Welcome to The Roux! Every Friday, new music is released and though the internet and streaming make it easier than ever to discover something new, the main channels usually rep the same established big names, this leaves equally great albums on the sidelines. Each of these artists is talented and accomplished in their own right. With this weekly feature, we do the searching so you don’t have to, selecting ten releases that were discovered while exploring beyond the algorithm. There’s something here for everyone no matter your taste, so read through, listen, and experience something new!
All releases are linked to the artists’ respective Bandcamp pages.
by Rural Noise
Not a recent album but one I’m happy to have experienced, better late than never; Rural Noise fills the negative space linking all living things. Listening to There Is No Talk In My Mouth is to hear your cells in motion, the inaudible frequencies carried by the wind through the rustling of trees or the impenetrable decay of a forest floor, the grace of snowfall or the crisp snap of walking on thin ice. It’s an album that hones in on the invisible, the realization that nothing is ever silent.
Best for fans of noise/electronic.
by Marco Woolf
A joyous extended play of narrative folk music from Malawian-born Marco Woolf features a buoyancy that blends fluidly with his vocals to make for an elegant twenty-seven minutes. The first track, “Francine,” swells slowly before exploding towards the end; it’s the lengthiest track but serves well as an introduction. Francine, i is the result of writing songs based on his live storytelling; my only wish was that the story lasted longer.
Best for fans of folk.
3. La Deriva
by Carlos Ferreira & Almanacs
La Deriva is an apt title for this album of ambient drone music. The fluidity of the compositions sounds like an attempt to arrest time, to seize the beauty of a passing moment as it decays. Our memories are steadily adrift, never fully realized again but made all the more beautiful because of it, like the paling color of an old polaroid.
Best for fans of ambient/drone.
4. Cavern Deep
by Cavern Deep
Eight heavy tracks compose this conceptual album, a doom-metal narrative of an archeological team’s descent. You can feel the team digging deeper as the album advances, a mixture of 70s guitar antics with the atmosphere of sludge and stoner metal. Each track, a slow-burning plunge into the unknown.
Best for fans of metal/rock.
by Andrew Heath
Recorded during the early months of the first lockdown, Andrew Heath captures the earth’s purity when stilled. The warm tones and stretched-out compositions here paint an almost idyllic impressionist portrait of domestic life. It tenderly beckons you to pause, put aside the stress of daily life, and focus inward.
Best for fans of ambient.
Underdark’s debut is a stunning display of shoegaze-inspired black metal, and true to the album’s title, the six tracks burn with intense warmth. Underdark plays strong with fast guitar work and harrowing vocal theatrics that penetrate through the denser atmospherics.
Best for fans of black metal.
by Cruel Diagonals
A Dormant Vigor balances heavenly vocals with earthy electronics brilliantly. Listening to the dichotomy of these two elements, the organic and the inorganic, is like hearing the wind soothe the volatile earth or witnessing the slow erosion process in a time-lapse. It’s at once stimulating and pacifying, full of energy and yet dormant, an immeasurable potential awaiting release.
Best for fans of experimental/electronic.
Two epic tracks of experimental explorations comprise this release from Uhushuhu, a chimeric display of thick drone, noise, synths, loops, and field recordings that operates as a sinister psychedelic voyage into an alien realm. Think Willy Wonka’s boat ride intensified.
Best for fans of experimental.
by Tristan Welch
Another instance of being late to the game, I really wish I had been aware of this release earlier. Temporary Preservation is dense and dramatic, nine slow dirge-like explorations of guitar and electronics that capture the theatrically somber setting of a funeral procession with electronic music experimentation. Yet, there is a warmth that emerges from the depths.
Best for fans of electronic/drone.
by Acef Stripe
Images From Our Window plays out like the lost soundtrack to a videogame version of our childhood. The gentleness of “Image 1 – Childhood” sounds like a heroes’ theme song, whereas “Image 4 – Accepting Stuff” features a more pensive atmosphere reminiscent of the understanding we all have that time is certainly passing and the loss of innocence that comes with it. It’s hard to not imagine chocobos while listening to “Image 2 – Chickadees.” The entire album is filled with “theme” pieces, making it thoughtfully nostalgic.
Best for fans of electronic/ambient