Deafheaven- New Bermuda
The most polarizing band in metal, Deafheaven, returns with their 3rd effort, New Bermuda. Apart from the brilliant album title and crystalline beauty of the artwork, Deafheaven have given a subtle expansion on their unique blend of crushing black metal and twinkling shoegaze. The watery, chiming guitars on the tail end of “Come Back” come to mind, one of the album’s easy highlights. The addition of Stephen Clark and Shiv Mehra on bass and guitar have taken some of the pressure off of heartbeat and genius of the band Kerry McCoy, allowing for a greater depth of sound and beauty. In the past, it had seemed Deafheaven was trying to be pioneers and find a sound wholly theirs. Now, they seem to stumble upon the beauty with confidence, heart, vim and vigor.
FKA Twigs- M3LL155X
This 5 song, 18 minute EP was released a few months ago but a few words are needed about this brilliant work. On her debut album, Twigs had worked with Arca, whose wobbling, bass heavy production laid Twigs voice and inherent, fantasy sexuality out as divine fruit. However, this EP’s producer (and recipient of the “Beyoncé Bump”) Boots, has given Twigs a slightly new trick: she is deeper, more in control. Where there was longing before, there is lust; where she had uncertainty, she now has decisive action. A truly perfect EP, Twigs has shown that she runs her own show, whether Arca or Boots are running the beat.
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan- Devotional Songs
This is one of those albums of esotericism and in complete isolation. Devotional Songs is an album of Qawwali music, which is music made by Sufis to respect and honor Allah. The music is an amazing collide of Pakistani harmonium and tabla, seemingly Celtic rhythms and at the center of it all, Khan’s voice. Khan is a singer without equal, incredibly powerful and simply beautiful. When listening to this album, all hate falls to the wayside and all we can hear is a singer who is one with Allah and his world.