These Are TURN UP THE VOLUME’s 15 BEST ALBUMS Of 2021 (So Far)

1 July 2021

1. ‘Calvacade’ by BLACK MIDI (UK)

Released: 26 May 2021 – their second album

Turn Up The Volume: From outlandish sonority – think Scott Walker – to Zappa-esque adventurousness, from a ‘normal’ song (Marlene Dietrich) to free jazz weirdness. The sonic mind of this impressively inventive band is both inscrutable and intriguing. Cavalcade confirms the experimental brilliance of their debut LP. Miles Davis experimenting with guitars in the 21st Century.

Key Track: John L

Full album…

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2. ‘FULL SPECTRUM’ by THE CHRONICLES OF MANIMAL AND SAMARA (Singapore/Italy)

Released: 26th February 2021 – debut LP

Turn Up The Volume: Manimal and Samara are a poetallica sensation. Imagine Sylvia
Plath
fronting a theatrical and mind-challenging psychedelic noise band. Their debut album is a multi-faceted opus in sound and vision. Compelling poetry embedded in a titanic thunder and lighting symphony going from perplexing metal to chill-out ambient. The final result is at times jaw-dropping, at times confusing, at times dumbfounding but always fascinating. When surreality becomes reality you know something is about to happen.

Key track: Psychopath’s Monologue


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Stream album here…

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3. Album: SEEK SHELTER by ICEAGE (Denmark)

Released: 7 May 2021 – 5th LP

Turn Up The Volume: Finally, Iceage do what they were expected to do for a long
time. Creating a standout album that makes the hair in the back of your neck stand
up. Melodramatic with ardency, impassioned with vigour, romantic with grimness. Charismatic frontman Elias Bender Rønnenfelt leads the troops as never before.
Their fifth, their best.

Key track: Vendetta

Full album…


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4. ‘SURVIVORS’ by ONISM E (San Antonio / NYC)

Released: 19th February 2021 – debut album

Turn Up The Volume wrote: Gusto, high-spiritedness, and anxiety are the
keywords here. This warm-blooded record is a heart-rending reflection of the
group’s state of 2021 mind. A galvanizing collection of cohesive poignant emo
songs influenced by the disturbing way our troubled world is handling human
issues, once-in-a-lifetime dramas, and the personal turmoil of frontwoman Chavez.
Her soul-stirring and powerful (Aretha Franklin / young Tina Turner) voice, weeping
guitars, and the electrical intensity are at times overwhelming and heartbreaking. Impressive!

Key track: Stay


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Stream/buy album here…


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5. ‘i became birds’ by home is where (florida, us)

released: 5 march 2021 – debut album

turn up the volume: i’m damn sure this incredible punch-powered-punk-passion
turbo was here before, about 40 years ago, inspiring bored kids like black flag, shellac, melvins, jello biafra, and other anarchist snotnoses, to leave home, steal guitars and drums in order to have some wild fun while scaring bad people with their deafening racket. so here they are back again, inspiring young social media junkies to steal guitars and drums instead of watching their phones all day long. home is where it all starts when you have no money to rent a smelly rehearsal room to rock your heads off. so you move into your own basement and scream your poor lungs to pieces. listen up all you lost teenagers out there, play i became birds over and over again ’cause these hungry florida misfits can and will save your lives. home is where this fuck-and-punk-tastic record is made.

key track: sewn together from the membrane of the great sea cucumber


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Stream/buy here…


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6. ‘For The First Time’ by BLACK ROAD, NEW ROAD (London)

Released: 5 February 2021 – debut LP

Turn Up The Volume says: Like Pavement going prog rock with the sound- exploring
state of mind of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Jazzy and classical music textures make sure your curious mind is focused all the time. And singer Isaac Wood‘s voice resonates freakishly identical to the chilling voice of American songwriter Conor Oberst from indie band Bright Eyes. It’s not a happy record, but who needs cheesy pop tunes all the time in these science-fiction-like times, anyway. I know it’s their first time, but these hungry noise crusaders will stun us again and again in the future. Believe the hype.

Key track: Science Fair

Full album…


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7. ‘CARNAGE’ by NICK CAVE & WARREN ELLIS (Australia)

Released: 25 February 2021

Turn Up The Volume: This black and white pearl is a mix of the romantic crooner and
the haunting crooner. Growing with every spin. Compelling orchestrations, classical arrangements, with Ellis showing his musical skills once more. Can’t remember when Cave made an average album. Did he, actually? Okay, Carnage once again on my headphones.

Key track: White Elephant

Stream album here…

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8. ‘WE… ARE DOOMED’ by THE IRRATIONAL LIBRARY (The Netherlands)

Released: 15 January 2021

Turn Up The Volume: The rap and roll venom of Rage Against The Machine, the fuck-you-hypocrites grimness of Black Flag, the punky saxophone of X-Ray-Spex, the sharp poetic spit and sneer anarchy of Mark. E. Smith, the challenging spirit of open-minded-plainspoken-ass-kicking-anti-establishement doom and gloom crusaders. Sounds exactly like 2020/2021, like the end of the world as we know it, but also like an album that’s going to be on my earphones for a long time.”

Title track: We… Are Doomed

Stream album here…

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9. ‘G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END!’ by GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR (Canada)

Released: 2 April 2021 – 7th longplayer

Turn Up The Volume: A fitting soundtrack for a funeral. The funeral of humankind. The funeral of the planet we, ourselves, destroyed. Somber and apocalyptic. Repetitive doom-and-gloom psychedelia. Repetitive wall-of-guitar-scapes. Goosebumps all the way. But in the end, Godspeed thinks we will start all over again, a new beginning, a new future. Let’s hope so.

