Best of What’s New

A selection of newly released music that caught my attention

Once again, another week flew by and Saturday is upon us. This means the time has come to take a fresh look at newly released music. So without any further ado, let’s do just that!


Kicking off this new music revue are indie rock band Quasi, who were formed in Portland, Ore. in 1993 by former husband and wife Sam Coomes (vocals, guitar, keyboards, bass) and Janet Weiss (vocals, drums). From 2007 to 2011, they were a trio featuring Joanna Bolme on bass. Quasi’s self-produced and self-released 1993 eponymous debut was followed by R&B Transmogrification in March 1997, their first label release. Eight additional albums have since come out, including their latest Breaking the Balls of History. Released on February 10, it’s Quasi’s first new album in 10 years. Here’s Doomscrollers, which like all other tunes was penned by Coomes and Weiss. It’s what I would call a weirdly catchy song that you may like better after listening to it a few times. You also gotta love that video clip!

Index For Working Musik/1871

My next pick for this week are Index For Working Musik, who according to this account from Louder Than War, are a project that includes members of English indie-rock bands TOY and The Proper Ornaments. Their Bandcamp profile notes the project’s origin dates back to late 2019 and tells a strange background story I won’t recap. It seems to me Index For Working Musik deliberately want to create some mystery around them. Their members include Max Oscarnold and Nathalia Bruno, who apparently had worked with each other before, along with Bobby Voltaire (drums), E. Smith (double bass) and J. Loftus (guitar). 1871, co-written by Oscarnold, Bruno and Robert Syme, was released on February 8 as the third single of their upcoming album Dragging the Needlework for the Kids at Uphole, scheduled for February 17. I had to listen to the tune more than once, but it really grew on me.

Moreish Idols/Nocturnal Creatures

Moreish Idols are a new five-piece art rock band from South London, England. According to a review by All Music Magazine, the group features Jude Lilley (guitar, vocals), Tom Wilson Kellett (guitar, vocals), Dylan Humphries (bass clarinet), Caspar Swindells (bass, backing vocals) and Solomon Lamey (drums, backing vocals). Their debut EP Float appeared in August 2022. Now, the band is out with their new single Nocturnal Creatures, released on February 8. The tune was produced by Dan Carey who runs UK record label Speedy Wunderground and more recently has also worked with indie rock and post punk bands like Foals, Wet Leg, Fontaines D.C., Geese and Goat Girl. “Nocturnal creatures can teach us to be more observant, in case they dig up your treasure and bury their bones,” the band said in a statement. While I have no idea what that means, I know this bouncy tune speaks to me. Check out the official video.

The Men/Hard Livin’

Last but not least is some kickass rock by Brooklyn, New York-based band The Men. From their AllMusic bio: The Men began as an abrasive punk group before vastly expanding their sound to incorporate influences from country-rock to soul in addition to more accessible song structures. Initially forming as a trio in Brooklyn in 2008, they first made a national impact with the blistering noise rock of 2011’s Leave Home, their second album. Released in 2012, Open Your Heart proved to be a breakthrough for the band, receiving rave reviews. It also signaled their shift beyond punk, and the Men continued to redefine their sound with ambitious, eclectic albums such as 2014’s Tomorrow’s Hits. The Men are co-founders Nick Chiericozzi (vocals, guitar, saxophone) and Mark Perro (vocals, guitar, keyboards), as well as Kevin Faulkner (bass, lap steel) and Rich Samis (drums). Hard Livin’, credited to all members of the group, is the opener of their new album New York City, which came out on February 3. Did anyone say rock is dead?

This post wouldn’t be complete without a Spotify playlist of the above tunes and a few additional tracks by the featured artists.

Sources: Wikipedia; Louder Than War; Index For Working Muski Bandcamp page; All Music Magazine; AllMusic; YouTube, Spotify


Best of What’s New

A selection of newly released music that caught my attention

A busy last week with two back-to-back concerts and time-consuming related posts, unfortunately, left me no choice but to push back this latest installment of my weekly new music revue, which usually runs on Saturdays. All featured songs appear on albums, released last Friday, June 17.

