It's the October edition of Listen Up! Our monthly list of new releases we think you should check out. Scroll through for our take on what's good and listen to this month's playlist below.
By Luke Graves
Breathers – Designed to Break
With their debut album, Designed to Break, Breathers’ kaleidoscopic brand of synth-pop glints in the midday sunlight, casting vibrant analog textures and unyielding rhythms onto the surrounding landscape. Infectious bass grooves and radiant synth lines oscillate in perfect unison under lead singer T. Lee Gunselman’s theatrical, rasping vocals, compelling you to unplug and find the nearest dance floor while subverting ‘80s commercialism through biting satire and sensitive introspection. Here, the Atlanta-based trio offers a deeply human record, simultaneously reconciling our relationship with technology and appealing to environmentalism and the conservation of our own internal ecologies.
Designed to Break released on September 12 via Irrelevant Music.
Interpol – Marauder
“Who reigns in that silence, when you sleep in the afternoon, you reach out to emptiness, until the reaching out feels empty too,” laments frontman Paul Banks with the desolate detachment that longtime listeners are sure to find instantly familiar, on Interpol’s latest record, Marauder. The band’s signature deadpan prose, punchy drum patterns, and iconic guitar riffs return in full force on their sixth studio album, harkening back to the New York group’s post-punk roots with an energy and composure still matched by few. Featuring production from Dave Fridmann (Tame Impala, The Flaming Lips), Marauder amplifies Interpol’s classic timbres through an electric wall of sound and delivers a swift enough kick in the head to jolt even the most jaded naysayers in 2018.
Marauder released on August 24 via Matador Records.
Mitski – Be the Cowboy
On the follow-up to 2016’s Puberty 2, Mitski pens intimate confessions of loving and longing with an aching honesty and palpable vulnerability in her greatest release yet. With Be the Cowboy, these private admissions are made public in such a way that feels as though no one should be listening at all, yet the Brooklyn-based musician has a true talent for making heartbreak not only palatable but devastatingly beautiful. Mitski’s fifth album is also her most stylistically-varied, swinging from soulful ballads to danceable divulgences to perfectly crafted pop songs and back, echoing the fickle emotions and subject matter contained within. Offering heartrending reflections on modern love, Be the Cowboy also serves as a personal record of someone just trying to figure it all out.
Be the Cowboy released on August 17 via Dead Oceans.
Rubblebucket – Sun Machine
Sun Machine’s springy production, spirited melodies, and velveteen vocals conjure images of long summer nights and youthful love—the kind of exhilarating, adventurous, wreckless love after which you metamorphosize and learn something new about yourself and what it means to love and be loved. On their fourth full-length album, Rubblebucket evoke those nights replete with sweaty house shows, secret swimming, stolen kisses, and insatiable hand-holding. Perhaps even experimenting with psychedelics for the very first time, as buoyant basslines lap around your ankles and jubilant horns squawk in celebration of your riotous rebellion. Needless to say, Sun Machine is likely the most fun you’ll have with a record all year.
Sun Machine released on August 24 via Grand Jury Music.
Also check out:
- Cat Power – Wanderer (October 5, Domino)
- Connan Mockasin – Jassbusters (October 12, Mexican Summer)
- Fucked Up – Dose Your Dreams (October 5, Merge Records/Arts & Crafts)
- George Clanton – Slide (August 17, 100% Electronica)
- Kurt Vile – Bottle It In (October 12, Matador Records)
- Spiritualized – And Nothing Hurt ( September 7, Fat Possum/Bella Union)
- Wild Nothing – Indigo (August 31, Captured Tracks)
Luke Graves is a latchkey printmaker and occasional writer of words based in Nashville. See more from Luke, here.
Listen Up! is brought to you by Original Fuzz Magazine. Flip through the pages of this month's issue, here.