Friday, July 7, 2017

10 New Albums to Stream Now: Rolling Stone Editors' Picks

10 New Albums to Stream Now: Rolling Stone Editors' Picks:

10 New Albums to Stream Now: Rolling Stone Editors' Picks

Haim, Something to Tell YouThe long-awaited second album by SoCal's Haim "[doesn't] always explode with the sunny ebullience of the first LP, but the melodies, beats and ideas are layered and piled high, like a couch-pillow fort," writes Jon Dolan. "The best moments are strung between soft rock and soul, as if Jimmy Jam or Quincy Jones helmed a late-Eighties Fleetwood Mac record."
Read Our Review: Haim Deepen Ties to Soul Music and Eighties Soft-Rock on Long-Awaited Second LP
Read Our Feature: Sister Act 2: How Haim Found Their Way Back With Something to Tell You
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | SoundCloud Go | Spotify | Tidal

Broken Social Scene, Hug of ThunderIn the mid-'00s, this Toronto band helped make indie rock a more epic place, with a rotating cast of members large enough to field a soccer team and a sound that could rival fellow Canadian big-hearts Arcade Fire in its gathering, spacious gravitas. The band was also a jumping-off point of sorts for Leslie Feist and Metric's Emily Haines, who are both on hand for BSS's first LP in seven years, a record full of grand (if atmospheric) melodic whoosh and heavy (if opaque) emotional discharge. "Halfway Home" is where Bruce Springsteen meets My Bloody Valentine in the space between anxiety and uplift where this band does most of its best work. Haines sings "Protest Song," advising "take it like you're strong" over sharp guitar flares and a gingerly charging beat, while Feist takes over on the lushly forlorn, Kate Bush-esque title track. Broken Social Scene's wandering epiphanies can sometimes come a little slowly, but when they slap on big guitars or grabby beats, these sweeping, sculptural anthems flash like distant signals of community and hope amidst personal and political darkness. It's the sound of shaky hands slowly balling into raised fists. Jon Dolan
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

21 Savage, Issa AlbumOn the official major-label debut from Atlanta's 21 Savage, the moody rapper seemingly breezes through a deep, anguished take on modern trap. His sound is a mix of highly melodic rhyming with deep and rumbling bass (eight of the 14 tracks feature producer Metro Boomin, who helped him make it to the Billboard Hot 100 with last year's "X" and "No Heart"). But Savage's greatest skill is an ability to paint with hues of sadness and dread (one chorus: "I see dead bodies when I close my eyes"). His neighborhood is no trapper's delight, but a place where he "slept with rats and roaches." In "Nothin' New," a life of a high school dropout with a heroin-addicted mom is treated with penetrating numbness ("it ain't nothin new"), and in the second verse, Savage paints a bigger picture: "I used to sell dope, nigga, now I can't vote." Christopher R. Weingarten
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple MusicSoundCloud Go | Spotify | Tidal

Chronixx, ChronologyThe debut full-length from long-running reggae star Chronixx is at once retro and contemporary, a beaming, conscious album that cycles through elements of roots reggae, dancehall and a little bit of dub before giving way to the gentle EDM of "I Can." Holding it all together is his sweet, syrupy voice, which has made him a long-standing artist to watch. He gives big-ups to Beenie Man and Buju Banton on "Likes," but his clear and bright voice feels more like the smoothed-out R&B singers of the Eighties and Nineties. Christopher R. Weingarten
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | SoundCloud Go | Spotify | Tidal

Sevyn Streeter, Girl DisruptedFor years, Sevyn Streeter has been popping up all over the R&B world, co-writing for the likes of Ariana Grande and supplying hooks for artists like Chris Brown and B.o.B. Her long-awaited debut album allows her to take center stage, and she seizes the opportunity, proffering street-smart soul that nods to present trends while also bringing in classic R&B motifs. The spaced-out "Fallen" counterweighs its 21st-Century vibe with a nod to New Edition's "If It Isn't Love"; "Soon As I Get Home" is a high-energy chronicle of an after-afterparty, the rip-off-our-clothes mood of "Drunk in Love" filtered through the bounce of "My Boo." Maura Johnston
Read Our Feature: After Four Years, Sevyn Streeter, R&B and Pop Hitmaker, Finally Gets Her Chance
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | SoundCloud Go | Spotify | Tidal

