Weekly Adds: 2/16

Every Tuesday at WSUM, our Music Director, Izzi, chooses her favorite new releases to add to our music library. Here are this week’s favorites, presented to you by WSUM’s Music Journalism Club.


Puma Blue, In Praise of Shadows

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Sheets,” “Oil Slick,” “Bath House”

GENRE: lo-fi r&b

RIYL: King Krule, Jakob Ogawa, Biig Piig

After releasing a string of singles throughout 2020, London producer Puma Blue (Jacob Allen) has finally come out with his new project In Praise of Shadows. It is a collection of intimate songs featuring hushed vocals over tape-warbled lo-fi beats. The album is full of lush melodies that burrow into your brain: on “Sheets,” Blue whispers quiet words over a loop of saturated guitar, while on “Oil Slick,” a trippy D&B beat forms the background for the artist to ooze self-deprecating sadness to his lover. “Bath House” is a standout with a haunting saxophone solo, eerily reminiscent of some King Krule tracks.  Puma Blue makes sad-boy music, but sad-boy music most definitely fit for a dark early-morning club. — Jack Karnes


Django Django, Glowing in the Dark 

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Free from Gravity,” “The World Will Turn,” “Glowing in the Dark” 

GENRE: Alt-pop, electronic rock, indietronica  

RIYL: Future Islands, LCD Soundsystem, Metronomy 

In their first studio album since the 2018 release of Marble Skies, UK band Django Django brings a catchy, synth-driven sound to their latest release, Glowing in the Dark. Fusing a combination of classic alternative sounds and lighter indie hooks, Django Django’s return album provides an enticing tune for nearly every audience. Distinct in its clashing yet complementary sounds, Django Django weaves together an album that ebbs and flows between genres seamlessly. “Glowing in the Dark” satisfies the listener’s craving for upbeat, electronic trills, while shorter tracks, like “The World Will Turn,” rely on a more acoustic scheme for a refreshing contrast. With lyrics that detail the crossing of boundaries, as heard in “Spiral,” Glowing in the Dark’s transcendence beyond categorical genres aligns perfectly with the album’s themes.  — Celia Cory 


Pale Waves, Who Am I?

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Change,” “She’s My Religion,” “Easy,” “Run To”

GENRE: Pop punk, indie rock, indie pop

RIYL: Avril Lavigne, The 1975, Paramore

Pale Waves has been a staple of the indie music scene for the past several years, their rock-adjacent sound and catchy hooks makes them one of those bands whose music you become familiar with without realizing how. On Who Am I? Their sound has grown more produced and polished sounding, more closely related to the pop punk icons of the early 2000’s than the dream pop sound of 2018’s My Mind Makes Noises. Even the heavily saturated album cover, in which frontwoman Heather Baron-Gracie stands sullenly center frame with her arms crossed while her bandmates’ blurry forms pass behind her, is evocative of a past era of pop music. With Baron-Gracie’s bombastic vocals and the lyrical themes of love and fear treated with broad strokes, Who am I? Is an almost universally relatable listen, begging you to sing along at the top of your lungs alone in your bedroom. Sigra DeWeese


TOLEDO, Jockeys of Love

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Sunday Funday,” “Dog Has Its Day”

GENRE: Indie rock, bedroom pop

RIYL: Peach Pit, Better Oblivion Community Center, Kurt Vile

Jockeys of Love, TOLEDO’s latest EP, quickly establishes itself as a continuation of the band’s signature sound with relaxed folktronica beats, vibey guitar work and classic indie-boy vocals. The six song release is not groundbreaking, but finds a comfortable niche in the familiarity of their genre blend of folk and bedroom pop. With so much rapid change in the world today, TOLEDO’s newest work delivers the familiar and foundational sounds that I’ve been craving.  Perfect for a day spent dozing off in the garden, these tracks will fit in well on any chill summer playlist. — Ethan Cook 


Black Country, New Road, For the first time

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS: “Athens, France,” “Science Fair,” “Sunglasses”

GENRE: Post-punk, art rock, post-rock

RIYL: Oxbow, black midi, TV Priest, Squid
For the first time is the highly anticipated debut album from Black Country, New Road. The band’s sound is extremely difficult to classify, it’s an unique chaotic blend of post-punk aggressive nihilism with touches of art jazz instrumentation and anguished post-post rock vocals… and I love it. The London-based septet has been building up buzz in the post-punk community through word of mouth over the past two years, and this secretiveness proves itself to be the key to the band’s core. With the unassuming band name and cliché title tracks, accompanied by the stock image as the album cover I had initially gone through this album without any expectations, and to my surprise I was presented with 40 minutes of meditative cathartic melodies. The highlight of the band’s debut are the interplay between the seven band members, there is never a time where someone outshines the other. The second an infectious tumultuous saxophone settles we experience singer Isaac Wood’s guttural raspy vocals, which is topped by beautifully chaotic violin arrangements on an ongoing exchange that sums up to a brooding reflective experience. Although the lyrics feel uncomfortably personal and revealing at times in tracks like “Science Fair” and “Athens, France” Wood exposes his insecurities and self-doubts in a fantastic mix of spoken word and post-punk shouting. For the first time is one of those rare stellar debut albums, it’s grittiness and nihilism completely entrance you to what it feels like a 40 minute jam session among extremely talented musicians. Black Country, New Road establish themselves as a powerhouse in the post-punk community and you should certainly keep an eye out for their upcoming releases. —Arthur Machado