Stream/buy here…


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10. ‘Blue Weekend’ by WOLF ALICE (London)

Released: 4 June 2021 – third LP

Turn Up The Volume: Except for flaming rockers Smile and Play The Greatest Hits
the band takes a different direction with a stream of epic ballads with gospel-like
choirs (The Last Man On earth), emotional symphonies (How Can I Make It OK?) with
multi-layered goosebumps harmonies and orchestrated pop brilliance overall.

Key track: The Last Man On Earth

Full album…

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11. Mutator by ALAN VEGA

12. New Fragility by CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH

13. Putain Royale by PINK ROOM

14. As Days Get Dark by ARAB STRAP

15. Vivre by ARNO

Best Album April 2021 – ‘G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END!’ By GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR

1 May 2021

Band: GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR
Who: Wayward enigmatic, and experimental
collective from Montreal active since 1994.

New album: G d’s Pee at STATE’S END! – 7th LP
The follow-up to 2017 LP Luciferian Towers.
Release: 2 April 2021.

The band: “This record is about all of us waiting
for the end. all current forms of governance are failed.
This record is about all of us waiting for the beginning.”

Pitchfork wrote: “They’ve opted to acknowledge a world of seemingly infinite struggle and
offer a well-earned, well-timed score for continuing the fight. Godspeed You! Black Emperor spent a quarter-century making hold music for awaiting a revolution; why shouldn’t they bask
in signs of its potential sparks now, however limited or fleeting they might be?”
Score: 8/10.

Turn Up The Volume says: Fitting soundtrack for the funeral of the past, and at the
same time for the re-birth of humankind. Somber and apocalyptic. Only a very small light
at the end of the tunnel. Repetitive doom-and-gloom psychedelia, repetitive wall-of-guitar-scapes. Goosebumps all the way. One word: Götterdämmerung!

Song titles (take a deep breath):
1. A Military Alphabet (five eyes all blind) (4521.0kHz 6730.0kHz 4109.09kHz) / Job’s Lament / First of the Last Glaciers / where we break how we shine (ROCKETS FOR MARY) 20:22
2.
Fire at Static Valley
3. “GOVERNMENT CAME” (9980.0kHz 3617.1kHz 4521.0 kHz) / Cliffs Gaze / cliffs’ gaze at empty waters’ rise / ASHES TO SEA or NEARER TO THEE
4. OUR SIDE HAS TO WIN (for D.H.)
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GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR: Facebook

Stream/buy (digital version) here…


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GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR: Facebook

Soundtrack For A Funeral – New Album ‘G_d’s Pee AT STATE’S END!’ By Canadian Collective GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR

2 April 2021

Band: GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR
Who: Wayward enigmatic, and experimental
collective from Montreal active since 1994.

New album: G d’s Pee at STATE’S END! – 7th LP
The follow-up to 2017 LP Luciferian Towers.
Release: 2 April 2021.

Press statement from the band: “This record is about all of us waiting
for the end. all current forms of governance are failed. this record is about
all of us waiting for the beginning.”

NME says: “The Montreal experimentalists have bottled our turbulent moment with an idiosyncratic slab of noise that gives way to moments of pristine beauty… Godspeed You!
Black Emperor’s seventh album ‘G_d’s Pee AT STATE’s END’ is the soundtrack to a society on
the edge of all-out war, of the push-and-pull between total doom and inextinguishable hope for something better…‘STATE’S END’ is a tumultuous record for tumultuous times, but there’s a piece of galvanising beauty for every moment of crushing dread. For all the gunshots and explosions in the background, there are church bells and birdsong too. Godspeed’s new album articulates dark times, but it also presents the countermovement with breathtaking power.”

Full review: here. Score: 4/5.

Turn Up The Volume: A fitting soundtrack for a funeral. The funeral of humankind. The funeral of the planet we, ourselves, destroyed. Somber and apocalyptic. Repetitive doom-and-gloom psychedelia. Repetitive wall-of-guitar-scapes. Goosebumps all the way. One word: Götterdämmerung!

Song titles (take a deep breath):
1. A Military Alphabet (five eyes all blind) (4521.0kHz 6730.0kHz 4109.09kHz) / Job’s Lament / First of the Last Glaciers / where we break how we shine (ROCKETS FOR MARY) 20:22
2.
Fire at Static Valley
3. “GOVERNMENT CAME” (9980.0kHz 3617.1kHz 4521.0 kHz) / Cliffs Gaze / cliffs’ gaze at empty waters’ rise / ASHES TO SEA or NEARER TO THEE
4. OUR SIDE HAS TO WIN (for D.H.)
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GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR: Facebook

Stream/buy (digital version) here…


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All Albums

Coming Soon… New GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR Album

4 March 2021


(Artwork new LP)

Band: GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR
Who: Wayward and enigmatic, experimental
collective from Montreal, Canada active since 1994

New album: G d’s Pee at STATE’S END! – 7th longplayer.
Follow-up to 2017 LP Luciferian Towers (stream below)

Format: The 4 tracks – all around the 20-minute mark –
will be on one 12″ LP and one 10″ record.
Release: 2 April 2021.
No streaming services. Instead, label Constellation Records has
sent over 100 advance 10-inch vinyl records to independent record
stores, who can do what they want with the release.

Pre-order (via stores) info here.

Press statement from the band: “this record is about all of us waiting for the end.
all current forms of governance are failed. this record is about all of us waiting for the beginning, and is informed by the following demands= empty the prisons take power
from the police and give it to the neighbourhoods that they terrorise. end the forever
wars and all other forms of imperialism. tax the rich until they’re impoverished. much
love to all the other lost and lovely ones, these are death-times and our side has to win.
we’ll see you on the road once the numbers fall.”

GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR: Facebook

Luciferian Towers (2017)…

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All Albums