Best Albums to Stream Now: Margo Price, Niall Horan and more - Rolling Stone
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10 New Albums to Stream Now: Rolling Stone Editors’ Picks

Margo Price’s honky-tonk manifesto, Niall Horan’s personal pop, Frank Zappa’s Halloween freakout and more albums to stream this week

Margo Price, All American Made
The country revivialist “shifts her focus outwards at a heartland ravaged by sexism and poverty” on her second album, which “evolves into one of the most political country records in years, a declarative honky-tonk manifesto of small-town farmer populism and working-class feminism,” writes Jonathan Bernstein. “Price’s latest is both reverent and revolutionary, a traditionally-minded statement that nevertheless blazes an urgent path forward.”
Read Our Feature: Margo Price Talks Politics, Willie Nelson Collaboration on Confident New LP

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Niall Horan, Flicker
The latest solo offering from a One Direction member takes cues from the stretched-out vibes and lush textures of Seventies soft rock – ideas well-suited to the Irish singer’s gentle demeanor and intimate lyrics. “I wanted this album to be completely personal,” he told Rolling Stone, “and therefore the best way for me to get what I wanted out of the songs was to write them with friends.”
Read Our Feature: Niall Horan Discusses Personal, Seventies-Tinged Debut Album Flicker
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Jessie Ware, Glasshouse
The British vocal powerhouse Jessie Ware takes on domestic matters on her third album, which showcases her impressive belt and love of pop’s many forms while also laying bare the intricacies of nurturing love – whether it’s romantic, maternal or domestic. “Midnight” blossoms from a gauzy space haunted by Ware’s falsetto into a propulsive, soulful love song; “First Time” blends dreampop fuzz with Quiet Storm languor; “Last of the True Believers” channels lushly appointed sophisti-pop while doubling down on devotion. “Sam,” which Ware co-wrote with her old pal Ed Sheeran, is a delicate, ruminative ballad about existing on the precipice of motherhood that fades into a muted trumpet solo (courtesy of Nico Segal, f.k.a. Chance the Rapper’s associate Donnie Trumpet) in a way that recalls a person getting lost in their own head while mulling over life’s imminent leaps. Ware is one of pop’s most captivating vocalists, combining pure vocal power with a deeply rooted humanity, and Glasshouse is a testament to how she navigates that balance. Maura Johnston
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | SoundCloud Go | Spotify | Tidal

