The Goon Sax – Mirror II (Matador Records)
The Goon Sax are a Brisbane three-piece that play a gothic version of post-punk. It’s gloomy, moody, and sometimes unsettling. This record comes as a fresh approach from their 2018 release We’re Not Talking, which had a fuller instrumentation of horns and strings. Mirror II is stark in comparison.
Dark bass lines and creeping synths are the go to on this LP. For all its appeals to the glamorous sounds of the ’80s, there’s something about this record that puts you on edge. Pop ballads feel angular. Dance songs have dark undertones. For that, this record is one of the most unique revamps of 80s new-wave that you will hear all year.
Mirror II is out on Matador Records.
Moin – Moot! (AD 93)
Moin is something of a supergroup with the likes of Joe Andrews and Tom Halstead of Raime, and Valentina Magaletti of Vanishing Twin. There are a lot of influences you could point out in the sound of this record. Slint or Swans maybe? Possibly even Aphex Twin or Merzbow? Although there are moments on this record where you can hear the sounds of all of these groups, it truly manages to sound unique at all times.
Sometimes it’s off-kilter, almost jazzy; other times it’s in-your-face with noisy guitars. You truly never know what to expect here. Gothic choir vocals are often overlayed on time-altering jams. This is truly an experiment in genre blending, recording, and pushing musical boundaries. Not something to pass up!
Moot! Is out on AD 93.
BABEHOVEN – Nastavi, Calliope (Self-Released)
Upstate New York’s BABEHOVEN have a special brand of bedroom pop. It’s heartbreaking lyrically and matched by its soft instrumentation. This record gives the listener an open window into the mind of vocalist Maya Bon. It’s direct, unforgivingly up front, and extremely intimate.
Across the LP, she not-so-subtly hints about life’s tragedies and suffering, all the while remaining resilient. The gloomy sound is often shrouded in spacy drum machines or synthesizers that add to the overall feeling of disconnection on this record. This is a truly beautiful and triumphant release despite all of its sorrow. Don’t miss it!
Nastavi, Calliope is Self-Released.
Half Waif – Mythopoetics (Anti-)
Mythopoetics is a return to something simpler for singer songwriter Nandi Rose. Compared to her past few releases, this is a more stark release. “Fabric” is a soft, piano ballad which relies heavily on Rose’s vocals. “The Apartment” is a soft, synth-led track. Even the more heavily produced songs like “Swimmer” feel quiet, like they refuse to overstep their bounds.
That’s not to say that there aren’t moments of energy pumping through this record. Across these 12 tracks, the LP feels endlessly creative and innovative. It’s a record that refuses to sit still and sound the same. There is a constant melding and adaptation, ever growing and constantly changing.
Mythopoetics is out on Anti-.