Julien Baker – Appointments

Julien Baker will release her forthcoming sophomore album, Turn Out the Lights, on October 27 via Matador Records. Pre-order here.

Turn Out the Lights was recorded at the Ardent Studios in Julien Baker’s hometown of Memphis, TN. Baker wrote and produced the album, which was mixed by Craig Silvey (The National, Arcade Fire, Florence & the Machine). It is the follow-up to beautiful debut Sprained Ankle, which was released by 6131 Records in 2015.

A press release explains: “Turn Out the Lights expands upon the sound and vision of Sprained Ankle while retaining the haunting, confessional songwriting style for which she has become known. Throughout the album, she reflects on experiences of her own and those closest to her, exploring the internal conflicts that wrestle inside us all: how we deal and cope with our struggles, and how it all impacts both ourselves and our relationships of all kinds. The result is a deeply empathetic album that embraces the grays and complex truths of humanity and mental health.”

Anna of the North – Money

Anna of the North today unveil new single Money, another infectious alt-pop gem from the ever-more endearing Norwegian-Kiwi duo who stand on the precipice of blowing up.

Of the track, the band say: “Money goes out to all those fake ass people. Users who use those around them; for money, for status, for fame. S/O to fake friends and gold-diggers!”

Following previous singles Lovers and Someone, the third glimpse of their highly-anticipated debut album pairs a sun-drenched synth-driven backing with Anna’s impassioned take-down of people driven by the wrong things in life. Slickly combining the darker message of the track with its euphoric instrumentation shows how assured the duo’s song writing has become, and offers another example of the varied yet coherent palette which is deftly employed across their debut full-length.

As with the rest of Lovers, due for worldwide release on September 8, Money was recorded in Oslo and mixed in Copenhagen and London by Luke Smith (Foals, Petite Noir, Depeche Mode). It’s an album deeply rooted in heartbreak, a subject that courses through the veins of all ten tracks – through the turmoil, the guilt and the tentative joy of finally letting yourself move on.

Anna of the North’s debut album Lovers is due for release on September 8 via Different Recordings. Pre-order here.

Yumi Zouma – Depths (Pt. I)

New Zealand’s beloved synth-pop outfit Yumi Zouma have announced their forthcoming sophomore album, Willowbank, will be released on October 6 via Cascine.

For the making of Willowbank, Yumi Zouma’s members — Charlie Ryder, Josh Burgess, Christie Simpson and Sam Perry — settled on a plan to reunite for the New Zealand summer. To complete what would become their first significant work written and recorded entirely in their home country, they rented a studio in Christchurch’s semi-demolished CBD, on one of the few remaining blocks that still characterizes the city from before it was destroyed by a series of earthquakes.

“It was as though there was a brief pause in all of our lives and we finally felt like a band from New Zealand,” said Burgess. “We were on home turf and creating from a place that felt fundamentally natural.” When you know it’s there, the feeling of rootedness is undeniable on Willowbank. Being connected to their origins on the bottom of the earth allowed the band’s members to craft another essential chapter in the Yumi Zouma storybook.

Willowbank is out October 6 on Cascine. Pre-order here.

Video: Forest Swords – Raw Language

Forest Swords, aka Merseyside producer Matthew Barnes, has shared a video for Raw Language, a standout track from his sophomore album Compassion, out now via Ninja Tune.

The track features Barnes experimenting with balancing the organic sounds of string stabs and choral samples with powerful sequenced drums, dissolving into distorted tenor sax part way through, before remoulding itself for a euphoric climax.

It is accompanied with a video by Sam Wiehl and art directed by Barnes, produced and creatively directed by Barnes’ new experimental creative studio Dense Truth.

“Raw Language is the most direct song on the album, and moves into the light a lot more than some of the other tracks” says Matthew of the “Compassion” cut. “I wanted to echo that in the video, bringing in colour, texture and surreal warmth”.

Kiasmos – Blurred

Kiasmos, the electronic music duo of composer Ólafur Arnalds and producer Janus Rasmussen, release their new 12” EP Blurred on October 6 via Erased Tapes.

With a number of releases coming on Erased Tapes, including their seminal 2014 self-titled full-length and their most recent work, the 2015 Swept EP, Kiasmos returns in 2017 for a new 6-track endeavor, entitled Blurred, featuring four all new, original tracks, along with remixes from Bonobo and Stimming.

Kiasmos tease out their first new music in 2 years after playing live extensively throughout the world and collaborating with fellow labelmates like Nils Frahm, namely on Oli & Nils’ Collaborative Works collection on ET. It also comes as Erased Tapes is celebrating their 10 Year Anniversary, prepping a series of concerts in London – which Kiasmos will perform at – as well as reissuing Ólafur’s 2007 classic, Eulogy For Evolution LP.

The duo had this to say of the making of Blurred – “To write new material felt like a new beginning for us after two years of touring. The plan was to write something a tad darker than our previous stuff. Spring in Reykjavík had other plans though, as this turned out to be our brightest release to date” – Janus Rasmussen

“Stimming was one of the reasons we started making four-on-the-floor music and we have been listening to Bonobo since we were young, so it was a great honour that they wanted to contribute remixes for the EP” – Ólafur Arnalds

Protomartyr – My Children

Protomartyr share My Children, the second single off their forthcoming album Relatives In Descent, due September 29 on Domino Records. A song about legacy, about what we pass on to those that come after us, My Children is an urgent follow up to the first single, the gloriously epic A Private Understanding.

Anxiety about the precarious nature of reality is a recurring thread on Protomartyr’s 4th full-length and Domino debut. Though not a concept album, it presents twelve variations on a theme: the unknowable nature of truth, and the existential dread that often accompanies that unknowing. After months of rehearsal, the band decamped to Los Angeles for two weeks in March of 2017, to record with Sonny DiPerri (Animal Collective, Dirty Projectors), who co-produced the record and helped capture the band’s long-simmering vision for something more complex, but no less visceral.

Previously shared track A Private Understanding is the album’s opening statement and a wellspring from which the following eleven songs flow. At once beautiful and brutal, it mutates from drum-led oddity to unlikely anthem, with some of Casey’s most potent lyrical work at its centre.

Protomartyr release their new record Relatives In Descent on September 29 via Domino Records. Pre-order here.