With so much new music getting released weekly, it can be difficult to keep up and not miss anything important. We here at Tuned Up know the struggle and wanted to offer previews of a few new releases that piqued our interest this week. What sounds interesting to you? What did we miss? Drop your thoughts in the comment section.
The Mars Volta (Single)-“Blacklight Shine”
The Mars Volta have released their first new music since 2012’s Noctourniquet with the single “Blacklight Shine.” The track debuted when a mysterious cube that played music when listeners stepped inside appeared in Grand Park, Los Angeles. Very sci-fi.
After dropping an 18 LP retrospective last year featuring loads of unreleased music, the eclectic duo of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala have not only released a new song but also announced a U.S. Tour, their first since At The Drive In again called it quits in 2018.
Although “Blacklight Shine” is only three minutes long, the track is accompanied by an 11-minute short film, directed by Rodriguez-Lopez that features a Latin dance and drum style called “Bomba.” Of the theme of the song, Cedric Bixler-Zavala stated it is meant to evoke “a wave of rolling blackouts washing memories onto shore, a heartbeat that still remembers everything.” Musically, it continues their focus on Latin Psych-Rock but leans in a much softer direction. No new album has been announced yet, but I for one am excited about the potential!
Becoming the Archetype (Single)-“The Lost Colony”
Sound the alarms, it’s finally happening! Becoming the Archetype, easily in my top 3 bands I wanted to see reunite, are back with their first new release in 10 years, since 2012’s I Am. “The Lost Colony” is everything you’d want from the band: brutal guitar riffs with sweeping solos, a tight mix between progressive and core-focused metal, a breakdown that instantly makes your face do the metal grimace, and Jason Wisdom’s unrelenting vocals. Stream “The Lost Colony” now and lookout for Children of the Great Extinction (killer title) coming out August 26th on Solid State Records. Pre-order it HERE.
Russian Circles (Single)-“Conduit”
Chicago post-metal riff-lords Russian Circles have released their newest single “Conduits” from forthcoming album Gnosis, which drops August 19th on Sargent House. The track features the bands’ signature brutal chugga-chugga riffs overlayed with driving melodic hooks and pounding drumbeats. “Conduits” moves in parts which build upon each other that will inevitably have the listener headbanging by the crescendo. Pre-order/Pre-save Gnosis HERE.
Ohio Folk-Rock trio Caamp returns with Lavender Days, their first album since 2019’s By and By. Featuring honest lyrics, heart-wrenching harmonies, and folk sensibilities awash in rock and roll aesthetic, Lavender Days hits all the right notes for a perfect summer soundtrack. Caamp previewed the album with singles “Believe,” “Apple Tree Blues,” and “Lavender Girl.” Stream Lavender Days HERE.
“Jam Band” is a largely polarizing genre. Its most ardent fans rabidly defend their favorite artists and creating entire lifestyles centered on traveling to multiple shows a year, collecting hard-to-find live recordings, and owning closets full of tie-dyed tour t-shirts. On the other hand, jam band detractors are happy to tell you that Phish, Grateful Dead, and the like are the worst things to happen to music, like, EVER. Confession time, I’m in the former camp. I enjoy jam band music and shows and am a 100% certified Dead Head. That being said, I can appreciate why people might not like the genre.
Enter the band Goose, who want to be the Jam Band for people who hate Jam Bands. On their latest release Dripfield, the band focuses on tight instrumentals with delicately employed noodling that lends to jammy credibility without going too far into the epic jam sessions that turn casual listeners off. The vocals are stronger and more in line with pop music than the average jam vocalist and seem suited for an arena. Goose, who had a meteoric rise following a viral performance video, seek to reboot themselves and the whole Jam Band thing on Dripfield. Stream the new album HERE.
Lupe Fiasco–Drill Music In Zion
On opening track “The Lion’s Deen,” Ayesha Jaco gives a spoken word performance, opining “Drill music, pop that pill music, Kill music, Desecrating the temples and the ghetto, Funeral processions increase their frequency.” This credo sets the tone for the entire album, which is unequivocally NOT drill music. The themes of drill music are what she describes: violence, drugs, struggle. Along with that, drill has a distinct sing/rap melodic vocal style. Lupe does none of that on DMIZ, but instead somberly reflects on the state of hip-hop as a culture of death. And why not? On top of the high profile emcee deaths we’ve seen over the last several years, it seems every week there is another up-and-coming rapper killed in their prime. It’s a lot for Lupe to tackle, and it’s a heavy burden to carry, especially on his eighth album. And this even comes several album cycles aafter the mainstream party album (Lasers). Despite its heft, Lupe’s reflections here are important. Sonically, his cadence and flow are interesting and varied, his lyricism is never better, and the jazzy beats are highly polished. Drill Music In Zion is Lupe’s admirable stab at reiterating that Hip-Hop still has something to say. Stream Drill Music In Zion HERE.
Other Notable Releases
Emery-Rub Some Dirt on It (emo/post hardcore)
Soccer Mommy-Sometimes, Forever (Singer-Songwriter, Indie)
Regina Spektor-Home, Before and After (Piano-Driven Indie)
Jack Johnson-Meet the Moonlight (Acoustic Pop)
Coheed and Cambria–Vaxis Act II: A Window of the Waking Mind (Prog Rock, Metal, Punk)