Musical staff

Exclaim Staff Picks! for July 18, 2022: NADUH, Empress Of, Mush

Photos (clockwise from top left): Report by Colin Medley, NADUH courtesy of the artist, Empress Of by Rodrigo Álvarez, Mush by Sophie Jouvenaar

Posted on July 18, 2022

As promised, we — the esteemed Exclaim! staff, your favorite mix of music nerds – are back with another roundup of new releases we think everyone should hear. After a groundbreaking first week of Exclaim!’s Staff Picks, we hold ourselves accountable for this weekly format with more new music to which we respectively gave our coveted stamp of approval; of “Ah!” moments to A-ha moments.

Do you always want more ? Check out our latest album reviews for newer albums worthy of your attention.

Katie Bejsiuk
woman on the moon
(Double Double Whammy)

If you’ve felt the Free Cake for Every Creature-shaped hole in your heart lately, good news: Katie Bejsiuk (née Bennett) – frontman of the now defunct Philadelphia-based indie rock band – is back with a new solo project. . And while it’s a slightly less twisted affair, his solo debut woman on the moon is packed with the sentimentality, ASMR vocals, and teenage DIY energy that made Free Cake so great. Don’t miss “Olive, NY” and “Candy Cigarettes.”
Allie Gregoire

king of drums

king of drums is Buck 65 like you haven’t heard in years, if not decades. Coming alongside a coffers drain on Bandcamp, born MC producer Rich Terfry’s latest is built on breaks, which he considers hip-hop’s most fundamental musical element. Whether collecting and cataloging wax drums, or sharing his finds with fellow crate diggers via a newsletter or a secret Instagram alias, this love of rhythm has invigorated his writing chops and of production ; both still mean and weird after all this time.
Calum Slingerland

empress of
Save me
(Major Arcana / Theory of Theory)

Sorry, Drake – Empress Of prefers his pop house with a bit more disco. As soon as the frenzied bursts of strings of Save meThe opening track kicks off, the EP sees Lorely Rodriguez in the flow of her previous three albums, breaking new ground with hard-hitting fours on the floor in dancefloor tradition. These hot-blooded songs lean into formulas compared to some of his experimental precedents, but the searing urgency of their emotional complexity makes repetition feel increasingly liberating.
Megan LaPierre

salute the dead
new bottom
(Death wish)

A looser song collection than 2019’s new hellGreet Death find new heights on their new bottom EP, incorporating country and folk ambling into their massive sonic walls. The Michigan-based group has never been short of ideas, but new bottom feels like their “Aha!” moment, the quartet settles into what it was always meant to be. There’s no better example than the magnificent “Your Love is Alcohol”, which might just be their biggest hit yet.
Kaelen Bell

stop work
(Memphis Industries)

Despite their malleable nickname, the Mush are anything but; the solid tools behind the Leeds band’s off-center indie rock are refined on their third album, setting them apart from the oversaturated British post-punk crowd. A touch of satire and cartoonish charm in light of the weariness of it all undermined the entire record, crescendoing in the final minute of the title track. Amid the stress and meltdowns at work, bursts of loud artistic rock make the general malaise that much more fun.
Kayla Higgins


We’ve all been tormented by desperation to get male attention, but NADUH has the antidote. On the first EP HOMIESEXUALS, the girl group from East Vancouver harnesses the power of friendship, sisterhood and trust to neutralize even the most suave of fuckbois. They complete their mix of hip-hop, R&B and pop with cheeky nods to mega-hits and lyrics about being born from Venus’ “shining asshole”, healing the masses with “fat pussy energy” and their central mantra of “Venus on penis”.
Matt Bobkin

Floating through the Wonderwave
(Arbutus Records)

As in 2019 In the dark EP, Toronto synthpop project Rapport offers a perfect 80s throwback that could easily slot into a playlist between A-ha and Cyndi Lauper with nothing looking out of place. Besides delivering absolutely perfect retro pop, they show signs of evolution with the jangle twee of “Trial Run,” and they catch Air with the brooding electronic seduction of “My Bed.”
Alex Hudson

Ron Trent
What do the stars tell you
(Night Time Stories Ltd.)

With over three decades of creating dance music under his belt, Ron Trent leaves the club on his last to create a record for the mind; an invigorating and lush mix of house, jazz-funk, new age and more, with instrumentation and arrangement that sport color and texture in spades. Joining this fusion are members of Azymuth and Khruangbin, as well as Jean-Luc Ponty, and I would be remiss not to mention the continuous backing mix helmed by François Kevorkian for even further exploration.
Calum Slingerland

Well my sister

Jaymie Von Riesen’s musician nickname is apt: Well Sister is a folk musical exploration of well-being – the ways we heal and the wounds that need healing. On her debut album, the Winnipegger uses a lush palette of instruments to capture the ebbs and flows of her relationship with mental illness and spirituality. Multiple passages are necessary to digest the lyrics (“Thoughts won’t kill, they’ll only watch / And I have your hand and your fearful heart” on “Annie”), the arrangements (the saxophone and voice playing on “Do Not Fear”) and muted overall splendor (best heard on closer “All Will Be Well”).
Matt Bobkin