September feels like a month full of transitions. The school year is winding up, leaves begin to drop, and summer passes its seasonal baton to autumn. These transitions can been anxiety-inducing—I’m still reluctant to accept fall and the impending cold front that’s inevitably about to hit Minnesota. But I’ve found some comfort in this month’s new releases. Some find joy in life’s uncertainties, and others reassure you that when things are constantly in motion, sometimes all you can do is enjoy the ride alongside your friends.
I’ve been eagerly awaiting Chastity Belt’s latest album, and am certainly not disappointed. The album’s themes echo sentiments in singer/guitarist Julia Shapiro’s June-released solo album Perfect Vision—feeling exhausted from the grind of making music and unsure of your identity as an artist, or even as a human being. Chastity Belt doesn’t claim to have all the answers, but it delivers heartwarming songs to soothe the spiraling thoughts. Sometimes you just need to call up your bandmates and take a spin in your RAV-4 to feel okay.
Lili Trifilio started Beach Bunny as a solo project, and it has since evolved to a full band that backs her emo-inspired pop songs. This month, Trifilio returned to her self-producing roots by releasing the EP Book Club, which she recorded and released independently.
Singer-songwriter Britt AM released the album Psychic Knots earlier this month via Good Egg Records. The album both channels the explosive rage of punk and slips into soft pop ballads, confronting gender oppression and “the exhaustion of living under late stage capitalism.”
Boston-based band pushflowers released their debut EP close for comfort earlier this month. If you want to learn more about pushflowers, and how one of their members left her New York acting career to follow her dream of pursuing music, check out my conversation with Rocío Del Mar.
In Rosie Tucker’s latest single, “Ambrosia,” love and longing are smothered in cool whip and served with a side of goosebump-inducing vocal swells. Tucker lets their voice soar to stratospheric heights and slink through chromatic passages with ease, delivering the knockout revelation: “Nothing is simple just ’cause you wish that it is.”
Swiss singer-songwriter Janine Cathrein released a new EP as Black Sea Dahu on September 27 via Mouthwatering Records. Cathrein blends the metallic twang of steel string acoustic guitar with a dynamic backing band to create empathetic songs to soothe heartache and loss.
Listen to these songs, and the rest of September’s New Music Playlist using the player below: