BY: JOEY REAMS
On Fridays, the world is blessed with new music from a handful of artists. To help you find your next favorite album, we’ve discovered what new alternative and indie albums have been released. This week’s notable artists include Crumb, Guided by Voices, and Manchester Orchestra. Check out the list below:
Crumb – Ice Melt
Psych-indie rock band Crumb has released their second album, Ice Melt, via the band’s own Crumb Records. This album is a follow-up to the 2019 Jinx and comes after the band released two singles earlier this month, “Trophy” and “BNR.” The majority of the album was demoed out during a 2019 road trip to Los Angeles by lead singer Lila Ramani.
“Lyrically, my goal was to return back down to earth from a strange, floating-place, and write about real substances and beings that live on this planet,” said Ramani.
Guided by Voices – Earth Man Blues
Indie rock veterans Guided by Voices have released their 33rd studio album, Earth Man Blues. Despite two break-ups, the band continues to push out more music than fans can handle. Last year, the band released three albums, and it would be safe to say fans can expect more music before this year is over.
“I tied the songs together loosely with characters and stage productions notes to make it seem almost autobiographical,” said lead singer Robert Pollard. “After listening to the final sequence, I thought it felt almost like a musical stage production so I added names and places. Actual scenarios and events that were real in my childhood. On the cover, it reads ‘A John. H. Morrison Presentation.’ John H. Morrison Elementary was the school I attended.”
Juan Wauters – Real Life Situations
Uruguayan singer-songwriter Juan Wauters has released his fifth studio album, Real Life Situations. Wauters hasn’t been a couple of years, with two album releases in 2019, La Onda de Juan Pablo and Introduction Juan Pablo. One of the singles from the album, “Real,” featured Mac DeMarco and caught the attention of many fans and critics.
“Mac andJulia I met in 2013 when our label Captured Tracks (we were both on the label then) thought it would be a good idea that we meet and do a song,” said Wauters. “We met and recorded Beatles songs. The tape machine we were working with broke and the songs were never recovered. After that, we never collaborated in any serious way. When I reached out to Mac about the new project I was doing, he was down since the beginning. I happened to be going to LA so we did it at his studio. Mac provided a really safe place to bounce ideas off of each other. We tried a lot of new things and we ended up with this track so special. The song put an end to that awaited collaboration that was the initial impulse behind us meeting and forming a friendship that stood in time.”
Julia Stone – Sixty Summers
Julia Stone, the other part of Angus and Julia Stone, has finally released her third studio album, Sixty Summers, after having to postpone its release. This is her first album released under her name as the label, along with BMG. Her last solo album came in 2012 with By the Horns. Between then, Anges and Julia Stone have released two albums, including their hit self-titled album. Stone tapped in many other well-known musicians, such as The National’s Matt Berninger and St. Vincent.
“this song is about how everything transforms and moves; even though you feel so shitty at one point, it might shift into something new,” Stone said regarding her song with Berninger. “Love is all that we really need to be here for —not love with someone else but love in your heart.”
Manchester Orchestra – The Million Masks of God
Manchester Orchestra, from Atlanta, have released their sixth studio album, The Million Masks of God. The band hopes to gain some more commercial success with this album, as it did with its 2009’s Mean Everything to Nothing and 2011’s Simple Math. Since then, the band had released three other studio albums, including Cope and Hope, in 2014, when bassist Jonathan Corley left the band and was replaced by Andy Prince. Their last album, A Black Mile to the Surface, was released in 2018 and debuted at number seven on the Billboard Top Albums Sales chart. One of the first singles off this new album was “Bed Head.”
“‘Bed Head’ is two old friends existing in two separate realities,” said leadsinger Andy Hull. “It’s a conversation about the lives they lived, the consequences of life’s decisions, and finding purpose in trying to be better.”
Teenage Fanclub – Endless Arcade
Last but not least, we have longtime Scottish alternative band Teenage Fanclub, with their 12th studio album, Endless Arcade. Although this band has been around since the late-80s, they haven’t released any new music in five years, with Here their last studio album. The band released two singles before this release, “I’m More Inclined” and “The Sun Won’t Shine On Me.”
“I think of an endless arcade as a city that you can wander through, with a sense of mystery, an imaginary one that goes on forever…” said songwriter Raymond McGinley in a statement. “When it came to choosing an album title, it seemed to have something for this collection of songs.”