Best Albums to Stream Now: Courtney Barnett, Lil Baby, more. - Rolling Stone
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10 New Albums to Stream Now: Courtney Barnett, Stephen Malkmus, Lil Baby and More Editors’ Picks

Low Cut Connie’s vintage rock, Gas’ ambient techno and more albums to stream now

10 New Albums to Stream Now: Courtney Barnett, Stephen Malkmus, Lil Baby and More Editors' Picks

Stephen Malkmus and Courtney Barnett

Giovanni Duca, Pooneh Ghana

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Courtney Barnett, Tell Me How You Really Feel
The Melbourne axe-slinger’s second album “is noisy and way more pissed off than her 2015 debut, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, unsheathing sharp new earnestness alongside her trademark sabers of sarcasm and penetrating observation,” writes Will Hermes. “Kicking against the pricks, including the ones in her own head, Barnett encourages us to do the same, with an impressive generosity of spirit.”
Read Our Feature: Courtney Barnett Wants to Know How You Really Feel
Read Our Review: Courtney Barnett’s Raging, Empathetic Tell Me How You Really Feel
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Spotify | Tidal

Parquet Courts, Wide Awake!
“Big-picture anxieties and flabbergasted outrage” define the lyrical concerns of the Brooklyn proto-post-punkers’ fifth album, writes Will Hermes. But their revolution is also one where dancing isn’t just allowed, but encouraged: “With light-touch production by Danger Mouse, this is also the funkiest and sweetest Parquet Courts set yet, trading off some of their trademark guitar fireworks for danceable jams.”
Read Our Feature: Parquet Courts Are Wide Awake and Screaming
Read Our Review: Parquet Courts’ Wide Awake! Is a Fun Punk-Funk Protest Record
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Low Cut Connie, Dirty Pictures (Part 2)
The follow-up to last year’s Dirty Pictures (Part 1) “veers wildly in setting but not quality,” writes David Fricke. “Low Cut Connie are defiantly old-school in their roots and values. But “Dirty Pictures” (Part 2), like its predecessor, is a stand-alone triumph of missionary zeal.”
Read Our Feature: Rock Revivalists Low Cut Connie Won’t Be Put in a Box
Read Our Review: Low Cut Connie’s ‘Dirty Pictures (Part 2)’ Is Old-School Rock With Missionary Zeal
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, Sparkle Hard
The seventh album from the former Pavement leader, writes Jon Dolan, “has everything we’ve come to expect from him: effortless Cali-kissed tunefulness and grand guitar jabber steeped in prog, folk and soft rock, perfect for a mellowing, kids-having fanbase who’d rather listen to Fleetwood Mac’s Bare Trees these days than their old Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 albums.”
Read Our Feature: Stephen Malkmus: My Life in 15 Songs
Read Our Review: Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks’ Sparkle Hard Is Full of Golden Guitars and Warm Vibes
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Lil Baby, Harder Than Ever
Thanks to the full backing of ascendant rap empire Quality Control, this Atlanta rapper is enjoying a buzz that threatens to supersede his musical talent. But he has a decent voice, and his first major project weaves capably between wavy Auto-Tuned boasts and gruff chest-thumping raps. It’s a zone anyone familiar with a certain strain of streaming-friendly street rap will recognize, and he works it with aplomb – even Drake, who appears on “Yes Indeed,” seems to adopt Lil Baby’s run-on-sentence flow. Solid production from a host of producers keeps Baby’s project from disappearing down a content hole, like the watery, out-of-tune synths and rolling trap drums of Turbo the Great and Swiss producer OZ’s “Bank,” or the neon synth-pop of Quay Global’s “Cash.” There’s not much struggle here – just notes on ascending from the trap house to the corner office – though Lil Baby occasionally remembers his D-boy days on “Southside,” and, on “Right Now,” recalls “I’ve been having nightmares about going back to jail so I wake up/ Drinking all this lean popping Adderall so I can’t stay up.” Mosi Reeves
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Gas, Rausch
After five critically acclaimed albums that mysteriously and melancholically blurred the boundaries of techno, ambient, psychedelia, shoegaze and nostalgia, Wolfgang Voigt’s Gas project has returned for his grandest, most ambitious statement yet. Rausch – also available as a download as a 60-minute “Continuous Mix”  – is a long journey through hissing fog, dark ambient clouds, crying strings and ping-ponging cymbals. From moody banks of lush drone, sounds emerge like creatures from behind the jungle brush and notes appear like car radios rushing by in the night. A house beat throbs in the distance, possibly a memory of dancefloors past, possibly a lighthouse to help guide you through this impressionist symphony of colors. Christopher R. WeingartenChristopher R. Weingarten
Read Our Feature: Gas, Ambient Techno Icon, Talks His Forward-Thinking, Longform Rausch
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

