Five Things We Liked Last Week – 19/05/23

Further Listening:

5. I Just Can’t Find The Words For Kitba

Another artist from the seemingly never-ending Brooklyn music machine, Rebecca Kitba Bryson El-Saleh is a songwriter and trained harpist who performs as Kitba. A graduate of the Houston High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (see also a little-known artist by the name of Beyoncé), Rebecca went on to study at the University of Toronto, and in recent years has performed on records by the likes of mmeadows, Cassandra Jenkins, and JG Thirlwell. Recently Kitba announced details of their self-titled debut album, set for release this summer on Ruination Record Co. and made with co-producer Zubin Hensler along with a string of hugely talented co-collaborators. Ahead of the release Kitba has shared the first taster of the record, My Words Don’t Work.

Although now being shared as a snapshot of the album from which it comes, Kitba recalls how My Words Don’t Work almost didn’t make it on at all, “I tried not to put this on the album and was initially embarrassed to show itthe vulnerability of saying something this direct felt uncomfortable“. Thankfully the support of Zubin encouraged the track to not just appear but shine, a reworking of the track that initially appeared as a stripped-back version on a benefit compilation for Whateverʼs Clever, and is now reimagined as a luxurious explosion of musical textures, with layers of swelling, echoing vocals, percussive clatter and the presence of an almost ominous electronic pulse. As Kitba explains, the track explores, “an inability to articulate oneself and the yearning felt when trying to convey anything that means anything“, as they sing “I chew on my consonants the words stick on my tongue barely fumble past my lips and then hang in the air”. What’s evident instantly is that Kitba is no ordinary musician, it takes someone who truly knows their instrument to reimagine it like this, to take all the cliched ideas of the harp and spin them into something entirely different, take the lush and orchestral and repurpose them as droning intensity, ringing new textures from old strings until they’re barely recognisable, and all the more special and thrillingly different for it.

Kitba’s self-titled album is out July 21st via Ruination Record Co. For more information on Kitba visit

4. The Saxophones Are Just Mad About The Boy

Based out of Oakland, California, The Saxophones are the married couple of Alexi Erenkov and Alison Alderdice. Back in 2020 the pair released their second long-player, Eternity Bay. For the follow up the pair descended on Phil Elverum’s Unknown Studio in Anacortes, Washington. There they lived in the former Catholic Church 24/7, able to work whenever creativity struck, recording live to tape. The result is their new record, To Be A Cloud, due out next week via Full Time Hobby, and the pair recently shared the latest single from it, Boy Crazy.

Now while you might be expecting this to be a song about the danger of Dream-phone like teenage crushes, Boy Crazy actually comes from a very different period in life, parenthood. As Alexi explains, the track comes from bringing up boys at a time when the ravages of masculinity are becoming clearer, “Alison and I have started raising two boys of our own. We want them to grow confident but not become domineering, entitled, or hurtful. This song is inspired by the challenge of gracefully parenting in this context”. This thoughtful exploration is set to a soundtrack that’s both melodically sweeping and just a little bit unnerving, in the same way that Timber Timbre can sing the sweetest love song and make it sounds like a threat, here Alexi’s statement, “boy crazy, for you, boy crazy it’s true”, is a sweet indication of a father’s love, but one wrapped up in his hopes and fears, “to give myself a second chance through you, it’s true, that’s why I do the things I do”. The care The Saxophones have for their children is mirrored here in their music, a record that seems mindful of every decision, thoughtful, ambitious music and quite possibly the best The Saxophones have ever sounded.

To Be A Cloud is out June 2nd via Full Time Hobby. For more information on The Saxophones visit

3. Asher White Is Blooming Marvelous

Despite being only 22 and releasing music for just eight years, Asher White already has a self-released back catalogue of over a dozen albums, celebrating finishing each one by wasting no time in starting the next. Now signed to Ba Da Bing Records, her latest effort, New Excellent Woman is a distillation of everything that came before, a record of anxiety and intimacy, a view of the world from her own lens of queer sexual politics and transgender identity. With the record set to arrive into the world this week, last week saw Asher share the latest track from the album, Garden.

