There's some really interesting music that has come out recently and I've been on a bit of hiatus so let's get right to it.
Kim Gordon - No Home Record
You probably know Kim Gordon as one of the founding members of Sonic Youth. After the band parted ways in 2011, Gordon continued to make music with two duo projects, Body/Head & Glitterbust. 38 years into her musical career, Kim Gordon has released her first solo album and has seized the opportunity to reinvent herself. Trust me when I say, No Home Record sounds quite different from what you might expect. Are you expecting to hear a gritty trap beat with a mbira (thumb piano from Africa) from an artist associated with post-punk indie rock? Well, that's exactly what you get with the track "Paprika Pony." "Sketch Artist" which opens the album, features a bass so profuse that it's distorted and feels like the end of days, it sounds like something you'd hear from an avant-garde hip hop act like Death Grips or JPEGMAFIA. Check out visuals for the two aforementioned tracks.
Lee "Scratch" Perry – “Here Come the Warm Dreads” feat. Brian Eno
The legendary and innovative Lee "Scratch" Perry has been on a tear recently collaborating with Peaking Lights, Gaudi and you can now add Brian Eno to that list. Eno once called Perry "one of the geniuses of recorded music" so when Perry's partner in dub, Adrian Sherwood reached out to Eno about a possible collaboration, he said yes without hesitation. "Here Comes the Warm Dreads" is a play on the title track from Eno's 1974 record Here Come the Warm Jets. It's also the latest offering from Heavy Rain, which is the dub version of the Perry & Sherwood produced album Rainford, which came out in May of this year. "Here Comes the Warm Dreads" is a reimagining of "Makumba Rock" from Rainford. Take a listen and you'll quickly hear that Lee "Scratch" Perry still has it at 83 years young.
After highlighting acts with storied careers, I'd like to introduce you to a couple of new ones from Norway & Japan.
Otha - "Tired and Sick"
I discovered this Norwegian artist last December and was immediately drawn to her sonic creations. I've sprinkled the tracks "One of the Girls" and "I'm on Top" in my sets alongside Little Dragon and Robyn. Both Little Dragon and Robyn are from Sweden and without even realizing it - I discovered a through line of Scandinavian pop. Much like her Nordic counterparts, Otha has the ability to create charming, playful, pop, dance music. With her latest single "Tired and Sick" that trend continues. There's nothing tongue-in-cheek with the title either. It's exactly what you think it's about. In an interview Otha called "Tired and Sick" an "outburst song...and I hope that one day we can all be a little nicer to each other."
Noah - "像自己"
Noah is another intriguing new pop act, hailing from Hokkaido, on Japan's most northern island. Noah crafts music inspired by urban landscapes - specifically Tokyo, her home of the past three years - that are real, fantasied and dreamed about. A publication recently declared, "It's hard to describe the record in words, except as a forest of different aspirations and ideas, switching effortlessly between delicate art-pop compositions to driving, darker sounds." In an interview describing her creative approach, Noah said she likes "to focus on the city people's nostalgic mind or feelings. Like the moment when you cast your mind to the wide ocean of the hazy city landscape, like when you stand alone on the busy neon light when your heart flutters in both anticipation and fear or perhaps loneliness". "像自己", which roughly translates to "Statue Self" is the most recent single from a forthcoming full-length, Thirty, and captures these moments perfectly. It's also quite apparent Noah is heavily influenced by 80s music and visuals. You can hear a bit of Cameo's "Single Life" in "像自己". Don't take it from me, I'll let you be the judge.