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Washington, D.C., punk band Ekko Astral make their debut with Pink Balloons. As written by Nina Corcoran in her review, “Ekko Astral sound brash and impulsive,” and “Pink Balloons’ noise-punk barrage hits like a stray elbow in the mascara moshpit.”

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Lord Spikeheart: The Adept [Haekalu]

Lord Spikeheart The Adept

Nairobi singer, songwriter, and producer Lord Spikeheart is best known for his work in the Kenyan noise duo Duma. The Adept is Lord Spikeheart’s solo debut, and he previewed the LP with “TYVM” (featuring Saionji BBBBBBB), “R.E.M. Fodder” (featuring James Ginzburg and Koenraad Ecker), and “Emblem Blem” (featuring Talpah). The new album is the first release on the musician’s new label, Haekalu Records, described in press materials as “Africa’s premier label focused on dark and heavy music.”

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Big|Brave: A Chaos of Flowers [Thrill Jockey]

Big|Brave A Chaos of Flowers

Big|Brave made the long list for the Polaris Music Prize in 2021 for Vital. They did it in again in 2023 for Nature Morte. The Montreal trio is now releasing another new album, A Chaos of Flowers. Big|Brave’s guitarist and vocalist, Robin Wattie, was inspired by poems, by Emily Dickinson and others, when writing the new album. “I discovered that most poems from folk traditions or in the public domain seem to be by men—to which I could not quite relate. In my search, I rediscovered some of my favorite works and poets,” she said in a press statement. “It is a feeling of relatability and even astonishment really, with how these writers of different standings and eras and all being female-presenting, each expressing these seemingly similar intense moments of individual experiences, of intimacy and madness. We’re alone, and yet, not.”

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