LNWY Recommends: September’s Best New Music

Missy Scheinberg and Dom O’Connor – from the Laneway offices in New York and Sydney, respectively – team up for the best tracks of the month.

'Dum Surfer'

King Krule

We’ve all missed King Krule, even though he’s never really gone away. While continually releasing music under different aliases (Edgar the Beatmaker, The Return of Pimp Shrimp), the jazzy sleaze and scum of ‘Dum Surfer’ feels as close to a warm embrace as it gets with the erstwhile Archy Marshall. There’s a desperation to his voice here that was missing on his much-loved debut 6 Feet Beneath the Moon, and a skronking saxophone/guitar solo to boot. Marshall’s skill as both a songwriter and arranger continues to grow, and October’s The Ooz is shaping up as a further refinement of his considerable voice on record. – Dom

'Need Your Love'

Curtis Harding

It’s always a special feat when a relatively new voice emerges with a soulful sound that has you convinced that they were born in a different era. There’s Nick Waterhouse from the 1940s. Leon Bridges from the 1950s. St. Paul & The Broken Bones from the 1960s. And now Curtis Harding: the Atlanta rock’n’soul singer who sounds like he’s time-traveled straight from the 1970s with a sound that’s had critics draw comparisons to Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield. While the former Cee-Lo Green backup singer has clearly been in the game for some time, ‘Need Your Love’ demonstrates that Harding’s upcoming Danger Mouse-produced record Face Your Fear (via ANTI-) is sure to be some of his best work yet. – Missy

'Pastoral Radio Hit'

Radiator Hospital

Radiator Hospital’s Sam Parrott-Cook writes songs that are both manic in the emotions expressed and measured in the way he deals with these emotions. On ‘Pastoral Radio Hit’, a winking in-joke of a title turns into a bleary-eyed treatise on infatuation, expressed here through thunderous crashes and a straining vocal, as if Parrott-Cook is shouting over all of the doubts in his head. Instead of focusing on sweeping statements, the song ends with an image as low-key as they come: the song’s protagonist and his partner away from everything, quietly getting high on a hill together bereft of outside noise. – Dom

'Dour Nights'

Willaris. K

A young producer from the northern coast of NSW, Willaris K.’s music contorts itself around melodies and motifs. While this format could make for songs constantly in flux, on ‘Dour Nights’ it provides depth, colour and a restless energy from section to section. Between the gurgling synths and the sampled vocals that invade during the song’s second half, ‘Dour Nights’ is an exercise in both restraint and clarity, and an impressive achievement from a rising star of Australian dance music who keeps maturing with every new release. – Dom

'Would You Rather' (feat. Conor Oberst)

Phoebe Bridgers

There’s a hard-to-attain sweet spot within sad music that really hits you in the gut, but at the same time, lets you know that it’s okay to be sad. The National’s recent Sleep Well Beast managed to do this, and now we can add Phoebe Bridgers’ gorgeous ‘Would You Rather’ to the shortlist. While the entirety of her Dead Oceans debut Stranger In The Alps is heartbreaking, the album’s near-closer has Bridgers and recent tourmate Conor Oberst trading lines with a warmth that tells you that while times may be hard, everything will be just fine. – Missy

'Everything Is Recorded' (feat. Sampha, Ibeyi, Wiki, and Kamasi Washington)

Mountains Of Gold

While Calvin Harris and DJ Khaled may have mastered the pop posse cut with tracks like ‘Feels’ and ‘I’m The One’, XL Recordings head honcho Richard Russell may have just mastered a new kind. After putting out an EP under the name Everything Is Recorded earlier this year, he’s back with an exceptional number featuring his top-notch signees Sampha, Ibeyi, Wiki, and jazz visionary Kamasi Washington. Part of the brilliance behind ‘Mountains Of Gold’ is that it’s a cohesive number that feels like a real collaboration between the five acts, as opposed to a smattering of features that are merely the sum of their parts. Ibeyi’s Auto-Tuned intro/pre-chorus, Sampha’s chorus, Wiki’s verses, Kamasi’s instrumentation, and Russell’s production all flow together effortlessly and seamlessly. Watch out Calvin and Khaled. – Missy

'Carry Me'

Leroy Francis

The debut track from Leroy Francis shimmers with a dirty energy – from the Ty Segall-esque guitar shreds to the croaky, absurdly catchy chorus. It’s an earworm of a track, plodding along unpretentiously and occasionally breaking out in garage rock ecstasy. The former singer of Sydney rock band Cabins has an ear for balance too. At no point does ‘Carry Me’ feel overstuffed, with every element of the track given ample space to breathe. Points for a deliriously fun clip too, taking the song’s Dandy Warhols-ian bend to the logical extreme. – Dom

'Yours'

Now, Now

Formerly known as Now, Now Every Children, this Minnesotan act were critical in (re)ushering in a sound in the late-2000s pioneered by acts like Veruca Salt and Hole. After a bit of a hiatus, the two-piece has returned, continuing to modernise the sound they helped bring forth a decade ago by pairing a Liz Phair-reminiscent vocal with guitars, shimmery synths, and earworm choruses. So if you’re someone who misses The Donnas’ sticky hooks and L7’s slight edge, this one’s for you. – Missy

'Revenge Song'

Corbin

When The Artist Formerly Known As Spooky Black first emerged, the question of whether he was serious or not was raised more than once. On ‘Revenge Song’, The Artist Now Known As Corbin growls, seethes and howls with anger over glacial synths, painting a picture of a victim gaining revenge on an abuser in the most blunt terms possible. The vocal delivery is rough, fractured and painful to listen to. But Corbin’s skill as a performer is on full display with a vein-popping intensity and a crushing melancholy within the confines of his scream. It all ends in a crushing manner with him repeating, “They’re running from you”, like he knows he can never truly escape. – Dom

'Something For Your M.I.N.D.'

Superorganism

Between the reach of social media and the expectation of transparency in the internet age, it’s been a while since we’ve seen so much initial buzz from an act that everyone knew so little about. But six months, a record deal with Domino Recordings, support from Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig and Frank Ocean, and two tracks later, Superorganism has returned, re-releasing the debut track that shook up the internet after having to take it down due to a lack of sample clearances. It’s a colourful oddball pop jam that sounds like nothing we’ve heard before and has us salivating for more from the multi-continental eight-piece. – Missy

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