As the trees lose their last leaves and people adjust to the cold winter, the end of 2023 still provides us with the best means of escape - great music. This year has decided to ease the cold and dark winter season with new songs and musicians who bring a new sound to old music.
Although there are not many new albums, this does not diminish their value and quality considering that they are quite diverse. From musicians experimenting with new genres to unique new sounds in music, this week's new albums make for a fascinating collection, showcasing the expansive reach of contemporary music.
The previous week, the audience could hear the new albums of the singer Micki, the bands Rolling Stones and Black Pumas. This Sunday we finally have the opportunity to hear Dolly Parton with her harmonious and long-awaited immersion in the world of rock and roll, and fresh faces like Bitowls who are opening new places in music where they firmly position themselves.
So "Far Out Magazine" collected the best new albums of alternative and indie music in this article.
“Rockstar” Dolly Parton
"Rockstar" is at the beginning of this list, because it can be said that with this album Dolly Parton is writing a new history in the music world. Starting with a depiction of an alternate universe where Parton grew up, tearing apart an electric guitar in her room, to the horror of her parents, the singer dived fully into her fantasy.
This long album of 30 songs pervades one main thought: Dolly Parton is living the life of her dreams. Of course, with a career as long and rewarding as hers, which has become a real international treasure, she was always living her dream. But when we listen to “Rockstar,” it seems as if the singer has finally let her long-kept secret in.
We understand "Rockstar" as an alternative flow of time, a soundtrack of what would have happened if Dolly Parton had picked up an electric guitar somewhere else and gone down a completely different path. Proving what we all already knew, that she has one of the greatest voices in the history of music, Parton finally fulfills her other dreams in the album "Rockstar".
“Theatre of the Absurd Presents C'est La Vie” Mednes
In the album "Theatre of the Absurd", the lead vocalist of the British band Mednes, Sags sings: "The orchestra sings a song that no one has heard, a story that no one knows how to sing."
Those words aptly describe the promotion of their latest album, “Theatre of the Absurd Presents C'est La Vie”, where the band boldly presented a number of previously unheard songs in the first half of their set. They prepared the audience for another hit that no one had heard of, and it immediately became obvious that audience recognition of the lyrics was not required; such power of the rhythm of the music is enough.
With the bad social circumstances at this time, when the country is the most divided and poor, we all stand still and wait for something to change, while we fantasize about being somewhere sunnier and happier. But Mednes provides enough light and positivity through the new album's songs, like “Baby Burglar” and “Theatre of the Absurd,” to prevent listeners from overthinking sad things and circumstances.
Having already amassed their first fan base with pre-release singles, "I Pray" and "Please Lie To Me", new British band Bitowls present their debut studio album, "Marma". Contrary to their tongue-in-cheek Liverpool namesake, Bitowls have an upbeat rhythm aesthetic. and blues, and a contemporary acceptance of melancholy, which they draw from the influence of trip-hop and electro.
The central choruses loosely lead us through a cathartic journey and a neo-psychedelic dream sequence. However, more like a nightmare, this music is a key to the modern psyche, as it reminds us that we are not alone in this present-day dystopia.
This debut album doesn't follow the beaten path, but celebrates different musical influences, young and old, which is a real refresher. Karl Cook has found his associative sound, where he maintains a crucial balance throughout the album with a versatility that promises a bright future for Bitovls.
“Carried on Sound” Smoke Fairies
The name "Smoke Fairies" could not be more fitting for a band whose latest album "Carried in Sound" evokes a gloomy folk atmosphere. Mixing a distinctive traditional folk sound with modern rock influences, the album is a moody yet hopeful collection of songs, perfect for dark winter evenings.
Although the album "Carried in Sound" is not perfect, it is full of emotional and sincere sensibility that permeates deep guitar strings and flowing vocal melodies. We have no doubts about the band's ability to create an idiosyncratic sound world, even if a little more instrumental variety might have elevated their sound to a higher level.
The new release of the album "Reveal" by the band REM
With special vocals by Michael Stipe, the band REM made several genre excursions during their three decades as a record label. Perhaps the most adventurous among them was "Up" from 1998, where they polarized the world in an experimental electro sound that relied on the drumming skills of Bill Berry. Looking back at the band's history, in 2001 REM made a welcome return to their cohesive sound with their twelfth studio album, Reveal.
On Friday, November 17, REM re-released the “Reveal” album for the first time since its first release in 2001 via Craft Records.