Wire, “Silver/Lead”

The Colin Newman–led band is not the same as it used to be fifteen albums ago. And that’s exactly the point.

Real Estate, “In Mind”

Like previous Real Estate records, “In Mind” washes over the listener, pleasantly blending into the background.

Conor Oberst, “Salutations”

“Salutations” maintains the tattered humanity of its unaccompanied counterpart, but somehow makes it all go down a little smoother.

Spoon, “Hot Thoughts”

There was always bound to be a straight-ahead dance-rock album from Spoon. How could there not be?

Xiu Xiu, “Forget”

No one would make this record if they didn’t have to.

Sleaford Mods, “English Tapas”

Everything Sleaford Mods say in these twelve songs is thoroughly valid and, frankly, needs to be said.

Ibibio Sound Machine, “Uyai”

There’s a kind of political beauty in the sight of an empowered woman and her band communicating passionately and honestly.

Dirty Projectors, “Dirty Projectors”

“Dirty Projectors” can at times be exhausting, and its density can feel crushing, but at their best, David Longstreth’s songs center on connection.

Grandaddy, “Last Place”

It’s not the second coming of “The Sophtware Slump.” But it also isn’t trying to be.

Entrance, “Book of Changes”

Guy Blakeslee has never really been a wallflower when it comes to singing, but “Book of Changes” showcases his voice in a way that feels like it’s a new thing.

Tim Darcy, “Saturday Night”

On his solo debut, the Ought frontman embarks on his own personal exploration of sounds and genres, ideas and influences.

Ryan Adams, “Prisoner”

Despite his amazing proficiency as a songwriter, Ryan Adams has never bared his soul like he does here.

Molly Burch, “Please Be Mine”

The LA native’s debut is an escape route from Trump’s America into an alternative and rose-tinted reality.

The Menzingers, “After the Party”

The four members of The Menzingers have all hit their thirties. “After the Party” confronts that reality and all the realizations that come along with it.

Hand Habits, “Wildly Idle (Humble Before the Void)”

There is an airy, homemade weirdness to Meg Duffy’s solo debut.

Max Richter, “Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works”

The British composer bravely journeys deep into the interior of Virginia Woolf’s novels and her inimitable characters.

Syd, “Fin”

“Fin” confidently reinvents a music made for bumping and grooving with a lyrical prowess that burns slowly, confessionally.

Quelle Chris, “Being You Is Great, I Wish I Could Be You More Often”

“Being You” is gnarly and cerebral, the sound of a jittery headspace that’s got room enough for every flight of fancy.

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