Roland Tings, Gordon Koang + more: five new releases to listen to this weekend

Your weekend wrap-up of new music, sorted

Friday has finally arrived, which means it's release day for a bunch of albums at home and around the world. With so many hot releases out there, we've compiled some of the best new albums to present to you for the long weekend of listening. This week, we're listening to a masterful electronic EP from Roland Tings, a triumphant release from Gordon Koang, new Biffy Clyro and more.

Roland Tings - First Wave EP 

On last year’s effervescent Salt Water LP, Melbourne electronic maverick Roland Tings asserted himself as a true master of his craft, with his intriguing blend of bubbling acid house and atmospheric electronica being as suited to the dancefloor as it was a pair of headphones in solitude. He’s backed that effort up a mere nine months later with First Wave, a new EP peppered with gooey analogue synths and squelchy 303s that acts as placid counterpart to last year’s full-length effort. There mightn’t be any bangers of a calibre to ‘Up Close’ or ‘Always Rushing’, but First Wave definitely still delivers, with songs like ‘Down On The Line’ and ‘Orange Circle’ seeing Roland Tings incorporate aspects of Balearic beat into his tracks to sublime effect. Another stellar effort from one of the most understated minds in Australian electronic music. 

 

 

Gordon Koang - Unity 

The story of Gordon Koang is a truly fascinating triumph. Considered as a pop star in South Sudan, Koang sought asylum in Australia when the country was embroiled in civil war back in 2013, with Unity marking his first release since being awarded national residency last year. Koang, who was born blind and learnt music through his involvement in church, recorded Unity with his cousin and close collaborator Paul Biel, utilising traditional Nuer instruments and rhythms and singing in the Nuer Thok Naath language. Despite touching on some of the more striking realities of civil war, immigration and belonging, Unity maintains a noted upbeat vibe, and demonstrates Koang’s fascinating presence as both a vocalist and arranger.

 

 

Biffy Clyro - A Celebration Of Endings  

After soundtracking last year’s film Balance, Not Symmetry, Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro have shared a new collection of tracks in the form of A Celebration Of Endings. Kicking off with the Drop-C, anthemic romper stomper of ‘North Of No South’, A Celebration Of Endings is made all the more enjoyable by the finesse of Biffy Clyro’s instrumentalists, with Simon Neil’s frenetic guitar playing on tracks like ‘Tiny Indoor Fireworks’ and the drumming on ‘End Of' making for a memorable spin on the group’s tried-and-true alternative rock stylings. It’s not perfect by a long shot - there’s a few teeth-gritting alt-rock cliches in both the compositions and lyrics - but for a Biffy Clyro record in 2020, A Celebration Of Endings packs a bunch of bombastic bangers that definitely don’t lack in the fun department. 

 

 

Whitney - Candid 

Chicago indie-country outfit Whitney have shared Candid, a new record consisting of a number of stripped-down covers of the band’s favourite songs. Consisting of an eclectic array of tracks that sees Whitney play their hand at Brian Eno and David Byrne (‘Strange Overtones’), contemporary RnB sensation Kelela (‘Bank Head’) and John Denver (‘Take Me Home, Country Roads’), Candid sees Whitney toying with new arrangements and melodic ideas across the record as a means of seeing how far they can expand their sound as a band, giving it an ambitious nature that’s usually lacking in covers records. Despite the band’s experimentation, all the tense melodies and guitar leads you’d expect from a Whitney release are still scattered across Candid, making for an enjoyable collection of ‘what-ifs?’ from a band who are clearly at the height of their creative potential.

 

 

Josh Cashman - ‘Twenty-Five’

After sharing stages with the likes of Tash Sultana, Ocean Alley and John Butler Trio, local indie/roots artist Josh Cashman has released what might be his best song to date with ‘Twenty-Five’, premiered yesterday by Triple J Unearthed. A soulful, breezy track driven by an irresistible drum groove and lofty washes of reverb, ‘Twenty-Five’ sees Cashman grapple with his existentialism in a manner that’s tongue-in-cheek yet wonderfully poignant, encapsulating that sense of mid-20s dread that's all too relatable. Definitely one to keep an eye on.

 

 

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