The Last Poets, Understand What Black Is
Birthed in the throes of the Black Power movement, this collective began as young firebrands, recording albums full of angry proto-rap poems that influenced subsequent generations. But that was decades ago. Now a trio – Umar Bin Hassan, Abiodun Oyewole and percussionist Donn Babatunde – the Last Poets’ collaboration with the British dub musicians Nostalgia 77 and Prince Fatty is an autumnal reggae suite full of gathered wisdom and historical anecdotes. Oyewole’s title track is reminiscent of earlier classics like “Black Is,” but it sounds like a calm explanation instead of a fiery assertion of self-pride. Hassan pays tribute to the late funk genius Prince on “North East West South,” and Oyewole lodges an attack on American imperialism over the dread vibes of “Rain of Terror.” The two remaining Last Poets may have created a more leisurely work than their early-Seventies peak, but Oyewole’s sandpapery baritone and Hassan’s crackling, exclamatory tenor still command attention. Mosi Reeves
Read Our Feature: The Last Poets, Rap Forefathers, Talk Black Lives Matter, Playing Basketball With Wu-Tang
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Spotify

Matthew Sweet, Tomorrow’s Daughter
Every song on Tomorrow’s Daughter has a memorable vocal line,” writes Kory Grow, “and Sweet’s voice hasn’t changed all too much over the years – it’s still capable of sounding quixotically morose and satisfied at the same time, like he’s enjoying all of life’s letdowns.”
Read Our Review: 
Matthew Sweet’s ‘Tomorrow’s Daughter’ Is Full of Heartbroken Catchiness
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Wax Idols, Happy Ending
In the video for “Mausoleum,” this California goth-pop quartet cruises blithely through Oakland’s Mountain View Cemetery – and in lieu of a black hearse, the band piles into a breezy Volkswagen Cabriolet with the top down. This scene captures the essence of Wax Idols’ fourth full-length LP, a collection of danceable, shoegazing musings on mortality and breaking bread with the Grim Reaper. The follow-up to the bone-chilling “late-night death-disco” of 2015’s American Tragic, Happy Ending tries on a brighter timbre, most radiant in singles “Too Late” and “Scream.” Leader Hether Fortune elevates her star power in these bursts of catharsis, and the band rises to meet her soulful lamentations with glimmer and a little grit. Wax Idols not only carry on the legacy of Nineties psych-pop dreamers Ride and Catherine Wheel, they honor the loved ones they lost with a sparkle. Suzy Exposito
Hear: Apple Music | Bandcamp | Spotify | Tidal

Mary Lattimore, Hundreds of Days
Lattimore recorded this wordless, hypnotizing set in a repurposed military compound at Headlands Center for the Arts, overlooking the Pacific, and you can imagine the West Coast sunlight glinting off the water when hearing it. She weaves intricate webs of melody from looped, sometimes processed phrases played on her signature instrument, a 47-string Lyon & Healy concert harp, while threading in bits of electric guitar, organ and abstracted voice; the result is instrumental music so rich and articulate, every song seems to tell a profound story that you want to hear again. Will Hermes
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Spotify | Tidal


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