Pop Culture

Albums Out Today: The Smile, Katy Kirby, Future Islands, Torres, and More

In this segment, we showcase the most notable albums out each week. Here are the albums out on January 26, 2024:

The Smile, Wall of Eyes

The Smile have released their sophomore album, Wall of Eyes, via XL. Ahead of its arrival, Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, and Tom Skinner previewed the follow-up to 2022’s A Light for Attracting Attention with the songs ‘Bending Hectic’, the title track, and ‘Friend of a Friend’, which has a new video from director Paul Thomas Anderson out today. Previous collaborator Sam Petts-Davies produced and mixed the LP, which was recorded between Oxford and Abbey Road Studios and features string arrangements by the London Contemporary Orchestra.

Katy Kirby, Blue Raspberry

Katy Kirby has followed up her 2021 debut Cool Dry Place with Blue Raspberry, her first album for ANTI- Records. It was preceded by the singles ‘Cubic Zirconia’‘Table’, ‘Party of the Century’, and ‘Hand to Hand’. “This record is much more personal than I intended it to be” the New York-based singer-songwriter explained in press materials. “I was in a period of experimenting with how I write, and what came out was a song about a woman, about an imagined her – I didn’t think I was writing as or about myself, but these kinds of songs kept coming out, with fragments of overlapping lyrics linking them together like beads on a string. They seemed to inhabit the same world.”

Future Islands, People Who Aren’t There Anymore

Future Islands are back with a new album, People Who Aren’t There Anymore, out now via 4AD. The follow-up to 2020’s As Long As You Are includes the previously released songs ‘Peach’, ‘King of Sweden’, ‘Deep in the Night’, ‘The Tower’, ‘The Fight’, and ‘Say Goodnight’. Steve Wright co-produced the group’s seventh full-length record, which was mixed by Wright and Chris Coady, who hasn’t worked with the band since 2014’s Singles. The LP is named after a painting by New Mexico-based artist Beedallo, whose painting Fading Memory of a Face serves as its cover art.

Torres, what an enormous room

Torres has returned with a new LP, what an enormous room, out now via Merge Records. The 10-track effort follows 2021’s Thirstier and was previewed by the singles ‘I got the fear’‘Collect’, and ‘Wake to flowers’. Mackenzie Scott produced the album alongside Sarah Jaffe, recording at Stadium Heights Sound in Durham, North Carolina in September and October 2022. Julien Baker, who wrote the album’s bio, had this to say: “What I can say about TORRES is I think the music comes from a convicted place. […] And I think it’s just incredibly good music to listen to.”

Courting, New Last Name

Liverpool-based four-piece Courting have dropped their sophomore LP, New Last Name. Billed as “a theatrical play within an album,” the follow-up to 2022’s Guitar Music was recorded with Gary and Ryan Jarman of the Cribs and features guest production from DJ Sabrina the Teenage DJ. “We didn’t want this to become an overbearing concept album where you couldn’t just listen to the songs because you’re too worried thinking about how the plot is progressing from song to song,” frontman Sean Murphy-O’Neill said in our Artist Spotlight interview. “We wanted to strike that balance where you could listen to this record as a casual listener and just enjoy the songs, or if you want to really think about what it means and get involved in the narrative and details that we’ve hidden across the record, then you can do that as well.”

Benny the Butcher, Everybody Can’t Go

Everybody Can’t Go, Benny the Butcher’s debut for Def Jam Recordings, has arrived. The Buffalo rapper’s four solo LP was produced entirely by Hit-Boy and the Alchemist, and it features collaborations with Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Armani Ceasar, Babyface Ray, Conway the Machine, Jadakiss, Kyle Banks, Stove God Cooks, Peezy, Rick Hyde, and Westside Gunn. The singles ‘Big Dog’, ‘One Foot In’, and ‘Bron’ preceded the album.

Ty Segall, Three Bells

Ty Segall has put out new album, Three Bells, through Drag City. Following last year’s “Hello, Hi”, the record was promoted with the tracks ‘Eggman’, ‘Void’, ‘My Room’, and ‘My Best Friend’. It was co-produced by Cooper Crain, who also engineered and mixed the LP. Segall collaborated with his wife Denée on five of its songs, while members of his Freedom Band helped flesh out the record.

Mall Girl, Pure Love

Oslo experimentalists Mall Girl – vocalist Bethany Forseth-Reichberg, guitarist Iver Armand Tandsether, and drummer Veslemøy Narvesen – have come through with Pure Love, the follow-up to their eclectic 2022 debut Superstar. Out now via Jansen Records, the record includes the advance tracks ‘Inzane’, ‘All I Should Have Said’, ‘Super Lazy Girl’, and ‘Emo Shred’. “I guess the album is like a break up album meets a Bildungsroman (is it like an episode of Girls? Maybe),” Forseth-Reichberg explained. “Ironically, the ‘post-college-rock’ sound could maybe go hand in hand with the post college experience I’ve had a go at writing about. I am glad we wrote this album and slightly (very) nervous to let people hear our take on Pure Love.”

Astrid Sonne, Great Doubt

Out now via Escho, Great Doubt is the third LP from Danish, London-based composer and singer-songwriter Astrid Sonne, who came up in the same circles as ML Buch and Erika de Casier. The 9-track album, which follows 2021’s outside of your time, features the previously unveiled tracks ‘Boost’, ‘Staying here’, ‘Do you wanna’, and ‘Give my all’, an homage to Maria Carey’s ‘My All’. Alongside Sonne’s trusted viola, it finds the musician expanding her sound with beats, woodwinds, and detuned piano.

Other albums out today:

Craig Warden, The Dream Dreaming; Tom Odell, Black Friday; Philip Glass, Philip Glass Solo; Fabiano do Nascimento and Sam Gendel, The Room; Sarah Jarosz, Polaroid Lovers; NewDad, MADRA; Alkaline Trio, Blood, Hair, and Eyeballs; Lyrical Lemonade, All Is Yellow; nehan, an evening with nehan; Caligula’s Horse, Charcoal GraceFrank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Dark Rainbow; Dead Poet Society, Fission; Office Dog, Spiel; Eye Flys, Eye Flys; Gruff Rhys, Sadness Sets Me Free; The Umbrellas, Fairweather Friend; Lucifer, Lucifer V; Goth Babe, Lola; Leslee Smucker, Breathing Landscape.

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