Foals/Wake Me Up

British rock band Foals were founded in Oxford, England in 2005. From their AllMusic bio: Foals emerged in the late 2000s with an off-balance indie rock influenced by catchy new wave, math rock, and atmospheric post-rock. It proved a successful formula; their first album, 2008’s Antidotes, reached number three in their native U.K. Over the next decade, they developed a distinctive balance between jittery dance rock and spacy atmosphere on albums such as 2013’s Holy Fire, 2019’s Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, Pt. 1 and Pt. 2, and 2022’s Life Is Yours. The group’s current core lineup includes co-founders Yannis Philippakis (lead vocals, guitar, bass), Jimmy Smith (guitar, keyboards) and Jack Bevan (drums, percussion). Wake Me Up, credited to all three members, is the lead single of the above-mentioned Life Is Yours album. While it’s not in my core wheelhouse, the tune’s funky groove drew me in – reminds me a bit of INXS.

Hank Williams, Jr./Rich White Honky Blues

Randall Hank Williams, professionally known as Hank Williams, Jr. or Bocephus, is an American singer-songwriter and the son of country legend Hank Williams. During his childhood, artists like Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Fats Domino and Lightnin’ Hopkins, visited his family. Not only did they turn out to be major influences, but they also taught young Randall various music instruments. Already at the age of 8, four years after his father’s death, Hank Jr. performed his old man’s songs on stage. In 1964, he made his recording debut with Long Gone Lonesome Blues, one of his father’s classics. By the mid-’70s, Williams, Jr. had stopped covering his dad’s songs and started to develop his own style, establishing himself with his 26th studio album Hank Williams Jr. and Friends. Williams, who is now 73 years, has released more than 50 studio albums to date. Here’s the title track of his latest, Rich White Honky Blues, a tune he wrote. The blues album also features various covers of songs by the likes of Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters and Lightnin’ Hopkins. After I had seen this album, there was no way I was going to ignore it!

Alice Merton/Loveback

Alice Merton is a German-born English-Canadian singer-songwriter. From her Apple Music profile: Merton was born in Germany, but she soon moved with her family to the United States. They later relocated to Canada before returning to Germany, where Merton finished high school. After a move to England, she again landed in Germany to begin studying songwriting. Before releasing “No Roots” [her 2016 breakthrough single – CMM], Merton contributed to the 2015 album The Book of Nature by the German duo Fahrenhaidt. After an EP in 2018, Merton released her full-length debut, Mint, in 2019. Described by The New York Times as a “rousing take on centrist 1980s pop with a disco tempo and the faintest texture of Southern rock,” Mint reached No. 2 in Germany and No. 3 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart in the US. Merton has described her influences as a mix of opera, indie-rock bands like The Killers, and the English singers Florence Welch and Sam Smith. This brings me to her new album S.I.D.E.S. and the opener Loveback – definitely a leap for me, musically speaking, but there’s something about it, and it’s okay to push beyond your comfort zone every now and then!

Fastball/Real Good Problem to Have

My fourth and last pick for this Best of What’s New installment is from the latest album by Fastball, The Deep End, which I almost missed. For the longest time, I had only known The Way, the group’s cool breakthrough single from February 1998. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I explored the Texan band’s music in greater detail. You can read more about it here. Fastball were formed in 1994 in Austin by Tony Scalzo (vocals, bass, keyboards, guitar),  Miles Zuniga  (vocals, guitar) and Joey Shuffield (drums, percussion). Remarkably, that same lineup remains in place to this day. The Deep End, Fastball’s eighth studio album, sounds great, based on what I’ve heard thus far. Here’s a sample, Good Problem to Have, written by Zuniga. Ironically, the title nicely describes how I increasingly feel when it comes to artists who are new to me: There are many more than I have time to explore!

As usual, following is a Spotify list that includes the above and some additional tunes.

Sources: Wikipedia; AllMusic; Apple Music; Discogs; YouTube; Spotify