Recommends 21st September

Magpie Recommends: Opeth, Banks, Big Jesus and more!

Another week, another set of amazing new releases! Here are the upcoming albums we recommend wrapping your ears around this week…

Sorceress ”“ Opeth

Opeth’s 12th album Sorceress sees the Swedish prog-metal legends delving even deeper into their prog influences, crafting 12 awe-inspiring songs that combine melodic choruses and folk passages (not dissimilar to the seminal Damnation) with odd time signatures, extended instrumental sections and swirling organs.

There are some pretty heavy riffs too. While Opeth are probably never going to return to their death metal roots, they still know how to write a headbanger; just check out the main riff of Sorceress!

In short, this is Opeth mastering the prog sound they experimented with on Heritage and Pale Communion. This is a must listen if you’re a prog or metal fan, but we’d recommend giving it a listen if you like experimental or even folk music too.

Sorceress by Opeth is released on the 30th September via Nuclear Blast

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Scarlet Rascal ”“ Scarlet Rascal

Hailing from Bristol, Scarlet Rascal are proof that the British music scene is as strong as ever.

Their self-titled debut is a potent mix of art rock and lo-fi atmospheric noise rock, evoking the likes of Joy Division, The Fall and The Horrors. Lead single Venus is a 6 minute epic driven by a moody and persistent rhythm and coloured by Television-esque lead guitar and some brilliant post-punk style vocals.

All in all, we predict big things for Scarlet Rascal over the next few years. Get on board now and tell your friends too!

Scarlet Rascal’s self-titled debut is released on the 30th September via Invada Records

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Oneiric ”“ Big Jesus

Big Jesus have been making waves recently, even catching the attention of the Madden brothers from Good Charlotte; the two bands are going on tour together later this year.

It’s not hard to see why. Oneiric is a magnificent collection of fuzz-driven pop rock, clashing heavy riffs with unbelievably catchy melodies and adding a bit of dreamy shoegaze in for good measure too.

As a result, we can see Big Jesus attracting quite a diverse crowd. Fans of bands like Torche and Mastodon will enjoy the big riffs, while alt rock fans will dig the Smashing Pumpkins 90s alt-rock vibes. Some of the choruses even veer towards pop punk territory (if pop punk was fed through a fuzz pedal). To be honest, we’d recommend checking this out even if you don’t normally listen to rock music ”“ it’s that melodic!

Oneiric by Big Jesus is released on the 30th September via Mascot Records

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The Altar ”“ Banks

R&B has been enjoying something of a revival recently, with the likes of Drake and The Weeknd taking the genre in new and exciting directions.

And now, it’s about to get another new lease of life with the release of The Altar, the second album by singer songwriter Banks. The album has its roots in classic 90s R&B (Banks is often compared to Aaliyah) but is laden with modern beats and trip-hop-style atmosphere.

The result is a record that is equal parts experimental and accessible. Take Gemini Feed, for example: the minimalist beat, subtle melody and altered vocals sound equally at home in the club or on a night drive.

Catchy yet musically interesting and innovative, this is how pop music should be.

The Altar by Banks is released on the 30th September via Harvest Records

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New Skin ”“ Jones

The transition from summer to autumn is always difficult. With the terrible weather and the cold dark nights, it’s easy to feel a little bit glum.

Luckily, London-born soul singer Jones is here to save us all from the gloom. New Skin, her debut album, is a sunny collection of soul that’ll immediately lighten your mood. We’re particular fans of Wild, which is a great mix of soul and the kind of anthemic chorus you’d expect from a stadium rock band.

Although the music is upbeat, the lyrical content deals with some of the difficulties of life. The tone is always optimistic though, as Jones describes: “What I want to put across is that it’s OK to be where you are, wherever you are, to learn from this. We all need the sad songs sometimes, but it’s good to have optimism too, to free your mind of things that make you unhappy”

New Skin by Jones is released on the 7th October via Rough Trade

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