New Music on 2SER 30/08/21
Image: Tammy Nguyen
Welcome to the new music review where we connect you with some of the best new music spinning on Breakfast, The Daily and Drive programs.
Snowy Band – Alternate Endings (FEATURE ALBUM)
Baba Ali – Memory Device
Ngaiire – 3
Nite Jewel – No Sun
Skydeck – Coupon
Steve Gunn – Other You
Tré Burt – You, Yeah, You
Ada Lea – partner
C.C. McKenzie – In Circles
Dean Wareham – The Past Is Our Plaything
Hovvdy – Junior Day League
Jess Chalker – Don’t Fight It
My Morning Jacket – Regularly Scheduled Programming
Los Angeles synth-pop musician Nite Jewel (Ramona Gonzalez) returns with her first album in four years, No Sun. In the time between records, Gonzalez has been through some significant life changes: she split from her husband of twelve years, and she began a PhD in musicology at UCLA, studying the history of women’s lament practices. But despite the heavy sadness of the record’s origins, No Sun is a surprisingly ellubient and playful record. Filtering ’90s era R&B (think Janet Jackson and Mary J Blige) through an avant-garde lens, Gonzalez’s voice floats over bouncing bass lines and skittering drums, creating the most optimistic and joyful work of her career yet.
For a long time now, Brooklyn guitarist Steve Gunn has best been known as either a session musician or for his improvisational compositions. But in recent years, he’s shown himself to be just as skilled a songwriter as many of indie rock musicians he backs. On his latest album Other You, Gunn crafts dreamy country rock songs that give him and his band space to jam and play together. But for someone who’s always been praised for his guitar playing, it’s his lyrics – mediations on love, time, and memory – which really shine through here.
Not ones to relax and settle down during a pandemic, Melbourne indie rock band have released Alternate Endings, their second album in 18 months. Like their debut Audio Commentary, this is a quiet affair: just barely rising over arrangements of acoustic guitar and saxophone, frontman Liam “Snowy” Halliwell’s vocals are whispered so softly into the microphone it’s as if he’s trying to not wake up the neighbours. But there’s a real power and beauty that comes from this restraint. Take the track ‘Whatever You Want’, a paeon to caring and selflessness that’s among the most moving songs you’ll hear this year.