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 Japenese Breakfast and Wolf Alice. Check out the list below:
Crowded House – Dreamers Are Waiting
Australian rock band Crowded House has released their seventh studio album, Dreamers Are Waiting via EMI Music Australia. This band’s first album in 11 years and features longtime producer Mitchell Froom, who is currently serving as the band’s keyboardist. Crowded House has been around since 1985 and has gone through several lineup changes. Although Froom has played keyboard on previous albums, this will be the first album featuring lead singer Neil Finn’s sons, Liam and Elroy as members of the group. The Aussie rockers have announced they plan to tour the UK and Europe in 2022 supporting this album.
“The great thing about having these two beautiful boys to consider is that you have to be optimistic,” Finn told the Guardian. “You can’t just overindulge the morbid thoughts. I am ultimately very optimistic about the world because I know so many amazing young people and there are just so many good brains out there.”
Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee
Michelle Zauner’s solo project, known as Japanese Breakfast, has released her third studio album, Jubilee. This is her first album since 2017’s Soft Sounds from Another Planet, which peaked at number 9 on US charts. This album has three previously released singles, including “Be Sweet,” which also was well-received. Recently Zauner released her first book, Crying in H Mart: A Memoir, which debuted at number two on The New York Times nonfiction best-seller list.
“It’s been six years since my mom passed away, and [grief] transforms in so many different ways; it’s not as much of a gaping wound as it is a smaller thorn. It’s something I’ll live with forever, but it isn’t something that will consume my life as entirely as it did for the past five years,” Zauner told The A.V. Club. “I think that also having written these two records that largely focused around that time period of grief and suffering, and then writing a full book about it, I just felt really ready to move on.
Liz Phair – Soberish
Chicago singer-songwriter Liz Phair has released her seventh studio album, Soberish, her first in 11 years. Liz Phair has been around since the 1990s, most notably having her debut album, Exile in Guyville, ranked in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Her Sophomore album, Ship-Smart, earned a Grammy nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. Now she’s back with Soberish, hoping to add on to her already three million records sold worldwide. The singer is set to tour with Alanis Morissette towards the end of 2021.
“Yes, I look at the bad stuff and I think of the good that came out of it, and only a 53-year-old would do that because you wouldn’t have had the hindsight to do it at a younger age,” Phair told the Washington Post. “It’s not magical. It’s because you decide not to be defeated. You decide to take what you’ve got and turn it into something. ‘Soberish,’ to me, is a lot about the beginnings of things, the endings of things, the state between two states. . . . I’m interested in transitional, undefined territory, and I think that is an older person’s game.”
Rostam – Changephobia
Long-time Vampire Weekend Producer Rostam Batmanglij, known mononymously as Rostam, has released his second solo album following 2017’s Half-Light. Rostam is widely considered one of the greatest pop and indie-rock producers, producing his first number one album (Vampire Weekend’s Contra) at 27 years old. The Washington D.C-native has collaborated with many artists, most notably with Ra Ra Riot’s vocalist Wes Miles for an electronic project called Discovery.
“This collection of songs is not celebrating a fear of change,” Rostam said in a statement. “Rather, it’s the opposite. It’s about who we are capable of becoming if we recognize these fears in ourselves and rise above them.”
Wolf Alice – Blue Weekend
Wolf Alice has released their third studio album, Blue Weekend, via Dirt Hit. The band has already released three songs from the album, including “The Last Man on Earth.” So far, the album has received high ratings from all critics, and “Smile” was featured on The Late Late Show with James Corden. Fans can expect a tour announcement sometime soon.
“I can’t wait to play these new songs live they are gonna sound so gooooood,” the band said in a statement. “Joff’s pedal board literally sounds like an orchestra at the moment and you have no idea how sweet Theo’s falsetto is rn.”
Rise Against – Nowhere Generation
Although most fans would argue Rise Against is an alternative band, the truth is they are punk rock. They have released their ninth studio album, Nowhere Generation, via Loma Vista Recordings. The band once again tapped into long-time producer Bill Stevenson and Jason Livermore for this album. So far, the album has been well-received by critics. Rise Against has recently announced they are going on a tour this year supporting the new album.
“A year without live music in a time when we needed it most has been trying for all of us,” said frontman Tim McIlrath. “Live music has been missing from all of our lives for far too long. We can’t wait to fix that on the Nowhere Generation Tour. It’s been a long year, and we have a lot to say about it…”