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  • Droptober Finishes Strong - Issue 02 - 10/28

Droptober Finishes Strong - Issue 02 - 10/28

Welcome to Stereo Field, the weekly newsletter dedicated to helping you discover new music.

It's Halloween on Monday, which means it's the one time of the year that you can un-ashamedly rock out to the spooky bop that is 'The Monster Mash'. And if anyone questions your punk-ness, remind them that The Monster Mash was once banned by the BBC for being "too morbid". Very hardcore.

Some of the most anticipated releases of the year dropped today. In today's issue we'll give you the rundown on what releases we're the most excited about and what songs and albums we've had on rotation. Oh, and don't about forget the meme of the week.

Let's dive in.

What a month for new music. "Droptober" lived up to its name and finished strong, with several highly anticipated albums dropping today. Here are the new releases we're most excited about:

Smino - Luv 4 Rent

After a four-year gap since his last full-length, and multiple delays, Smino's third album is here. And on first listen, it seems like it was worth the weight. With next-level production led by close collaborators Monte Booker and Kal Banx, Smino's smooth and versatile flow, and excellent features from J. Cole, Doechii, Lil Uzi Vert, and others, this might just end up as one of the best hip-hop albums of the year.

Fred Again.. - Actual Life 3

After a string of club-shaking singles, and what might go down as one of the best sets in Boiler Room history, it's safe to say that the third installment in Fred Again's Actual Life series has been one of the most anticipated releases of the year.

SZA - Shirt (Single)

Its been 5 years since SZA's last album, the groundbreaking Control, and a year since her last proper single, 'Good Days'. SZA been pointing the blame for the lack of new music at her label, TDE, so hopefully this new single, (and it's Lakeith Stanfield-featuring music video) is a sign that the label issues are resolved, and we'll be seeing a new album from SZA.

Other Releases We're Excited About:

  • Babehoven - Light Moving in Time

  • Nosaj Thing - Continua

  • Cities Aviv - Working Title for the Album Secret Wars

  • Drugdealer - Hiding In Plain Sight

  • Girlpuppy - When I'm Alone

  • Jackie Hayes - Over & Over

Check Out Our Playlist With This Week's Releases Here

Nick Hakim - Cometa (ATO Records)

Cometa is 40 minutes of hazy, hypnotic love songs. On his 3rd full-length, Hakim effortlessly combines lo-fi, indie-influenced production with the experimental soul of his previous work. The songs here have hints of the lo-fi guitar and experimentation of Alex G, the off-kilter sounds and melodies of Unknown Mortal Orchestra or Connan Mockasin, the raw, honest vocals of Dijon, and more than anything, the synthy, hazy rnb of Blood Orange.

The album is a pretty low-key, relaxed affair, perfect for relaxing and floating along with Hakim's psychedelic love stories

Dry Cleaning - Stumpwork (4AD)

Dry Cleaning's 2021 debut, New Long Leg, was one of the best records of last year, and a stand-out in an increasingly crowded and exciting wave of new UK post-punk. We're happy to report that their new follow-up, Stumpwork, is more of the same, with enough new tricks to keep it interesting.

Florence Shaw's spacy, insightful, and often hilarious lyrics are still here (see "Don't touch my gaming mouse, you rat" on 'Don't Press Me' or all of 'Gary Ashby', a song dedicated to finding a lost family turtle, who used to "kick it with his stumpy legs"), but this time around she's adding a little bit of sing-songy-ness to her deadpan, spoken-word vocal style. The rest of the band once again delivers a powerful and driving backing for Shaw's stream-of-consciousness musings, although this time a greater focus on acoustic guitar and synth tones gives things a slightly dreamier feel, as opposed to the heavier guitar tones found on their first album.

This record might not be as much of an "oh-my-god-what-is-this" moment as New Long Leg was on first listen, but it's still a strong album, full of great music, from one of the most exciting new bands out there.

Every week we curate a playlist of the new releases, old favorites, and newly discovered classics that we're listening to, and share our thoughts on a few of the tracks. Check out the whole playlist on Spotify, and find our thoughts below:

Check Out The Whole Playlist Here

Ocean - Young Jesus, Tomberlin

Ocean's haunting procession cuts as much as it soothes. Its lyrics paint a picture of duality; it is at once uplifting and uncertain, hopeful and doubtful. The steady rhythm carries us seamlessly from start to end with grace. It's easy to make the comparison to the changing of seasons, and taking a look beyond the pale is appropriate for late October.

Only A Shadow - The Cleaners From Venus

It's the week of Halloween, so we can't have a playlist without at least a little 80's goth-rock. The majority of Martin Newell's lo-fi pop on 1982's Midnight Cleaners is sonically a lot closer to a hazy, DIY Beatles than Bauhaus or the Cure, but 'Only A Shadow', with its icy guitars, delayed vocals, and dark, lovelorn lyrics, is the perfect song for the spooky season.

Julio - dba James

If you’re not a fan of fall or are already sick and tired of it, this is for you. dba James is a solo project of James McDermott, the frontman of the band Bay Faction. This track is summer in the car—the perfect head-bobbing song. It is fun, light, and ridiculously catchy. I can’t help but think of ‘Me and Julio Down By the School Yard’ by Paul Simon in the best way possible.

Dancing in Your Basement: My Son The Doctor

Dancing in Your Basement is bottled lightning. Its the distillation of the best of the Brooklyn post-punk scene, attitude, and sweat. It reminds me of what I always wanted college house shows to be. It also has this wild early 00's energy that I can't get enough of.

Need 2 - Pinegrove

It feels like fall in Tennessee, for me that means its Pinegrove season. I don’t know what it is, but every single fall, I revisit their discography. Maybe it’s the sad, contemplative cowboy vibes. Or the warmth in Evan’s voice. Either way, this is my favorite song from their early anthology record, ‘Every Thing So Far’. So lovely and crispy and makes the cold months a little warmer.

Also, the Audiotree live recording of this track has the best Pinegrove guitar solo.

Alabama Haint - Penny and Sparrow

Penny and Sparrow have a natural talent for drawing you in with soulful vocals and simple, yet elegant production. This is especially evident in 'Alabama Haint' from their 7th studio album, Olly Olly. This record beautifully captures how love for someone can drastically change and the feelings behind it. If you want to dive into some sad fall vibes, this is the record for you.

Check Out The Whole Playlist Here

Jake brings us a pair of painfully accurate memes this week:

Thanks for reading, if you liked this issue let us know below. And hit reply on this email to let us know what songs you liked, or if there's a great song, album, or artist we need to hear.