing guitars ebbs and flows unsteadily, mimicking the experimentation of callow palms. (It takes the second strive on the refrain for the drums and guitars to all are available on cue.)

It is unstable, hopeful. Caroline’s voice — gently mangled by intentional autotune pitch shifts — falls out of key within the tune’s previous few refrains, threatening to derail the dreamy fantastic thing about the previous three minutes. It ends abruptly, begging for one more hear, one other return to a time that may’t be recaptured.

“Lover’s Spit Performs within the Background,” Claire Rousay — Rousay’s sentiment is an ideal album for studying outdoors on an overcast day. I am undecided I can choose a standout monitor, because the expertise is basically in letting the entire thing wash over you, however this one’s shut sufficient.

“Stickers of Brian,” Scorching Mulligan — Traditional pop punk material (“my job sucks and I hate everybody”) however my god what an earworm.

“On Model,” Ekko Astral — Ranges of snottiness beforehand thought-about unachievable. Onerous to not love what a fantastic mess these people make.

“Cometh the Storm,” Excessive on Hearth — Most of Excessive on Hearth’s 20+ years of output feels like — and lyrically might be about — an axe-wielding barbarian ripping a bong, or no matter different D&D nonsense they’re as much as. (I say this lovingly. I like Excessive on Hearth.) The title monitor off the brand new one is… unusually dirge-like? At first it felt very “outdated band displaying their age” but it surely’s grown on me as an intentional and welcome change. They are not off the hook for utilizing AI for the “Burning Down” music video although. C’mon guys.

Avery Ellis, Deputy Editor, Experiences



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