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10 New Albums to Stream Now: Pusha T, Shawn Mendes, J Balvin and More Editors’ Picks

Pusha T’s seven-song Kanye collab, Shawn Mendes’ grown-up pop and more albums to stream now

10 New Albums to Stream Now: Pusha T, Shawn Mendes, J Balvin and More Editors' Picks

Pusha T and Shawn Mendes.

Def Jam Records; IBL/REX/Shutterstock

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Pusha-T, Daytona
“I predict snow/Al Roker,” raps Pusha-T on this seven-track project’s “If You Know You Know.” But Daytona is more than just drug tales from a rapper who has specialized in coke rap since the dawn of the Aughts. As a master of metaphor and punchlines, he uses the trappings of rap life to illustrate a culture in crisis. “I won’t let you ruin my dreams/Or Harvey Weinstein the kid/Good morning Matt Lauer, can I live?” he rhymes on “Hard Piano.” On “What Would Meek Do?”, he drops a reference to the 1996 sex rap “Put It in Your Mouth”: “Pop a wheelie, tell the judge to Akinyele.” Meanwhile, Kanye “poopy-dee scoop” West buttresses the lyrical fireworks with raw, minimalist loops; it sounds like he’s still chasing the ghost of Pusha-T’s Clipse classic Hell Hath No Fury, which is at least better motivation than arguing about MAGA on Twitter. Mosi Reeves
Read Our Feature: Pusha-T Talks Making Daytona in Kanye West’s Secluded Wyoming Sessions
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple MusicSpotify | Tidal

J Balvin, Vibras
The “Mi Gente” hitmaker’s fifth album “happens to be a pan-Latin masterstroke of its own,” writes Will Hermes, “a set of primo Spanish-language pop with vibe deep enough to make it universal. … Balvin is a smoothie, a chiseled yet cherubic heartthrob with a gentle-roughneck tenor and a seductive, vaped-up flow; his wingman Alejandro ‘Sky’ Ramirez and reggaetón veteran Marco ‘Tainy’ Masis produce most of the tracks with a languid bounce.” 
Read Our Review: J Balvin’s Vibras Is a Warm, Universalist Take on Latin Pop
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Shawn Mendes, Shawn Mendes
The teen heartthrob turns 20 in August, and he shows off his maturity on his third album, where he “sings about relationships more confidently and straightforwardly than ever before,” writes Brittany Spanos, over “groovy R&B funk that doesn’t lose the charm of the way his warm vocals sound over the scratchy strum of his guitar.” 
Read Our Review: Shawn Mendes’ Third LP Smoothly Transitions Into Grown-Up Pop
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Chvrches, Love Is Dead
The Scottish synth-pop trio that “refined synth-pop for the festival age” have enlisted pop guru Greg Kurstin for their third album, which “appropriately levels up,” writes Maura Johnston. “Chvrches are at their finest when they’re adding dabs of holographic highlighter to structures built on New Wave’s buzzy bliss and post-goth’s gloom.” 
Read Our Review: Chvrches Super-Size Their Epic Synth-Pop on Love Is Dead
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, BooCheeMish
Issued by UK indie institution 4AD in 1986, the gorgeously strange Le Mystère Des Voix Bulgares introduced Bulgarian choral singing to the pop world amidst LPs by kindred spirits Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance; artists from Kate Bush (The Sensual World) to Drake (“King Leon”) would later tap the choir’s spine-stiffening sound. This new German release finds the “Mystery of Bulgarian Voices” choir in fine form, while Dead Can Dance vocalist Lisa Gerrard engages the group’s medieval tradition with impressive sensitivity. They’re still one of the music world’s great wonders. Will Hermes
Hear: Apple Music | BandcampSpotify | Tidal

