The Daniel Rosenboom Quintet – Fire Keeper

Digging on some fiery jazz rock from this new Daniel Rosenboom Quintet album, Fire Keeper. The kinetic energy in the performances on this thing is m-a-s-s-i-v-e. The production is a little flat at times, but the performances are just stellar throughout.

My Brightest Diamond – None More than You EP

Whimsical, delicate, and moving, these five new tracks from singer-songwriter Shara Worden–a.k.a. My Brightest Diamond–make for a pretty captivating lead-up to her next full-length album, which is dropping later this year. We actually shared a track from it a little while ago.

Seems like a pretty capable EP, and doesn’t really feel like any material that’s completely throw-away. If this is what didn’t make the album, I can only imagine how great this next release is going to be.

Perfume Genius – “Queen”

“Queen,” the lead single off Perfume Genius‘ forthcoming third LP Too Bright, is without a doubt singer-songwriter Mike Hadreas’ most extravagant song to date. This time around, he is forgoing the spartan piano arrangements we’ve found powerful in his prior releases in favor of bright synths, punchy drums, and comparatively pristine production. But the emotion that came with his sparse, reverb-y work of the past has not dissipated with this more ornate compositional palette. Hadreas’ vocals are assured, forceful; giving “Queen” the last of the makings for a great pop anthem. While I’ll admittedly miss the forlorn piano melodies should the album entirely go in this glitzier direction, this is a pretty interesting change of pace for Hadreas and a plenty evocative piece in its own right.

Too Bright is due out September 23 via Matador.

Half Japanese – “In Its Pull”

So much hype surrounding Half Japanese’s upcoming record Overjoyed – it’s their first full-length thing in 13 freaking years! It’s not so hard to see why all the excitement: the band’s DIY sound was groundbreaking throughout the 70s, 80s, and 90s and was influential to countless notable alt/indie rock artists, including Kurt Cobain and Daniel Johnston.

Now it’s 2014, and with lo-fi music so readily accessible with the web, I can’t really imagine this new single “In Its Pull” being mind-blowing for most listeners. That being said, Jad Fair still knows how to write the hell out of a song, so this is a pretty killer track all the same. It sounds in-the-moment like the group’s best work and I dig the raw production Deerhoof’s John Dieterich brings to the table. Thankfully, it looks as though Overjoyed will be a plenty enjoyable comeback that will be just offbeat enough. We know too well that sometimes even that is too much to ask for…

Overjoyed is due out September 2 via Joyful Noise Recordings.

Slugdge – Gastronomicon

A f-fun death metal album? Sure, they exist – the new Slugdge record Gastronomicon is one of them. If you’re unfamiliar with the UK duo consisting of guitarist Kev Pearson and lyricist/vocalist Matt Moss, then allow me to explain: they make music about interstellar slugs and are on a mission to “cover the world of man in a viscous goo.” But I’ve gotta say as ridiculous as the twosome’s concept comes across on paper, it amounts to a staggeringly captivating alternate reality for the run-time of this sophomore LP of theirs. The lyrics of Gastronomicon come off not as parody, but as a surprisingly imaginative mythology. Moreover, the compositions are rather progressive and the production is stellar - this is a properly heavy listen. Hopefully you can get past (or better yet, embrace) the campy concept, because otherwise you’ll be missing out on one of the year’s most enjoyable death metal releases so far.

Gastronomicon is out now with the blessing of Mollusca the Greatfather.

Can Can Heads – Butter Life

A few months back, Finland’s Can Can Heads delivered a wonderful little musical curiosity in the form of their second full-length effort Butter Life. The group has actually been around since 1993 and has pretty much been doing whatever the fuck they want the entire time - very noisy, spastic, no-wavey rock for the most part. That’s what you get here on Butter Life, too, but the band’s material is so brisk, it always feels fresh. So, if you’re a fan of noise rock or are big into Finland’s experimental music scene (and with music like this, how could you not be?), then give this LP a shot. Happy listening!

Butter Life is out now via Karkia Mistika Records, Verdura Records, and Bottom of the Pops.

“Old English” ft. Young Thug, A$AP Ferg, and Freddie Gibbs (prod. Salva & Nick Hook)

Magazine/label Mass Appeal recently announced a compilation album with the goal of highlighting a number of the hottest MCs at the moment, including Pusha T, YG, and Mac Miller; as well as  showcasing the talents of some of the imprint’s up-and-comers. “Old English” is the first track off this forthcoming all-star effort, and it certainly has us looking looking forward to hearing the rest. Young Thug, A$AP Ferg, and Freddie Gibbs are freaking fire on this thing and producers Salva and Nick Hook turn out a top-notch, banging beat. Hear it above and enjoy!

Mass Appeal Compilation Vol. 1 is due out September 2 via Mass Appeal Records.

Sólstafir – “Ótta”

A new track from Icelandic rock outfit Sólstafir. Over the years, the band has built an international reputation off its long, expansive, and epic songs. At nine minutes, this new track is nothing to shrug your shoulders at. It’s got every from glacial walls of guitar to a plucky little lead melody that sounds like it’s coming out of a banjo.

It’s a massive track with a tense finish. From what I’ve heard, this album is dropping lat August. Stay alert!

Zammuto – “Great Equator”

Nick Zammuto–formerly of The Books–has a new solo album on the way. As you may recall, I dug this dude’s last full-length, so, of course, I’m looking forward to what he’s going to be dishing up on this latest record of his. The title: Anchor. It’s currently looking at a Sept. 2nd release date on Temporary Residence Limited.

“Great Equator” is a chilly, serene ballad with plenty of throbbing electronics hanging in the background. It’s a track that subtly hypnotizes, but then it knocked me out of that funk with some jagged, angular synth melodies. The swelling instrumentation on the back end of the track is quite nice, too. Really psyched to see what sonic adventures Nick embarks on with this album!

DJ Qbert – Extraterrestria/GalaXXXian

Extraterrestria/GalaXXXian, the new double album from DJ Qbert, is being promoted as the producer’s first proper full-length effort since 1998′s Wave Twisters.  But despite this 15+ year gap, you might still have been hearing his work over the years, in particular a nice bonus track on the deluxe edition of that great Run the Jewels record last year.

This new project of his is split up into a disc “from space” and a disc “from earth.” The former, Extraterrestria (stream here) is meant to “transcend turntablism” and explore what “skratch music sounds like in the future.” If you dug El-P’s last LP Cancer 4 Cure, then you stand a good chance of enjoying this side of the project. El-P actually appears as a guest MC on the second disc, GalaXXXian (stream here), which is decidedly a bit more traditional than the first half, with Qbert placing an emphasis on bangin’ beats and “the illest skratches.”

There is no shortage of ear-catching sonic textures throughout this thing, and there’s a number of great guest verses - ones from Del the Funky Homosapien and Kool Keith, to name just a couple. Above, find the previously mentioned El-P-featuring highlight “OG BBOY.” Enjoy!