New Music Friday: This week’s essential new releases

Mitski, Ralphie Choo, and Vagabon lead this week’s new albums.

September 15, 2023
New Music Friday: This week’s essential new releases (L) Vagabon. Photo by Ace Amir (M) Mitski. Photo by Ebu Yildiz (R) Ralphie Choo. Photo by Mark Yareham  

Every Friday, The FADER's writers dive into the most exciting new projects released that week. Today, read our thoughts on Mitski's The Land is Inhospitable and So Are We, Vagabon's Sorry I Haven't Called, and Ralphie Choo's Supernova.

Vagabon, Sorry I Haven't Called
New Music Friday: This week’s essential new releases

Lætitia Tamko's third album as Vagabon was written in the wake of losing a friend in 2021 but there is little in the way of traditional mourning across the 12 gleaming songs on Sorry I Haven't Called. Alongside co-producer Rostam, Tamko has delivered a collection of songs built for escape and ecstatic moments. Written largely in Germany and inspired by the Hamburg club scene, there is an exuberance that runs through "Lexicon" and "Can I Talk My Shit?" that acknowledge death paradoxically by charging head first into life. "Carpenter" is a stand-out as both a moment of synth-pop and in providing a postcard from a grieving artist. "I wasn’t ready to move on out," she sings over a slick bassline, "but I'm more ready now." – David Renshaw

Hear it: Spotify | Apple Music | Bandcamp

Mitski, The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We
New Music Friday: This week’s essential new releases

What more can we ask of Mitski? On her seventh album, The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We, we are allowed entry into the inner workings of her mind as she contemplates loneliness, fame, and heartbreak. The sound of The Land is gentle and tender, yet Mitski — true to form — delivers her sharpest cuts with the knife-turns of her lyricism: “You’re my best friend/ Now I’ve no one to tell/ How I lost my best friend.” Ever dignified while still writing through the depths of grief and sentimental reflection, it’s Mitski who has forever mastered the art of cutting so deeply while barely moving the dagger. – Cady Siregar

Hear it: Spotify | Apple Music | Bandcamp

Ralphie Choo, Supernova
New Music Friday: This week’s essential new releases

That rictus grin on the cover art tells you a lot of what you need to know — Ralphie Choo is having a great time on his new project Supernova, dissolving your expectations in real-time as you listen. And he sounds fantastic doing it, too; one of the most ambitious, vibrant, and thrilling debut albums in recent memory, Supernova is a controlled explosion of pop music conventions. Opening track "JUAN SALVADOR GAVIOTA" is the opening theme of a Disney movie you remember but never actually existed, fluttering and strutting like Danny Elfman if he made a trip-hop album and dipping its toe mischievously into muzak territory before pulling back into full lush orchestration. His mutations of flamenco (his breakout "BULERÍAS DE UN CABALLO MALO," the Mura Masa-featuring "MÁQUINA CULONA" and "BESO BRUMA," with its haunting Arca-eque synths) will get the most attention as we look for the Spanish genre's future after the emergence of Rosalía. But Supernova has a breadth that traverses reggaeton, Houston rap, chillout, and Frank Ocean. Where many artists would cause the combinations to clash or make the songs feel overstuffed, Ralphie Choo unites them with passion and sheer eccentricity. – Jordan Darville

Hear it: Spotify | Apple Music

Club Casualties, Bridge Underwater
New Music Friday: This week’s essential new releases

The duo of Cooper B. Handy (a.k.a. Lucy) and Nick Atkinson (f.k.a. Ghost) have returned with a sophomore LP five-and-a-half years in the making. The 13-track project features Gods Wisdom, Mal Devisa, and Sen Morimoto, all collaborators with Handy and Atkinson since back in their Dark World days. Fans of Handy’s solo work as Lucy will instantly recognize his irreverently earnest vocals, as well as some of his signature, GarageBand-born production tricks. But Atkinson’s grandiose electronic and orchestral aspirations, his embrace of goofy sounds like happy hardcore, and his own falsetto stylings unlock something altogether original, even in Handy’s already outre catalog. Brilliantly plotted, string-heavy interludes space out the record’s dynamic, often hilarious set pieces, fleshing out an album that feels both totally fresh and instantly classic. Standouts include “Fate,” “Walk The Plank,” “Sports In The Ballroom,” “Many Years,” and certified Song You Need “Fall of the Leaves.” – Raphael Helfand

Hear it: Spotify | Apple Music | Bandcamp

Soduh, Walking Work of Art
New Music Friday: This week’s essential new releases

Baltimore rapper Soduh frequently sounds like combat boots trudging through the snow, his bars quietly crunching across the eardrum in a gravelly whisper. Walking Work of Art, his longest solo project to date, is beautifully unglamorous and unpretentious. In an era where every single arrives with tempo-pitched alternatives so artists move as fast as you think they should, slowing down with Soduh’s unhurried flows and really sinking into them feels like the height of luxury. Roll the windows down and drive under the speed limit. – Vivian Medithi

Hear it: Spotify | Apple Music

Simo Cell, Cuspide Des Sirènes
New Music Friday: This week’s essential new releases

Simo Cell's Cuspide Des Sirènes was one of the most highly-anticipated electronic music debuts of the year and the album turned out to be well worth the wait. It's absurdly hard-hitting with menacing tracks seemingly hell-sent for the dancefloor. The producer shows exactly what France is bringing to warehouses worldwide with bombastic basslines, sinister synths, and ominous vocals that drive through the speakers. – Arielle Lana LeJarde

Hear it: Spotify | Apple Music | Bandcamp

Other projects out today you should listen to

Advertisement, Escort
Alan Palomo, World of Hassle
Amindi, Take What You Need
The Beaches, Blame My Ex
Baroness, Stone
Carlos Niño & Friends, I’m just) Chillin’, on Fire
Cash Cobain, Pretty Girls <3 Slizzy
Charlie Kaplan, Country Life in America
Cleo Sol, Heaven
Corinne Bailey Rae, Black Rainbows
Courtesy, fra eufori
Demi Lovato, Revamped
Diddy, The Love Album - Off The Grid
Explosions in the Sky, End
Kipp Stone, 66689 Blvd Prequel
Margo Cilker, Valley of the Heart’s Delight
Nas, Magic 3
Nation of Language, Strange Disciple
RL Grime, Play
Rod Wave, Nostalgia
S. Carey & John Raymond, Shadowlands
Sarah Mary Chadwick, Messages to God
Sextile, PUSH
Sleepy Hallow, Boy Meets World
Small Crush, Penelope
The Strangers, The Strangers
Vic Mensa, Victor
Wayne Phoenix, soaring wayne phoenix story the earth and sky
Woods, Perennial
Kevin Ross, Midnight Microdise Vol. 2 EP
Octo Octa, Dreams of a Dancefloor EP
Swank Mami, Eurostar EP
Akira Kosemura, Rudy (soundtrack)
Antarctica, 81:03 (reissue)
Yann Tiersen, Kerber Complete (box set)


New Music Friday: This week’s essential new releases