With new releases now coming fast and furious during the all-important Q4–the make-or-break quarter for the music industry–we have to make sure that new indie releases don’t get lost in the mix. Challenge accepted.
1. Dave Gahan & Soulsavers, Metal Heart
Recommended If You Live: Songs closer to the heart
Depeche Mode’s frontman went through some rough times 25 years ago when he kept ODing with heroin and speedballs, culminating with a full cardiac arrest that saw him dead for two minutes before EMTs could get his heart beating again. These days, he’s a changed person, much more spiritual, and aware that life is precious. This album (due November 12) is a collection of covers (Neil Young, PJ Harvey, even Charlie Chaplin) carefully chosen for their meanings and effect upon Dave. The first single is a Cat Power song from 1998.
2. Ministry, Disinformation
Moral Hygiene (Nuclear Blast)
RIYL: Repeated hammer blows to the head
Uncle Al Jourgensen is still with us (amazingly, considering his lifestyle) almost forty years into his career. Al is still most annoyed at much of the world, especially after being locked down so long because of the pandemic. The album considers what kind of society we’re living in these days. SPOILER: Al is pessimistic. And Tucker Carlson will not be pleased.
3. Maybe May, Better
RIYL: Helping others through tough times.
Mississauga trio Maybe May lived through the tragic suicide of a close friend, something that shook all of them. This song is dedicated to that friend and all marketing for the song will promote the resources available through the Canada Suicide Prevention Service.
4. Parquet Courts, Walking at a Downtown Pace
Sympathy for Life (Beggars Banquet)
RIYL: Deadpan stoner Rock
New York’s Parquet Courts have a woozy stoner approach that sounds best when heard in conjunction with the natural sounds of a city. This track imagines life post-pandemic and includes the line “return the smile on an unmasked friend.” Word, dude.
5. Nation of Language, This Fractured Mind
A Way Forward (Independent)
RIYL: What the cool kids were listening to in1980
I swear that this is a new song and that none of the members of this Brooklyn band were even born in 1980. But what we get is pure early technopop, something that Depeche Mode, OMD, or Kraftwerk might have recorded in an era when people were still going to discos. For me, it’s a nice throwback. For others, it might be a new breath of simple fresh air when it comes to synth-based music.