From world music royalty to heartbreak-folk, glam-pop and silky disco to groove to, here are five of the best new releases you may have missed in February, complete with an accidental spotlight on Melbourne.
Pearls, Pretend You’re Mine
Pearls got together in 2011 in Melbourne and beautifully walks the line between Best Coast-y Cali-dream indie pop and the chic stylings of Roxy Music, Blondie and Brian Ferry – which is evident if you judge it by its cover art. You might have already heard the radio-friendly opening track and first single, Big Shot; a sexy, stomping ode to glam rock. But if that’s what you expect from this LP, you’ll be surprised. The record is far cooler, with hazy, ‘80s-esque guitars, breathy vocals and lush synths.
Fascinating, beautiful and sublimely talented, French-Cuban sisters Lisa-Kaindé Díaz and Naomi Díaz are Ibeyi (pronounced “ee-bae-ee”). The name translates to “twins”, or the divine connection that exists between twins, in Yorùbá, the Nigerian language spoken by the duo (along with Spanish, French and English). They are the daughters of iconic Buena Vista Social Club percussionist Anga Díaz, and their sound is multi-dimensional, drawing from their family heritage. It blends the traditional sounds of West African culture with R’n’B arrangements and heartfelt storytelling. Just stunning.
Jim Lawrie, Eons
With a tender heart and a captivating voice, Melbourne local Jim Lawrie’s (formally known as Grizzly Jim Lawrie) sophomore album arrives with all the raw beauty and fragility fans have come to adore from the folk/alt-country songwriter and Eagle and the Worm drummer. Where his last album was mainly an acoustic journey, with Eons Lawrie experiments with orchestral, cinematic arrangements. If you count yourself a fan of Ben Salter, Paul Kelly, Ryan Adams or The War On Drugs, you’ll find pleasant harmony here.
Father John Misty, I Love You, Honeybear
In his album notes and bio (which you can read here), Former Fleet Foxes member Josh Tillman, also known as Father John Misty, admits that until recently, he had never written a love song. But here are 11 bloody and raw songs that see Tillman’s heart laid out to say, “I am yours.” Along with that statement comes pleasure, desire, vulnerability, bravery and fear – feelings present on every track.
Roland Tings, Roland Tings
Here is another killer LP from Melbourne. In his debut record, electronic producer-on-the-rise Rohan Newman (aka Roland Tings), who supported Chet Faker this month, delivers his cult-status cosmic jams via an intelligent and dynamic 10-track journey through late ’80s/early ’90s rave-house throwbacks, progressive disco and danceable swag.