Stream of the Crop: 8 New Albums for Heavy Rotation
New albums from St Vincent, King Krule, and Beck top this week's list of essential albums.
The end of the week means a glut of new music to dig into and, while that is Extremely Good, it can be difficult to know where to start. So every week, we at Noisey put together a list of our favorite new albums, mixtapes, and EPs from the past seven days. You can listen to them all on this page. It is neither comprehensive nor fair. We hope it helps.
Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile: Lotta Sea Lice
Lotta Sea Lice[...] is a record as low-key as the catalogs of its creators and that backstory would suggest. On their own, both Vile and Barnett have occasionally dealt in more unhinged numbers, but songs universally float. Vile sorta addresses it on "Over Everything" when he dedicates a whole verse to singing about learning to wear earplugs as he's gotten older. Even at its most fleshed out, full-band moments, these songs are weightless, flowing through headphones—or even better, a big pair of speakers near an open window on a breezy day—acoustic guitars scribbling lazily as two comforting voices whisper in your ear. —Coin Joyce, We Humbly Suggest That the Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile Record Kicks Ass
St Vincent: MASSEDUCTION
Annie Clark's fifth studio album as St Vincent was produced by the ubiquitous Jack Antonoff, who has already put his name to records by Lorde and Taylor Swift this year. But Clark's idiosyncrasies overpowered the uber-producer's retro aesthetic during MASSEDUCTION's protracted release: "New York" is a luscious piano ballad that includes a "motherfucker" nobody else could muster, "Los Ageless" snarled and bubbled, and Clark promoted the record with a series of awkward, sarcastic fake interview segments. Look for MASSEDUCTION near the top of everyone's end-of-year lists. —Alex Robert Ross
King Krule: The Ooz
No one can speak for Marshall except himself but in listening to his music as King Krule (and under his own name on A New Place 2 Drown), you can certainly draw from a specific landscape: one of souls floating into the distance, grey horizons, discontented minds, the deep space travel of a gravity-bound self. It's one locked in filth and remorse and regret but also tinged with a kind of hope—the one constant positive that comes with exploration. At least that's how it seems to me anyway, when piecing together all the themes of Marshall's last two records and how they set him apart from any other living artist of his age. —Ryan Bassil, "Where Tiny Men Have Been Absorbed, for Questioning the Sky"
Colors, the 13th studio album from indie iconoclast Beck, was supposed to come out sooner than this. He first stepped into the studio with Greg Kurstin (Adele, Foo Fighters, Kelly Clarkson) in 2013 but the process was held up by Beck's touring schedule and what we can only assume is perfectionism. The record was announced by a dose of late-Beatles pop in the form of "Dear Life" and the news that Beck is friends with, er, MC Hammer. —ARR
P!nk: Beautiful Trauma
When Pink smashed a motorcycle through a no-good boyfriend's window and into my heart in 2000, she sounded like granite soaked in honey—gritty and likely to punch you in the mouth, but also with runs sweet enough to make your insides flutter. Just as All Saints had done with their tiny-top-plus-large-trousers aesthetic in the late 90s, Pink stuck her pierced tongue out at the idea of a pop star's expected feminine silhouette. She was toned, bordering on buff, with abs that hardened when she threw her head back in why are men like this anguish in that debut single's video. And when she sang about heartache on Can't Take Me Home, or wanting real love rather than a "man with the mean green" on "Most Girls," she made those early lyrics—some bordering on absurd, with the clarity of hindsight—feel profound, even when she'd only written half the songs. Say what you want about her credibility as an artist later, but that first album banged. —Tshepo Mokoena, Let's Be Real, V Festival Doesn't Deserve a Pink Headline Set
Gucci Mane: Mr Davis
After reading his memoir, learning more details about the 37-year-old's life story, and considering his sophisticated wordplay, it's no shock that Mr. Zone 6 would make the leap to expressing himself in longform when given the chance to slow down. But as he describes in the book's prologue, he needed an outside force to initiate that deceleration. Before he began his sentence, Gucci admitted that he was on an assured quick route to destruction, by his own doing or another's. He wrote a series of memoirs during his bid about his origins in Bessemer, Alabama, how he got his first big look as an artist, and the legacy he's still building. Those reflections became his autobiography. It's the type of story you usually get when an artist isn't in high demand anymore but Gucci is currently experiencing more commercial success than he's ever had, without a ceiling in clear sight. —Lawrence Burney, The Story of How Gucci Mane Wrote His Memoir
A Savage: Thawing Dawn
While Savage is best known as the frontman for Parquet Courts [a duty split with fellow Texan Austin Brown], where he often spits wordy and frantic songs about broken hearts, the ten songs for Thawing Dawn, were assembled during a time that Savage fell in love. As a result, the record, recorded at Woods' Jarvis Taveniere's Thump Studios in Brooklyn, reflects on and explores the mysteries of romance and prove Savage as a sensitive and skilled vocalist. —Tim Scott, Andrew Savage's New Album Is About Being on the Inside of Love
King Khan: Murderburgers
Arish Ahmad Khan, better known as King Khan, has spent his entire two-decade-long career crafting leftfield garage punk in collaboration. He started with The Spaceshits in the late 90s in Montreal, then took Mark Sultan with him to form The King Khan & BBQ Show; he fronted King Khan and the Shrines before fusing his band with The Black Lips for one record as The Almighty Defenders. In 2009, there was even talk of a full-length record with Wu-Tang Clan's GZA—even a full remake of 36 Chambers backed by Khan's garage sensibilities. (Nothing surfaced, sadly). Somehow, Murderburgers is his first solo record. It was recorded alongside The Gris Gris and recorded by Greg Ashley at his Creamery Studio in Brooklyn, NY. —ARR
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