SPEEDROUND: 8 Albums Out Now That You Should Spin
    • FRIDAY, AUGUST 25, 2017

    • Posted by: Annie Brinich

    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. The War on Drugs - A Deeper Understanding

    A band known for its contemplative lyrics, The War on Drugs chose an apt title for their fifth album, A Deeper Understanding. Thoughtful lyrics aside, their melodic nods to Bruce Springsteen and Arcade Fire are so frequent in this album, they might as well be bobblehead dolls. Their quieter, slow-building songs are the stand-outs, especially the long (but worth it) "Thinking of a Place".

    Songs to Check Out: "Knocked Down", "Clean Living", and "Thinking of a Place"

    2. Fifth Harmony - Fifth Harmony

    Risking another ground renaming, fifth diva Camila Cabello left the all-girl group Fifth Harmony late last year. Despite her absence, the pop group has moved on to make their sophomore album. Casual listeners with note Cabello's absence hasn't changed much--Fifth Harmony continues to generate fun pop songs about being young and hot, though with notably fewer feature musicians than their first album. Also read our article, Fifth Harmony's Road To Reinvention.

    Songs to Check Out: "Down" feat. Gucci Mane, "He Like That", and "Angel"

    3. PVRIS - All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell

    Rock-and-electronic band PVRIS has also released their sophomore album under alt-rock label Rise Records. There's some good, dramatic rock songs on here, complimented by PVRIS frontwoman Lynn Gunn's powerful vocals.

    Songs to Check Out: "What's Wrong", "No Mercy" and "Separate"

    4. Oh Sees - Orc

    San Francisco garage rock Oh Sees return with their latest explosively energetic album, Orc. Oh Sees are known for their noisy roots, and this new album doesn't disappoint: there's plenty of heavy bass, growled lyrics, and wailing guitars on the to go around, with some more experimental sounds coming from the track "Cooling Tower".

    Songs to Check Out: "The Static God", "Animated Violence", and "The Cooling Tower"

    5. Queens of the Stone Age - Villains

    With only nine songs, this Queens of the Stone Age album is their shortest ever. Possibly to counteract the sparse tracklist, most of the songs on Villians are over 5 minutes long, and considerably more upbeat than anything Queens has made recently.

    Songs to Check Out: "Feet Don't Fail Me", "Domesticated Animals" and "The Evil Has Landed"

    6. Action Bronson - Blue Chips 7000

    I can't be totally certain, but I think the first song on Blue Chips 7000, "Wolfpack", starts with a recording of Bronson getting high with his mom. It sets the mood for another tongue-in-cheek rap album from Action Bronson, who frequently samples homemade documentary recordings and older blues songs.

    Songs to Check Out: "Wolfpack", "TANK" feat. Big Body Bes, and "Chop Chop Chop"

    7. Widowspeak - Expect the Best

    Shoegaze band Widowspeak with a 9-track album for rainy day listening. If you're in the mood for slower wind down to your week, look no further. Widowspeak picks up the beat for a few songs (see title track "Expect the Best"), but keeps it very mellow for the most part. also check out our live concert with the band here.

    Songs to Check Out: "The Dream", "When I Tried" and "Expect the Best"

    8. Iron & Wine - Beast Epic

    Delivering, as always, acoustic excellence, Iron & Wine has released Beast Mode, a vocals- and guitar-heavy album, with some really beautiful violin and piano woven into its tracks.

    Songs to Check Out: "Thomas County Law" "Song in Stone", and "Last Night"

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