Toro y Moi, Boo BooChaz Bundick is a shapeshifter, and his latest has him tilting toward a more mainstream R&B sound – perhaps in part because mainstream R&B is tilting toward the trippy electronic pop Bundick's been making for years. "Mona Lisa," meanwhile, is a New Order-ish love song that may involve taking LSD on Mount Tamalpais, and it dissolves into a sequence that conjures Animal Collective pitching ideas to Trey Songz. Will Hermes
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Bandcamp | SoundCloud Go | Spotify | Tidal

Chris Bell, Looking Forward: The Roots of Big StarBefore co-writing Big Star's 1972 power-pop landmark #1 Record, Chris Bell was a Memphis-based Beatles fan working his way up to an influential sound in projects that bore names like Rock City, Icewater and the Wallabys. Some of these early tracks still have a foot in the pastoral Sixties, providing an interesting link between psych-pop and what would eventually be punk, New Wave and indie rock – fans of bands like the Soft Boys and XTC, take note. Most of these songs have been reissued before but a few unreleased gems appear, including the Syd Barrett-rock of "The Reason" and the Nuggets-y "A Chance to Live." Christopher R. WeingartenHear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Dream Version, Fight FairChicago trio Dream Version specializes in sharp-cornered, highly erudite rock that brings to mind horn-rimmed glasses and sticker-covered college radio studios. Vocalist Alec Jensen doubles on bass, anchoring the band with a hyper-precise aesthetic that adds heat to his pointed (and, at times, self-lacerating) lyrics about 21st-Century ills and turns the band's moments of post-punky chaos – the string-bouquet synths and power-pop harmonies of "I'm Still As Spoiled As the Day I Was Born," the metallic drone draped over "Shame" – into giddy realizations of their musical might. Maura Johnston
Hear: Apple Music | Bandcamp | Spotify | Tidal

Charley Pride, Music In My HeartCountry legend Charley Pride's first album in six years, a partnership with singer-songwriter Billy Yates, doesn't reinvent the wheel, with the pioneering singer showing off his finely tuned interpretative skills on the sparkling "Make Me One More Memory" (made famous by Johnny Paycheck in '77) and the matter-of-factly mournful "New Patches" (written by Bakersfield Sound architect Tommy Collins). The lush ballad "Natural Feeling for You" was written by the late Ben Peters, who won the Best Country Song Grammy in 1973 for penning Pride's crossover hit "Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'"; and Pride's longtime friend Merle Haggard originally wrote and recorded the nostalgic "The Way It Was in '51." The classic-Nashville arrangements – a languorous slide guitar here, some feisty fiddles there – frame Pride's twangy burr lovingly, allowing his simply stated emotion to take center stage. Maura Johnston
Hear: Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

This Is the Kit, Moonshine FreezeKate Stables is a banjo-plucking U.K. singer/songwriter with a gentle demeanor and a dangerous undertow. Her fourth LP as This Is the Kit, shaped in part with PJ Harvey consort John Parish, sounds less like a solo album than the product of a band. See "Hotter Colder," with fiery Afrobeat brass, swooping guitar lines (by occasional tourmate Aaron Dessner of the National), and multicolored vocal arrangements that recall Sufjan Stevens. Elsewhere, "Easy on the Thieves" is a timely indictment that notes "People want blood ... now you've got panicking/That's just how they work, exactly how they win." Like the rest of the set, it's cryptic, provocative, and addictive. Will Hermes
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple MusicSoundCloud Go | Spotify | Tidal

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