"Their elaborate and very loud efforts to build tension, achieve overwhelming catharsis, and write their most memorable melodies yet feels more like a conversation with a medium they love. It doesn’t hurt that their newfound transparency makes the music feel refreshingly human and relatable" - Pitchfork reviews the new album by the elusive hipster-hardcore band The Armed (tagged it Best New Music, grade 8.2). 'Ultrapop' is also Stereogum's Album of the Week, described as "punishing, bombastic, catchy, genuinely surprising collection of songs... It sounds like everything hitting at once. It rules so hard". Treblezine appreciates the album's "juxtaposition of delicate dream pop and metal".

British producer and PC Music label boss A.G. Cook released his first proper album '7G', comprised of seven discs, totaling in over 2 and a half hours of music. Every disc includes seven tracks, each dedicated to a different instrument: drums, guitar, supersaw, piano, Nord, spoken word, and extreme vocals. On the guitar one, he’s reimagined as a sad-sack Bandcamp god; in another, he’s a maniacally demented pop musician. There’s a lot to admire in here, a lot that helps illuminate why Cook has become a creative sounding board for his fellow weirdo pop musicians. His ear for melody is masterful, and his take on pop music can range from hyper-glossy to hyper-abrasive - Stereogum argues. The full album is here.

Microphones released their first new album in 17 years, 'Microphones in 2020', today, comprised of one, 44-minute song, that comes with a beautiful one-shot still video. It is a slide-show of 800 printed photos of band's leader Phil Elverum's childhood and touring years, accompanied by the lyrics to the songs (watch/listen to it here). Critics like the album a lot: Stereogum branded it their Album of the Week because "he weaves together vast metaphysical explorations and minute personal memories"; Pitchfork branded it Best new music (grade 8.5) for exploration of "artmaking, self-mythologizing, and what it means to bear witness to one’s own existence and transformations"; Exclaim goes philosophical and poetical on us: "This is Elverum's indelible stamp of style, distilled into a single track that flows like waves in the ocean or hills on the mountainside".

"The most evocative about 'Beyond The Pale': the ways in which Cocker’s lyrics, sharp as ever, reflect his own aging and experiences within these recurring Big Picture references to human progress, human destruction, and the stupid little things we fill our time with otherwise" - Stereogum writes about their newest Album of the week, debut by Jarvis Cocker's new project JARV IS. Cocker is still as clever and witty - "He has a way of making you laugh at the absurdity and inevitability of everything and you’re struck by each observation he offers".

Debut album by the Canadian quintet is "one of those rare albums that does a convincing job of capturing the livewire energy of a band onstage. Clipped guitar rhythms meet warped vocal freakouts and gang-chant shoutalongs; the shapes of the songs tighten and tighten, worming their way into your body. It’s deeply physical music, but one from a strain of art-rock weirdos", Stereogum argues. It's "funk and punk and disco crashed together", by the band "committed to relentless grooves".

"His songs don’t settle into familiar shapes or patterns. He sings in a scratchy falsetto that seems to fray at the edges" - Stereogum argues in favor of Moses Sumney's 'Grae' (part two is out this week, part one came out in February). Sumney recruited dozens of collaborators for the album - Adult Jazz, Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart, James Blake, Jill Scott, Yvette, bass virtuoso Thundercat, Son Lux drummer Ian Chang, Oneohtrix Point Never’s Daniel Lopatin - in "a time-honored method for creative visionaries seeking to tease out different sides of themselves". Treblezine says it's "the perfect culmination of its transcendent first half", and Guardian rounds it up - "places the Ghanaian-American’s vast emotional range and unfurling musicality front and centre".

"I Break Horses have always made music that lights up the mysteries inside us with giant, emotive soundscapes, music that you could sink deep into or use as transport to some imagined far away place" - Stereogum argues in favor of I Break Horses' new album. 'Warnings', S-Gum writes, "provides a perfect sound for those in-between spaces, nebulous and vibrant but not escapist. While mostly unfailingly beautiful, it has a hint of distortion haunting the edges... 'Warnings' might be more appropriate now than ever, not reacting to the noise of the world but giving us a place to sit and sift through what we’ve known".

Photo by Bob Sweeney

"Like garage rock or traditionalist country, jazz in the 21st century is retro by default, a bygone sound echoing into the present from a different era. Yet this band charges its decades-old discipline with a distinctly modern perspective. They tap directly into the cacophony of these times and connect it to the tumult that has been percolating since before people were making records" - Stereogum says about 'Who Sent You?', the new album by nu-jazzers Irreversible Entanglements. The US band is fronted by poet Camae Ayewa who "spouts revolutionary rhetoric over harrowing electronic soundscapes, resulting in deeply challenging protest music that prioritizes unfiltered expression over conventional notions of accessibility".

"What 'Every Bad' really sounds like is the sea, churning then soothing, a constant battle between birth and destruction" - Stereogum says, poetically, about their latest Album of the week choice. Sonically, the Brighton band leans "in a bunch of different directions - straight-up indie, dream-pop, heaving ’90s alt-rock, the moodier edges of Britpop", but what it comes down to is a portrait of "the condition of being young and trying to locate something stable inside, some clarity about your own identity and dreams".

"The experimental rap trio have been exploring stark sounds and extreme circumstances since they emerged on their 2013 album 'midcity'... 'There Existed An Addiction To Blood', Clipping’s new album, is a meditation on the idea of horror — horror movies, horror stories, ’90s horrorcore rap" - Stereogum is impressed with new album by Clipping. It's no […]