Nine Albums Out Today Worth Hearing: Slowdive, Perfume Genius, POND, Mac DeMarco, and More

Plus The Afghan Whigs, Blondie, Black Lips, Fazerdaze, and Amanda Palmer & Edward Ka-Spel

May 05, 2017
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Here we highlight nine albums due out today that we feel are most worth hearing. We have also included Amazon links for each album. If you click through those links and buy the album (or anything else on Amazon once you've clicked through) then Amazon rewards us with a sales percentage. So buy that album you were likely going to purchase anyway, but also help support one of America's last truly independent print music magazines. 

Slowdive: Slowdive (Dead Oceans) 

Legendary '90s shoegazers Slowdive released a new album, a self-titled affair and their first full-length in 22 years, today via Dead Oceans. Slowdive's last album was 1995's Pygmalion. Slowdive broke up that year, although some of the members went on to form Mojave 3. The band reformed in 2014 and began playing shows again. The band's full line-up is back: Neil Halstead (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Christian Savill (guitar), Nick Chaplin (bass), Rachel Goswell (vocals), and Simon Scott (drums, electronics). Slowdive was recorded at The Courtyard in Oxfordhsire and mixed at Los Angeles' Sunset Sound by Chris Coady (Beach House). Halstead had this to say about the album in a previous press release: "When you're in a band and you do three records, there's a continuous flow and a development. For us, that flow re-started with us playing live again and that has continued into the record."

Read our review of Slowdive.

Read our Album of the Week post on Slowdive.

Read our interview with Slowdive's Rachel Goswell about the making of the album.

If you're an Under the Radar Patreon supporter then revisit our 2003 interview with Slowdive.

Buy the album here.

 

Perfume Genius: No Shape (Matador)

Perfume Genius (aka Mike Hadreas) released a new album, No Shape, today via Matador. No Shape is the follow-up to 2014's acclaimed Too Bright. Blake Mills produced the album, which was recorded in Los Angeles and mixed by Shawn Everett. Weyes Blood guests on one song, "Sides."

Hadreas had this to say about the album in a previous press release: "I pay my rent. I'm approaching health. The things that are bothering me personally now are less clear, more confusing. I don't think I really figured them out with these songs. There's something freeing about how I don't have it figured out. Unpacking little morsels, magnifying my discomfort, wading through buried harm, laughing at or digging in to the embarrassing drama of it all. I may never come out the other side but it's invigorating to try and hopefully, ultimately helpful. I think a lot of them are about trying to be happy in the face of whatever bullshit I created for myself or how horrible everything and everyone is."

Pick up or download Under the Radar's current print issue, the Spring 2017 Issue, to read our new interview with Perfume Genius on No Shape and check out our exclusive photo-shoot with him.

Read our review of No Shape here. 

Buy the album here.

POND: The Weather (Marathon Artists)

Australian psych-rockers POND released a new album, The Weather, today via Marathon Artists. The album is produced by Tame Impala frontman Kevin Parker. POND frontman Nick Allbrook used to play bass in Tame Impala and the two bands have often shared members, including Parker. A press release previously said of The Weather: "Where 2015's Man, It Feels Like Space Again was a considered yet raw take on their garage-inflected psyche, The Weather is an ambitious, Technicolor odyssey which feels like POND's coming of age."

Allbrook had this to say in a previous press release: "It's a concept album, not completely about Perth, but focusing on all the weird contradictory things that make up a lot of colonial cities around the world. Laying out all the dark things underneath the shimmering exterior of cranes, development, money and white privilege. It's not our place, but it is our place. British, but Australian, but not REAL Australian. On the edge of the world with a hell of a lot of fucked things defining our little city, still we try and live a wholesome respectful life, while being inherently disrespectful. At the end of all this confusion in our weird little white antipodean world, there's the beach, purity and nature that brings us all together."

Pick up or download Under the Radar's current print issue, the Spring 2017 Issue, to read our new interview with POND about The Weather.

Read our review of The Weather here.

Buy the album here.

