Mild High Club, Moor Mother + more, our favourite records of the week

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Mild High Club, Moor Mother + more, our favourite records of the week

Words by Sam McNIece

Plus records from Emma Donovan & The Putbacks and Jordan Rakei.

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.

Mild High Club float through a reverb induced political record Going Going Gone, Moor Mother unveils a stunning album full of depth on Black Encyclopedia of the Air, Emma Donovan & The Putbacks continue their claim as one of the best Australian funk acts on Under These Streets and Jordan Rakei unleashes a deep emotional LP that is surely his best.

This week’s top picks:

  • Mild High Club – Going Going Gone
  • Moor Mother – Black Encyclopedia of the Air
  • Emma Donovan & The Putbacks – Under These Streets
  • Jordan Rakei – What We Call Life

Read all the latest music news here.

Mild High Club – Going Going Gone

Chicago based psych-rock and jazz outfit Mild High Club returns with a politically charged chill out session on Going Going Gone. Releasing on esteemed label Stones Throw, the record raises the American individualist philosophy in a candid manner over hazy, well produced jazz inflected psychedelia.

‘Dionysian State’ is a reverb soaked hazy track with horns blaring and a funky groove front and centre. Analog style processing is abundant here with a smooth jazz vibe, guaranteed to lift your spirits, even if it’s talking about pretty political topics. Slowing down on ‘Taste Tomorrow’, Mild High Club conjures an image of equity and harmony in its lyricism over a breadth of instrumentation one could describe as phased out.

Check out the rad animated video clip for Dionysian State below.

Moor Mother – Black Encyclopedia of the Air

Moor Mother is the critically acclaimed project from musician and poet Camae Ayewa. Released through ANTI-, Black Encyclopedia of the Air which started recorded during the start of the pandemic, is a continuation of Ayewa’s succinct vision. Moor Mother is a holographic figment of an Afrotopian dream, all at once goddess and warrior, mystic and cyborg, griot and future time traveler, etching noisy pieces of reverie into our consciousness.

Collaborating with soundscape artist and producer Olof Melander, this record features stacks of warm ear candy and very interestingly crafted beats. The whole album is dense, in regards to lyricism and production, definitely worthy of multiple listens to really breathe in the scope of the project.

Standout tracks from Black Encyclopedia of the Air include ‘Rogue Waves’ in which Ayewa talks about losing their father amongst other bravado statements which are complimented by the very strong instrumental backing. ‘Obsidian’ is very low swung track which features pitched up vocals and a feature from Pink Siifu.

Have a listen to ‘Obsidian’ by Moor Mother below.

Emma Donovan & The Putbacks – Under These Streets

Following on from their award wining Crossover record, Emma Donovan & The Putbacks return courtesy of Flash Forward Cooking Vinyl Australia and Heavy Machinery Records. Soul and funk is front and centre with this combination with a record that sounds like it could’ve come straight out of an early ’70s funk session. Donovan returned to Melbourne on the edge of lockdown to be closer to the band and after lockdown they burst into the studio together.

Under These Streets is a bold collaboration in which Donovan shines over the incredible raw funk by The Putbacks. On the project Donovan says: “This album shows our strength as a musical unit, our relationship and trust with one another, and marks my return to the Melbourne community”.

Standouts from the album include opener ‘Out The Door’ which conjures images of a simpler time when hanging with your friends (and bandmates for that matter) wasn’t restricted due to a global pandemic. Additionally ‘Nothing I Can Do’ features gorgeous wide chorus harmonies complimented by a moving groove and janglin’ electric guitar.

Take a listen to the triumphant ‘Out the Door’ below.

Jordan Rakei – What We Call Life

Multi-instrumentalist and producer extraordinaire Jordan Rakei returns with his fifth record What We Call Life via Ninja Tune. The 29 year old New Zealand born artist has become a staple of the UK jazz scene, frequently collaborating with Alfa Mist among a wide range of talented musicians. This new record focuses on the lessons he learned about himself through therapy and is a deeply intimate release.

This is stated from the first track ‘Family’, in which he riffs about his parents separation in his teenage years and allows emotional production arrangements to bubble up to the surface. ‘Clouds’ is another personal track, seeming to tackle race and an inaction in relation to what is happening in the world currently.

What We Call Life is a deeply personal record that is sure to pull some heart strings. Check out the lead single ‘Family’ below.