New Music Friday: 13th Floor New Album Picks: February 23, 2024

New Music Friday is here again! There are some excellent new releases we need to tell you about including three Kiwi artists other than L.A.B.

Yes, L.A.B release their VI album today on Loop, but here are five more new albums and E.P.s that The 13th Floor’s Marty Duda thinks you should know about.

  1. Greg JohnsonGreg JohnsonThunder In Fall (Self) The LA-based Kiwi’s 13th studio album and its a beauty. Its a dark album about which Greg says, “I bought an old upright piano for two hundred dollars, sight unseen. It turned out to be a beautiful American Baldwin, with a wonderful sound. So I decided to build the album around 5 main elements: the piano, analogue synth, a classic 808 drum machine, trumpet and voices.” Johnson concludes “I’m really pleased with this album. It’s close to the sound I’ve been trying to achieve my whole career.” Greg Tours NZ in March and watch for an interview on The 13th Floor.

Bird Machine2. Bird MachineHey Human EP (Self) Rock and roll from Hamilton. Luke and Jenna Grbin are Bird Machine and this 5-song EP is a unique mix of classic rock, shoegaze and grunge. It’s what Luke and Jenna describe as, “diverse facets of human experiences in relationships and self-discovery, with every track delving into unique dimensions of the human journey.” Check out their just-recorded 13th Floor Singles Session and hear an exclusive acoustic version of St Elmo’s Fire.   The EP  version combines dreamy verses, driving guitars, catchy vocal hooks and the ultimate chorus build. Bird Machine say they hope the track encourages listeners to “resist artificial influences, and keep their eyes open to the genuine realities of life.”

Hurray For The Riff Raff3. Hurray For The Riff RaffThe Past Is Still Alive (Nonesuch) Ninth album for the band (aka Alynda Segarra) who says,  “The Past Is Still Alive is an album grappling with time, memory, love and loss, recorded in Durham, NC a month after losing my Father. ‘Alibi’ is a plea, a last ditch effort to get through to someone you already know you’re gonna lose. It’s a song to myself, to my Father, almost fooling myself because I know what’s done is done. But it feels good to beg. A reckoning with time and memory. The song is exhausted with loving someone so much it hurts. Addiction separates us. With memories of the Lower East Side in the early 2000s of my childhood, mixed with imagery of the endless West that calls to artists and wanderers.”

4.MGMT MGMTLoss Of Life (Mom + Pop) Band’s 5th studio album and first since 2018. In a statement about the LP, Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser said, “All joking aside (never!), we are very proud of this album and the fact that it was a relatively painless birth after a lengthy gestation period, and are happy to be releasing this baby into the world with Mom+Pop.” They added, “Musically speaking, we are running at around 20% adult contemporary and no more than this, please.”

Church & AP5. Church & APPostal (YKK) Church & AP have recorded their second album, Postal at The Church in Woodhill outside of Auckland, with long-time producer Dera Meelan and members of their extended YKK artist collective. New single ‘Nightmare’ is a track about the weight and responsibility we carry as the new generation from immigrant families.