New Music Roundup: October 23, 2020

The staff at .WAV is back again with a list of what you’ve been itching for: new and noteworthy music. Keep a lookout for .WAV’s New Music Roundup every Friday and sometimes Sunday. Giddyup.

Streams of Thought Vol. 3 – Black Thought

In the turbulent course of this past year, a lot of us have been looking to so-called “conscious hip-hop” to sort of make sense of things, or at least properly set the tone for what comes next.  Along with contemporaries releasing this year like Run the Jewels or even Nas, Black Thought, emcee for The Roots, is doing his best to fill that space in our music listening habits.  Most of this record was written and recorded before March, given that this release is Vol. 3 in the Streams of Thought series that makes up the bulk of Black Thought’s solo discography, but that doesn’t make the issues it deals with any less prescient.  This project definitely isn’t perfect, features from Portugal, the Man are very hit or miss and seem a little out of place, but harder tracks more in line with what we expect out of Black Thought or The Roots still deliver.  “State Prisoner” is an excellent album opener, with classic ‘90s northeast flow, solid bars as always, and a powerful, driving beat to really send it home.  “Good Morning”, originally released as a single, carries some stellar features from Pusha T and Killer Mike, with Swizz Beats stepping in to elevate the instrumental and the beats even further.  As far as new hip-hop goes, this is an easy rec.

Colin Brunson

Metamorphosed – Thee Oh Sees

If you’ve been keeping up with our Weekly Music Roundup, it’s no secret that Thee Oh Sees have been hard at work; John Dwyer and crew have put out two studio albums and one live album in just three weeks. Metamorphosed is as every bit angry and visceral as it is a long, spacious jam. The opening track “Saignant” is one of the harshest, loudest songs the group has ever put out; heavy guitar riffs and bellowing drums are masked in a wall of static and reverb. As none of the first three tracks even break two minutes in length, these songs are reminiscent of their older work: fast and guitar-focused. However, the closing two tracks are both more than 15 minutes long; they are a bit of a refined version of the long-winded jams we saw on 2019’s Face Stabber. “Virologist” mainly utilizes soft hi-hat drums, droning guitar, and looped keyboards. It brings the album down a few notches in terms of energy, but is equally as rewarding as the openers. Around the last two minutes of the song, Dwyer decides to show off and delivers a face-melting guitar solo. Closing the album, “I Got A Lot” is a 23 minute jam session with a fast drum loop that is somehow maintained throughout the entire track. John Dwyer repeats the same lyric over a hundred times across the track as the phrase, “I got a lot on my mind” echoes endlessly over a frenetic guitar. Altogether, if you’re looking for some classic Oh Sees, I think you’ll be somewhat satisfied with this project.

Robbie Baker

Parallèles – Chapelier Fou

French composer Louis Warynski has done a number on electronic music under the moniker Chapelier Fou. As the ‘Mad Hatter’, Chapelier Fou translated, Warynski blends live strings with electronic synths to create landscapes of sound that will make you dance, then cry, then dance again. His latest album Parallèles, does not disappoint. The 12 track piece is dynamic and expressive, embodying feelings of sorrow, contemplation, inventiveness, and determination. Sinister strings haunt these raw emotions while synthesizers and metallic beats put each song in motion, giving off Sherlock Holmes meets Aphex Twin. So if you’ve ever been curious as to what that collab would sound like, set a good 41 minutes aside and give Parallèles a listen all the way through. You won’t regret it, and you might even be moved.

Delaney Faherty

“Discoteque” – Molchat Doma

Whether you heard of them through Tik Tok or a Russian Doomer playlist, post-punk Belarusian band Molchat Doma is back at it again with another synth-pop smasher. Their new single “Discoteque” spews the same dark yet danceable energy they have coined. With clear influence from Depeche Mode and Joy Division, “Discoteque” will finally make you stop saying you were born in the wrong decade and start saying you were born under the wrong form of government. Totalitarian disco is getting its 15 minutes, so pay your respects while you can. And if you like what you hear, look out for Molchat Doma’s new album Monument, expected to drop through Sacred bones on November 13.

This article was compiled by .WAV staff members Colin Brunson, Robbie Baker, and Delaney Faherty. The graphic was created by Delaney Faherty.