New Music Friday: Stream new projects from Faye Webster, Squarepusher, Sheer Mag, and more

Stream every standout album released this Friday with The FADER’s weekly roundup.

March 01, 2024
New Music Friday: Stream new projects from Faye Webster, Squarepusher, Sheer Mag, and more (L) Faye Webster. Photo by Michael Tyrone Delaney (M) Squarepusher. Photo via Warp Records. (R) Sheer Mag. Photo By Cecil Shang Whaley  

Every Friday, The FADER's writers dive into the most exciting new projects released that week. Today, read our thoughts on Faye Webster's Underdressed at the Symphony, Squarepusher's Dostrotime, Sheer Mag's Playing Favorites, and more.

Faye Webster, Underdressed at the Symphony
New Music Friday: Stream new projects from Faye Webster, Squarepusher, Sheer Mag, and more

There's a daydream-like quality to Faye Webster's fifth album, Underdressed at the Symphony. Written after a break-up, Webster has said she wanted to learn to work on "anti-romantic love songs" as she went about documenting the act of picking herself up and starting over again. The landmarks are small, eating lunch at a good time and scrolling eBay form the basis for a couple of songs, but the longing packed into the likes of "Thinking About You" makes even the most mundane diary entry feel rich in detail. Webster's sound, a mix of indie singer-songwriter and pedal-steel licked country, remains steady with the introduction of vocoder offering a new direction on "Lego Ring," a collaboration with her Atlanta school friend Lil Yachty. The specificity of Underdressed at the Symphony is what stands out the most, though. For all of the relatable and confessional songwriters operating today, perhaps nobody has nailed self-destructive tendencies with such a wry slant as Webster does on "Wanna Quit All The Time." "I'm good at making shit negative," she sings with a whisper. "Right now I hate the color of my house." Sometimes the thing on your mind is the end of a long-term relationship. Sometimes it's a desire to buy paint. Webster's miniature epics have you covered either way. — David Renshaw

Hear it: Spotify | Apple Music | Bandcamp

Squarepusher, Dostrotime
New Music Friday: Stream new projects from Faye Webster, Squarepusher, Sheer Mag, and more

To maintain momentum in a near three-decade career, it helps a musician to draw strength from their polarities. Those belonging to Squarepusher have helped define electronic music history: on the one end sits his frenetic drum and bass onslaughts, on the other an overriding respect for calm and letting the seeds of an idea grow in the negative space. Sometimes, though, he pushes his poles together to reveal that they are, in fact, part of the same planet. At other times, the often contradictory magic comes together in an in-between region, forming like weather systems: storms of glitchy free jazz, drizzling pseudo-ambient synth pieces, a Joy Division cover. Dostrotime, Thomas Jenkinson’s sixteenth album as Squarepusher, is a lovingly crafted celebration of the patterns, contradictions, and reliable font of surprises that make Squarepusher one of the greats. There are three instrumental guitar pieces titled “Arkteon,” gorgeous and plaintive solos that act as lonely waypoints across the album, and help make it a commanding suite that demands to be heard from start to finish. In between, there’s a wealth of distinct treasures to get lost in: the sped-up YMO madness of “Enbounce,” the haunted orchestral acid house of “Kronmec,” and the lead single “Wendorlan,” a chimeric breakcore transmission straight from your brain’s panic button (I would be remiss not to also mention “Holorform,” which starts off a post-rock song and soon mutates into an otherworldly techno collage). All in all, Dostrotime is pure Squarepusher: even in its familiar moments, you could never really predict it. — Jordan Darville

Buy it: Bandcamp

Sheer Mag, Playing Favorites
New Music Friday: Stream new projects from Faye Webster, Squarepusher, Sheer Mag, and more

Euphoria and Sheer Mag go hand in hand. Sheer Mag have always been unapologetic about their love for ’70s rock and roll and Thin Lizzy, reclaiming heavy metal riffs and from dude-heavy hair metal scenes and shredding harder, and louder. The band, led by the trademark wails of lead vocalist Tina Halladay, have often used their music as liberation through catharsis, be it to call out the oppression of society, throw a collective middle finger to greedy landlords and capitalist overlords, or figure out how to mourn the death of an abusive father. On Playing Favorites, Sheer Mag’s rage is as burning and blazing as ever, their feelings channeled into catchier-than-ever power-pop and rock with a capital R for the ages; the only way you can sweat out the anger is on the dancefloor. “All Lined Up” mixes their infectious punky proto-metal with tastes of disco; they’ve got Mdou Moctar performing a solo on “Mechanical Garden” and they play around with old-school funk pop on “Moonstruck.” Sheer Mag know what they are good at. — Cady Siregar

