Deap Lips - a team-up of Deap Vally and The Flaming Lips - release their new self-titled album this week. There's also an LP from Circa Waves, the Sad side to their album Sad Happy.
What do you get if you take The Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd and mix them up with Deap Vally duo Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards? You get a hybrid of bluesy garage rock and psychedelic electro rock.
Deap Lips is a multi-layered audio experience with the ability to sweep you along in a soporific haze. Each track is strong enough to stand alone, yet they also appear to merge into one long sigh of release.
After the opening of Home Thru Hell and the sublime soundscape that is One Thousand Sisters With Aluminium Foil Calculators, there is a startling awakening of rage in M***********s Got To Go - starting with an almost classic clap-a-long opening and angry riff. It's very catchy but possibly not to be sung in front of your parents, or your kids for the same reason).
There are two tracks on here that have been out in the ether before, Ke$ha's Love Is Mind Control (an album track written by Coyne) and Steppenwolf's The Pusher.
The only issue with this album is that it's over far too soon.
Ricky Music is Aaron Maine's fourth album as synth-pop outfit Porches, though he records under several other names. The strong live reputation for bringing the party isn't reflected here in downbeat music for headphones rather than the dancefloor, with 11 short tracks lasting only around 26 minutes.
"Wrote some songs", he croons on the track of the same name - fragments of songs in the case of the 33-second PFB - but there's more Autotune than banging tunes.
The production - mostly recorded at his New York flat - is pristine and the album rewards repeated listening, but too many of the one-pace tracks pass without leaving much impression.
Since their formation in 1985, the Glasgow group have had a somewhat roller coaster career, with various line-up changes and even a total split at one point, but now they are back with a fixed line-up and an album of new material.
This is a solid, well-produced set, with big choruses where they are needed and more subtle contemplation when not.
It will, no doubt, please the band's fans and may, given enough exposure, gain them some more.
Sad Happy is a project of two halves: the fourth studio album from indie-rock band Circa Waves, it deals with the duality of sadness and happiness.
Jacqueline explodes with a nostalgic sound that established the Liverpool four-piece as firm festival favourites, while Call Your Name is a jaunty anthem, heavy on drums and guitars.
For the most part, there is nothing sad about the first seven songs - the riffs are upbeat, the lyrics optimistic and the overall sound punchy and cheerful. But the title track slips the second half of the album into a sense of melancholy. Where Wake Up Call's synths give the illusion of joy, it has lyrics of self-deprecation and an air of anxiety.
Full of contrasts and contradictions, Circa Waves' latest release seizes the happy and the sad sides of modern life.
This second album, four years on from debut Tell Me It's Real, and accompanying European headline tour sees Jack Sedman and Harry Draper on the verge of big things.
Striding the line between musical tradition and modern social media savvy - they ran a TikTok dance challenge to accompany the single Magnetic, while Love Won't Let Me Leave was featured on the latest series of ITV's Love Island - the Bridlington duo showcase an almost Bastille-esque electro-tinged pop sensibility on much of the album, notably the spectral title track and the anthemic former single Monsters.
Their more acoustic-driven material, such as Why Do We Stay and the reluctant break-up song Girl I Wish I Didn't Know, provides most of the album's strongest tracks, however, showcasing Sedman's vocals and fragile lyrics at their finest.
Best of all, perhaps, is the piano-led heartbreaker Loving You which, along with Unbreakable, sees the album end with the pair at their very best.