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Capsule Reviews: Records Released on May 31, 2019

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.

Joy Crookes Perception EP Speakerbox

Grade: B+

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


Rough Trade

Grade: A

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

Marathon Artists

Grade: A-

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.

Sacred Paws

Run Around the Sun

Merge Records

Grade: B

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

Sarah Davachi

Pale Bloom

W. 25th / Superior Viaduct

Grade: B+

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



City Slang

Grade: B

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