Between The Cracks: Essential Releases You Need To Hear

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 records from across the musical soundscape that requires your attention. So happy listening – and don’t forget to hit the links and support the artists.

Albums

Dave Okumu – Knopperz

With Knopperz, Dave Okumu releases his first solo album through Transgressive. Comprising ten tracks, the singer/guitarist integrates hip-hop, jazz, and experimental electronic music with stunning results. Knopperz is a nod to J Dilla’s Donuts and draws inspiration from Duval Timothy’s recently reissued 2017 album, Sen Am. Throughout this wondrous nine-song collection, he intertwines both albums seamlessly. With a wealth of highlights check out ‘Intro’, ‘Son of Emmerson’, ‘Ballpark’, ‘RTN’, and ‘New Dawn’, this is a joyous ride through a musical landscape that is ever-changing. An album that will be in many people’s top ten lists.

Buy

Tirzah – Colourgrade

Tirzah releases her eagerly-awaited follow up to 2018’s dazzling ‘Devotion’ with ‘Colourgrade’ , an album she writes about her experience as a mother. Written after the birth of her first child (and just before the arrival of her second) she explores “recovery, gratitude and new beginnings”, the album features the extended CURL crew that includes long term collaborators Mica Levi and Coby Sey. The natural energy behind Tirzah’s deconstructed R&B and soulful downtempo sounds keep it relevant and forward-looking. Whatever genre you want to put it into, it’s another cult classic

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Fabiano do Nascimento – Ykytu

With his new album, Ykytu, guitarist Fabiano do Nascimento creates a relaxing and easy listening experience. With a minimalist meditative approach, delving into folkloric Brazilian music, Brazilian jazz, bossa-nova and samba developed through his able fingers. Ease yourself into the weekend with this pretty mellow selection.

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De Beren Gieren – Less Is Endless

De Beren Gieren are known for their dynamic soundscapes and complex song structures, infused with vibrant polyrhythms and elitist twists that attract and hold the listener’s attention at all times. In this new album, they demonstrate their unique talents to the fullest. As we move through the tracklist, from the mind-bending opener’ A Funny Discovery’ to the impressionist melodies and harmonic soundscapes of ‘Tuin’, De Beren Gieren gives their music the space to breathe and grow. Essential listening. 

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Trigg & Gusset – Black Ocean

We can’t stop listening to the mood-enhancing noir jazz soundscapes, sweeping woodwind textures and ambient undertones of Bart Knol’s and Erik van Geer’s Black Ocean on ECM Records. Listen to this hypnotic, mostly slow-moving soundtrack late at night and let your mind wander.

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EP’s

Brigid Mae Power – Burning Your Light

Irish folk musician Brigid Mae Power has released a new EP of covers, titled Burning Your Light, via Fire Records. The EP features covers of Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Patsy Cline, Songs: Ohia, Traditional, and Townes Van Zandt songs. An utterly lovely recording from start to finish, but her reworking of ‘May Morning Dew’, an Irish ballad, is sublime.

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Me Lost Me – The Circle Dance

Known as Me Lost Me, electronic folk innovator Jayne Dent has released her new EP. The Circle Dance blends synthesisers with double bass (John Pope) and woodwinds (Faye MacCalman) to imagine an ideal world built on harmony and balance. In this fantastic and expansive EP, with its complex blend of folk, drone, electronica, and field recordings, Me Lost Me takes many unexpected freaky folk twist and turns.

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Mårble – Green Snake

Mårble takes us on a chilled and enchanting journey into his mind with help from Minereed in the opening song. The best way to enjoy this is to play it loud on the biggest and best speakers during a late-night session – another winner from Hair Del.Records.

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Miss Mårble – Das Kameel, der Löwe und das Kind

It’s Mårble again, this time hooking up with Alisa Gvozdeva for a strange brew of meditative spoken word, mesmerising psychedelica, dubby, percussion grooving, tribal beating, tropical warmth on this trippy EP for Hair Del. Records. Take a deep dive into their experimental universe; it’s well worth exploring.

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Tara Clerkin Trio – In Spring

Their self-titled debut was pretty impressive, and this new EP from Tara Clerkin Trio takes things to another level with its refined mix of avant-pop sensibility and woozy downtempo grooves. The trio is perhaps most noted for its approach to sound, less concerned with genre than with texture and feeling, drawing from jazz, folk, modern music, trip-hop, and downtempo electronica, yet eschewing all classifications. All four tracks, especially the opening cut, are, well, just perfect.

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CF Smith

Write for Music Is My Sanctuary & Stereofox.

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