Algiers, “The Underside of Power”

Rock history proves that if you’re going to try and awaken the world with a new message, you’d better wake them up with new sounds, too.

Ride, “Weather Diaries”

The return from the shoegaze legends seems as if it was made by a bunch of twenty-year-olds excitedly let loose in the studio for the first time—and the result is one of the more vital comeback records you’re likely to hear this year.

Phoenix, “Ti Amo”

Though short and sweet, “Ti Amo” hides something frank, hard, and troubled beneath its lustful sheen and rainbow hues.

Beach Fossils, “Somersault”

Just as the name describes, “Somersault” turns our perspective upside down.

The Peacers, “Introducing the Crimsmen”

The ability to construct songs based on only the best parts—the hook, the acoustic rhythm guitar, the first notes of a sandblasted solo—is what keeps The Peacers operating on a higher level.

Lil Yachty, “Teenage Emotions”

As Lil Yachty refuses to look at the past for inspiration, his debut album puts a giant lens on his present.

Can, “The Singles”

An exhilarating journey into one of contemporary music’s most inventive and eccentric bands.

Fleet Foxes, “Crack-Up”

This band does delicate beauty so well that the stand-out moments of “Crack-Up” tend to be the ones where they let their hair down a bit.

B Boys, “Dada”

Though they play clumsy rubes, there’s no hiding the Brooklyn trio’s combined smarts.

Rancid, “Trouble Maker”

While “Trouble Maker” is far from a political record, its songs certainly exist within the fragile framework of America in 2017.

Helium, “Ends With And”

“Ends With And” replenishes the coffers of completists whose cassette collections have crumbled and provides a wide-ranging primer for curious newcomers.

Omar Souleyman, “To Syria, with Love”

At its core, “To Syria, with Love” is not a celebration of a love that exists in the present but rather a painful longing for a love that he wants back.

Perfume Genius, “No Shape”

The title of Perfume Genius’s fourth album implies a certain degree of nebulousness in what Mike Hadreas has to offer—and in that sense, it’s not an entirely accurate moniker.

The Mountain Goats, “Goths”

More than anything, “Goths” seems to operate like an extended love letter to the oft-misunderstood subculture.

Big Thief, “Capacity”

Comprising eleven downtrodden, sunken-hearted, minor-chord songs, Big Thief’s sophomore album traverses the dark side of humanity, but pairs the despair with a ragged beauty.

U2, “The Joshua Tree: 30th Anniversary Edition”

“The Joshua Tree” is a record so universal, so full of modern pop hymns, that people probably wouldn’t have minded it showing up automatically on their iPhones.

Dan Auerbach, “Waiting on a Song”

On his first solo endeavor since 2009, it’s easy to see how the Black Keys frontman has grown.

Amber Coffman, “City of No Reply”

Recorded over the span of two years, Amber Coffman’s first solo album explores what it takes to move on while staying within yourself.

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