A garden, a place of growth and rebirth is quite a fitting place to enter New Excellent Woman, a record Asher suggests is, “built from detritus”. It’s a deliberately open-ended statement, one that could be taken literally, the record was made from scavenged keyboards, charity shop amplifiers and whatever Asher could lay her hands on, but also as a metaphor for growth, for picking up the residue of a life and building something new out of it, with all the losses, gains and renewal that implies. Musically, the track is a wonderful combination of the minimal and the opulent, at times it falls back to almost nothing, then comes bursting back into life with washes of strings, like Nick Drake or Joanna Newsom if they made records in their kitchens with whatever instruments they had lying around. To the fore throughout is Asher’s vocal, she flickers from quiet contemplation to bursts of pure joy, in particular the three word chorus, “everything I want”, which serves as a mantra to remind yourself to take what you deserve. The track ends with a wonderful intensity, the strings growing in intensity as the guitar, courtesy of Eli Winter, becomes a loose Latin-influenced explosion, if it ends up on a Wes Anderson soundtrack sometime in the future I won’t be at all surprised. Asher White is an artist for the modern world, there’s a restlessness here and a positivity too, a sense of someone who really feels it, the highs and lows of the modern world and its ever shifting-sands, asking us to change the things we can and learn to cope with the ones we can’t, New Excellent Woman by name, and simply excellent by nature.

New Excellent Woman is out May 26th via Ba Da Bing. For more information on Asher White visit

2. Melenas Go On The B Of The Bang

Hailing from Pamplona, a city more famous for stampeding bulls than stomping music, Melenas came crashing to the world’s attention with their self-titled album back in 2017. Along the way they caught the ear of the Trouble In Mind imprint who released their 2020 album, Dias Raros, and are on board again for their upcoming offering Ahora, the band’s attempt to answer a question that possibly wasn’t even asked, “can you make jangle pop and garage rock with synthesizers?” Alongside the announcement of the record’s September release, last week the band also shared the stunning first single from it, Bang.

Calling your return Bang is a pretty strong statement of intent, thankfully it’s a song that very much lives up to its title. It is a song that celebrates the liberation of saying no, as Melenas sing, “será mejor seguir andando, el tiempo es nuestro y no te doy ni un rato” (it will be better to keep walking, time is ours and I won’t give you a moment). That communal celebration manifests in a song that sounds not just defiant but utterly joyous, like the musical lovechild of LCD Soundsystem and Shonen Knife. It is a song that seems to just induce movement, a tapping foot at your work desk, a flailing explosion of arms on a dancefloor, driving rhythms topped with twitching synths, tapping into some primal kinetic urge to trip the light fantastic. At one point in the song they sing, “el tiempo es nuestro” (time is ours), if all of Ahora is this joyous then you wouldn’t bet against it.

Ahora is out September 29th via Trouble In Mind. For more information on Melenas visit

1. Maple Glider Isn’t One To Kiss And Tell

It was back in the Summer of 2021 that the world last heard from Naarm/Melbourne-based artist, Tori Zietsch, aka Maple Glider. That was around the release of her critically lauded debut album, To Enjoy is the Only Thing, a record of religious restrictions, the coming and going of love and travelling the world in search of answers. Two years on, and with the promise of a new album before the year is out, this week Tori shared the first new material since that record, new single, Don’t Kiss Me.

Although nearly lost as an unloved voice note on Tori’s phone, Don’t Kiss Me was uncovered after two years, and finally made sense, “I felt so connected and ready for it when I found it again that I started playing it regularly at shows“. The track is one of unwanted affections and lecherous eyes, as she recalls, “It’s a song about consent, and the experience of being predated on by older menI think many of us are aware of that strong urge to say ‘fuck off’ and be left to our own”. Musically, the track is a masterful slow build, you can almost feel Tori’s anger swelling with each unwanted advance and lecherous gaze cast her way, any initial sweetness in the melody lost to a swell of chunky guitars, crashing drums and layered vocal hows, as she repeatedly sings, “sometimes my own body, doesn’t feel like my body, but definitely don’t kiss me”. Within the anger, there’s also pride and empowerment, by standing there as a success story, hitting back at those who tried to dim her light and sharing these stories, Maple Glider has become a star entirely of her own making.

Don’t Kiss Me is out now via Pieater / Partisan Records. For more information on Maple Glider visit

Header photo is Maple Glider by Bridgette Winten.

Success! You're on the list.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s