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hello yeule - Glitch Princess

Release date: February 4, 2022

The pioneering second album from the avant-pop artist is a darkly nuanced look at identity and technology, where personal disasters occur at the same scale as the actual apocalypse.

I can’t remember the last time I read lyrics that made my skin crawl so much, or heard production that gave me such intense goosebumps. Yeule has honed their production here, showcasing such a diverse range of styles and sounds that perfectly reflect the lyrical content. Yeule’s music reminds me of Junji Ito’s stories, flirting between two worlds of nightmarish depravity and awe-inspiring beauty.

In fact, a lot of this album deals with heavy contrasts. Pop and experimental, beauty and horror, hope and despair, digital and real. And Yeule is so successful at crafting an album that bounces between these opposing realities while also remaining a cohesive listen with a clear narrative from start to end. After all the pain Yeule has been through on this album, I sure hope this is the case, they’re doing alright now.

Genres: glitch pop, post-industrial, ambient

hello Yeat - 2 Alivë

Release date: February 18, 2022

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Genres: trap, cloud rap

hello Black Country, New Road - Ants From Up There

Release date: February 4, 2022

I'll start with the album's storytelling, which is perhaps the quality the band improved the most between For the First Time and this endeavor. The metaphors and motifs are diverse, fascinating, and well-developed. I'm not sure I fully comprehend the meaning of every single line on the album, but it paints such vivid, emotionally intense imagery that I can't help but enjoy it. The entire album is based on themes of bad relationships, lack of intimacy, and dread of being alone, which it depicts in a variety of ways, in my opinion.

This album still reminds me of Slint's Spiderland—if not so much in its constant sense of foreboding and instrumental suspense, then in its silence, in its yearning, in its deeply moving emotional vulnerability, in the fact that something feels like it's shifted within you after the album outros and fades to silence. Ants From Up There is a worthy swan song for Isaac, the band's masterwork, and a turning point for the band's underground scene and for rock music as a whole, with Isaac's recent announcement of his retirement from the band. This is a modern classic. Every relisten it gets better. This is a milestone in music, especially post-rock. This is the new standard everyone else is trying to surpass. This is a 10, and if it is any indication of how good 2022 will be for music, we are off to such a fantastic start.