Culture / Music

Our pick of the best new music to drop this month

new music april 2023

As the weather gets cooler and darker, we find ourselves drawing nearer to music that is sombre, stripped-back and impossibly vulnerable. For this reason, Angel Olsen, PJ Harvey, Chris Lanzon, Julie Byrne and Feist are just some of the musicians soundtracking our lives during April 2023. As for the other new music releases we're listening to in April 2023? Keep scrolling.


With A Hammer, Yaeji

Release date: April 7

RUSSH production editor, Cassandra Dimitroff, recommended With A Hammer by Yaeji recently and I haven't looked back. The hammer on the album cover art is the metaphor that ties each song to each other. Threaded by anger – at violence against Asian-Americans and the revelations unearthed by BLM – but the kind that can be regenerative just as much as it can destroy. The album's sweet-talking, fast-paced bilingual vocals hammer into you, and with each thumping beat, your body rises to meet it. Be sure to snap up tickets to see Yaeji perform at Vivid LIVE.


Change, Laurel

Release date: April 12

Laurel returned to Australia to perform a string of shows with pit stops at Groovin' the Moo. Halfway through, the British-born, LA-based artist dropped Change, her first single since 2022 track Obsessed. With the experimental sound of muses Caroline Polachek and Charli XCX, Laurel delivers a track to mourn the end of a relationship. You’re holding on and telling each other you will change if only you could have one more chance," she says. "In the end, it’s always just words, living in a fantasy, scared to let go of the dream rather than the person.”


Forever Means, Angel Olsen

Release date: April 14

Angel Olsen returns with an EP that bridges past and present. For those who came to Olsen via her 2014 record, Burn Your Fire For No Witness, you'll find remnants of her sober and haunting warble here. Tracks like Time Bandits and Holding On make bold work of guitar solos, while the remaining two songs send up a more stripped-back version, where her vocals take pride of place.


Multitudes, Feist

Release date: April 14

Life (the birth of her daughter) and death (the sudden passing of her father) purged Feist of any artifice, performative tendencies, and her new record – the first since 2017 album Pleasure – is led by this vulnerability, first. The songs are comforting yet matter-of-fact, deliberate yet messy, warm and deeply immersive like an open fire.


Time Tells, Voldy (ft. Big Skeez)

Release date: April 14

Ambient and rounded, as though the sound was coming from the depths of the ocean, Time Tells replicates the feeling of heartache and uncertainty. It's a track that lingers in your throat, refusing to settle. Another soulful entry from the Melbourne-based rapper.


Selfish Soul, Sudan Archives, ODESZA

Release date: April 16

Back in 2022, Sudan Archives shared Selfish Soul, an anthem for Black women that celebrates their hair. Almost a year to the date, American electronic duo ODESZA remixes the track, with an opening beat redolent of Intro by The XX. We never thought it possible to improve a Sudan Archives song, look who was wrong.


Motor in the Sand, Forest Claudette

Release date: April 21

In the words of Forest Claudette himself, Motor in the Sand is his "choose chaos song". "It centers around this energy of turning into the skid. When you don’t know exactly what you’re gonna do next but you feel like there’s time for a quick detour or maybe you can’t turn away from it. It’s an acknowledgement of the destructive ideas and feelings I had in my head at the time as well as some of the people around me." It's short and sweet, a reminder that sometimes you need to cave into the motion.


Summer Glass, Julie Byrne

Release date: April 24

I can't say if it was devotion/I just wanted to feel the sun on my skin/I brought myself to the edge of the water/Crossed the river to remember who I am.

It's been six years since we last heard from Julie Byrne, with her album Not Even Happiness. While her latest record, The Greater Wings, will drop on July 7, the self-taught musician offered us the sound of Summer Glass to tide us over until then. The lyrics read like poetry and the serene synths build to a overwhelming euphoria. More, please.


No More Lies, Thundercat & Tame Impala

Release date: April 26

Film people have insisted that romantic-comedies are back on that cards for a while now, and I like to think this spirit is drifting over into music now too. At least it is in No More Lies, the love child of Thundercat and Tame Impala, which takes humour and woozy synths and fuses it into a song about the humbling sides of modern love.


A Child's Question, August, PJ Harvey

Release date: April 27

Love me tender, tender love. Out of the fog, Polly Jean Harvey's soprano comes cooing out, a noise that feels both disquieting and comforting. In July, PJ Harvey is set to release her tenth album, I Inside the Year Dying, and its lead single offers a glimpse of what it could hold, which includes references to Elvis, a longstanding fascination of Harvey's.


Dark Side, Chris Lanzon

Release date: April 27

Chris Lanzon is a name you may recognise, the 22-year-old artist was thrust into the music industry at 13 when he auditioned for The Voice Kids. While the TV show gave Lanzon a platform, he's spent the past five years taking ownership of his own identity as an artist and Dark Side marks the final instalment to his Melancholy EP trilogy, where he digests those years through music. Lo-fi, vulnerable and searching, Dark Side is the antithesis to the slick songs Lanzon was creating as part of boy band In Stereo. A creative overhaul we'll be watching with bated breath.


Become, Beach House

Release date: April 28

Beach House has always soundtracked our more starry-eyed moments, and while we feel little can hold a candle to the masterpiece that was the band's 2022 album Once Twice Melody, that won't stop us from listening to the gauzy, twinkly sound of Become on loop.


Ends & Begins, Labrinth

Release date: April 28

Maybe it's the obvious association with Euphoria, but Labrinth creates music that inflames our emotionally-charged moments. It's heady and outsized, and to listen to Kill For Your Love feels like being swept up in a wave and dragged out to the darkest depths of the ocean.


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