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Happy’s Best New Music

Updated weekly by the fine folk at Happy Mag, this is the absolute best new music that this week has to offer from Australia and around the world!

Matt Berninger – Serpentine Prison

On Serpentine Prison, Matt Berninger’s songwriting is as cool and collected as ever, despite the lyrics dancing between artistic burnout, nihilism and faith, or desperate love and its old friend loneliness. Gut-punch lines speckle the record as densely as sand on a beach, and instrumental arrangements courtesy of producer Booker T. Jones do little to alleviate their emotional impact.
Behind every fear-driven ode to loneliness is the hope for perfect love, and behind every implosion of existential dread is a glimmer of faith that everything will be, and always was, ok. However Berninger may make you feel, there’s always another, deeper emotion to be felt, drawing you ever further into his world. Everything is delivered with utter class; an expertise reserved for those climbing the highest peaks of songwriting despite the potential of a great fall.
Read our full review here.

9.2

Matt Berninger - Serpentine Prison

MATT BERNINGER
SERPENTINE PRISON

 

Julia Jacklin – to Perth, before the borders close / CRY

Beloved Sydneysider Julia Jacklin has unleashed two soft and soothing new singles as part of the Sub Pop Singles Club.
to Perth, before the border closes is a stunning covid-stricken ballad that starts soft before exploding into an anthemic chorus. CRY is an ode to sadness, reminiscent of her cover of The Strokes, featuring the brilliantly put line “Hiding my depression from my housemates / I don’t know them well enough yet to cry in the kitchen.
Both are beautiful.

7.7

Julia Jacklin - to Perth, before the border closes

JULIA JACKLIN
TO PERTH, BEFORE THE BORDER CLOSES / CRY

 

KUČKA – Ascension

Flume, A$AP Rocky, and Kendrick Lamar collaborator, Kucka’s second single of 2020, Ascension, builds its off-the-wall electronics around traditional pop structures to create something fun and catchy, yet entirely unique.
In the past, Flume has described Kucka’s voice as “alien”. This otherworldly quality to her music is on full show on Ascension. Put your spacesuit on, as it takes you clubbing in another dimension.

7.9

KUČKA - Ascension

KUČKA
ASCENSION

James Blake – Before

James Blake has been steadily dropping singles since the release of his ode to love, Assume Form, last year. Each single hinted towards a return to his dub roots without indulging too deeply in the heavier electronics of his early career. Now on Before, a four-track EP dropped onto us out of the blue, Blake presents a fully formed combination of his two musical modes: deconstructed club music and heartfelt ballads.
Before is a perfect encapsulation of everything we’ve come to love from Blake’s various projects. Oddly danceable, wonky electronics, surprising vocal manipulation, delicate piano, and his signature voice, the whole thing overflowing with emotional complexity.

8.1

James Blake - Before

JAMES BLAKE
BEFORE

Flight to Dubai – Strife

Seven songs, 16 minutes, and not a bar wasted. The new EP Strife from Sydney-based proto-punks Flight to Dubai comes with style in spades.
Whether they’re punching out a fiery punk rock tune, or a swaggering country ballad, the band throws everything at the wall, and it all sticks.
Grab your copy on 12″ vinyl via Bandcamp.

7.2

Flight to Dubai - Strife

FLIGHT TO DUBAI
STRIFE