Hear it: Spotify | Apple Music | Bandcamp

New Music Friday: Stream new projects from Faye Webster, Squarepusher, Sheer Mag, and more

Ruth Goller is part of a shapeshifting London community that’s emerged in recent years: jazz-trained musicians whose work leaks well outside the genre’s margins into parts unknown. Cutting her teeth as a side player for acts that ranged from Shabaka Hutchings and Alabaster DePlume to Damon Albarn, she shared her beguiling first solo album, SKYLLA, in 2021, and has now returned with its equally discomfiting sequel, SKYLLUMINA. The songs on her debut were willowy creatures consisting solely of Goller’s detuned bass and dissonantly overdubbed vocals. But the new record finds her experimenting with more robust arrangements. With assistance from The Smile drummer Tom Skinner on the project’s spine-tingling, Song You Need-certified opener “Below My Skin”; vibraphonist Jim Hart for the shadowy soundscape “Of Snowhere” and the seraphic choral daydream “Next Time I Keep My Hands Down”; percussion polymath Bex Burch, whose twinkling sanza and limba tones on “She Was My Own She Was Myself” evoke a skeletal bottle tree standing alone in a marsh; and vocalist Lauren Kinsella, whose inchoate creations on “From Breaks To Shreds It’s A Short Path” sound like the warped echoes of Goller’s own free associations — not to mention half a dozen more paranormal percussionists rotating across the record. The project climaxes on its seventh track, “How To Be Free From It,” where Goller’s reverbed electric bass clashes with ecstatic drum fills from Emanuele Maniscalco, but its final three cuts are far from complacent denouement. Instead, Goller continues to twist her twin instruments (bass and voice) into terrifying new forms, using the overtone series as her personal, perverse playground. — Raphael Helfand

Buy it: Bandcamp

Other projects out today that you should stream

AceMo, Moblu
Amaro Freitas, Y’Y
Asha Imuno, PINS & NEEDLES
Ben Frost, Scope Neglect
Brittany Davis, Image Issues
BryhM, Deep Sea Vents
Chalk, Conditions II
Chloe George, A Cheetah Hunting in Slow Motion
Cukor Bila Smert’, Recordings 1990​—​1993
d.silvestre, O inimigo agora é outro, Vol. 2
DaeMoney, Rockstar Lifestyle 2
Dali de Saint Paul & Maxwell Sterling, Penumbra
Daniel Romano, Too Hot to Sleep
DJ Anderson Do Paraiso, Queridão
Everything Everything, Mountainhead
Fibre Optixx, Crystalline
Fontaines D.C., Massive Attack, and Young Fathers, Ceasefire EP
Graham Reynolds, Music For Prophet (Parts 1-4) EP
groundsound, Working Progress
Hannah Frances, Keeper Of The Shepherd
Heavy Feelings, Heavy Feelings EP
Hooligan Lou and Nettspend, Third Knock
Ike Yard, 1982
Jahari Massamba Unit, YHWH Is LOVE
Jessica Ekomane and Laurel Halo, Manifolds / Octavia
Julian Lage, Speak To Me
Julien Chang, Home For The Moment EP
Laura Masotto, The Spirit of Things
Linda Smith, Nothing Else Matters
Mannequin Pussy, I Got Heaven
Meril Wubslin, Faire ça
Michael A. Muller, Mirror Music
Midlife, Chorus
Ministry, Hopiumforthemasses
Nils Frahm, Day
nubo, Planetary Vision / 惑星のビジョン
Pissed Jeans, Half Divorced
Průvan, Kampaň EP
Punchlove, Channels
Pure Shit, Reality Check
Robb Bank$, i think i might be happy
ScHoolboy Q, Blue Lips
Sha Ru, They Are Textural EP
Sheherazaad, Qasr
Shybaby, Is This Intimate
Sonny Falls, Sonny Falls
South Hill Experiment, South Hill & Friends EP
Staś Czekalski, Przygody
Stay Flee Get Lizzy, Stay Aligned
Stay Inside, Ferried Away
STRFKR, Parallel Realms
Sully & Sâlo, Nights
That Mexican OT, Texas Technician
Thundercat, Apocalypse (Ten Year Anniversary Edition)
Tish Melton, When We’re Older EP
Uranium Club, Infants Under the Bulb
Yard Act, Where’s My Utopia?

New Music Friday: Stream new projects from Faye Webster, Squarepusher, Sheer Mag, and more