Stream of the Crop: 11 New Albums for Heavy Rotation

New albums from Anderson .Paak, Ryley Walker, and Mariah Carey top this week's list.

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Nov 16 2018, 3:59pm

L: Paras Griffin/Getty Images
R: Paul Bergen/Redferns

Every week, the Noisey staff puts together a list of the best and most important albums, mixtapes, and EPs from the past seven days. Sometimes it includes projects we’ve written about on the site already; sometimes it's just made up of great records that we want everyone to hear, but never got the chance to write about. The result is neither comprehensive nor fair. We hope it helps.

Anderson .Paak: Oxnard

The smooth lines of his two 2016 LPs—the solo Malibu and the onomatopoeically titled Knxwledge collaboration Yes Lawd!—have been sharpened here on the last of Anderson .Paak's "beach series" LPs. Every time the rapper-drummer-singer drops into some supple soul, he pulls himself out just as quickly, snapping into fractious (and wittily satirical) protest songs or brittle, funk-heavy hip-hop defiance. Some of that's likely down to Dr. Dre, credited as a producer on three songs and the exec producer of the record overall; but just as much of it is a reflection of the more frightening world that .Paak's writing for now. "This shit gon' bang at least six summers / But ain't shit gon' change for at least three summers," he croons on the supple "6 Summers." Hard to argue with either point. — Alex Robert Ross

Ryley Walker: The Lillywhite Sessions

Ryley Walker is indie rock's merry prankster, but that doesn't mean that this, a full-length recreation of a lost Dave Matthews Band demo from 2000, is a piss-take. He's figured out that most modern indie bands sound like the once-derided Steely Dan; he sees no reason why DMB shouldn't have the same renaissance. He makes a fine case for it on The Lillywhite Sessions, combining the easy pop-rock of "Diggin' a Ditch" and the lovelorn easy listening of "Grace Is Gone" with abrasive interludes and careening jazz stretches. It's an unlikely success. Maybe it'll turn us all into DMB fans. If and when that happens, just remember that hardcore fans call him Dave. — Alex Robert Ross

Mariah Carey: Caution

Mariah Carey is the queen of the rebrand. It’s been almost 30 years since her debut album and somehow Mimi is still able to keep up with the times. Executive produced by DJ Mustard, Caution, her 15th studio album, finds Carey sparring with Ty Dolla $ign and Gunna for the rap fusion she popularized nearly two decades ago. The singer isn’t afraid to tell you to “GTFO” while “A No No” is a lesson in how to respect the curve. Borrowing Junior M.A.F.I.A’s “Crush on You” production, Mariah is having a blast telling everyone no. “I said no / No, no, no / A no-no / That’s a no no,” she sings on the hook. Caution is a masterclass in personal boundaries. — Kristin Corry

City Girls: Girl Code

The Miami duo joined Quality Control’s imprint as the new girls on the block, ready to scam you out of all of your assets. Girl Code follows their debut, PERIOD, and the first female rap duo since Salt-N-Pepa is still trying to figure out their place in rap. With JT in federal prison for fraud, Yung Miami takes the lead on "Free JT," which weaves in collect calls with her bandmate. They are still dodging the quintessential "Broke Boy," and they're all about their mantra: save your money and spend his. Joined by Lil Baby ("Season") and Cardi B ("Twerk"), Girl Code is enough to hold us over until JT returns home. — Kristin Corry

Hutch Harris: Only Water

So many bad things happened this year that it's hard to even keep track anymore. One blow to the indie rock world came in April when power pop stalwarts The Thermals announced they'd be calling it a day. Not letting much dust collect on his guitar, frontman Hutch Harris has already turned around a solo LP, Only Water. While it's impossible for longtime fans to detach Harris' voice and hook-writing chops from his work with The Thermals, he tries his very best to throw a change-up here with his slower pace and softer voice. It almost sounds like he's giving you your own private Thermals performance without trying to wake the person sleeping in the next room. — Dan Ozzi