Sudan Archives, Sink
This Los Angeles violinist-vocalist forges new connections between her debut’s dense, string-forward sound and modern pop on this mini-album. Kiss-off lead single “Nont for Sale” merges a plucked-string backbone with the hi-hat patterns currently ruling radio, while the staggered thump of “Mind Control” evokes renegade Eighties synth-funk. Sometimes, as on “Mind Control” and the title track, Sudan Archives chooses to submerge her violin playing, embracing the skittering electronics and unflappable vocals that dominate labels like Hyperdub, Fade to Mind and Young Turks. But after showing her range, Sudan Archives brings the violin back to the forefront: “OK, OK, here we go,” she sings on “Beautiful Mistakes,” as percussion and strings hiccup charmingly beneath her. “They don’t know, they, they don’t know/They’re just fucking old people trying to steal all your gold.” Elias Leight
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | BandcampSpotify | Tidal

Hatchie, Sugar & Spice
Australian bassist-songwriter Harriette Pilbeam channels the strum-and-sigh-heavy pop of the pre-grunge “modern rock” era on this fizzy, gauzy EP, which brings to mind the wonder of the Cranberries, the gentle plainspokenness of The Sundays and the sweet-tart harmonies of Belly – and that’s all on the swirling opener “Sure.” Love songs like the singalong “Try” and the sparkling “Sleep” get their grounding from forceful acoustic guitars buried in the mix of synths and fuzzed-out vocals, giving them an assured guardedness. “Sugar & Spice,” meanwhile, holds on to optimism even as Hatchie sings of red flags – “You don’t call me baby anymore,” she admits – but the song-closing declaration that “we could outlast it all” is backed with shooting-star keyboards that give her wishes extra weight. Maura Johnston
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | BandcampSpotify | Tidal

Grant Green, Funk in France: From Paris to Antibes
Grant Green, Slick! – Live at Oil Can Harry’s
Resonance Records, a California jazz label committed to unearthing rare recordings by major artists, caters to the connoisseur. But you don’t need to be a completist to dig these two collections of previously unreleased studio and live material by the late guitarist Grant Green. A key member of the early-to-mid-Sixties Blue Note roster – hard-bop classics like Idle Moments feature his beautifully crisp tone and consummately laid-back feel – his later years have been less well-documented. Dating from 1969-70 and 1975, respectively, Funk in France and Slick! capture the guitarist at an interesting moment: He’s holding on to his roots in jazz and blues while wholeheartedly embracing funk. Green was such an engaging, conversational soloist that his takes on everything from James Brown’s “I Don’t Want Nobody to Give Me Nothing (Open Up the Door, I’ll Get It Myself)” to Charlie Parker’s “Now’s the Time” come out sounding like stops on the same hard-grooving journey. Hank Shteamer
Hear (Funk In France): Bandcamp
Hear (Slick!): Bandcamp

Various Artists, Technicolor Paradise: Rhum Rhapsodies and Other Delights
The archivists at Numero Group breathe unlikely new life into exotica – the lushly arranged, colorful-cocktail-sipping, percussion-and-bird-call music that made early Sixties rec rooms feel like tiki rooms – on this collection. Exotica’s last bout of popularity was as an offshoot of the Nineties alt-boom (see Re/Search magazine, Sub Pop lounge rockers Combustible Edison, Esquivel reissues, etc.), but its influence still pops up in places like the latest Arctic Monkeys album and John Zorn’s Dreamers band. The back third of this 3-LP comp (“Mai Tai Mambos”) features a pan-genre collection of obscurities and also-rans working without a Martin Denny budget: A scrappy tune from the “King of Armenian Swing” (Artie Barsamian), a taut belly-dancing song (Ed Kochak & Hakki Obadia) and a burping and jaw harp goof (Chico Jose). The first third (“Daiquiri Dirges”) focuses on warped and twangy guitars, arriving at its imaginary jungle paradise via surf, garage and Duane Eddy – a gorgeous moonlit melody from San Antonio’s Chayns, a moody creep from organ-churning Georgian crew the Jaguars, and some very bubbling gurgle from L.A.’s Blue Bells. Christopher R. Weingarten
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Bandcamp | Spotify | Tidal

In This Article: Chvrches, J Balvin, Pusha T, Shawn Mendes

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