×
Home Music Music News

10 New Albums to Stream Now: Lori McKenna, The Internet and More Editors’ Picks

Lori McKenna’s wisdom-rich musings, The Internet’s Quiet Storm soul, Scars on Broadway’s humor-laced rock and more albums to stream now

Lori Mckenna and The Internet's Syd the Kyd.

Lori Mckenna and The Internet's Syd the Kyd.

Invision/AP/REX Shutterstock, Brett Cove/SilverHub/REX Shutterstock

EDITORS’ PICK: Lori McKenna, The Tree
One of modern country’s greatest songwriters, the author of Tim McGraw’s winning “Humble & Kind” echoes its themes here, musing on verities of family and community with matter-of-factly hard-earned, time-ripened wisdom. The craft is remarkable and deceptively understated, with fine-turned phrases glinting like dewdrops. Highlight: “The Lot Behind St. Mary’s,” a song about getting busy in blue jeans while in the literal (and figurative) shadow of the local church. Parlor game: Guessing which songs will get remade by mainstreamers wanting an artistic upgrade. Will Hermes
Listen: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

The Internet, Hive Mind
“No one expected the rambunctious rap collective Odd Future to spawn a great soft-soul outfit, but that’s exactly what the Internet, fronted mostly by Odd Future alumna Syd, have become,” writes Elias Leight. “Hive Mind, the group’s 4th LP, is its most polished, full of tranquil, yearning Quiet Storm and light-footed, live-band funk.”
Read Our Review: The Internet Make Captivating R&B on Hive Mind
Listen: 
Amazon Music Unlimited Apple Music | BandcampSpotify | Tidal

Daron Malakian and Scars on Broadway, Dictator
It’s been 13 years since System of a Down released their last record – for a variety of reasons, though the alt-metal band’s members claim to get along – so this album from guitarist Daron Malakian’s other project represents a welcome return to the SOaD sound. Although Scars on Broadway’s previous releases were a little more straightforward hard rock, Dictator contains a dozen humorous, pogo-ready rockers that Malakian recorded by himself in 2012 and shelved, thinking System might record them, until now. Standouts include the springy “Lives” (a celebration of Armenian genocide survivors that’s a solid Song of the Summer candidate), the scatological “Angry Guru,” the moody “Talkin’ Shit” (one of many songs with drug references) and the disco-thrash closer “Assimilate.” If it had Serj Tankian and the other System members on it, Dictator could be the album so many have wanted. Kory Grow
Read Our Feature: System of a Down Guitarist Talks First Solo Music in Eight Years
Listen: 
Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Anuel AA, Real Hasta la Muerte
This Puerto Rican rapper helped Latin trap score one of its first major hits when he appeared on De La Ghetto’s “La Ocasión” in 2016. As the subgenre continued to grow in popularity, earning billions of streams for artists like Bad Bunny and Chris Jeday, Anuel AA was sidelined: In June 2017, he was sentenced to 30 months in prison for possession of firearms. Yet this week Anuel announced his release from prison – and celebrated by immediately releasing Real Hasta la Muerte, which functions as a reassertion of his trap roots. It’s full of rough-hewn rapping over window-shaking production (“Modo De Avión,” “Brindemos” with Ozuna), but Anuel demonstrates versatility as well: “Quiere Beber,” with a throbbing beat and melodic delivery, is ready-made for radio, while “Hipócrita,” a chirpy reggaeton collaboration with Zion, could play easily next to Zion & Lennox’s own “La Player (Bandolera),” which recently hit Number One on the Latin airwaves. Anuel keeps one foot in trap, but he’s also looking toward Latin pop’s mainstream. Elias Leight
Listen: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

