With so much new music released each and every day, it can be daunting to try to sift through the stream for hidden gems. That’s why, every few months, Pitchfork’s writers and editors round up a list of generally overlooked recent releases deserving of your attention. None of these were named Best New Music and, in some cases, they weren’t even reviewed on Pitchfork at all. But they’re all worth a listen. From the heavy doom of Divide and Dissolve to the spare, textured jazz of cktrl, to VanJess’ funky R&B, and much more, there’s something for everyone here.

(All releases featured here are independently selected by our editors. When you buy something through our retail links, however, Pitchfork may earn an affiliate commission.)


Interscope

Celeste: Not Your Muse

Any internet commenter within earshot of British vocalist Celeste has noted hints of Amy Winehouse in her voice, especially when it cracks over the slow-dance strings of “Beloved” or her horn-filled single “Love Is Back.” On her debut album Not Your Muse, she defines herself in terms of who she isn’t: neither someone’s object (“Decorate me, adore me, baby/But I can’t be owned,” she sings on the title track) nor an abstract fantasy. As she describes the familiar, disturbing motions of intimacy, faint strings and macabre melodies produce a quiet melancholy. It’s a fairly warm, though uneven introduction to an artist whose voice is already ubiquitous in Brit circles and growing. –Clover Hope

Listen: Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal


Touching Bass

cktrl: Robyn EP

Bradley Miller, aka cktrl, is a stalwart of the London jazz scene, and his latest EP, Robyn, carries forth his focus on spare, yet textured work that takes its influence from R&B and grime. While 2018’s Songs4girls and 2019’s Colour reflected his commitment to broken beats, Robyn is fixated on elongated passages of clarinet and saxophone. For most of the EP, Miller is accompanied by Duval Timothy on keys. The two gently whirl around each other; Timothy’s looping piano melodies provide a centering presence, while Miller turns out phrases of exacting resonance. His saxophone technique brings to mind the airy experimentations of Jan Garbarek, yet the focus and direction of Miller’s playing seem to emanate from his unique obsessions with spaced-out grooves. –Hubert Adjei-Kontoh

Listen: Apple Music | Bandcamp | Spotify | Tidal


2572569 Records DK

D-Town Brass: Demiurge

The fanfare of D-Town Brass’s Demiurge belies the ensemble’s rollout of the album, which the horn-heavy North Carolina jazz band quietly slipped on Bandcamp in December. From the opening squeals of “Horse Fucker,” the ensemble’s squad of saxophones lead the charge, joined by trombones, clarinets, and multiple percussionists. Heat swells out of “Human Resources,” and the band remembers that the revolution can be groovy on “Cobbler’s Dream.” The record’s vocal sections outline a dystopic, hypercapitalist future, and monologues aren’t so much spoken as shouted. With one time Sun Ra Arkestra associate Ken Moshesh in the rhythm section, D-Town Brass charge forward into their terrifying tech-addled future; Demiurge is loud and ferocious, well-suited to scorching away seasonal apathy. –Allison Hussey

Listen: Apple Music | Bandcamp | Spotify


Invada Records

Divide and Dissolve: Gas Lit

Melbourne doom duo Divide and Dissolve fight for Black and Indigenous liberation using torrential noise “to undermine and destroy the white supremacist colonial framework.” Across the incendiary instrumental tracks of their third album, Gas Lit, guitarist Takiaya Reed and drummer Sylvie Nehill use sirening saxophones and blown-out drone metal to set systemic injustices ablaze. A spoken-word poem by Minori Sanchiz-Fung describes the violence of capitalism, and the colossal force of the music joins with the poet’s words to push back against it. “Don’t forget, this too, this too, is our time/Our spirit is not weaker/It is waiting on us to decide,” Sanchiz-Fung intones, “What it is, that we will honor while we are alive.” –Jenn Pelly