Albums Released in October You Should Be Listening To

Olive Soki

October was a bit of a roller-coaster. And while last month I wholly embraced letting my moods and general environment control the music I listened to, October was a month that left me more willing to seek subtle escapism through various artistic mediums. As a result, I saw Avatar in theaters, finally got into Renaissance (better late than never), and momentarily pulled out all investments in the sad girl music economy — the exception being those Alex G tickets I bought. To my surprise, a lot of the music that came out this month more or less mirrored my cleanse. So in an attempt to recap and share the wealth, here are six projects released in October sure to change your spirits for the better.

P.S. This edition of the monthly round-up  — along with all future articles — will be accompanied by a playlist containing all of the recommended tracks mentioned below.

Cometa by Nick Hakim

Recommended tracks: “Ani” and “Happen”

For a non-romantic, I do spend a lot of time mentally rating music that exists in that thematic sphere. While l like to frown upon all the cheesy ones, I can always appreciate the better ones. Lately my tiers list has grown by a song or two, and it’s all thanks to Nick Hakim’s latest record Cometa.

A super cut of every emotion you could ever experience in the throes of romance, Hakim used his subdued and impactful charm to deliver a deeply intimate record. From willingly letting love take its course, to the drunken variations of blissful adoration, he makes a point to emphasize how rare these connections can be — a bit like a comet. Musically speaking, the overall sound of the record isn’t quite far from his previous work. Building upon those scratchy and raw sequences heard on his previous record WILL THIS MAKE ME GOOD while also revisiting his signature vocal approach in a track like “M1,” Cometa sits comfortably between the past and the present, leaving room for a prosperous future.

GOALIE by Zachary Knowles

Recommended tracks: “SOMEWHERE IN TEXAS” and “ JUST STAY FOR ONCE”

Reeling us into his mind Zachary Knowles shared GOALIE, a seven track and impressively resonant EP. Conceptualized during a trip to L.A, GOALIE acted as a musical brain dump for the young singer. Organized into seven overarching emotions and events he needed to process and digest at the time, the project sees him make a real attempt at lyrical honesty. Speaking on the EP he shares, “GOALIE saw me rediscover my emotional connection to the music I was making... After the creation of GOALIE, I was finally in a healthy spot to look at those times and view the personal growth that occurred from a different perspective, allowing me to process how far I’d come.” Both sweet and sour, GOALIE perfectly balances distorted guitar chords with pop-ish melodies sure to draw you in.

Clean up on Aisle Heaven by Malice K

Recommended tracks: “Me Sick,” “More Than a Friends,” and “This Drug Makes Me Feel Like a Man”

Going back to escapism, Malice K’s recent EP, Clean up on Aisle Heaven, might be the most mundane, yet mesmerizing, form of the phenomenon. A clever combination of gritty alt-rock tracks, bare-bone and guttural acoustic led chants (“Me Sick''), and sentimental ballads, Clean up on Aisle Heaven feels like it is meant for everyday escapist purposes.

The most striking aspect of Malice’s performance on the EP is without a doubt the stylistic pivots present across the project. Switching rather smoothly between a Brit-pop-esque sound, and those Alex G reminiscent scratchy guitars, only to completely lose control on “This Drug Makes Me Feel Like A Man.” Regardless of the wide range of styles, Malice manages to hold everything together, delivering a cohesive and memorable record.

The Car by Arctic Monkeys

Recommended tracks: ”Jet Skis on The Moat,” “Hello You,” and “Body Paint”

Following the release of their highly divisive record Tranquility Hotel and Casino Arctic Monkeys released their seventh studio album The Car. And as a Tranquility Hotel and Casino lover, I am completely enamored by this new release.

Filled with string based arrangements, creative drum fills, funky guitar riffs, and Alex's newly-mastered croon, The Car further expands on the band's new sonic direction. Instrumentally the tracks either sway extremely theatrical or pleasantly funky, however, the lyrical content is a little harder to put together. The way I look at it, The Car is the wonderland, the listeners are Alice, and the band — led by Alex of course —  is the Cheshire cat. Track by track Alex, the Cheshire cat, walks us through his glamorous, yet equally perplexing wonderland. Mischievously disappearing behind mesmerizing solos, only to reappear while crooning about various show business and car related references, he wickedly invites us to enjoy the ride and decipher exactly what he is going on about. This sense of distance pushes us to appreciate the bits we do enjoy and look forward to the ones we will uncover later on.

Sew it Seams by Jaywop

Recommended tracks: “Black Sheep” and “Sew it Seams”

Back in Spring, Jaywop shared his sophomore album Corduroy. Unintentionally threading together what quickly became a revered era in his career, the Tacoma born rapper was left with a story begging to be tied with a celebratory bow. Speaking on this new release he shares, Sew It Seams is the close to the chapter that has arguably done the most for me (...) So what better way to commemorate the 2 bodies of work than giving it a third to sew the fabric together” Having covered all of the basics of dreaming big and working hard as well as some other feel good tracks, “Sew It Seams” sees him on the other side of it all, humility intact. And after having cleared a substantial amount of hurdles, he’s come back to assure us that it’ll all be alright.

Blue Rev by Alvvays

Recommended tracks: “Very Online Guy” and “Pomeranian Spinster”

Another album pulled straight out of my anticipated release calendar, Alvvays have made a glorious comeback with their third studio album Blue Rev. According to Pitchfork, who by the way rated it an 8.8, the band started writing this record back in 2017. And what came out of these sessions is a perfectly hazy and driven ensemble of fourteen tracks about change, serendipity and very online guys. Weaving in and out of a starry eyed alt-rock haze, to the point of almost drowning out Molly Rankin's vocals every now and then, and speedy rock,  the band offers a perfectly constructed sound-scape for their listeners to freely sink into.

Dive into the recommended tracks: Monthly Round-up Playlist

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