With so much good music coming through thick and fast, it’s easy for albums to drop online and go overlooked. Each week we select new releases, from across the musical soundscape, that require your attention. Check out our weekly mini-guide to the best new records you need to hear. Happy listening – and don’t forget to hit the links and support the artists.
Jeffrey Silverstein – You Become The Mountain
Jeffrey Silverstein has released a new album his first for Arrowhawk Records titled You Become The Mountain. The nine-track record was inspired by the landscapes of the Pacific Northwest, meditation, long-distance running and his work as a special education teacher. For this recording, Silverstein teams up with pedal-steelist Barry Walker Jr. and bassist Alex Chapman and the trio create a listening experience that is all at once meditative, wisful and uplifting. With ambient textures, and Balearic warmth wrapped up in a folk aesthetic this record will soothe even the most stressed and weary minds. Listen to You Become The Mountain below, and if you love the LP, make sure you support!
The Breathing Effect – Photosynthesis
Photosynthesis, the new LP from The Breathing Effect, is epic, lush, and unpredictable. It illustrates a synthesis of psychedelic sound design, progressive songwriting, and meticulous production. The first single from the record, “In The Morning,” sees the band’s unique performance style underlining an experimental song form. From front to back, the listener will find that no two songs are alike, yet they all belong to the same aural universe. The Breathing Effect has once again delivered a truly original work that transforms with each new listen.
High Pulp – Mutual Attraction Vol.1
Mutual Attraction Vol.1 is the first in a series of three EP’s from High Pulp in 2020. The series will feature three songs from different artists that have woven their influences into the DNA of the Seattle ensemble. This brilliant release is a jazz delight with covers from Sun Ra, Alice Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders. Their dreamy reworking Astral Travelling’ is gorgeous and respectful as is their freaky and languid version of Sun Ra’s ‘There Are Other Worlds (They Have Not Told You Of)’ while the bands’ take on ‘Journey to Satchidananda’ is the highlight. Still, to be fair, there’s not much in it. There’s little else to say, other than press play and enjoy.
Fresh Bread – Fresh Bread
Not content with dropping one of the best albums so far this year in the shape of Satin Doll. LA-based artists Sam Gendel aka Fresh Bread returns with a new album that skips effortlessly through woozy hip-hop, afro blues and live sessions. As always he brings an experimental and spontaneous touch to this recording, and it’s another entertaining snapshot of the sonic adventurer. Stuffed with lo-fi experiments and abstract beats that distil hip-hop, jazz, and beyond this massive and magical release needs your attention. A small caveat to keep in mind there will be new tracks added every single day for the forseeable future so keep refeshing the Bandcamp page!!!
For The Love Of You – Various Artists
Bringing some much-needed brightness to these dark days, Edinburgh’s Athens Of The North label present twelve classic cover versions from the lovers rock era. Featuring stellar covers of tracks by everyone from Leon Ware, Mtume, The Gap Band, Prince, Bobby Caldwell and more. Highlights include Michael Gordon’s laidback take on ‘What You Won’t Do For Love’. Simplicity’s version of the Isley Brother’s ‘For The Love Of You’ is sublime as is Christine Lewin’s incredibly relaxing version excursion of ‘Juicy Fruit’. The airy vocals, and charming aesthetic created by Karen Dixon on ‘Got To Be Free’ is a pure audio balm. This compilation is packed full of sensual jams that will have you winding and grinding quick time. Essential!
Isolation Therapy – Various Artist
The good people at Stamp The Wax opened up their contact book and asked musician friends to make a track in isolation. Three days and 27 artists later, the brilliant Isolation Therapy is the result! Featuring contributions from the likes of Hector Plimmer, Anna Wall, Alek Lee, Lily Haz, Joseph Shabason, and Thom Gill, all funds from sales will go toward providing them and STW with much needed financial support during this turbulent time. Press play and let Isolation Therapy be the soundtrack to get you through the months ahead. My hat is well and truly doffed to all involved.
Oto No Wa: Selected Sounds of Japan 1988-2018 – Various Artist
Music For Dreams enlists Ken Hidaka, Max Essa, and Dr Rob, for their fifth Collector’s Series. Oto No Wa features 14 tracks that “represent the depth and width of digging done and the range of connections made by Rob, Ken and Max over the last couple of decades”. From ambient pioneers to dance-floor veterans the album spans sounds across three decades including music by composers Susumu Yokota, Yoshio Ojima and Takashi Kokubo, alongside tracks from psychedelic collective Olololop, rising stars, Coastlines and 9-piece reggae band Little Tempo. An album full of calming ambient, and Balearic music is what the world needs right now – thank you, Music For Dreams.