Notable Releases of the Week (1/12/24)

Hello and welcome back to Notable Releases! Hope everyone had a good holiday and New Year’s, and hope you’re ready for another year that’s already guaranteed to be loaded with more great music. Things have been a little slow release-wise since late December, but the music world is back in full force and there are some really great records out this week. I highlight 8 below, and Bill tackles more in Bill’s Indie Basement, including Marika Hackman, Bill Ryder-Jones, Jayson Green & The Jerk (Orchid, LCD Soundsystem, etc), and more.

On top of that, this week’s honorable mentions include 21 Savage, Kid Cudi, The Vaccines, Cosmic Joke, Splitknuckle, Casey, 22Gz, K Camp, Surya Botofasina/Nate Mercereau/Carlos Niño, Dead Best, The Boy Detective, Unknown T, Hoorsees, Loukeman, Willow Avalon, Shed Seven, Bring Me the Horizon, the @ EP, the Bad History Month EP, the Lazer Bullet EP, the Esther Rose alternate versions EP, the Civilian demo, the Integrity rarities & unreleased tracks comp, and The Beths and Car Seat Headrest’s split 7″ of Death Cab and Postal Service covers.

And because Notable Releases took a few weeks off, for the sake of being complete, here are a bunch of other artists that put out new releases since we last spoke: Sprints, Pile, Something To Do, Capsule, Conway the Machine & Wun Two, This Is New Tone, Ghetts, Haywire, Gray State, Rejoice, French Montana, Luis R. Conriquez, Without Peace, Wishy, Bun B & Statik Selektah, Bas, Yfel, Pile of Love, Capillary, and the Swiss Army Wife/Avec Plaisir/Celebration Guns split.

Read on for this week’s Notable Releases. What’s your favorite release of the (past few) week(s)?

Infant Island – Obsidian Wreath
Secret Voice

Infant Island have been a little less prolific since putting out two releases during 2020 lockdown, the Beneath LP and the Sepulcher mini LP, and since the world opened back up, the band finally got to support those albums on tour as members put out music with their other projects. But as far back as 2020, they were already writing their next album, Obsidian Wreath, and now it’s finally here. It follows their contribution to Touché Amoré vocalist Jeremy Bolm’s 2023 screamo compilation Balladeers, Redefined, and it’s also their first for Jeremy’s label Secret Voice. And it was worth the wait–it might just be their very best album yet.

Produced by hometown screamo legend and past collaborator Matt Michel (of Majority Rule and Nø Man), it’s the band’s most seamless fusion of OG-style screamo and atmospheric black metal yet. Comparisons are still warranted to Majority Rule and other Virginia screamo pioneers like pageninetynine and City of Caterpillar, but it also sounds like if Deafheaven’s Sunbather was condensed into two-minute songs. And like that album, Obsidian Wreath sounds majestic; it perfectly walks that line between heavy and beautiful. Andrew Schwartz of fellow Virginia band .gif from god lends screams to the attention-grabbing album opener “Another Cycle” and “Clawing, Still”; the climactic gang vocals on “Veil” include members of Unearth, For Your Health, King Yosef, Senza, Malevich, Mikau, and more; and Infant Island really stretch their wings when Harper Boyhtari and Logan Gaval of past tourmates Greet Death add clean vocals to the shoegazy penultimate track “Kindling.” The whole thing just sounds massive and full of intention. It feels like it was built to stand out from the pack and that’s exactly what it does.

Massa Nera Quiet Fear

Massa Nera / Quiet Fear – Quatro Vientos // Cinco Soles
Persistent Vision

It’s a good day for screamo. In addition to the new Infant Island album, today also brings a split LP from Infant Island’s recent tourmates (and fellow Balladeer Redefiners) Massa Nera and Quiet Fear. The two bands alternate their songs throughout the LP, and it ends with a collaborative song from both bands, “Nueva llama.” The bands are from opposite coasts, and they each bring something different to the screamo table that pairs really well with the other band. Quiet Fear hail from LA and they feel rooted in the kind of West Coast screamo that Comadre crafted in the 2000s, with theatrical shrieks, old school punk energy, and some Latin rhythms thrown in, while NJ’s Massa Nera’s songs feel a little heavier and riffier, with elements of sludge and mathcore. And then the two bands come together to close out with a gradually-building, climactic collab.

Splits have always been great for community-building, and that was very much the idea for this split, which Quiet Fear says they hope “serves as an example for a stronger connection of the screamo and hardcore community as a whole,” adding that they’re “trying to open the door for folks like us to never feel that this music is out of reach or not for them.” And they’re strengthening that community in the face of the unjust world that we all live in. “The only way forward is side-by-side with the people we love,” says Massa Nera.


