Triple R Soundscape: 31 August 2020

Soundscape is a weekly look at local and international releases making an impression on our musical radar. The list offers a cross-section of EPs and albums arriving at the station.

We have been busily scouring the Soundscape! Check out some of our favourite finds for this week 31 August 2020.

Nubya Garcia - Source (Concord Jazz)**Album of the Week

The acclaimed saxophonist and composer expands upon her work as a prolific bandleader and collaborator with her debut solo album Source. Self-produced in collaboration with celebrated producer Kwes, the debut explores a multidimensional jazz sound with shavings of soul, wide-ranging afro-diasporic influences and the occasional dub-step rumble of her native London. Driven by Garcia’s virtuosic sax playing, Source celebrates the power of community and pays tribute to the heritage of the African diaspora.

Kelly Lee Owens - Inner Song (Smalltown Supersound)

The transcendent techno producer Kelly Lee Owens dives deep into her own psyche on her second album. Following the sudden acclaim of her 2017 debut, Owens uses the follow up to work through the struggles and personal pain she’s encountered over the last several years, while countering these feelings against the healing and transformative beauty of the natural world.

Angel Olsen - Whole New Mess (Jagjaguwar/Inertia)

Angel Olsen’s new album is the sonic counterpoint to her acclaimed 2019 album All Mirrors. Whole New Mess features all but two of the same tracks as its predecessor. However, where All Mirrors was all string sections and polished arrangements, Whole New Mess strips the songs back to their rawest and most vulnerable components: Olsen’s rich vocals and exposed lo-fi electric guitar and organ. In this form the record captures in devastating relief the desolation Olsen experienced with the crumbling of various relationships and the onset of loneliness into her life.

Disclosure - Energy (Island)

The Lawrence brothers drop their long-teased return with the aptly titled Energy. Allegedly whittled down from over 200 working compositions, the 11 tracks that make the cut feature a dazzling array of high profile guests including the likes of Kelis, Common, Channel Tres and Kehlani. With a sound that hovers effortlessly between top-40 pop and the UK dance underground, Energy is anthemic and euphoric, with the capacity to turn locked-down living rooms across the globe into solo dance floors.

Widowspeak - Plum (Captured Tracks / Remote Control)

The fifth record from the Brooklyn quartet expands upon the songwriting rapport of vocalist Molly Hamilton and guitarist Robert Earl Thomas through dusty guitars, warm expansive arrangements, and the perennial reference points of 90s dream-pop and 60s psych rock. Of central concern on this latest album is the question of inherent worth and value, both of ourselves, our time, and of the unique turmoil for anyone who has to survive off the fruits of the labour of art.

Vex Ruffin - LiteAce Frequency (Stones Throw)

The title of Vex Ruffin’s latest album refers to the car his family owned when they first moved to the Philippines when Vex was a child: the iconic Toyota LiteAce van. On LiteAce Frequency, the Californian is clearly in a reflective mood for this time of his life, with a collection of songs influenced by the 70s Manila Sound and Pinoy soul. “At my age you start to reflect,” Vex says, “I’m going back to my roots channelling that time, mixing nostalgia with how I am right now.”

Jyoti - Mama, You Can Bet! (SomeOthaShipConnect)

Mama, You Cam Bet! is the third album from the acclaimed jazz musician Georgia Anne Muldrow’s one-woman Jazz ensemble Jyoti. Amongst her extensive catalogue of practicing jazz in all of it’s mercurial forms, the Jyoti project has remained a vessel for the expression of her multi-instrumental experimentation of the jazz landscape. What sets the latest appart is both it’s listenability (with breezy tracks rarely in breach of the four minute mark), and as a first for Jyoti, the introduction of Muldrow’s powerful vocals, anchoring context and narrative to the sonic meanderings.

Two People - Second Body (Liberation/Mushroom Group)

The Melbourne duo of Phoebe Cockburn and Joey Clough (formerly of Snakadaktal), release the follow up to their 2019 debut First Body. Where First Body was a band working through the parameters of their sound with tenderness and care, Second Body is an assertive and fully formed statement of intent from a duo who are ready to use music as a form of expression, dissent, and, importantly, of fun.

Protoje - In Search Of Lost Time (RCA Records)

The Grammy nominated reggae star drops his fifth album In Search of Lost Time. Referencing the Marcel Proust novel of the same name about the loss of collective remembering, the record takes a deep look at Protoje’s personal and professional growth as a man, a father and an artist. Over 10 tracks, Protoje balances his love of reggae and hip hop in equal measure, with high profile collaborators colouring both ends of the albums spectrum: Supa Dups, Winta James, Stephe “Di Genius” McGregor, Wiz Khalifa, Koffee, Popcaan and Lila Ike.

Various Artists - Chill Pill II (Public Possession)

The Munich electronic label takes inspiration from the sounds of the lush, green landscape of Scotland for their second Chill Pill compilation, with contributions from the likes of Young Marco, Secret Circuit, Bell Towers, Sofie, Sui Zhen and Vanessa Worm. In abstruse style, the label releases the album with the statement: “Chill Pill will help you get in line with nature, enhancing positive feelings through better awareness of one's surroundings. Listening to this music will improve your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. While consuming Chill Pill a healthy mix of relaxation and hedonism is recommended.”