Rose Droll: Your Dog

I was struck by Rose Droll's debut Your Dog when I first heard it last month. It goes some places. Even if you just listen to the few singles the San Francisco-based artist has released from it so far you start to get a sense of the scope. There's "Hush," a jazzy four minutes that features Rose half-rapping and half-interpolating children's spirituals—a nod to her own split from an upbringing in Christianity. "Boy Bruise" is a blustery single that kinda reminds me of both the DIY indie rock that's been stumbling out of Philly basements over the last half decade, and a strain of psychedelic theatricality that's more like Black Moth Super Rainbow. The record opens with a track that kinda reminds me of St. Vincent covering "Walk on the Wild of Side." It's blurry; it's cluttered; it's brilliant. — Colin Joyce, Rose Droll's New Single Makes a Case for Keeping Pop Weird

Insólito UniVerso: La Candela del Rio

Earlier this year, [Insólito UniVerso] debuted on Olindo Records with a seven-inch that pretty handily demonstrates what they're about. They melt together traditional folk genres from their home country with the colorful sounds contemporary psychedelia and dizzying electronics, a combination that feels at once totally new and completely timeless. The A-side "Vuelve" is sprightly and fluttering, like a prism refracting a Francois Hardy song, and the flip is a bit more downcast, but each are full of life and light. Laetitia Sadier from Stereolab, a band that knows something about giving lysergic life to old forms, described the band's music as a "delicate and exhilarating fragrance," which points at how their appeal almost goes beyond words to other senses. [On their new record,] they maintain reverence for the past, but they do it on their own terms, embracing the jubilance and vibrance of the pieces first and foremost.— Colin Joyce, If You Need Some Joy in Your Life, Try Insólito UniVerso's Vibrant New Song

Just John x Dom Dias: DON 2

Earlier this year, Just John and Dom Dias’ DON EP charted a new path for the Toronto rapper and his production lieutenant, crafting tightly wound bangers around clanking beats. The eponymous sequel follows so hot on the heels of its predecessor that it practically catches fire upon impact, which is likely something the duo intended. “Mirror (Fireworks)” has John taunting opponents with an updated fairy tale rhyme (“Tell a hater who’s the biggest flexer of them all” rhyming with… you can guess what) while “Get Away” bolsters itself with thudding, tribal percussion layered into the usual trap kit sounds. DON II makes its point so loudly that closer “Soundboi” has to resort to maddening siren loops to achieve a grand finale. — Phil Whitmer

Dreamcrusher: Grudge2

These five new tracks from one of New York’s finest noise mutants sorta function as trepanning drills, boring straight into your skull with the power to both harm and heal, depending on your disposition. The opener “PSA” features a Katy Perry sample, has a video that features Dreamcrusher floating in what appears to be a puddle of human shit, and sports a chorus of sorts that goes “Get fucked up the ass / Get fucked up the ass / Get fucked up the ass by your peer group.” So yeah, it’s potent stuff, you’ll want to administer with caution. — Colin Joyce

Leikeli47: Acrylic

Acrylic’s title track opens with the words, "The sound of the world," and the album is an invitation to the world as she knows it. Its 19 tracks transport us to her native Brooklyn; one song is titled "Hoyt & Schermerhorn"—a reference New York City subway riders would catch with ease. "I ain’t the criminal, you and I know / It’s no coincidence how you come show / Up in my hood, up to no good," she raps on the title track, recalling the racial profiling she’s witnessed. The song, which dons a gloomy piano line similar to The Addams Family theme song, is a laundry list of the constants of her neighborhood: boosters, X and O chains, and single-parent homes. Regardless of public perception, Leikeli couldn’t be happier of her upbringing. "Up in my hood / Proud to say it did me good." — Kristin Corry

Bonnie Baxter: Ask Me How Satan Started

This tape of technoid rhythmathematics and street preacher ravings begins with what sounds like Baxter—one-third of the Brooklyn noise band Kill Alters—speaking in tongues. It’s rapturous, hilarious, and terrifying, as these things tend to be, especially if you can make out what she’s saying (something like “Yeah, I’ll punch you in the ehhh / Yeah I’ll punch you in the dick”). From there, the whole thing’s pretty brutal and baffling. It’s like a sacred text for those who call the club “church,” but worship at the altar of evil. — Colin Joyce

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