While every publication and music nerd imaginable is prepping their Best of 2022 lists, it’s important to remember that there’s still new music being released, even as the year ends and you’re compelled to look back. We’ve compiled three killer new tracks from some of our favorite D.C. area artists brave enough to release new music in the final weeks of the year.
Ekko Astral – “RENO INT’L”
Ekko Astral’s new EP “QUARTZ” is propulsive mix of garage rock shagginess and the harrowing vocals and chilly guitar tones of your favorite post punk bands. These purveyors of “mascara moshpit music” have crafted a compelling debut, with lyrics drawn from diaries frontwoman Jael Holzman’s kept during the “second puberty” she experienced during her gender transition. Our current favorite track is the mid-tempo barnburner “RENO INT’L,” a moody kiss off to the third largest city in Nevada, with Holzman’s cool delivery backed by an ocean of chiming guitars, before things dissolve into a strangely blissed-out closing passage that finds her praying to HaShem for release. Less overtly rowdy than most of the other tracks on the record, “RENO INT’L” is a perfectly moody throwback to the glory days of gothy guitar music. ekkoastral.bandcamp.com // @ekkoastral
Airospace – “Leave Me Alone”
We’ve been fans of Airospace for a while now (https://districtfray.com/articles/airospace-earthbound-rapper-inspired-stars/), so it’s no surprise we’re loving his latest project, “YOU’RE A LIAR AND YOU SUCK, WHO WOULD LOVE YOU?” With such a hilariously abrasive title, you might expect a bitter breakup album, full of aggression and (self?) loathing, but there’s plenty of levity and personality to be found throughout. One of our favorite tracks is the otherworldly “Leave Me Alone,” an ode to keeping your head down and doing your own thing, which finds the rapper letting loose rapid fire observations peppered across the floaty, spaced-out production from Caleb Fresco that recalls the heyday of early 2010s cloud rap. An intoxicating mix of hyperactive rhyming and borderline ambient production, we’re confident you’ll be playing this on repeat for weeks to come. airospace.bandcamp.com // @airospvce
Glosser – “The Artist”
“The Artist,” the third single from their forthcoming debut LP “DOWNER” out early next year, is at times jittery and others serene, a mix of stuttering, off kilter rhythm and dreamy synths that make the sparse, mysterious track one of our favorite tracks we’ve heard so far from this up-and-coming act. An incisive and unflinching look at the difficulty of creating honest, authentic art, vocalist and producer Riley Fanning sings “sell my soul, what’s mine is yours, no buyers left for all the damaged goods. I shall create what will be great until the life I’ve made comes to eat me” over a shifting landscape of synthesizer textures, giving listeners access to what feels like an artist’s most private thoughts. The band deftly blends influences like Phantogram and Beach House to craft a thoroughly modern vibe, we have a feeling that 2023 is going to be a great year for this dream pop duo. glosserband.bandcamp.com // @glosserband
Enjoy this piece? Consider becoming a member for access to our premium digital content. Support local journalism and start your membership today.