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.
Alvvays' sophomore album is dreamy indie pop for the nostalgic. Like their first album, there are a few energetic dance track and a few thoughtful, more ambient odes. Listen to: "Plimsoll Punks" and "Dreams Tonite."
- Mountain Moves
Deerhoof has always been a band that goes out of its way to defy genre, and this album manages to avoid the label of just "rock" or "metal" or "electronic". In Mountain Moves
, they start things off right with the unearthly vocals of Juana Molina. Listen to: "Slow Motion Detonation" feat. Juana Molina and "Freedom Highway" feat. The Staple Singers
3. Gregg Allman - Southern Blood
We lost a true rock legend in May of this year. Revisit Gregg Allman's genius in this post-humous album celebrating his roots. Listen to: "Going Going Gone" and "I Love the Life I Live."
4. Mutemath - Play Dead
Expect a little more funk & pop on this Mutemath album. They're still flexing their big noise skills, but with a few more playful tracks. Listen to: "Break the Fever" and "War."
5. Neil Young
This album is made up of previously unreleased tracks from a recording session Young did in 1976. Some of the songs would enter the Neil Young discography through other channels, but much of Hitchhiker
is unheard. Listen to: "Captain Kennedy" and "Hitchhiker."
6. Nick Mulvey
- Wake Up Now
Nick Mulvey blends acoustic guitar with electronic beats, but not in a way that anyone in the pop music scene is doing--his experiments with acoustic and electronic looping is a edgy and new. Listen to: "Imogen" and "Mountain to Move."
7. Zola Jesus - Okovi
Zola Jesus leaves herself plenty of room to play with both ambient and hyper-dramatic tracks on her new album. This is one to listen to from beginning to end, trying to parse the subtle sounds and poetic lyrics. Listen to: "Exhumed" and "Wiseblood."
8. Tori Amos - Native Invader
Word is Tori Amos returned to the Carolinas, her birthplace, to work on this album last year. Then the election happened, and it turned out to be a different kind of album than she intended--something with plenty of Tori's unique voice, but with an undercurrent of sadness, frustration, and defiance. Listen to: "Up the Creek" and "Wildwood."
9. The National
- Sleep Well Beast
Moody and despairing, but as beautiful as ever, the National is back with an album that's pure excellence from the very first track to the last. Listen to: "Nobody Else Will Be There" and "The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness."