Every Friday Happy Listening cuts through the sea of new releases to bring you the best of the best in new music.
From emotional indie ballads and spooky pop tunes to South West Sydney hip-hop, there’s something for everyone in these six new releases.
Get primed for the week ahead with Happy’s favourite new releases for you to wrap your ears around today.
Floodlights – From a View
Following their breakout EP Backyard, Melbourne’s Floodlights have arrived with From a View, their debut album full of rustic indie-rock. Balancing fondness and cynicism of Australia in equal measure, the album tackles the corruption of power, bogans, and the uncertainty of life, concealing complex subjects within their laid-back music.
You’ll find yourself dreaming of summer with the sunny guitars littered through the record. The catchy choruses and poignant lyrics will have you singing along one minute and contemplating your place in the world the next. Check out one of the week’s most impressive new releases below:
L-FRESH The LION – SOUTH WEST
Liverpool’s finest, L-FRESH the LION, has dropped his third studio album SOUTH WEST, a love letter to the culture, diversity, and community of South West Sydney. With features from rising stars OKENYO and Mirrah, the record succeeds in its big hooks, authentic lyrics, unique beats, and heartfelt messages.
Drawing from lessons learnt growing up in his hometown and his experiences with discrimination and racism, SOUTH WEST is a definitive album by one of Sydney’s most cutting edge hip-hop artists.
Matt Berninger – Distant Axis
Back in May, The National’s lead singer Matt Berninger gifted us Serpentine Prison, one of the most touching ballads of the year, and the title track of his debut solo album. Now he’s has returned with album’s second taste before its October release.
Distant Axis comes with a healthy dose of Berninger’s signature soft-spoken vocals over lush acoustic instrumental. His words are as cutting as ever; “I was looking up at the levels in between us, ‘Cause I was sinking through the floor“.
For any fans of The National’s more gentle side, it’s a must-listen. Check out the video below:
Joey Bada$$ – The Light Pack
Announced with only two days warning, Joey Bada$$ is back with his first solo music in three years. The three-track EP The Light Pack sees Bada$$ return to his conscious hip-hop sound with help from long-time producer Statik Selektah and GOOD Music president/infamous Drake-hater, Pusha-T.
Each track on the EP is dedicated to either the mind, body, or soul, with Shine emerging as the standout moment, built on a sample of the 1976 classic Everybody Loves The Sunshine by Roy Ayres.
BENEE – Night Garden (feat. Kenny Beats and Bakar)
The song feels a few months premature, as it conjures spooky Halloween vibes, a change in scenery from Benee’s usual brand of summery pop. A sign of things to come maybe, as Benee revealed to triple j she has an album on the way that she’s expecting to have out by the end of this year.
With over 300 million streams and 12 million TikTok’s featuring her song Supalonley alone, Night Garden is destined for viral success.
Protomartyr – Ultimate Success Today
Kicking off with cascading saxophones and crescendoing guitars before firing into the lyrics “when the ending comes, is going to run at us like a wild-eyed animal,” Ultimate Success Today is the unhinged soundtrack to the end of the world that couldn’t have come at a better time.
Ten years into their career, Protomartyr sound as fresh and energised as ever. Ultimate Success Today, their fifth studio album is a cinematic and bold look at fear and isolation that perfectly encapsulates the chaotic energy of 2020 and cements the Detroit group as one of the most consistent post-punk band out at the moment.
Listen below and keep your eyes peeled for the accompanying visual album that the band streamed online last night but are yet to release.