 

 

 

Mac DeMarco: This Old Dog (Captured Tracks)

Mac DeMarco released a new album, This Old Dog, today via Captured Tracks. This Old Dog was written and demoed just before DeMarco moved across country, from Queens to Los Angeles. It was then recorded in Los Angeles. "I demoed a full album, and as I was moving to the West Coast I thought I'd get to finishing it quickly," said DeMarco in a previous press release. "But then I realized that moving to a new city, and starting a new life takes time. Usually I just write, record, and put it out; no problem. But this time, I wrote them and they sat. When that happens, you really get to know the songs. It was a different vibe."

DeMarco says he took a different approach to writing and recording this album in other ways too. "The majority of this album is acoustic guitar, synthesizer, some drum machine, and one song is electric guitar. So this is a new thing for me," he says in the press release. "This is my acoustic album, but it's not really an acoustic album at all. That's just what it feels like, mostly. I'm Italian, so I guess this is an Italian rock record."

Read our review of This Old Dog here.

Buy the album here.

 

 

 

 

Fazerdaze: Morningside (Flying Nun)

Fazerdaze is the promising new bedroom recording project of New Zealand's Amelia Murray. She has released her debut album, Morningside, on the venerable Kiwi label Flying Nun.

Pick up or download Under the Radar's current print issue, the Spring 2017 Issue, to read our new Pleased to Meet You interview with Fazerdaze. 

Buy the album here. 

 

The Afghan Whigs: In Spades (Sub Pop)

The Afghan Whigs released a new album, In Spades, today via Sub Pop. A previous press release described In Spades as such: "The album is a searing and soulful rock effort that emphasizes its pop instincts while contrasting with the seductive themes found throughout." 

Frontman Greg Dulli had this to say about the album in the press release: "It's a spooky record. I like that it's veiled. It's not a concept album per se, but as I began to assemble it, I saw an arc and followed it. To me it's about memory - in particular, how quickly life and memory can blur together."

Buy the album here.

 

Blondie: Pollinator (BMG)

The iconic '70s band Blondie released a new album, Pollinator, today via BMG. It includes "Long Time," which was co-written by frontwoman Debbie Harry and Blood Orange's Devonté Hynes.

Pollinator features a slew of special guests, including Charli XCX, Johnny Marr, Sia, TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek, Joan Jett, Laurie Anderson, The Strokes' Nick Valensi, and others. John Congleton produced the album. Pollinator features original Blondie members Debbie Harry, Chris Stein, and Clem Burke, and Shepard Fairey created the album's artwork.

Buy the album here.

 

 

 

Black Lips: Satan's graffiti or God's art? (Vice)

Black Lips released a new album, the intriguingly titled Satan's graffiti or God's art?, today via Vice Records. The album was produced by Sean Lennon and recorded at Lennon's studio compound in upstate New York throughout 2016. Saul Adamczewski of Fat White Family guests on the album and there are also guest vocals by Lennon's mother, Yoko Ono. A previous press release described Satan's graffiti or God's art? as "the group's most musically evolved to date, while still staying true to their original blistering take on fuzzy, dirty rock 'n' roll."

Buy the album here.

Amanda Palmer & Edward Ka-Spel: I Can Spin a Rainbow (Self-Released)

The ever busy Amanda Palmer has released I Can Spin a Rainbow, a new collaborative album with Edward Ka-Spel of the Anglo-Dutch psychedelic band The Legendary Pink Dots. A press release says Ka-Spel is one of Palmer's "greatest artistic heroes." The album was recorded at the Essex, England home recording studio of Imogen Heap, who is a friend of Palmer's.

Buy the album here.

Also Out Today:

Here are other albums released today also worth buying, along with a video or song for each. The titles are the Amazon links. 

At the Drive In: in • ter a • li • a (Rise)

Hoops: Routines (Fat Possum)

Nightlands: I Can Feel the Night Around Me (Western Vinyl)

Nite Jewel: Real High (Gloriette)

Other Recent Releases:

Here are other albums recently released also worth buying, along with a video or song for each. The titles are the Amazon links.

BNQT: Volume 1 (Dualtone/Entertainment One/Bella Union)

Feist: Pleasure (Interscope)

Gorillaz: Humanz (Warner Bros.)

Juliana Hatfield: Pussycat (American Laundromat)

Little Cub: Still Life (Domino)

Mew: Visuals (Play It Again Sam)

Thurston Moore: Rock n Roll Consciousness (Caroline International)

Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell Live (Asthmatic Kitty)

Sylvan Esso: What Now (Loma Vista)

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