Frank Zappa, Halloween ’77, The Palladium, NYC
Frank Zappa’s late-Seventies period was the silliest of his career. The 1979 albums Sheik Yerbouti and Joe’s Garage contain some of his career’s funniest (and some of its most offensive) songs; much of that material dates back to at least 1977, when Zappa played a now-legendary Halloween residency at New York City’s Palladium. Songs from those concerts surfaced on later albums (including “Jewish Princess” and “Jones Crusher” on Sheik), and videos floated around the bootleg market for years. This box set gathers together each of that series’ six shows, warts and all; the physical package comes with an especially silly Zappa mask and costume, as well as an Oh Henry!-bar shaped USB drive containing all the music. (It reads “Oh Punky!” – a delicious Zappa in-joke.) The sound quality throughout each of the concerts is top notch, which is essential for a band that also featured guitarist Adrian Belew, drummer Terry Bozzio and bassist Patrick O’Hearn (who was often the funniest vocalist onstage). Still, it’s a diehards-only release that will surely satiate completist Zappaholics. Kory Grow
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Tyminski, Southern Gothic
Dan Tyminski’s soulful mountain tenor has graced “I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow” from O Brother, Where Art Thou and Avicii’s 2013 EDM-country anthem “Hey Brother,” and the longtime vocalist and guitarist for Alison Krauss and Union Station’s latest solo album has a similar appeal to that cross-genre smash. Southern Gothic blends Tyminski’s acoustic music pedigree with brooding electronic touches courtesy of Music Row producer Jesse Frasure. The title track lurches along like a chain gang, combining swampy Dobro licks with menacing synths, vocal percussion and Tyminski’s impressionistic musings on crooked-tongued preachers and small-town hypocrisy. Elsewhere, he tries (and fails) to come to grips with loss on “Hollow Hallelujah,” pleads for commitment on the kaleidoscopic pop number “Temporary Love” and sinks into oblivion on the swirling, percussion-free album closer “Numb.” It’s exciting new territory for the roots-music mainstay, and a riveting collision of musical styles. Jon Freeman
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Various Artists, Tegan and Sara Present The Con X: Covers
Tegan and Sara’s 2007 album The Con was a creative leap forward for the sisterly duo and a watershed moment in their career. To celebrate, the pair asked artists – including Paramore’s fierce vocalist Hayley Williams, electro-gauze outfit CHVRCHES, shape-shifting singer-songwriter Shamir and rocker Ryan Adams – to cover each of the songs from the album, with the release benefiting the LGTBQ-minded Tegan and Sara Foundation. “One of the things I really like about the album as a whole is just, like, the different approaches that everybody took to the raw material,” Mykki Blanco, whose sludge-goth reinvention of “Knife Going In” is one of the album’s most radical reinventions, told Rolling Stone. “That’s one of the great things about pop music, and music in general – you can have the basic building blocks of a song, but the artistry and the inspiration of each individual artist can take them in really exciting directions.”
Read Our Feature: How Tegan and Sara Made The Con New Again With Help From a Few Friends
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Dori Freeman, Letters Never Read
Dori Freeman’s self-titled 2016 debut established her as something of a musical shapeshifter. A resident of Galax, Virginia, she was reared on that town’s old-time and Appalachian music traditions, but she also proved capable of slipping into different musical modes. Freeman continues this trend on her second full-length, which was produced by Teddy Thompson. Her alto is alternately sturdy and delicate, seemingly finding a comfortable spot whether she’s accompanied by the gleaming chamber pop of “Lovers on the Run” or Richard Thompson’s guitar in the lilting waltz “If I Could Make You My Own.” While her appreciation for fellow pop sophisticate Rufus Wainwright is obvious, Freeman’s work is grounded in her appreciation of her home and its musical traditions; on the traditional gospel tune “Over There,” her calm delivery is accompanied by a solo banjo, while she forgoes instruments entirely for a good-natured a capella rendition of her grandfather Willard Gayheart’s “Ern & Zorry’s Sneakin’ Bitin’ Dog.” Letters Never Read sounds thoroughly modern while evoking Freeman’s musical past. Jon Freeman
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Visionist, Value
The music of London experimental tension-builder Visionist exists at the same crossroads of EDM, noise and 21st-century composition as Ben Frost, Tim Hecker and Roly Porter. But his relationship to grime music tethers his expressionist, heart-pounding chaos to a different type of palette. On his second album, mutating noise sounds like it’s holding space in a room (“Value”), synths and vocal noises create synthetic tapestries (“Homme”) and push-pull headbanger distortion sounds like grime thumping around in the washing machine (“New Obsession”). Christopher R. Weingarten
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Bandcamp | Spotify | Tidal

Orchestre Les Mangelepa, Last Band Standing
The title is near to the truth – this Kenya-based Congolese big band came together in the late ’60s, when they helped coin the kinetic, ecstatic, electric-guitar-driven sound of African rumba. Most of the giants of the genre’s golden era (Franco, Tabu Ley Rochereau) are gone. But this new recording finds Mangalepa’s current lineup keeping the fire stoked, and there remain few more joyous, more danceable sounds on earth. Will Hermes
Hear: Apple Music | Bandcamp | Spotify

Bell Witch, Mirror Reaper
This funeral doom opus from critically acclaimed Seattle metal duo Bell Witch is one of the most ambitious rock albums of the year – a single atmospheric, slowpoke dirge that’s too long to fit on a CD. Clocking in at more than 83 minutes, Mirror Reaper‘s cycling slow-motion Sabbath riffs are both sad and triumphant, with passages of monolithic explosion and empty desolation. Christopher R. Weingarten
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Bandcamp | SoundCloud Go | Spotify | Tidal


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