Here's what to listen to this week.
If you're anything like us, you're probably overwhelmed by the sheer number of albums being released on a weekly basis.
Popdust's weekly column, Indie Roundup, finds the five best albums coming out each week so that you don't have to. Every Friday, we'll tell you what's worth listening to that might not already be on your radar.
Fiddlehead, "Between the Richness"
On their second album, Between the Richness, Boston quintet Fiddlehead weave elements of post-hardcore and pop-punk into sweeping, anthemic melodies. Across the record, singer and lyricist Pat Flynn taps into some of the most impactful moments in his life, such as the death of his father and becoming a father himself."The name of the record is called Between the Richness because it's important to me to explore the weird feeling of happiness and sadness, because that's just where I am right now," Flynn said in the album's liner notes. "My son's name is Richard and my father's name is Richard, so it's literally between the two of them, but it's the richness of life and the richness of death. It was important for me to capture that perfectly paradoxical feeling."
Mdou Moctar, "Afrique Victime"
For Nigerien musician Mdou Moctar, the electric guitar acts as a direct line to his Tuareg heritage. His latest album, Afrique Victime, pays homage to his homeland heroes like the late guitarist Abdallah Ag Oumbadagou, while also channeling classic psych-rock and punk forebears. The result is mesmerizing, transcendent, and one-of-a-kind.
CHAI are a Japanese band with a mission to subvert expectations. Their latest album (and debut for the iconic indie label Sub Pop), Wink, is whimsical and unexpected, diverting from their punky roots towards sleek dance-pop. But, as always, fun is at the forefront of CHAI's music:
"A person who winks is a person with a pure heart, who lives with flexibility, who does what they want. A person who winks is a person who is free," the band said in a statement. "With this album, we're winking at you. We're living freely and we hope that when you listen, you can wink and live freely, too."
Erika de Casier, "Sensational"
Danish singer Erika de Casier makes R&B that bridges the gap between the future and the past. On her sophomore album Sensational, elements of '90s greats are juxtaposed with slinky, contemporary production that gives her tried-and-true methods a fresh appeal. Throughout the record, you can feel the pain of a year in isolation, though de Casier's tongue-in-cheek lyrics add moments of levity: "You want drama, I'll give you a reality show," she sings on "Drama."
Mannequin Pussy, "Perfect"
Philadelphia punk trio Mannequin Pussy follow up their beloved 2019 record Patience with Perfect, an EP the band described as marking "the end of one era and the beginning of a new one." As with all of MP's music, singer/guitarist Marisa Dabice's piercing snarl takes the forefront, bellowing each word like it's the last line she'll ever sing. Backed by killer guitar riffs, Perfect only further cements the band's status as leaders in today's punk scene.