Best Albums to Stream Now: Beach House, Jerry Garcia, more. - Rolling Stone
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10 New Albums to Stream Now: Beach House, Jerry Garcia and More Editors’ Picks

Beach House’s wondrous expansion, Jerry Garcia’s pre-Dead explorations, Brent Cobb’s re-shaping of the Nashville Sound and more albums to stream now

beach house jerry garcia before the dead

Beach House and Jerry Garcia.

Shawn Brackbill, Jerry Melrose

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Beach House, 7
“This is the least introverted record Beach House have ever made; it’ll still blow your mind with candles lit and headphones on, but it’s the first time they’ve sounded like a band you might want to hear at a party with more than one guest,” writes Simon Vozick-Levinson. “These are big songs, full of wonder, and Beach House know it. Seven albums in, they’re at the start of something new.”
Read Our Review: Beach House’s ‘7’ Is a Radical Blast of Psychedelic Pop Bliss
Read Our Feature: Beach House’s Essential Truths: Innocence, Punk and a Twist of Fate
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Spotify | Tidal

Jerry Garcia, Before the Dead
This collection of material Garcia recorded in the years before he embarked on the Grateful Dead’s long, strange trip is “the deepest – and most educational – dive yet into Garcia’s pre-Dead musical life,” writes David Browne. “Right up to his death, Garcia would periodically revisit his bluegrass roots, from the wonderful but short-lived Old and in the Way to albums he made with mandolinist David Grisman. But Before the Dead reveals, in more detail than ever before, when and how that appetite began and why numbers like ‘Deep Elem Blues’ and ‘Rosa Lee McFall,’ both heard here, made their way into the Dead’s repertoire.”
Read Our Feature: Inside the Grateful Dead’s Complicated Afterlife
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify

Brent Cobb, Providence Canyon
The Georgia-born troubadour presents detailed country songs that “cast durable emotions in magical hi-res,” writes Will Hermes. “Cobb’s as much a throwback Southern rocker as a modern country singer, and his sound is a perfect match for cousin Dave Cobb, whose production work with Chris Stapleton – Brent’s tourmate of late – and others continues re-shaping the Nashville Sound into an earthier, more idiosyncratic thing. Where Cobb’s fine 2016 breakout Shine On Rainy Day cast him as singer-songwriting tale-teller, these songs are more from the gut.
Read Our Feature: Brent Cobb on Finding His Way Home on New Album Providence Canyon
Read Our Review: Brent Cobb’s Providence Canyon Is an Earthy, Idiosyncratic Nashville Gem
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Jess Williamson, Cosmic Wink
“Tell me everything you know about consciousness,” begins the Austin singer/songwriter on her latest, a set of plush, gently psychedelic folk-rock with Southern goth gilt, like PJ Harvey produced by Lee Hazlewood. It’s a compelling journey all the way through. The gem: “White Bird” – not the 1968 hit by It’s a Beautiful Day but Williamson’s own, somewhat darker trip, where she repeats “be kind to me, this is not my scene!” It’s a steelier vision for a new age of Aquarius. Will Hermes
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Spotify | Tidal

Ry Cooder, The Prodigal Son
On his latest album, the well-traveled Cooder “returns to his foundation as vital roots-music rearranger … dismantling and reassembling a series of 20th-century gospel, blues, folk and bluegrass traditionals,” writes Jonathan Bernstein. “The never-predictable results range from rousing to revelatory.”  
Read Our Review: Ry Cooder’s ‘The Prodigal Son’ Is a Politicized Roots Refurbishing
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids, An Angel Fell
The latest release from these reignited Seventies West Coast down-getters is a transmission from the era that Kamasi Washington mines so propulsively, with an emphasis on groove, mood and funk – fans of Fela Kuti, Sun Ra and Frank Zappa’s Hot Rats take note. “Papyrus” funkily joins Arctic Monkeys, On Fillmore and Numero Group in the current wave of exotica re-revivalism; “Warrior Dance” is a hard-grooving, 11-minute dance for Mother Earth and “Soliloquy for Michael Brown” is mournful and dynamic. Christopher R. Weingarten
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Spotify | Tidal

The Body, I Have Fought Against It, But I Can’t Any Longer
The ever-evolving heavy metallers turn a corner into a place “even more bewildering” on their sixth album, writes Kory Grow. “Its closest musical relatives are middle-era Swans, when Michael Gira and Jarboe went goth, the Godflesh side project Techno Animal, which verged on scratchy hip-hop, and the constantly exhaling atmospheres of David Lynch’s Eraserhead – all with a dash of classical music. While there are moments of incredible beauty, such as orchestral strings and operatic vocals by Lingua Ignota singer Kristin Hayter on ‘Nothing Stirs,’ they’re often juxtaposed with grating noise.”
Hear: Apple Music | Bandcamp | Spotify

Dave Holland, Uncharted Territories
For the past 45 years, Dave Holland has led some of the tightest groups in jazz, penning intricate, hard-grooving pieces that are as accessible as they are daring. But before that – around the time of a fateful 1968 London gig where Miles Davis heard him and promptly drafted him into jazz’s big leagues – he briefly worked in the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, playing collectivist improv with future heavyweights of that style such as Evan Parker and Derek Bailey. Here, a half-century after that group’s landmark LP Karyobin (reissued last year), he reunites with saxist Parker, and brings along keyboardist Craig Taborn and percussionist Ches Smith of today’s jazz vanguard, for a set that harks back to those heady days. The marathon 23-track release, featuring various duo and trio configurations as well as the full quartet, handsomely shows off the musicians’ full range, from scampering free jazz – often given a contemporary rhythmic crackle by Smith’s fractured grooves – to spacey, ambient organ vibes. Best of all, three brief Holland/Parker duets capture these septuagenerian masters’ deep mind-meld, still very much intact five decades on. Hank Shteamer
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Ssion, O
The first album in seven years from Cody Critcheloe, who blazed through the early-Aughts underground with dazzling, high-concept albums and live shows that married performance art’s spectacle with queercore’s punky determination, is a beat-heavy journey to the edge of 2018 and back. Critcheloe drops sneaky allusions to Madonna, Sonic Youth and 10cc into bangers that travel between sweaty DIY outposts and slickly designed discos, while the boldface-name-stuffed guest list, which includes Roísín Murphy, Sky Ferreira and Devendra Banhart, enhances the apocalypse-party vibe. Maura Johnston
Hear: Apple Music | Bandcamp | Spotify | Tidal

Boys, Rest in Peace
Stockholm-based producer-songwriter Nora Karlsson’s gently brutal honesty and expansive definition of “pop” animate her debut, which uses starburst synthesizers, earwormy melodies and plainspoken vocals to frame the ups and downs of modern twentysomething life. Friendship-related frustrations lurk just underneath the the sparkling synths and arpeggiated guitars of “That Weekend,” which recalls the happy-sad formalism of Stephin Merritt. The distorto-pop haze of “Hemtjänsten” is held up by Karlsson’s tart vocals and “Be My Baby” drums for three minutes before the whole thing ruptures, leaving a ruminative bassline and quivering keyboards in its wake. Maura Johnston
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Spotify | Tidal


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