#NewMusicFriday (June 16th 2023)

With the weather heating up, there are plenty of noteworthy releases this #NewMusicFriday.

For starters, distorted emo-punks Origami Angel delivers the ideal soundtrack with their new mixtape – ‘The Brightest Days‘. While Brighton “grit pop” specialists Snake Eyes return with more DIY indie-punk goodness in the form of new EP, ‘health‘. There’s also angst-laden emo/pop-punk courtesy of Calmgrove and their melodically-rich EP ‘True Color’.

If you’re looking a bit more soothing, Icelandic post-rock legends Sigur Rós return with their first studio album in 10 years – ‘Átta’. While at the heavier end of things, we have Chicago’s raw adventurous punks Lurk with ‘Natural Causes’, Texas death metal crew Creeping Death delivers a pummelling on ‘Boundless Domain’, and there is progressive metalcore from promising Dutch group Endeavour. Their debut full-length, ‘For The Time Being’, is certainly one for fans of Architects and Northlane.

I should probably mention ‘In Times New Roman…’, the new record from Queens of the Stone Age. While I’m sure it’s a fine collection of cool desert rock, and understandably Josh Homme has been through the wringer with battling cancer, losing close friends and collaborators, and ongoing custody issues, I don’t feel comfortable giving such a spotlight to someone with alleged domestic violence accusations against them. While at times I’m able to separate the delicate topic of the music and the creator, on this occasion I can’t. Also, I’ve not really been into much of their output since ‘Songs for the Deaf’.

Origami Angel
Photo Credit: Bob Sweeney

Origami Angel – The Brightest Days

For me, Washington D.C duo Origami Angel were a pandemic/lockdown music discovery. 2021’s ‘Gami Gang’ double LP served up a brand of emo-punk that expanded into other territories; screamo, post-rock, and electronic. While last year’s ‘Re: Turn’ and ‘DEPART’ saw vocalist/guitarist Ryland Heagy and drummer Pat Doherty showcase two different ends of their musical spectrum. The former being an acoustic EP, with the latter rattling with hardcore density.

With such a willingness to explore and be dynamic, it’s somewhat no surprise their new release, ‘The Brightest Days’, is being dubbed as a “mixtape”. Nevertheless, the one consistent is that it provides bright and bold hooks, giving the eight tracks plenty of charm. From the chugging eruption of the opening title track, to surf-rock harmonies on ‘Thank You New Jersey’  to the frantic density via ska-punk breakdown on ‘Kobayashi Maru (My Very Own)’ to Heagy’s raw vulnerability on the bittersweet ukulele-led on ‘Looking Out’Origami Angel aren’t afraid to change things up.

Whereas ‘My PG County Summer’, ‘Second Best Friend’ and ‘Few And Far Between‘ perfectly exemplify Heagy and Doherty’s aforementioned bright and bold hooks that sonically sound more impactful than you’d expect from a two-piece. When it all comes together, it’s a delightful listen and is sure to pull you out of any slumber.

Snake Eyes
Photo credit: Jessie Rose (@jesssierosee)

Snake Eyes – health EP

Brighton trio Snake Eyes are (fairly) newcomers with ‘health’ coming off the back 2021’s debut EP, ‘Skeletons’‘ and last year’s ‘lovehate‘ mixtape. It sees them cut off the considerable fat of the latter, and showcase their collective and individual strengths.

Pulling in elements of indie, punk, and grunge to form a self-styled “grit pop”, songs such as ‘medicine’ and ‘no one is truly cool’ thrive on a scuzzy, melodic drive. Throughout there’s a lo-fi rawness to Snake Eyes with thoughtful, honest lyricism.

When it comes to discussing up-and-coming British bands, Snake Eyes show why they deserve to be part of the conversation.

Sigur Ros 2023
Photo Credit: Tim Dunk

Sigur Rós – Átta

Announced (yet rumoured) just yesterday, Sigur Rós are back with their first studio full-length in a decade in the form of ‘Átta’. It also sees the return of keyboardist Kjartan Sveinsson, who rejoined the Icelandic post-rockers last year.

With the album being released on such short notice, it’s difficult for me to give a full account of ‘Átta’. Nevertheless, with the release of ‘Blóðberg’ earlier this week, as well comments from Jónsi stating the band wanted “the music to be really sparse, floaty and beautiful”, I get the impression it’s going to a majestic and cinematic listening experience. Especially with the London Contemporary Orchestra (conducted by Robert Ames) heavily featured throughout.

Be prepared to be swept away.

What is out on #NewMusicFriday?

Sigur Rós – Átta
Origami Angel – The Brightest Days
Queens of the Stone Age – In Times New Roman…
Billy Talent – Live at Festhalle Frankfurt
Snake Eyes – health EP
Calmgrove – True Color
Lurk – Natural Causes
Alt. – Abeyance
Creeping Death – Boundless Domain
Endeavour – For The Time Being
Orchid’s Curse – The Decay
Fifth Angel – When Angels Kill
Hex Poseur – Stunning
Drift Away – Chapter 1: Misery
Heavenward – Pyrophonics
Cheer-Accident – Fringements Two
Roseneath – Nowhere Safe
She – Goodpaster
Home Is Where – the whaler

If you think I’ve missed something or have a new album/EP/song to tell us about, tell us about it here.

If you’re looking for the latest tracks focusing on rock, punk, hardcore, metal, emo, and everything in between, then check out our ‘Newish Music’ playlist on Spotify or Apple Music.


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