While September brought new albums from big names like Bon Iver, Wilco, MIA and many more that most music sites are talking about, October is set to reveal addition new albums from name bands such as Beck, Phantogram, American Football and others that will garner plenty of buzz and PR. Every month though, there are artists releasing their new albums that aren’t quite receiving the buzz they deserve. After all, in today’s streaming age, it can get really hard to keep up with what’s new because of the volume of new releases coming at us. If you are willing to listen though, there is a lot of truly great music released every month that flies right under our radar, just waiting for you to scoop it up and announce your new favorite band.
We asked our writers to pick an under the radar album (or more) being released in October that they believe are deserving of more love from the national media, and of course, the ears of the listeners. Whether it’s a debut album, just a new album that’s great, or an artist that hasn’t quite taken their buzz into the US, here are the picks of Under the Radar Albums we believe you should pay more attention to coming out this month. There is surely something in here for everyone! Let us know what you are digging from this list, or other under the radar albums that you believe deserve similar attention:
Julia Jacklin – Don’t Let The Kids Win (Oct. 7th)
Julia Jacklin may have found her voice in a garage outside of Sydney, Australia, but her songs hearken back to the country hits that used to play on our American grandparent’s transistor radios. Raw, simple, and full of melancholy, they hit you right in the heart and give cause for drunken singalong to the jukebox or lazy nights rocking away on a dusty porch swing, the occasional lightning bug highlighting the mood. Her debut record for Polyvinyl, Don’t Let The Kids Wind will be released Oct. 7th and displays a musical maturity beyond her years.
It’s hard not to think of Angel Olsen when listening to singles “Pool Party” or “L.A. Dreams,” her phrasing and powerful voice both bear strong comparisons, but these songs move at a gentler yet still forceful pace, more forest stream than gushing waterfall. In an era of overproduction, it’s heartening to see strong melodies and moving lyrics can still win the day. With any luck, we’ll have plenty more albums to enjoy after this debut. /- Billy Mitchell
Thor & Friends – Thor & Friends (Oct. 7th)
When Michael Gira of Swans announced that 2016’s The Glowing Man would be the last album for the band featuring the current lineup, minds naturally began to wonder what his considerably talented sidemen would get up to in their post-Swans lives. While the rest of the band is currently on a lengthy world tour in support of that record, percussionist Thor Harris decided to skip the touring and get on with the next phase of his musical life: Thor & Friends.
The heart of the band is Harris along with Peggy Ghorbani (marimba) and Sarah Gautier (various mallet percussion, piano, etc.) The three percussionists are joined by guests like John Dieterich of Deerhoof and Jeremy Barnes and Heather Trost of A Hawk and Hacksaw fame. Harris and company have created a hauntingly beautiful record that is pensive, awe-inspiring has none of the bombast you’d expect from a project starting immediately in the wake of Swans. They embark on a tour opening for Adam Torres in October. /- Culture Czar
Stream the album in full here.
Savoy Motel – Savoy Motel (Oct. 21st)
Nashville based Savoy Motel are set to release their self titled debut on October 21st via What’s Your Rupture?, and while they may be new to us, they aren’t new to the scene. The new rock group consists of Jeffrey Novak, Jessica McFarland, Mimi Galbierz, and Dillon Watson. Novak and McFarland’s former group, Cheap Time has been a staple of the garage rock scene for years around the Southeast. Their new band, Savoy Motel could be considered another retro rock outfit, but that wouldn’t do the band justice. Through their 3 singles released so far, “Sorry People”, “Souvenir Shop Rock”, and “Hot One”, the band is funky, something you can boogie down to with catchy guitar riffs over their songs that are hard not to love. There’s plenty of 70’s influence throughout their tunes, yet they still feel new and modern, these aren’t straight forward covers of the popular rock of yesteryear. The band has it’s own quirks and intricacies, with girl-guy harmonies, guitar solos and some extra flavor that’s sure to rectify your need for something funky fresh. Savoy Motel is currently lighting it on fire on tour with The Dandy Warhols. /- Mike Gerry
Shana Falana – Here Comes The Wave (Oct. 21st)
A veteran of the Brooklyn and San Francisco undergrounds, in the winter of 2006, Shana Falana lost half of her index finger in a workplace elevator accident in New York City. With the settlement money from the accident, the then drug-addicted shoegaze/psychedelic songwriter was able to recover from drug-related financial ruin and live rent-free in the city for two years, providing a burst of productivity in her writing dealing with the trying times.
