Happy Listening: the best 5 new releases this week

Happy Listening has something for everyone this week. Here are 5 new albums out today to wrap your ears around, featuring San Cisco, Easy Browns, and JK-47.

As we leave winter behind and things begin to heat up, the tunes stay hot as ever. Today is yet another jam-packed day of new music and Happy Listening is back to help you with exactly where to start.

We’ve sifted through today’s stacked list of new releases to serve you up some passionate local hip-hop, glistening folk balladry, and animal-themed oddball rock.

Happy Listening: 5 new releases featuring JK-47's Made For This

Lomelda – Hannah

Lomelda is the recording project of Texan singer-songwriter, Hannah Read. Her fifth studio album, the sort-of self-titled Hannah, is a sprawling piece of self-reflective folk. If you’re looking for warm woodsy tunes with a hint of existential sadness, Hannah is the album for you.

Every element of the album feels like an evolution of her sound. Her previously understated vocal and guitar combinations are replaced with soaring high notes and layered instrumentation. Hannah builds on the gentle folk aesthetic of her previous albums with bigger, more ambitious sounds reminiscent of indie superstars like Sufjan Stevens, The Microphones, and Whitney.

If you’re looking for a nice piece of music to soundtrack your weekend bushwalk, or something deeper to really sink your teeth into, give Hannah a try.

JK-47 – Made For This

JK-47 burst onto the scene last year with his blistering feature on Nerve‘s breakout hit Sunday Roast. However, not many would have predicted how quickly he would evolve into the mature, thought-provoking rapper that appears on his debut album, Made For This.

Cops kill us without hesitance. Lighter sentence for the white guy. Got Australia looking American,” JK-47 raps on opening track, Abandoned. It’s a powerful tone-setter for an album set around the racial inequality that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders experience here in Australia.

Each track takes a different perspective on these issues. Marathons tells stories of the impact of poverty and over-policing, I Am Here (Trust Me) is a rallying cry for the Black and Indigenous communities fighting against oppressive systems, and R.I.P is a tribute to friend and family member who JK lost too young.

Made For This is a timely debut album from one of the most promising young talents in Australian hip-hop.

San Cisco – Between You and Me

Between You and Me serves as more of a compilation of everything San Cisco has released in the last 2 years than a new set of songs. Only four new tunes end up on the 11-track album. The thing is, if you had made this batch of tracks, you’d want to release them all as singles as well. Any of the first 9 tracks on Between You and Me could have been served up as the lead single to this album, much to the delight of the San Cisco fan base.

Their songwriting is catchy and heartfelt as ever with an added touch of maturity that comes with nearly a decade in the music scene. Skin is a gripping INXS-style ballad of loneliness and Flaws may be the band’s best song to date.

Between You and Me is certain to keep the die-hard San Cisco fans satisfied and may even win over some of the band’s doubters who were turned off by the sugary indie-pop of their early albums.

Easy Browns – Down On the Farm

Filled with oddball tunes all about animals, Down on the Farm is the third studio album from Melbourne four-piece, Easy Browns. Each track on the album centres around a different animal, including eels, cats, ducks, and ants.

The tongue-in-cheek concept of the record threatens to drag a bit thin over the 39-minute run time, but it never does, as each track finds a unique and interesting way to explore a new animal.

Musically, the album drifts along with its rustic guitars and laid-back vocals, conjuring images of farm life, with brief interludes for psychedelic-punk freak. The final track, Dog Eat God, turns the volume right up and delivers the album’s heaviest track, decked out with a guitar riff that sounds like it’s pulled straight from Scooby-Doo.

A must-listen for experimental rock or zoology fans.

BUMPER – pop songs 2020

BUMPER is a collaborative project between Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner and Crying‘s Ryan Galloway. Both musicians generally occupy more niche avenues with their music; Zauner often offering up reverb-soaked shoegaze, and Galloway drifting between indie-rock and emo. On the other hand, pop songs 2020 is four tracks of electro-pop bliss.

The ’80s aesthetic is everywhere in pop right now – whether it’s Robyn, Carly Rae Jepsen, or Miley Cyruslatest single – and BUMPER don’t shy away from this sound. Even the cover art feels like a combination of Studio Ghibli animation and a B-52‘s album.

Listen to the full stream of the album below accompanied by the soothing animation of a girl sitting on a synthesiser staring at a city skyline.