Best Albums to Stream Now: Liz Phair, Leon Bridges and more - Rolling Stone
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10 New Albums to Stream Now: Liz Phair, Rae Sremmurd, Leon Bridges and More Editors’ Picks

Liz Phair’s return to Guyville, Leon Bridges’ retro-futuristic soul, Rae Sremmurd’s three-album opus and more albums to stream now

10 New Albums to Stream Now: Liz Phair, Rae Sremmurd, Leon Bridges and More Editors' Picks10 New Albums to Stream Now: Liz Phair, Rae Sremmurd, Leon Bridges and More Editors' Picks

Rae Sremmurd and Liz Phair.

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Liz Phair, The Girly-Sound Tapes
The brutally honest Chicago rocker revisits her landmark debut Exile In Guyville with a box set that includes a remastered version of the album, which turns 25 next month. But the real treat is the at-long-last-official version of the cassettes Phair recorded as Girly-Sound, which include early versions of tracks from Guyville and its 1994 follow-up Whip-Smart. The Girly-Sound project, Phair tells Rolling Stone, “was all about how the young female voice carries the least amount of authority of any voice in society. What does it take before you listen to what she’s saying? What is she allowed to say?”
Read Our Feature: Liz Phair Breaks Down Exile in Guyville Track by Track
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Rae Sremmurd, Sr3mm
This three-album opus from the Mississippi duo nods to Outkast’s groundbreaking Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, as well as more recent data dumps like Drake’s Views, Migos’ Culture II and Chris Brown’s Heartbreak on a Full Moon. Set one, which the pair recorded together, replicates the Xan-ed out sounds of their impressive SremmLife 2, but with less success, although tracks like “Buckets” confirm that they’re one of the best at writing hooks you’ll want to repeat a few hundred times. The real prize here is the second disc, Swae Lee’s Swaecation, which finds him fully indulging the tropical-pop voice he has developed on French Montana’s “Unforgettable” and Jhene Aiko’s “Sativa.” “Winter’s over, let the sun in,” Swae sings on the song-of-the-summer bid “Lost Angels,” while on the standout “Heartbreak in Encino Hills,” producers Mally Mall and Scorp Dezel layer gauzy steel guitars as he plumbs deep into his feelings. Meanwhile, Swae’s brother Slim Jxmmi showcases his style on Jxmtro, which offers elbow-waving trap chants (“I’m gonna fuck with the strippers tonight,” he crows on “Players Club”) for the Magic City crowd. Mosi Reeves
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Leon Bridges, Good Thing
“Bridges is reaching on this album, looking for a future sound that connects his own past and the sweeping history of African-American music with the present moment,” Joe Levy writes about the soul singer’s second album. “The skin-to-skin makeup sex ballad ‘Mrs.’ and the free-ranging autobiographical narrative ‘Georgia to Texas’ (Bridges’ second tribute to his mom in as many albums) show how expansive and individual Bridges can be, even as he guns for the charts.” 
Read Our Review: Leon Bridges’ Good Thing Is a Uniquely Modern Vision of Classic Soul
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Belly, Dove
“On Dove, Belly sound as though they kept going, almost as if the album is a follow-up to an LP from a couple of years ago,” writes Kory Grow. “It’s a comfortable return for a band that didn’t worry itself with fitting into a particular pop or rock moment back in the day, and still had enough in common to make meaningful, quality music.”
Read Our Review: Belly’s Dove Is About Much More Than Nineties Nostalgia
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Tove Styrke, Sway
“All this acting cool is kinda useless,” Swedish pop thrush Tove Styrke coos on the dizzy opening track of her third album. That protest is an agitation against drawn-out flirtations, but it also reflects the playful and sometimes pop-geeky spirit that she embraces on her third album, which plays booming beats against the onetime Swedish Idol hopeful’s buoyant, knowing voice. Sway‘s sonic details add depth to Styrke’s detailed portraits of push-pull romantic moments; the swooning “Mistakes” underlines its attraction metaphors with buried-in-the-mix sound effects, including a too-real phone buzz, while “Say My Name” balances on a wobbly guitar line before blooming into a triumphant chorus that makes love seem like the best kind of high. Sway strobes through its first seven songs for maximum love-in-this-club effect, with Styrke’s voice heat-warping as she works through ambivalence on the loping “Changed My Mind” and stuttering as it takes on the big-talking antagonist of “On A Level.” The closer, her bouncy reimagining of former tourmate Lorde’s world-weary “Liability,” completely flips the ballad’s sad-girl script, with an insistence that transforms its theme of being “too much” into something to celebrate. It’s an exclamation point that gives this thoughtfully impish album even more pure pop pleasure. Maura Johnston
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

DJ Koze, Knock Knock
The playful German DJ’s latest release “enlists an A-list stable of singers, sampled and otherwise, for a set that’s seamlessly transporting, front to back,” writes Will Hermes. “The mood is uplifting but chill and definitely psychedelic – think Disclosure’s Settle designed less for a discotheque than an Ayahuasca ceremony.”
Read Our Review: DJ Koze’s Knock Knock Is a Seamlessly Transporting Psychedelic DJ Set
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Venetian Snares x Daniel Lanois, Venetian Snares x Daniel Lanois
This collaboration is a gorgeous, brain-rattling sum of its parts: The dry steel-guitar ambient landscapes of legendary producer Daniel Lanois, and the machine-gun breakcore of drum machine abuser Venetian Snares. Some parts are tense and beautiful; some parts sound like a wrong-angled juxtaposition. But it’s a great soundtrack if someone decides to make a breakdancing robot western. Christopher R. Weingarten
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | BandcampSpotify | Tidal

Jon Hopkins, Singularity
The music of acclaimed electronic producer and composer Jon Hopkins helped pave a road forward for an entire generation of mutated, genre-ambivalent EDM superstars like Flume and Odesza. His first album in nearly five years feels a little bigger, bolder and brighter than his 2013 breakthrough Immunity, but it’s still strange: A concoction somewhere between the joy-noise of Four Tet, the harsh beats of tech house and the atmospheric breathers of collaborator Brian Eno. Christopher R. Weingarten
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Spotify | Tidal

Pinkshinyultrablast, Miserable Miracles
The Russian-born noisegazers somehow manage to amp up their maximalist approach to distorto-pop on their third album. The giddy “Triangles” takes mid-Eighties New Romanticism and Stereolab-saluting wow and flutter into the red, while the hyperactive “Taleidoscope” pits ultra-low-frequency synths and “Roxanne, Roxanne” synth handclaps against Lyubov Soloveva’s heaven-bound vocal. Even when this ever-curious trio indulges its dronier side, à la the meditative “Blue Hour,” the result sparkles. Maura Johnston
Hear: Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Eternal Summers, Every Day It Feels Like I’m Dying
While tracks like the speedy “Contenders,” the shimmery “Famous Last Words” and the gentle “All That I Adore” echo the melody-forward jangle-pop of this Virginia band’s earlier offerings, their fifth full-length spins out into other directions, keeping the tunefulness quotient high all the while. “Oblivious” pairs scruffiness and heaviness in a way that recalls the era of cutoffs and Doc Martens, with Summers leader Nicole Yun’s chorused vocals giving way to a spiky guitar solo; on “Possibilities,” she broods over simmering guitars, which shift into a stretched-out, piano-assisted coda that sets the mood for the gauzy, vibed-out instrumental “Reprieval.” Maura Johnston
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Spotify | Tidal


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