The writing from that period of time is seeing it’s light of day, making up half of her upcoming new album, Here Comes The Wave, out October 21st via Team Love Records. If there’s one way to describe Falana’s sound, dark pop would be the generic term, but there’s much more to her expansive sound. Falana’s is able to effortlessly jump from dream pop with a gothic lean, to fuzzed out psychedelia with heavy riffs that with cut you to the core, and the two singles released so far (“Cloudbeats” and “Lie 2 Me”) show both sides of the dark Falana. The dialogue on the album covers a large period of time and a big personal transformation that’s given Shana Falana a lot to say, and it’s time we all listen. /- Mike Gerry
Spirit Club – Slouch (Oct. 21st)
If you’re looking to trade in your daily routine of alarm clocks and coffee for a tropical escape look no more. Spirit Club will take you to that place of wonder and relaxation with their much anticipated new album Slouch, out October 21st via Ghost Ramp Records. The band consists of brother’s Nathan Williams (Wavves/Sweet Valley) and Kynan Williams (Sweet Valley/Safe In Hell) as well as their childhood friend Andrew Caddick (Jeans Wilder).
The album has a way of making you feel like you’ve been transported to a dreamy California beach in the 1960’s; you can’t help but feel free and at ease. Harmonious vocals and sentiments of The Beach Boys are found in tracks “Room To Run” and “Your Eyes Tell Lies”. Subtly dark lyrics and swirly sunny melodies contrast throughout Slouch and especially in “Needful Things”.Yin and Yang like; there is no good without the bad. Roll down the car windows and let your hippie love child free. /- Avery Newmark
Muuy Biien – Age of Uncertainty (Oct. 28th)
Athens’ based punks Muuy Biien have already released two albums and a few EPs since getting their start back in 2012, making a name for themselves through their raucous live shows. The post punk band mixes heavy, screaming punk rock with long ambient compositions that will leave your face melted to the slimy floor. With two singles (“Bitter Blessings” and “Mara”) released so far on their upcoming third LP, Age of Uncertainty (Oct. 28th via Autumn Tone Records), Muuy Biien has shown a growing maturity to their songs. While the new singles may not show off some of the heavier punk of their past, the band shows off more sultry rhythms and melodies, slightly off the path they’ve carved so far. There’s more bluesy guitars and ethereal baselines in their latest, leaving a new interesting layer to their work. But don’t worry, the Muuy Biien that so many fans around the Southeast and beyond have come to love isn’t going anywhere. These songs will still punch you right in the gut and leave your grasping for a heavy breathe. Muuy Biien’s time is now and it’s time we all get on board. /- Mike Gerry
Tkay Maidza – TKAY (Oct. 28th)
Tkay has been rolling through Australia’s electronic scene, and has a style that is similar to M.I.A and Azealia Banks. I’ve been a fan of her music ever since her 2014 release — Switch Tape. Tkay Maidza brought energy and rawness, with experimentation. I love experimentation and that is why I am so excited about her latest release. This new album, titled TKAY excites me because of the shear energy that the musician brings to the table. This will be her true debut, after releasing only singles since 2013. The first single debuted, “Carry On” features Killer Mike from Run the Jewel, and visuals provided by Leif Podhajsky. The second single released only days ago is titled “Tennies”, and doesn’t have quite the same dynamics as the debuted single, but the singers ability to use abstract sounds and roll with the sound has me all the more excited. At only twenty years old it will be interesting to see if Tkay turns into the future pop star that she has the potential to. There’s only one way to find out, by checking out the full album on October 28th. /- Bryceson Center