new_albums_austra
new_albums_austra

10 New Albums for the Weekend, Jan. 20, 2017: Austra, Kid Koala, Green Gerry

On this dark, dark day, our top new albums come from Austra, the politically minded queer-fronted Canadian indie band, SoCal ’70s-obsessives Foxygen and the under-the-radar indie rock of Green Gerry.

1. Austra – Future Politics

Queer-identified Katie Stelmanis (pictured at top) brings her Toronto electro closer to the mainstream with her third release of highly functional and deeply felt political pop. I doubt she or her record company knew how perfectly the album’s release date would dovetail with the upset in the American political process and the inauguration of our new President, but it’s a sweet irony nonetheless. And while her opera-influenced flights of vocal fancy may not be everybody’s cup of chai, we need every voice of every outlier willing to expose themselves to the light. Future Politics? Please. We need Politics Now. Thank you, Austra, for the first volley. (“Utopia,” “Future Politics,” “We Were Alive”)

2. Foxygen – Hang

Wherein the genre hyperactivity of this abundantly talented indie duo finally comes together, and not a moment too soon. (“On Lankershim,” “Follow the Leader”)

3. Piano Magic – Closure

The sweet gothic melancholy of the title brings this artsy U.K. collective to a fitting end with a final series of long form explorations of love and its discontents. (“Attention to Life,” “I Left You Twice, Not Once”)

4. Cherry Glazerr – Apocalipstick

The focus has been on the age of this young L.A. band, but what the fuck? Rock music has always been the province of youth, so let’s focus instead on the sharp hooks and developing passion of one our scene’s brightest lights. And thank indie label Secretly Canadian for better distribution for their third release. (“I Told You I’d Be with the Guys”)

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5. Kid Koala – Music to Draw To: Satellite

Gorgeous electronic release from unclassifiable Canadian multi-talent, helped immensely by the chill vocals of Emiliana Torrini. (“Collapser feat. Emiliana Torrini”)

6. Vitalic – Voyager

French EDM, and almost exactly what you’d expect. (“Use It or Lose It feat. Mark Kerr”)

7. The Proper Ornaments – Foxhole

Yet more jingle jangle from Veronica Falls guitarist’s ongoing side-project. (“Cremated [Blown Away]”)

8. AFI – AFI (The Blood Album)

Ten albums in 21 years and let’s say this for them: they still bring their teenage enthusiasm to what’s now a middle-aged career. I prefer leader Davey Havok’s synth-y Blaqk Audio, but the original fans have much to celebrate here. (“White Offerings”)

9. Alex Clare – Tail of Lions

For those who’ve been waiting, here is the new David Gray, only more muscular and without all the head-wobbling. (“Tell Me What You Need”)

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Photo by Cara Robbins

10. Green Gerry – Electric Iron

This Athens-GA based singer-songwriter (real name: Gerry Green) grows leaps and bounds each time out, self-releasing since 2010, and Electric Iron, his third record, is a weird little wow. He careens around the indie landscape making each micro genre his bitch, and highlights abound. I’m partial to the post-punk-ish tracks, but after many plays nearly every one of these thirteen songs have made themselves known to me. And, bonus, the proceeds from Bandcamp will go to five of his favorite charities, including The Trevor Project. (“Rivals Kiss with an Absolute” “Lechugilla,” “How Much Is Enough? [Lick Until the Bone Is Dry]”)