Best New Albums to Stream: Halsey, Dan Auerbach, Kool G Rap - Rolling Stone
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10 New Albums to Stream Now: Rolling Stone Editors’ Picks

Halsey, Roger Waters, Bleachers, Dan Auerbach and more you can hear right now

halsey, kool g rap, mavis staples, dan auerbach, amber coffman, omar souleyman, new albums, new musichalsey, kool g rap, mavis staples, dan auerbach, amber coffman, omar souleyman, new albums, new music

Roger Waters, Halsey and Bleachers released some of the week's best albums.

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Halsey, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom
“The whole reason you make a record,” the upstart pop singer told Rolling Stone earlier this spring, “is to figure stuff out about yourself.” On her second album, Halsey goes all-in on ambition, creating a widescreen breakup record that, Rob Sheffield writes, will “make damn sure nobody mistakes her for some harmless starlet who served as sultry hook girl on that Chainsmokers hit; she shakes off that image like she’s dumping a mattress she stole from her roommate back in Boulder.”
Read Our Review:
Halsey Showcases Wild Ambitions on Hopeless Fountain Kingdom
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Roger Waters, Is This the Life We Really Want?
Pink Floyd leader Roger Waters’ first rock album since 1992’s Amused to Death is a sweeping broadside against the current moment. “The grim charm of this set, a 12-track dystopian concept LP that makes The Wall read like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, is precisely his emeritus off-the-leash ranting, a fitting response to the stench and stupidity of our present moment,” writes Will Hermes.
Read Our Review: Roger Waters Flays Modern Dystopia on First Rock LP in 24 Years
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Bleachers, Gone Now
Album number two from of-the-moment pop guru Jack Antonoff, which features cameos from Lorde and Carly Rae Jepsen. The LP “exudes a kind of afflicted bliss, anthemic Eighties pop and R&B impressions built from the harried, diaristic isolation that era’s Top 40 only allowed in at the margins,” writes Jon Dolan.
Read Our Review: Bleachers’ Jack Antonoff is an Emo Elton John on Gone Now
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Dan Auerbach, Waiting on a Song
“No one wants to be pegged as a carpetbagger, so it was but a matter of time ’til multi-tasking Dan Auerbach made his Nashville LP, having based his Easy Eye Studio there. He’s taken the right tack,” writes Will Hermes, “tapping great talent to grow his retro style without just playing dress-up, creating a Seventies country-soul-rock palette part Lee Hazelwood, part Jim Ford, plus spare parts. 
Read Our Review: Dan Auerbach Eases Into Nashville Retro on ‘Waiting on a Song’
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Amber Coffman, City of No Reply
The lilt that defined R&B-leaning Dirty Projectors songs like “Stillness Is the Move” takes center stage on Amber Coffman’s off-kilter solo debut, which has a lost-in-the-clouds vibe thanks to skeletal instrumentation and Coffman’s airy soprano. Coffman sounds beamed in from another pop dimension on songs like the starry-eyed “Miss You” and the dreamy lament “If You Want My Heart” – they have lovely hooks, and Coffman’s voice gives even her more biting lyrics a wide-eyed edge. But this album exists slightly, and wonderfully, out of time, providing a respite from the compressed-to-death clamor found in other pop corners. Maura Johnston
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Various Artists, Mavis Staples: I’ll Take You There – An All-Star Concert Celebration
A commemoration of the cameo-filled 2014 concert that celebrated the soul legend’s 75th birthday, this album features Gregg Allman tearing through “Have a Little Faith,” Michael McDonald funking up “Freedom Highway,” Emmylou Harris meditating on “Far Celestial Shore” and Staples herself leading a slew of performances, including a cover of Talking Heads’ “Slippery People” and a bringing-down-the-house version of “The Weight.”
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited / Apple Music / Spotify / Tidal

Omar Souleyman, To Syria, With Love
The latest by the Syrian dabke ambassador, who’s worked with Bjork and Four Tet, comes via Diplo’s Mad Decent label. Little has changed: The galloping hand-percussion beats are hectic, the vocals gloriously guttural; the hookah-bar synth tones swarm like killer bees, with folk-music timbres blasted through digital triggers. There are modern EDM touches, and, alongside praise songs to brunettes (this is at its core dance music for weddings), there’s a pair of laments for Souleyman’s war-torn homeland. As one couplet in the tortured “Mawal” translates, “I walk and my heart/Feels dead among the dead.” Still, Souleyman’s most explicitly political statement is the music’s unwavering devotion to breathless, passionate celebration. Will Hermes
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited / Apple Music / SoundCloud / Spotify / Tidal

Cody Chesnutt, My Love Divine Degree
This Atlanta-born producer-troubadour’s music feels instantly intimate – it blends R&B’s warmth and depth with bedroom pop’s intimate, shaggy style, resulting in up-close soul songs that sigh and soar. On his third album (and first since 2012), the man who laid the groundwork for the Roots’ hit “The Seed 2.0” works with Chicago producer Anthony “The Twilite Tone” Khan (Kanye West, John Legend) to expand his aesthetic ever so slightly. Chesnutt’s freewheeling compositional approach remains intact – the suite “She Ran Away” pivots from jittery synth-funk to a chilly lament on a dime, while the brief interlude “Always Sebrena” pairs on-the-wind chimes with Chesnutt’s falsetto. His pointed lyrics dig into his desire for a better world. Listening to Chesnutt’s mind work itself out is a joy that provokes thought as it thrills. Maura Johnston 
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Kool G Rap, Return of the Don
Queens rhyme-stacker Kool G Rap has never been in the Top 40 – unless you count the boisterous two syllables of “Poison” sampled on the Bell Biv DeVoe New Jack Swing classic – but his rap style has an influence greater than any metric could show. His fifth solo album – eighth including his pioneering work with DJ Polo – is a cohesive, street-centered record made entirely of beats by Canadian producer Moss, whose dusty breaks-style beats sound time-warped from the era of puffy coats and Timberlands. The massive guest list includes tons of artists whose motormouth style and/or Mafioso energy run parallel to the rap royalty that kickstarted it all: Sean Price, N.O.R.E., Freeway, Cormega, Lil Fame of M.O.P. and more.
Read Our Feature: Kool G Rap on the Highly Technical Rap Style That Influenced Generations
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Beach Fossils, Somersault
The Brooklyn surf-rock trio gambled with a post-punk dissonance on their sophomore album, 2013’s Clash the Truth. They flip the script once more in Somersault, a delectable chamber-pop set augmented by sax, piano, jazz flute and string arrangements. Their first release on frontman Dustin Payseur’s own label, Bayonet, the band’s range grows most elastic in the symphonic “Saint Ivy.” Memphis rapper Cities Aviv lends an all-too-fleeting cool in “Rise.” Suzy Exposito
Hear: Amazon Music Unlimited / Apple Music / Bandcamp / Spotify / Tidal


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