Stream of the Crop: 9 New Albums for Heavy Rotation

On this week's list of essential new projects: Rae Sremmurd triple down, BlocBoy JB is very exciting, and Iceage journey into the beyond.

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May 4 2018, 3:15pm

Santiago Felipe/Getty Images; Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Every week, the Noisey staff puts together a list of the best and most important albums, mixtapes, and EPs from the week just gone. Sometimes that 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.

Rae Sremmurd: SR3MM/SWAECATION/JXMTRO

The Atlanta duo chose to break up their marathon triple album into three short sprints—one collaborative record (SR3MM) and a solo record for each Swae Lee (SWAECATION), and Slim Jxmmi (JXMTRO). It’s a move that has already drawn comparisons to another pair of ATLiens, and though the Sremmurds are working with a more limited palette—namely Mike Will Made-It beats and chirpy mantras, the two constants of their catalog—this triad of records is another compelling entry in the tradition of colorful radio weirdos working in the Peach State.

SR3MM is largely a collection of the beautifully heartbroken pop-trap brilliance they’ve done together over the last couple of years (the Three 6 Mafia-sampling cyberpunk stunner “Powerglide” remains a highlight of this whole set), but the solo records allow them to branch out into new territory. JXMTRO’s a distorted and delirious collection that translates the in-the-red energy of SoundCloud’s avant-garde into a more pop-friendly grammar, but the true highlight, and the one to check if you only have time for one record, is Swae Lee’s collection of watery, beachside pop music. It’s the sort of dreamy, sun-kissed collection of pop songs that’ll surely soundtrack all your rooftop cocktail consumption this summer, and if you listen closely, you can almost hear the sound of Diplo weeping because he didn’t write these songs first. — Colin Joyce

BlocBoy JB: Simi

If you've ever seen a video of BlocBoy JB, you know that BlocBoy JB is very excited. The Memphis rapper's new project Simi is also very exciting. Alongside Drake, the 21-year-old is currently soundtracking cab rides with "Look Alive," a song that is also very exciting. For Simi, on top of the 6 God, BlocBoy grabbed guest verses from Lil Pump, 21 Savage, Moneybagg Yo, and YG, which is very exciting. But the project shines when Bloc is on his own—in particularly "Wait" and "Good Day, which are both very exciting. There are a lot of exciting young rappers these days, but Bloc might be the most exciting. Look, it's all very exciting. — Eric Sundermann

Iceage: Beyondless

For the ten years that they have existed, Iceage have mostly resisted definition and categorization. Generically they can be filed under "post-punk," but within that, they have barely taken any consistent form at all. Their move from the hardcore and noise inflections of their earliest output, to the almost country-style touches on their last full-length record, 2014’s Plowing Into the Field of Love, feels as natural and inevitable as the growth of a human. And now, on their upcoming fourth LP, the rock pastiche Beyondless, Rønnenfelt’s snarling narration takes the listener through what feels like the most realised experience of the band yet: as Daniel Stewart of the Australian garage punk band Total Control puts it in an essay accompanying my copy of the album, “They have finally caught up with their ambition.” — Lauren O'Neill, Iceage Are Still Exploring Rock's Great Beyond

Christian Fitness: Nuance - The Musical

There’s a lot to love about Nuance - The Musical, the fifth album from Christian Fitness, the id dump of McLusky/Future of the Left’s wonderfully outspoken frontman Andrew Falkous. Chief among its positive qualities is that the album it feels like a timely, agitated byproduct of the erratic times we live in. But the record’s clear standout is “Full Morrissey,” a song which takes jabs at the verbal diarrhea that’s served as the British icon’s primary source of publicity in his later years. (“I smell a half-finished record in need of edge” go the lyrics.) And while Falco himself has a reputation for being something of an outlandish provocateur, he clearly knows where the line is, and has the good sense to not go full Morrissey by saying Hitler was a liberal icon or whatever he’s pattering on about these days. — Dan Ozzi

R.F. Shannon: Trickster Blues

Demoed over four days in Marfa, TX, and recorded in just two in Lockhart, 450-odd miles to the east, R.F. Shannon's second full-length album does have a loose immediacy to it. But Shane Renfro, the band's frontman and auteur, never really seems to be in a hurry, even when he's working on pure instinct. Trickster Blues is a warm, cosmic record, drifting through heavy introspection and soft-psychedelic revelations. There's some more old-fashioned R&B rhythms underpinning the desert-country swirl now, propping up Renfro's croons and whispers. Hot weather music, right on time. — Alex Robert Ross

DJ Koze: Knock Knock

Stefan Kozalla, a man who’s ostensibly a DJ by trade, has occasionally expressed his pessimism about the ability of dance music to translate the complex emotions of the world around him. Fortunately though, his recorded efforts have no need for the strict confines of club music—and his new record Knock Knock goes further out into the electronic hinterlands around the dancefloor than he ever has before. Re-establishing himself as a real mischief-maker, he whips up consignment store quiltworks of microscopic samples, neon synth patches, and gleeful vocal experiments, kicking sand in the faces of those who’d dare draw lines between genres like hip-hop, folk, R&B, pop music, and more outré forms. In its gleeful collaging and knack for hitting these catchy pockets of swirling melodies and dizzy rhythms, it kinda feels like a Madlib record, as imbued with the cosmic vibrations of Koze’s beloved “XTC”—whether that means the psychedelically minded pop band or the psychotropic substance... that’s up to you to decide. — Colin Joyce

Crazy & the Brains: Out in the Weedz

There aren’t a whole lot of punk bands that feature the xylophone. In fact, the only one that comes to mind is Crazy & the Brains, and the Jersey boys rock the keys so hard that they’re probably the only one the world needs. Out in the Weedz, the band’s new five-song release, kicks the party off in pretty epic fashion with the opener, “Candy Yamz,” before sliding into jams about riding a vapor wave and burying your head in sour cream, whatever any of that means. — Dan Ozzi

Lucrecia Dalt: Anticlines

Accompanied only by a modular system and a few other bits of electronic ephemera, Lucrecia Dalt’s voice is in perpetual motion on her new record Anticlines. Talking, chattering, and whispering in long, uninterrupted streams that seem to be about environmental collapse, concepts of selfhood, and the tenuousness of bodies, Dalt provides an echo to an anxious epoch of informational overload, impending doom, and malleability humanity. As her synth parts swell and creep toward discord, you feel the chaos of the world outside, but Dalt’s voice trudges onward amidst it. It’s a composition, but it also feels like a sharp, defiant exhalation. — Colin Joyce

Moro: Irrelevant

In a statement accompanying his new mixfile Irrelevant, the producer Moro writes about the connectedness of partying, politics, and football in his home country of Argentina. The last time Argentina won the World Cup was during a violent military coup, and the same percussion instruments, originally used during Carnival celebrations, are apparently used in both football stadiums and political protests. The intertwined sensations associated with those environments—the roiling of crowds, collective ecstasy, blood, sweat, the beating of drums—fuel Irrelevant, an assemblage of tortured club tracks, snipped newsreel samples, and atonal static. At the end is an unexpectedly tender moment, a blissful pop song that he calls his “softest musical moment to date.” Because even soccer stars and political firebrands need a good cry sometimes. — Colin Joyce

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