88rising, Head In the Clouds
The streaming age has – happily – broadened hip-hop’s boundaries, allowing U.S. and English-speaking listeners to easily discover how other cultures have put their own spin on the genre. The New York-centered collective 88rising is representative of hip-hop’s ascendant globalism: It includes acts from Indonesia (rapper Rich Brian and R&B singer NIKI), Japan (R&B singer Joji), China (the rap/pop group Higher Brothers) and South Korea (rapper Keith Ape), as well as L.A. artist August 08. The crew’s debut echoes of-the-moment sounds, particularly on the thumping trap of Higher Brothers, Rich Brian and August 08’s “Disrespectin” and the candied pop waves of NIKI and Joji’s “La Cienaga.” Higher Brothers easily glide between Chinese and English alongside Memphis rapper Blocboy JB on “Let It Go”; crew tracks like “Swimming Pool” and “Lover Boy 88” are further proof of how collectives like 88rising and Brockhampton are remaking pop-rap with ecstatic glee (and a bit of Glee). Cameos from Internet faves like 03 Greedo, Playboi Carti and Goldlink solidify this album’s wide-ranging appeal. Mosi Reeves
Listen: 
Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Liars, Original Soundtrack To the Film 1/1
Recorded between 2014’s Mess and longtime member Aaron Hemphill’s 2016 departure, this soundtrack to director Jeremy Phillips’ debut film will be the first – and possibly only – release from Liars’ brief period as a duo, before Angus Andrew began steering the art-rock stalwarts by his lonesome. There are no real breakthroughs here, but this mix of dance-muck and dank ambient sits nicely between the shadowy electro-throb of 2012’s WIXIW and the squelchy pulses of Mess. “Helsingor Lane” is a Portishead-in-the-woods crooner, while the rest of the album contains beat-centric darkness and floaty moodscapes rendered in song length: coughs, drones, deep house with spooky ambience and the 119-second Eno drip “Telepathic Interrogation.” Christopher R. Weingarten
Listen: 
Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Public Image Ltd., The Public Image Is Rotten (Songs From the Heart)
When John Lydon formed Public Image Ltd. four decades ago, it was a crucible for all his acerbic, post-Sex Pistols angst – but it quickly became so much more. This collection, which shares its title with a new documentary about the band, offers a robust survey of how Lydon transitioned from arty rager into pop-chart-ready hitmaker while adhering to the mantra of PiL’s “Rise”: “anger is an energy.” Two DVDs come with the physical release, while the audio selections include the band’s singles and B-sides, some brilliant Peel sessions (check out the cutting version of “Poptones”), dance mixes (including an explosive, nine-minute version of “Death Disco,” aka “Swan Lake”), a bizarre instrumental rework of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir,” some assorted live tracks and a pretty great New York concert from 1989. The best moments come when Lydon baits his New York audience, snarling “Look at the boring bastards in the balcony” and “Come on now, don’t be shy, it’s only Johnny” between some of PiL’s most joyful songs – and the crowd just swoons. Kory Grow
Listen: 
Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | Spotify | Tidal

Eddie Palmieri, Full Circle
At 81 years old, this Grammy Award-winning pianist and bandleader still rocks the art form of salsa like no other, and this splashy collection of re-recorded hits from “El Maestro” captures the artist at the top of his game. The bombshell opener “Vámonos Pa’l Monte” – or “Let’s Go to the Mountains,” Palmieri’s proposed alternative to a life of injustice in the city – has an updated arrangement by Ray Santos that trades the organs of the 1971 original for an excitable gang of trombones, congas and timbales, all sparring hot-blooded over Palmieri’s crafty piano rounds. These new renditions sound squeaky clean, but Palmieri’s swagger is timeless. Suzy Exposito
Listen: 
Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | BandcampSpotify | Tidal

Forma, Semblance
On their fourth album, this synth crew continues rocketing down the autobahn with a glistening, dense take on the komische of Tangerine Dream and the ambient compositions of Laurie Spiegel. With each record, Forma seems to emphasize the live instruments beefing up their sound – a sax squawk, some pastoral flute, and even some “Cut-Up” vocals – making the result closer to a lush bliss-out than mechanical robo-pop. The highlight is the cinematic, nine-plus minute “New City,” where a piano meditation redolent of Another Green World‘s Side B expands into a night drive. Christopher R. Weingarten
Listen: Amazon Music Unlimited Apple Music | BandcampSpotify | Tidal

Pram, Across the Meridian
This British collective carved out a singular place for itself in the Nineties and early aughts, embracing a “world-building through crate-digging” aesthetic that spun downtempo beats, squelching synths, muted horns, found-sound curios, astral-plane vocals and other orphaned sonics into spellbinding glimpses of noir – think of it as “music to watch stars drift by.” Their first album since 2007 shows that neither time nor lineup tweaks has dimmed Pram’s exploratory spirit; instrumentals like “Shimmer and Disappear” and “Ladder To the Moon” function as soundtracks for the movies in one’s head, building moods with galloping drums (on “Shimmer”) and drowsy horns (on “Ladder”), while tracks like the droning “Electra” play whispered-in-the-wind vocals against chilly chimes and straining woodwinds. It’s a stunning return that instantly raises the game for all other electro-experimentalists. Maura Johnston
Listen: Amazon Music Unlimited | Apple Music | BandcampSpotify | Tidal

Newswire

Powered by
Close comments

Add a comment