Exclaim!'s Staff Picks for October 12, 2022: Mura Masa, Sarah Davachi, Emma Beko

Photos (clockwise from top left): Mura Masa by Amy Peskett, Emma Beko by Antoine Giroux, Say She She by Milton Arellano, Sarah Davachi by Sean McCann

BY Exclaim! StaffPublished Oct 12, 2022

Between the return of Blink-182's classic lineup, the impending Something Corporate reunion and hell, even that eight-year-old Nickelback song you'd forgotten about making the rounds on thirsty TikTok, it's safe to say that everyone's feeling a little nostalgic right now. Which is fine! But we're always here to encourage you to try new things — and some of said new things in this week's round of Exclaim!'s Staff Picks might even harness that nostalgia in different ways, especially if you've been hankering for Y2K or the sweet drone of pipe organ.

We also continue to keep things both funky and fresh in the album reviews section, which is shaded with some stunning blues right now.

Emma Beko
Superficial Stains

"When you pry, I'll decline / Privacy's my sanctuary, safe is divine," Heartstreets' Emma Beko flows on "Happiness" with the affected-yet-detached manner at its (all-too relatable) symptomatic centre. Vulnerability is tempered by paywalls on the second of the Montrealer's pair of 2022 EPs, intended as the latter half of a two-part album — a byte-sized addendum to BLUE follow-up Digital Damage that likewise traces the indelible scars at the intersection of tech and trauma. The skittering "$" subverts luxury rap tropes to evoke financial insecurity, glitching out as Beko pleas, "I just wanna spend my life!"
Megan LaPierre

Sarah Davachi
Two Sisters
(Late Music)

Following 2021's Antiphonals, Sarah Davachi's Two Sisters has sidled its way into my rotation of fall favourites with its breadth of immersive tones and instrumentation. One is first welcomed into a "Hall of Mirrors" by the foreboding bells of the world's third-largest carillon, ahead of enveloping compositions recorded with droning electronics, a solemn choir, a rare tracker pipe organ from Italy, and layers of trombone and quartertone bass flute. The way in which Davachi draws from music of the past and present makes for a reflective listen — particularly with the "Icon Studies" and "Harmonies…" pieces.
Calum Slingerland

Mura Masa
demon time

Alex Crossan broke the mould with 2020's R.Y.C, and with his latest album, the UK producer has continued to experiment with his signature sound and roster of collaborators in equal measure. demon time finds Crossan teaming up with rising stars like PinkPantheress and Shygirl, as well as established names like Lil Uzi Vert and slowthai, deploying aesthetic sensibilities from hyperpop and future bass to dancehall with a deftness of a producer who's quietly earned his stripes over the course of five studio albums. 
Allie Gregory

Say She She 
"Pink Roses"
(Karma Chief)

The sunny harmonies that dance over Say She She's soul pop are enough to fight off some of that seasonal moodiness. Their new record Prism is full of shimmering, uplifting funk, but it's "Pink Roses" that finds light among darker elements. "I feel the warmth of you / Always in the room / Guiding me through this life," the band sings over each other, rounding out the juxtaposition in an airy and passive way.
Sydney Brasil

Swim Team

Y2K is cool again and Franz Ferdinand are classic rock now — and Vancouver art rock trio Swim Team are here to follow 2019's V with a DFA Records throwback that's thankfully a hell of a lot better than Weezer's. Hurricane standouts like "Innocent" and "Chain Reaction" aim for the hips with their bass-driven dance grooves, while "Wild Card" and "Eyes Closed" take reprieve in the chill-out room with vibey synths and mellow rhythms.
Alex Hudson

They Are Gutting a Body of Water / A Country Western 
An Insult to the Sport

This split EP from two of Philadelphia's most inscrutable, live-wire bands is a sprawling web of sound, equal parts gentle breeze and electroshock. TAGABOW's opening one-two punch — the ragged smear of "Elephant" and fractious glitch of "The Brazil" — demolish the structures of shoegaze and classic indie rock before inviting A Country Western to play in the rubble with their own three-song run. "Keeping Up with the Joneses" is like Pavement put through a meat grinder, while brief closer "Crossing Out My Lines" is a grounding exercise in melody and songcraft after so much swirling destruction. Though it pulls from decades past, An Insult to the Sport sounds like the future. 
Kaelen Bell

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