Music

Happy Listening: The 6 best new releases of the week

So you’ve opened up Spotify on a Friday, clicked on the New Releases tab, and you’ve been flooded with an overwhelming amount of killer music to choose from. Where do you start?

Happy Mag is here for you. Each Friday we collect the very best in new music and lay it out for you in Happy Listening. This particular Friday was a tough one to narrow down, but here are six killer releases to check out.

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Happy Listening has sorted through this week’s new releases to serve you up the essential list of new music, featuring Glass Animals, Private Function, and The Microphones.

Briggs – Go To War feat. Thelma Plum

Rapper, comedian, and label-owner Briggs is back with his 3rd track this year, this time with some help from Thelma Plum. Briggs is commanding and political as ever over an ominous trap beat, and Plum nails the chorus. Has she ever released a bad song?

The pair collaborated back in 2016 with the A.B. Original track I C UWe can only hope Go To War isn’t the last time we hear them on a track together.

With the release of the track comes the announcement of a new EP from Briggs titled Always Was, set to drop on August 21st.

Glass Animals – Dreamland

Dreamland has been a long time coming. The album’s lead single, Tokyo Drifting, came out nearly nine months ago. In the lead-up, Glass Animals released four more singles, snuck into the country for some intimate shows, helped us through lockdown (the first lockdown at least) with a series of covers, and asked for 3D renderings of their fan’s heads.

A long album rollout can often test fans attention spans, especially in an era where we have unlimited music at our fingertips. But with each new release, the hype for Dreamland only grew. Now the album is here and it delivers on its lofty expectations.

Dreamland combines the moody atmosphere of the band’s debut album ZABA and the maximalism of their follow-up, How To Be a Human Being. It feels a lot more hip-hop and R&B influenced than their previous efforts, two genres the band seems to slide in and out of easier than you’d expect.

Dreamland is Glass Animals’ most diverse and confident album to date. It’s a 45 minute trip into their hyper-colour world that cements the band as Australia’s indie-pop obsession.

Private Function – Albury Wodonga

At the end of the video for Private Function‘s previous single, I Don’t Want To Make Out With You, the Melbourne band promised they’d be travelling down to twin-city Albury Wodonga. Despite the cities currently facing some strife due to the NSW-VIC border closure (Wodonga is in Victoria, Albury is in NSW), Private Function have arrived.

The band’s new single Albury Wodonga is all in the name. It’s an ode to road-tripping from Melbourne to said humble country towns.

Paired with the song is a video of Private Function on a cinematic road-trip up the Hume Highway, visiting a number of iconic landmarks and pubs along the way.

Albury Wodonga is the second single from the Melbourne punks’ second album Whose Line Is It Anyway?, set for release August 28th, with some lucky fans receiving it on a limited-edition vinyl pressing containing some sus baggies.

Tkay Maidza – Last Year Was Weird, Vol.2

Two years on from the first instalment of the Last Year Was Weird series, Tkay Maidza is back with part two of this trilogy of releases. Featuring singles Shook and Awake, the eight-track EP is a compact package of everything that constantly makes Tkay one of the most exciting names in Australian hip-hop.

Whether she is singing over silky-smooth R&B or bombastic trap beats, Tkay maintains her charismatic attitude to life, jumping between braggadocios confidence and vulnerable relatability like it’s nothing.

The 26-minute release is topped off with mesmerising cover art created by visual artist Hugo Richel.

The Microphones – Microphones in 2020

Experimental folk musician Phil Elverum created one of the defining indie records of the 2000s with The Glow, Pt. 2. Released under the name The Microphones, the album holds up as a wondrous exploration of sound and emotion nearly two decades on.

Elverum would go onto release four more albums under the name over the next two years before retiring the project and beginning a new chapter of his career under the name Mount Eerie. His Mount Eerie releases were softer and gentler but equally as emotionally potent.

The project culminated in 2017’s A Crow Looked At Mea devastating record chronicling the passing of Elverum’s wife and his process of grief. This grief became the focus of the next two Mount Eerie projects, but in 2020 Phil seems ready to reinvent himself, returning to The Microphones for the first time in seventeen years.

The album, aptly titled Microphones in 2020, captures the experimentation of early Microphones’ albums with the gentle folk of Mount Eerie. It’s packed full of wintery vibes. A perfect soundtrack to staring out the window at the cold and rainy winter weather.

3NDLES5 & Crazy Mike – Sydney Bass

Sydney Bass is a collaboration between Mitch Tolman and Michael Hassett of Sydney punk bands Low Life and DEN. This album, however, is far cry from the brutal punk of Tolman and Hassett’s bands. Instead, 3NDLES5 & Crazy Mike offer up eleven tracks of Western Sydney hip-hop over lo-fi house, garage, and experimental electronic beats.

As broadcasted by its name, the album is uniquely Sydney. The boys’ Australian accents are on full display and the production conjures feelings of late nights at Sydney clubs Freda’s and Tokyo Sing Song.

Those nights are a far distant memory at this point, but Sydney Bass is an excuse to re-live them in your living room.