Bruiser Wolf – My Story Got Stories
Fake Shore Drive / Bruiser Brigade

Bruiser Wolf put out his debut LP Dope Game Stupid in 2021 as part of the onslaught of new projects from Danny Brown’s label Bruiser Brigade that came out that year, and now–fresh off appearing on Danny’s Quaranta (not to mention Blockheads’s great The Aux)–he releases a followup. Wolf’s eccentric delivery has gained comparisons to rappers like E-40 and Suga Free, and it’s definitely cut from that cloth but Wolf brings so much personality and individuality that he stands out from those rappers and just about everyone else. He has no trouble commanding and holding your attention for the entirety of this 14-song LP, and he’s got some well-picked guests helping out along the way too, including Chris Crack, Trinidad James, Stretch Money, and fellow Bruiser Brigader Fat Ray. The clear early highlight, though, is “2 Bad” with Danny Brown and Zelooperz (which also has a video out today). I’m pretty sure it’s the same sample as “1 Train,” so it probably goes without saying that it’s a treat to hear Danny rap a new verse over that 11 years later, but it also has an addictive hook of its own.

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Nicholas Craven & Boldy James – Penalty of Leadership

Detroit rapper Boldy James releases more projects than most people can probably keep up with, but his 2022 album Fair Exchange No Robbery with Montreal producer Nicholas Craven stood out as one of his most addictive, so it’s great news that these two have teamed up once again. It’s cut from the same cloth as its predecessor, with Nicholas providing gorgeous, sample-based soundscapes and Boldy sounding effortlessly hard over every one. It’s a formula that’s far from broke.


Kali Uchis – Orquídeas

Fresh off releasing her great and widely acclaimed third album Red Moon In Venus last year, Kali Uchis is already back with a followup. That album was primarily an English-language R&B album, and Orquídeas is primarily in Spanish and ranges from club beats to reggaeton to dembow to classic boleros and beyond, with help from an equally musically diverse cast of guest vocalists that includes Peso Pluma, Karol G, El Alfa, Rauw Alejandro, and JT from City Girls. It shows off a variety of different sides of Kali Uchis that the already-great Red Moon In Venus only hinted at. It’s 2024’s first great pop album, and it’s a reminder that Kali’s range is truly remarkable.

Nailah Hunter - Lovegaze

Nailah Hunter – Lovegaze
Fat Possum

With singles dating back to 2019 and two EPs on Leaving Records, Nailah Hunter delivers her first full-length (and Fat Possum debut) with Lovegaze. Having written and recorded her early material with just her harp and soaring voice, Lovegaze finds her working with producer Cicely Goulder to infuse her songs with electronic elements that range from trip-hop beats to new age ambience. The result is a gorgeously electroacoustic art pop album that makes for an otherworldly listen. [Amanda Hatfield]

Escuela Grind death metal EP

MNRK Heavy

They may have “grind” in their name, but Escuela Grind do much more than grindcore, and they’ve got a series of EPs that explores some of their favorite extreme subgenres. 2020 saw the release of PPOOWWEERRVVIIOOLLEENNCCEE and GGRRIINNDDCCOORREE, and today they add a third installment with DDEEAATTHHMMEETTAALL. It’s got four death metal songs including one featuring genre legend Barney Greenway of Napalm Death, and it’s more than just a fun genre exercise. Recorded by Will Killingsworth (of the reunited Orchid) and mixed by Kurt Ballou (of Converge), this quick and dirty EP is up there with death metal’s finest, and some of these songs are already highlights of Escuela Grind’s ferocious live show.


Tomb Sentinel – Endless Anguish EP
Maggot Stomp

Tomb Sentinel is another band fronted by Sanguisugabogg’s Devin Swank, and like that band, they make ass-kicking, hardcore-laced death metal. Having released a couple singles in 2021 and a debut EP in 2022, they now return with the Endless Anguish for Maggot Stomp (the same label that released the first Sanguisugabogg EP), and it’s the band’s beefiest-sounding release yet. It features guest vocals on one song by Jeremy Damron of another ‘Bogg-related band, Volcano, and the whole thing is just relentless, a seamless mix of death metal brutality and hardcore conviction.

Read Indie Basement for more new album reviews, including Marika Hackman, Bill Ryder-Jones, Jayson Green & The Jerk, and more.

Looking for more recent releases? Browse the Notable Releases archive or scroll down for previous weeks.

Looking for a podcast to listen to? Check out our new episode with Wiki.

Also, BrooklynVegan launched pre-orders for its first-ever special edition 80-page magazine, which tells the career-spanning story of Alexisonfire and comes on its own or paired with our new exclusive AOF box set and/or individual reissues. Pick up yours in the BV shop.

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