New Music Friday: This week’s essential new albums

Projects from Maxo, Armand Hammer, and Slow Pulp lead this week’s new releases.

September 29, 2023
New Music Friday: This week’s essential new albums (L) Maxo. Photo by Donovan Novotn. (M) Slow Pulp. Photo by Alexa Viscius. (R) Armand Hammer. Photo by Alexander Richter.  

Every Friday, The FADER's writers dive into the most exciting new projects released that week. Today, read our thoughts on Maxo's Debbie's Son, Slow Pulp's Yard, Armand Hammer's We Sell Diabetic Test Strips, and more.

Maxo, Debbie's Son
New Music Friday: This week’s essential new albums

“I like to think of my shit as just like sitting at the park, park bench raps,” Maxo told The FADER earlier this year. “From 10 a.m. to 6, just seeing the whole day happen.” Debbie’s Son continues in that contemplative vein, although it must be a hell of a park: “I seen a blind man walk on water/the sea touch the palm of his feet,” Maxo begins “Another. LAnd.”

Looser than February’s Even God Has A Sense of Humor, Debbie’s Son sees Maxo detailing the aftermath of a breakup with raw nerves and steely reserve on “#3,” deciding he “ain’t have the time for love” on the title track. He’s more somber than sad, but Maxo still smiles, or at least smirks — “fighting for crumbs, you say I’m beating the odds,” he wryly notes on “What Are You Looking For.” — Vivian Medithi

Hear it: Spotify | Apple Music

Armand Hammer, We Sell Diabetic Test Strips
New Music Friday: This week’s essential new albums

After the success of 2021's Alchemist-produced Haram, Elucid's I Told Bessie and billy woods's Aethiopes (plus Maps and his Noname feature earlier this year), Armand Hammer's next project was sure to be set up for success. With the same striking wordplay and sharp lyricism that have kept them the underground's favorite for over a decade, the New York duo enlist features from the likes of JPEGMAFIA, El-P, and Pink Siifu on We Buy Diabetic Test Strips. — Arielle Lana LeJarde

Hear it: Spotify | Apple Music | Bandcamp

Slow Pulp, Yard
New Music Friday: This week’s essential new albums

Slow Pulp have a knack for creating shoegaze-inspired guitar music anchored by strong hooks and pop melodies, taking cues from their former tourmates and fellow inspirations Alex G and Alvvays. On their sophomore album Yard, however, the Chicago-based quartet lean into the empathetic nature of their songwriting and sonically morph based on the guttural feelings of each song. There’s the post-punk inspired “Doubt” that describes anxieties and insecurities in their most naked form; the sweet vulnerability of the folk-inspired “Broadview”; and the relentless, fast-paced alt-rock of “Cramps.” All of this is rooted with a certain ’90s nostalgia alongside a freshness that is endearingly, trademark Slow Pulp. — Cady Siregar

Hear it: Spotify | Apple Music | Bandcamp

Cleo Sol, Gold
New Music Friday: This week’s essential new albums

Cleo Sol albums, similar to those of her rumored band SAULT, tend to arrive with little advance warning. Earlier this month the London-based songwriter and vocalist released Heaven and then, just as those songs were bedding in, she announced another solo record titled Gold. Sol's tender blend of neo-soul, 70s soul, and modern jazz found a new flavor on Heaven, which has a folk-bent on some songs that suggest she's been listening to some of the Laurel Canyon greats. It will be interesting to see what, if any, moderations come with Gold. It wouldn't normally make sense to recommend an album that you haven't heard a note of, but Sol has proved herself to be among the most reliable artists right now. There's little to suggest this album won't be another stellar addition to her intimate, understated, yet quietly vast, back catalog. — David Renshaw

Hear it: Spotify | Apple Music | Bandcamp

Oneohtrix Point Never, Again
New Music Friday: This week’s essential new albums

Love him or hate him, Daniel Lopatin’s career has been one of constant innovation. Since the revelation of 2013’s R Plus Seven, though, he’s been channeling his personal brand of production into more mainstream avenues — in his solo work as Oneohtrix Point Never, his contributions to The Weeknd’s last two albums, and elsewhere. On first listen, his 10th Oneohtrix LP, arriving just days after R Plus Seven’s 10th anniversary, sounds fresher and stranger than anything he’s released since that project. A “conversation between his current and former selves” (per the album’s bio), the record’s success is due in part to its ridiculous supporting cast, which includes experimental music royalty like Lee Ranaldo, Jim O’Rourke, and Xiu Xiu. Like all Oneohtrix projects, though, Again lives and dies on Lopatin’s vision, and this happens to be one of his brightest yet. Early standouts include “World Outside,” “Krumville,” “Locrian Midwest,” “Nightmare Paint,” and “Memories of Music.” — Raphael Helfand

Hear it: Spotify | Apple Music | Bandcamp

Filth Is Eternal, Find Out
New Music Friday: This week’s essential new albums

Even before Kurt Cobain's death, grunge was already undergoing a process of sanitization. Like all countercultures, its raw and complicated emotions were transmuted into comforting, binary ones, and its bitter pills were sweetened into light beer-flavored placebos. Then Kurt was gone; enter Creed, Puddle of Mudd, et. al from stage right. While the pop-ified version of grunge has long since eaten itself, the riposte offered by Seattle three-piece Filth Is Eternal feels like a reclamation. Grunge has only been one dot in their matrix over the course of three albums, including their latest, Find Out. The gothic doom of death metal and thrash metal's speed and sneer make the band far more than mere revivalists; on Find Out, the band let a newfound polish work to their existing strengths instead of seeking to attract new ears. At the center is frontperson Lis Di Angelo, who pours themselves into a new emotional and melodic range — they're a stalking tiger on "Body Void," a wounded phoenix on "Signal Decay," and road rash incarnate on "Pressure Me." Mindful of their city's traditions without being deferential to them, Filth Is Eternal are helping push metal out of hermetic scenes and superficial aesthetics into something urgent and vital — Jordan Darville

Hear it: Spotify | Apple Music | Bandcamp

Other albums out this week you should listen to

Aiza, Sovereignty
Animal Collective, Isn’t It Now?
Becky G, Esquinas
Bad History Month, God Is Luck
Blonde Redhead, Sit Down For Dinner
Bryce Dessner, She Came to Me
Cherry Glazerr, I Don’t Want You Anymore
Code Orange, The Above
hemlocke springs, going…going…GONE! EP
Jeremiah Chiu, In Electric Time
Jlin, Perspective
Jorja Smith, Falling or Flying
Kelvin Crash, Harsh
La Force, XO Skeleton
Lil Wayne, Tha Fix B4 Tha VI
Matana Roberts, Coin Coin Chapter Five: In the garden​.​.​.
MJ Nebreda, Arepa
Modern Nature, No Fixed Point in Space
Molly Burch, Daydreamer
Pachyman, Switched-On
Rome Streetz, Noise Kandy 5
Setting, Shone a Rainbow Light On
Thanks for Coming, What Is My Capacity to Love? EP
Tyga and YG, Call Me When U Leave The Klub
Various Artists, CMG The Label: Gangsta Art 2
Wilco, Cousin


New Music Friday: This week’s essential new albums