Stream of the Crop: 9 New Albums for Heavy Rotation
New projects from Wild Beasts, Noname, and Jesse Boykins III top our list this week.
Photo via Giggs on Instagram
When drawing up this week's list of notable releases, we capitulated to the inevitable and included Frank Ocean’s Boys Don’t Cry. Sure, we put a big ol’ asterisk right next to it and a note saying “Probably not, but still,” but we still included it and we still feel a little silly. Well, there’s no new Frank Ocean album this week because of course there’s not. It’s your fault for staying up to midnight, at this point. You only have yourself to blame.
But for the love of all that’s good, let this not overshadow what has been an exceptionally good week for new projects dropping. We even had a long-awaited release from an artist who many had begun to suspect might be playing us. And it turned out to be exceptionally good. Does the fact that Noname's Telefone lived up to expectations magically mean that Boys Don't Cry will be good? Probably, yes.
Wild Beasts - Boy King
Critical darlings Wild Beasts return with their first album since 2014’s Present Tense. The British quartet’s fifth LP was recorded in Dallas, Texas with John Congleton (Swans, St Vincent) and is expected to deal with the damaging impact of masculinity in the 21st Century. They’re never not ambitious.
Noname - Telefone
More than two years after announcing the release of her debut full-length project, Chicago’s Noname finally dropped Telefone on Sunday night. It’s a project that we think made the world a slightly better place, and one that finally cements her place as a gifted and terrifyingly consistent young artist.
Lil Uzi Vert - The Perfect Luv Tape
Lil Uzi Vert dropped The Perfect Luv Tape on his birthday because of course he did, he’s Lil Uzi Vert. It’s his second tape this year and it features yet another Future collaboration. It’s unlikely to unite the internet—his style is always going to be divisive—but fans are getting more and more of what they want.
Dinosaur Jr - Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not
How is it that Dinosaur Jr can reform and hit their stride while so many other bands of their generation toil away in the mire of cheap nostalgia? Their first album since 2012’s I Bet on Sky—which, again, kinda ruled—is out on the ever-impressive Jagjaguwar label.
Jesse Boykins III - Bartholomew
Jesse Boykins III’s latest mixtape features Noname, Mick Jenkins, Willow Smith, Donnie Trumpet, and Dej Loaf among its cavalcade of prominent, thoroughly exciting guests. Jenkins is uniquely qualified to pull all that talent together, too, with a brilliant track record of gorgeous soul collaborations.
Toro y Moi - Live From Trona
Chazwick Bundick’s new project as Toro y Moi is a play on the concert film, shot over one day in the desert of Trona, California. There’s no crowd, no interference outside of the mirror monoliths and mountains that provide the backdrop. It’s a brilliant showcase for his odd mesh of indie and R ’n’ B. Read our interview with Bundick on the project right here.
Giggs - Landlord
As grime has risen on both sides of the Atlantic, Giggs has become the stuff of legend. Grime’s first true gangster rapper, his slow, steady, sometimes sinister drawl has popped up on most of the genre’s major releases over the last few years, but there’s been no full release from the Peckham-born rapper since 2013’s When Will It Stop. Stormzy, Dubz, Donae’o, Aystar, Youngs Teflon, and Rico Love all turn up on his fourth LP. He spent the night of the album's release talking to Beats 1 about it, too.
2 Chainz - Daniel Son; Necklace Don
First off, you don’t see may albums that effectively employ the semicolon, but 2 Chainz has stepped up here. His third project of the year, after Felt Like Cappin and Collegrove, features another Drake collaboration and some genuinely brilliant artwork.
Russian Circles - Guidance
Russian Circles are very fucking loud. They’ve been loud for ten years, since the continuous, relentless immersion of their debut, and now, on their sixth LP, they’re not letting up. The instrumental Chicago trio’s sixth LP is a decadent, immersive affair, produced by Kurt Ballou of Coverge.
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