Why does every artist have to drop their album on the same day? For us listeners, it's a challenge to catch up with every new release, especially when it's several different releases from all really exciting artists. So to cut through the noise and make sure you have all of your ducks in a row, we're briefly rounding up the most important albums to listen to this week.
1. Kesha - Rainbow
This is the big release of the week. We've all been waiting for Kesha's comeback, and if early reviews for this thing are any indication, "Rainbow" is more than the comeback we were waiting for. From the surprisingly spare beginning of the opening track, "Bastards," which eventually explodes in the extravagant pop sounds we'd hope for from Kesha, it's clear that her new album has some of her most interesting, and honest, pop songs yet.
2. Downtown Boys - Cost of Living
Downtown Boys return with this collection of well-written political punk songs. Sure, songs like "A Wall" might be as blunt as you'd expect from the title, but there are plenty of surprises here (like "Because You"), and lead singer Victoria Ruiz's lyrics are poetic and confrontational.
3. Guided by Voices - How Do You Spell Heaven
The legendary Robert Pollard-fronted indie rock band is back with one of their most grounded releases yet. Songs like "Just to Show You," and "Tenth Century" are wonderfully simplistic and intimate, and the band sounds just as compelling as ever .
4. The Districts - Popular Manipulations
The Districts' new album is their best one yet. Every song on here is memorable in its own way. From the minimal percussion and hurried acoustic guitars of "Why Would I Wanna Be" to Rob Grote's fantastic vocal performance on the song "Salt," this is without a doubt the album that you should listen to as an introduction to The Districts.
5. R.LUM.R - AFTERIMAGE
This new EP from R&B artist R.LUM.R is glistening with fantastic production and catchy songwriting. It opens with the line "First let me apologize, because I know you're not gonna like this conversation," and R.LUM.R sticks to that promise of brutal honesty throughout each of these six tracks. The two biggest highlights are the breezy "Learn" and the anthemic "Love Less." Also check out our stripped back session with the smooth singer