Deafheaven’s fusion of black metal, shoegaze and post-rock continues to grow richer and bolder on their third album. Following the crossover success of their much-celebrated second album, Sunbather, it may have been tempting for the band to trim off their rough edges — namely, the black metal influence that accounts for a large part of their sound — to focus on the more accessible parts. The fact that they didn’t speaks highly of their integrity, sure, but it’s also ensured Deafheaven stays an original. With five extended tracks, New Bermuda feels like one massive, evolving piece, making it easier to point to moments rather than entire songs that speak to you — the way “Luna” folds melodic chords into its double-bass barrage and ends up in a scenic place as lovely as anything on Souvlaki or Agaetis Byrjun; or how “Come Back” clears the way for Kerry McCoy’s chugging power chords and harmonic descending scales and George Clark’s shriek from the depths; or “Baby Blue’s” heroic, Pumpkinsy wah-wahed solos. Any metal fan can extoll the genre’s ability to soothe not in spite of, but because of its brutality and decibel level. There’s something about the music’s capacity to overwhelm and obliterate outside noise, memories, anxiety and trauma that’s rather unparalleled. Deafheaven’s commitment to bringing that sound into an indie-rock setting and vice versa has helped make them the best and most important metal crossover act since Metallica. Whatever your preferred noise is in which to lose yourself, New Bermuda is a crucial meeting point.
Wavves – “Pony”
The third track we’ve heard from Wavves’ upcoming V is the catchiest of the pack, a lovelorn jam that sneaks soul-searching lyrics into its surging power-pop chords. V is due Oct. 2 on Ghost Ramp/Warner.
James Ferraro – “Skid Row”
As avant-R&B artist James Ferraro may have based his last album, the neo-brutalist NYC HELL 3am, on a bleak view of the NYC landscape, the first song off his new album pulls a similar feat with his adopted second home of L.A. “Skid Row” feels like an art-damaged, half-awake reading of our particular version of urban decay, of 7-Elevens and acid rain and hip-hop beats rumbling in the distance and something beautiful (or sinister) lurking in the hallway. Recorded in L.A., Skid Row is due Nov. 13 on Break World.
Kelela – “Rewind” video
Some serious Janet vibes from this new Kelela video. A co-production between Kelela, Kingdom and Nugget, the song is not only Kelela’s catchiest yet, it’s her warmest, in which we get the best sense of her as an artist beyond she of incredible production, a rolodex of brilliant co-producers and a velvety smooth voice. It’s on the much-anticipated HALLUCINOGEN EP, due Oct. 9 on Cherry Coffee/Warp.
Wavves – “Way Too Much” video
For the video to their snappy power-pop gem “Way Too Much,” Nathan Williams and co. play in a basement while a bloody Underground Empire Wrestling match happens. Williams says he’s a big wrestling fan and has viewing parties at his place, but this was something else. “They had a baseball bat with duct tape wrapped around it, and thumbtacks stuck in there, and they were hitting each other in the head with it,” he tells Rolling Stone. Yikes. Watch below, and check out Wavves’ V when it hits Oct. 2.
Out Sept. 25
The Scottish trio made electro-pop gems splattered with emotion on their beguiling debut. For album No. 2, they’re just getting craftier on songs like the anthemic “Never Ending Circles.”
Wavves – “Heavy Metal Detox”
Nathan Williams and co. have unveiled another new song from the upcoming fifth Wavves album. “Heavy Metal Detox” is a nervy bit of anxiety-laden power-pop, as Williams gets paranoid about all his bad habits, spends too long on WebMD and asks questions like “Have I lived too long? Why does my head hurt?” V is due Oct. 2, and you can preorder it now on LP and CD.
Painted Palms – “Refractor”
The next album by S.F.’s Painted Palms promises a sonic repertoire that includes shades of ’60s psych-pop, ’90s Creation bands and the minimalism of Southern hip hop. What! Well, for now we’ve got “Refractor,” a very good single that displays Painted Palms doing what they do best, which is crafting catchy little electro-pop gems that needle you into submission. Nothing too out-of-reach here, and that’s not a bad thing, especially if you’re needing a connector between Hot Chip and Cut Copy in your party playlist. Horizons is due Sept. 4 on Polyvinyl.