June 5, 2019 | by No Recess! Staff
Every Wednesday we're rounding up the NR! staff for a healthy handful of capsule record reviews released the previous Friday. Check out this installment with record releases from May 31, 2019.
An exciting young talent with a gorgeous voice and a sharp perspective, the 20-year-old Londoner has all the tools to go to the very top. Her third EP is her strongest yet (but don’t sleep on February’s excellent Reminiscence EP), as she weaves five affecting slices of neo-soul touch on lost love ("Since I Left You"), romantic freedom ("No Hands"), and her hometown ("London Mine"). My favorite moment is the project’s last song. Crookes’ bewitching vocal performance channels a certain local legend — starts with “A,” ends with “inehouse” — sashaying effortlessly over warm jazz chords and a gentle swing. Sah fucking woon. - Daniel Alvarez
Watch the video for "London Mine" below and buy Perception here
Pip Blom’s full-length debut, Boat, is packed from front-to-back with the kind of clever, upbeat guitar-based indie pop that deftly walks the line between ebullient fun and thoughtful introspection. Every song here is meticulously recorded, and the band’s clean, natural sound only helps to accentuate Pip’s sincere lyrics and sweet vocals that fall somewhere between Courtney Barnett’s raspy purr and Tracyanne Campbell’s melancholic sigh. It's hard to point to only one or two songs as standouts here, but only because the entire album is so damn good! Regardless, if you’re looking to get hooked fast, try the back-to-back cuts "Tired" and "Bedhead." Boat is an exemplary debut, one worthy of your ears’ attention. - Andy Mascola
Watch the video for "Daddy Issues" below and buy Boat here
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets
And Now for the Whatchamacallit
What the fuck is going on in Australia? Seriously. There is some sort of lysergic renaissance going on down under, and the latest blotter worth a lick is this fuzzed-out fiasco. Don’t let the silly name fool you: Behind the heavy curtain of germanium transistors screaming for mercy lies a collection of hearty compositions, tethering the whole circus tent firmly to the earth with hooks galore. Can they pull this shit off live?! I’m gonna hop on my magic carpet and find out. - Braden Towne
Watch the video for "Hymn for a Droid" below and buy And Now for the Whatchamacallit here.
Run Around the Sun
Somehow this dreamy duo has evoked the craggy highlands of their native Scotland and a sunshiny drive down the PCH at the same time. How did they do it? Bouncing rhythms and plucky guitars abound, punctuated by synth brass and singing like two best friends talking excitedly while skipping down the street — sometimes over the top of one another, sometimes finishing each other’s… sandwiches? Whatever which way, get out there this summer and make some memories listening to this gem. - Braden Towne
Watch the video for "The Conversation" below and buy Run Around the Sun here
W. 25th / Superior Viaduct
Unlike so much music — and culture at large — the Canadian composer’s music rewards your patience. At first spin, sure, you can tell that her music is pretty and soothing. But only on repeat listens, does it really open up itself to the listener. Pale Bloom is basically two sides. The first is a trio of piano-led aqueous, contemplative soundscapes called "Perfumes I, II, & III," while the former is the droning, 21-minute "If It Pleased Me To Appear To You Wrapped in This Drapery." For me, the first part of the project is more successful, thanks to the way it balances mood with subtle melodic hooks and, stunningly, the vocals of Fausto Dayap Daos on "Perfumes II." Spend some time with it, you’ll be glad you did. - Daniel Alvarez
Stream Pale Bloom below and buy the album here
Ahmed Gallab's experience as a black, Muslim, Sudanese immigrant in the Trump era is vivaciously explored in Dépaysé, as is the past and current political climate of his native country. Sinkane's 7th studio album is a spirited, if times disjointed, concoction that celebrates and interprets globalism, personal identity, fellowship, escapism, triumph, and defeat, packed with sounds reminiscent of jazz, soul, blues, Afro-funk, rock, and a little bit of everything in between. The colorful flourishes and spritely introspection of Dépaysé will keep your mind and ears riveted from start to finish. - Angela Zimmerman
Watch the video for "Dépaysé" below and buy the album here
Ignorance Is Bliss
Boy Better Know
When his fourth LP Konnichiwa took over the world, you could have forgiven the Tottenham MC for going global. But if you’ve followed Skeppy’s career, you know that no number of Drake and Kanye shout-outs, Mercury Prize wins, or sold-out, signature Air Maxes* could take him away from his tried and tested principles. Remember, this is a man who went to the BRITs on the Tube and gave an iconic performance at the Wireless Festival, "then walked home in the rain."
So it’s no surprise that his highest-profile project is his most insular. Sure, there are guests, but besides fellow Londoner J Hus and WizKid, you probably haven’t heard of them. For the most part, the beats are unapologetically wonky and rooted in grime, which provides plenty of space for him to weave his taut, punchy bars and fatherly lessons bequeathed from a lifetime spent on road. I’m not sure it’ll cross over quite like Konnichiwa, but why should we care about that? Skepta certainly doesn’t. - Daniel Alvarez
*Easily, the coldest sneakers I own.
Watch the video for "Greaze Mode" below and buy Ignorance Is Bliss here
Soundwalk Collective & Patti Smith
The Peyote Dance
SC has been doing everything right since the project began in 2000 with their experimental, ambient sound sculptures. This release, deals with French avant-garde theater genius Antonin Artaud’s voyage into northwestern Mexico peyote culture. Patti Smith reads Artaud’s words over their typically brilliant primitive sounds but I see this as hindrance. Smith’s influence on outsider culture has reached the over-saturation point (her third book is on the way, kids!). So, if you’re fed-up with her pretentions, this is an unavoidable problem as the overall concept is squelched by Smith’s PRESENCE. If not, The Peyote Dance is a fantastic combination. Either way, Soundwalk Collective continues to produce fascinating work. - Andrew K. Lau
Watch the video for "Ivry" below and buy The Peyote Dance here