Experimental content hits shelves next week


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Angel Olsen on stage performing. Her EP is releasing next week, along with music by Black Thought and books by Anjan Sundaram and Izumi Suzuki.

By Nick Glover, Lifestyle Editor

Next week, there are a ton of pieces of content coming out. Here are a few things hand-picked for you. 

“Hit Parade of Tears” by Izumi Suzuki

Japanese science-fiction writer Izumi Suzuki’s second English collection of short stories is releasing Tuesday. Suzuki’s works were sold exclusively in Japanese for decades after her death in 1986, but much like other Japanese writers of her generation – I’m looking at you, Yukio Mishima  – her work has taken on a cult following after her death. 

Following a 2021 translation of short stories under the title of “Terminal Boredom,” Suzuki’s newest collection hits the ground running with Suzuki’s campy, over-the-top style. Described by the publisher, Verso, as “wryly anarchic,” Suzuki’s wild yet socially-conscious style seems to be the perfect fit for the current generation of readers. 

“Breakup: A Marriage in Wartime” by Anjan Sundaram 

As a reporter of the atrocities in the Central African Republic, journalist Anjan Sundaram decided to cover reports of ethnic cleansing on the ground. After leaving his family behind in Canada, Sundaram sees first-hand the horrors of genocide and war as he reports on everything happening in the Central African Republic.

This bold and creative memoir looks at the human side of reporting. Sundaram details the trauma from the wickedness around him and the stress the distance put on his marriage. Releasing Tuesday, “Breakup: A Marriage in Wartime” examines personal choices and how helping others can leave you alone. 

El Michels Affair and Black Thought – “Glorious Game”

Black Thought returns for another interesting collaborative album. After 2022’s “Cheat Codes” with Danger Mouse, the rapper of Roots fame worked with El Michels Affair to produce his next record. El Michels Affair worked with hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan throughout the 2000s and 2010s, and later started branching out with other rappers such as Freddie Gibbs. The group sounds like if the Dap Tones did hip-hop – a comparison that tracks, as El Michels Affair’s band leader, Leon Michels, was part of Soul Fire Records, a subsidiary of Daptone Records. 

The four singles from the album that are out now, “I’m Still Somehow,” “Glorious Game,” “That Girl” and “Grateful,” are full of the band’s funk and soul influences which pairs perfectly with Black Thought’s rapid delivery. Releasing on April 14, “Glorious Game” may be one of the best hip-hop albums of the year. 

Angel Olsen – “Forever Means” 

Angel Olsen’s four-track EP “Forever Means” will be released on April 14. Following her 2022 album, “Big Time,” this EP will feature her most recent single, “Nothing’s Free,” along with three other tracks. Looking at “Nothing’s Free” as an example of what’s to come, Olsen’s versatile voice will pair with smooth and emotional jazz backing tracks. 

Olsen leaves a lot of space for the musicians playing behind her to shine: The second half of “Nothing’s Free” is completely instrumental, featuring saxophone and organ. This sound is juxtaposed by the first minute of the song with simple and natural piano comping, quiet and brushed drums and Olsen’s almost-whispered voice. 

Look out for “Forever Means” next week.