Garbage, Dean Blunt + more, our five favourite records of the week.
18.06.2021

Garbage, Dean Blunt + more, our five favourite records of the week.

Words by Sam McNiece

Plus new ones from King Gizzard, H.E.R. and Dulcie.

Friday is here, which means it’s release day for a bunch of artists at home and around the world. With so many hot releases out there to tuck into, we’ve compiled some of the best to present to you for the weekend.

Today, we’ve got Garbage returning for their seventh instalment, Dean Blunt providing the avant-garde heat plus new ones from King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, H.E.R. and Dulcie.

This week’s top picks:

  • Garbage – No Gods No Masters
  • Dean Blunt – BLACK METAL 2
  • H.E.R. – Back of My Mind
  • King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Butterfly 3000
  • Dulcie – Sake of Sound

Read all the latest music news here.

Garbage – No Gods No Masters

Album number seven from alt-rock royalty, No Gods No Masters is a modern take and their best since the ’90s. The band started working on this record in Palms Springs, 2018, three years after their last record.

“This is a record I was supposed to make,” says frontwoman Shirley Manson. “Lord only knows what the fans will think, but for me, personally, it’s immensely satisfying.”

Featuring both guitar and synth driven tracks, this record is a statement from Garbage. On the track that shares the same name as the title ‘No Gods No Masters’, Manson delivers a poignant message about our current culture with the same mistakes being continuously made by our leaders. Her vocal delivery is impressive changing tone and timbre throughout the politically charged song, over distorted synth lines and jangling guitars.

Read our interview with Garbage drummer Butch Vig here.

Dean Blunt – BLACK METAL 2

Enigmatic UK singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist Dean Blunt unveils his first solo LP in seven years. Blunt has been working on other musical projects during this time, namely Babyfather and collaborations with Delroy Edwards and Joanne Robertson who features on this record.

BLACK METAL 2 continues stylistically from the original BLACK METAL, focusing more on the acoustic guitar and soundscape style tracks on that record. Blunt’s style doesn’t really fit within typical genres, most publications will end up putting him into the experimental category.

‘MUGU’, a track about a scammer is emphasised by Blunt’s dead pan vocal delivery which is chilling and invokes a sense of hopelessness. ‘NIL BY MOUTH’ is likely the best track on this record, with a beautiful guitar backing, additional vocals from Joanne Robertson and Blunt singing about the spiral of depression which is in contrast to all this.

H.E.R. – Back of My Mind

American singer songwriter H.E.R. releases her highly anticipated first studio album Back of My Mind. After releasing a string of EP’s, compilation albums and getting nominated for five grammys, H.E.R. born Gabriella Wilson finally has put out a full length record.

The R&B singer collaborated with Lil Baby, Thundercat and DJ Khaled on this monster 21 track LP. Back of My Mind oscillates between a more traditional R&B style and trap style hip-hop over the hour and twenty minute journey.

Standouts from this record include the introspective ‘Mean It’ in which Wilson sings over acoustic guitar lines about being lied to, asking ‘Did you mean it?’ and the title track which features Ty Dolla $ign and covers topics of love and loss with Wilson singing “I would drop it all for you.”

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Butterfly 3000

The Gizz push out album number 18 which moves away from their progressive style into a synthier tone. Recorded during the pandemic, Butterfly 3000 sets a different tone than one would expect from a King Gizzard record, although with such a vast discography, who knows what’s to come next.

‘Dreams’ is a reflection of the stay at home lifestyle during the pandemic, singing lyrics “I only wanna wake up in my dream” and “I only feel awake in the night” over major chord synths, organs and reasonably straight drum lines.

On the first track ‘Yours’, arpeggiated synth lines and noise sweeps own the mix, with falsetto vocals reminiscent of early Tame Impala. The tone is genuinely cheerful and positive which is exemplified on the title track ‘Butterfly 3000’ again with arpeggiated synth lines.

Dulcie – Sake of Sound

Perth based all-girl indie-pop band Dulcie have released their debut EP Sake of Sound along with a stunning visualiser for their title track. Produced by Joel Quartermain of Eskimo Joe, this record features beautiful harmonies and strong grooves.

The title track is about “coming to terms with the realisation that the relationship isn’t right for you anymore and trusting that letting go is best for both sides” says Ash from the band. The groove during the verse on ‘Ethereal’ is unshakable and definitely going to get you moving over this weekend.

‘Dust’ is definitely one you’d want to hear live, with its 4/4 kick drum and crowd style chants in the chorus (FYI they’re supporting Tyne-James Organ and Ocean Alley in the coming months). Rounding out the EP is ‘Level Head’, a piano led track without percussion, featuring deep harmonies and string lines that feel extremely emotive.

It’s exciting to hear this level of depth in songwriting in Australian indie-pop music.

Read more about our favourite albums from a couple weeks ago here.