The Body and BIG|BRAVE — “Oh Sinner”
Portland metal duo The Body released a new collaborative LP this September along with the Montreal outfit BIG|BRAVE. The album, called “None But Small Birds,” represents a sonic departure for both, punctuated by standout songs like “Oh Sinner” that create emotive atmospheres through refined, mostly folk rock-tinged arrangements. That being said, it’s still pretty metal. “Oh Sinner” almost immediately settles in to a dark tone, driven by rhythmic percussion and an ominous guitar made altogether more haunting by the emotional depth of Robin Wattie’s vocal delivery.
Nilüfer Yanya — “stabalise”
This stunning single comes from London singer Nilüfer Yanya’s forthcoming album PAINLESS, which is due out on March 4. “I was really thinking about your surroundings and how much they influence or change your perception of things. A lot of the city is just grey and concrete, there’s no escape,” she recently said about the song. Performed at a quickened instrumental pace, “stabalise” induces a sense of urgency that gets the heart racing, while Yanya’s quieted vocal approach subtly penetrates the frenetic composition.
Hurray for the Riff Raff — “Rhododendron”
Led by songwriter Alynda Segarra, Hooray for the Riff Raff has returned with its first new album in nearly four years. “Rhododendron” is the first single from “Life on Earth,” which is due out Feb. 18. It’s a perfectly simplified blend of catchy rhythmic flow, compelling lead vocals, and captivating harmonies. Despite that straight-ahead sound, its lyrics are complex. Segarra recently said the song is about “finding rebellion in plant life. Being called by the natural world and seeing the life that surrounds you in a way you never have. A mind expansion. A psychedelic trip. A spiritual breakthrough. Learning to adapt, and being open to the wisdom of your landscape. Being called to fix things in your own backyard, your own community.”