Caiti Baker's 'Wolf' takes her in an astounding new direction
Caiti Baker – ‘Wolf’
Caiti Baker’s debut album might not sound entirely how you’re expecting it to if you’ve followed her work in previous years. As ‘Wolf’ attests, she’s bringing together a bunch of different styles – gospel, hip hop, soul, electro – and bending them all out of shape to make them something completely her own.
Baker’s voice is always hugely valuable to any song she appears on (just ask A.B. Original), and on ‘Wolf’ is sounds like she’s found the perfect match, production wise. It’s unpredictable, soulful, eerie and uplifting all at once. And while the odd arrangement is a perfect complement to her voice, it never takes away from its power.
She’s been a beloved part of the Australian scene for many years, but we’re starting to think Caiti Baker’s debut album will take her to new and exciting places.
Beaches – ‘Void’
It has been forever since we heard from Melbourne psych-masters Beaches and they’re making up for their absence with a new double-LP called Second Of Spring, out in September.
‘Void’ is a gloriously hypnotic cut that pulls you into its churning groove from the song’s first second and doesn’t let go for the next three-and-a-bit-minutes. Hazy, reverb-laden vocals disorientate, while a wonderfully nasty, almost atonal, guitar solo screams in for a brief period to add an ugly extra dimension.
It’s just so good to have them back.
Phoebe Bridgers – ‘Motion Sickness’
If it’s good enough for Ryan Adams, it’s good enough for you. Probably not great advice to live by, to be fair, but in the case of the music of Phoebe Bridgers, it works, so just go with it.
Hopefully Bridgers (of whom Adams is a devoted fan) won’t need famous people to champion her after the release of her new album Stranger in the Alps (huge bonus points to The Big Lebowski fan who gets that reference).
Her brand of breezy Americana pop is effortlessly beautiful on ‘Motion Sickness’, with lashings of fuzzy guitar in complete contrast to her sweet croon.
The band’s loping groove is perfectly propulsive, as Bridgers tells engaging stories about a complex relationship, offering a few select intimate details that result in a blurred portrayal of what went down. It’s so engaging that you’ll want to go back and listen again to pick up any lines you either missed or didn’t give enough credence to the first time around.
Mogwai – ‘Party In The Dark’
Scottish post-rock royalty Mogwai have a new album out in September. ‘Party In The Dark’ is a surprisingly accessible early taste of it. Yes, it still has those epic emotional builds that we rely upon the band to give us. But it’s also got a catchy melody and a minimal amount of noise and distortion. Another of the band’s many great songs, and one that proves they are still interested in doing more than blowing our ears off.
Holly Throsby – ‘Mountain’
Early this year, Holly Throsby returned with her gorgeous sixth album After A Time. ‘Mountain’ is one of the many examples of its restrained beauty. Throsby’s incisive, simple-yet-evocative lyrics cut through the washes of semi-fuzzy guitar. Her double-tracked vocal not necessarily making them land any harder, but making them feel warmer and more endearing, as if that were even possible.
The Ocean Party – ‘More To Run’
The danger with bands as prolific as The Ocean Party is that the music comes at such a rate that you’re bound to miss some gold. So, let us tell you right now, don’t miss ‘More To Run’. It’s delicate-but-gritty indie rock that has all the beloved characteristics the band have shown us across their career thus far and already stands as one of the many highlights from their extensive catalogue. Their seventh album Beauty Point is out on Friday 18 August.
Sudan Archives – ‘Come Meh Way’
‘Come My Way’ is an intriguing track from young Los Angeles artist Sudan Archives that mixes the deep grooves of sparse electro with some West African rhythmic elements and lashings of violin that are completely unexpected but fit in perfectly. Sudan Archives doesn’t really sound like anyone else right now and we can’t wait to hear what more she has to offer after her debut EP, which is out now.
Kommode – ‘Captain Of Your Sinking Ship’
Kings Of Convenience member Eirik Glambek Bøe brings his smooth Euro-cool to this genre-crossing track from his other project Kommode. It’s a little bit disco, a little bit funk, a little bit pop and a little bit samba, but it’s all impossibly cool. Kommode’s debut LP will be out in August.
Arcade Fire – ‘Signs Of Life’
Arcade Fire’s fifth album Everything Now is out now and ‘Signs Of Life’ is one of the best tracks from it. Win Butler’s talk-rap vocal isn’t overly inspiring, but it’s all those other little pieces of the puzzle that connect behind him – the backing vocals, the horns, the spacey synth noises, the handclaps – that make it such a success. Many subtle elements connect to make something grand, which is far cleverer than just writing another anthem. Is it better? You be the judge.
Tom Misch – ‘South Of The River’
A straightforward, smooth piece of soul-pop from young British producer/singer Tom Misch. Catchy melody, jazzy guitars and a big, sweeping disco string section all give it plenty of colour. Friendly cocktail hour funk suitable for just about any audience.