Adrian Younge, “The American Negro”

Younge’s bold new music/spoken word LP is his most stirring, politicized, and down-to-earth release to date.

Katy Kirby, “Cool Dry Place”

Kirby’s debut gives us songs imbued with excitement in the unknown.

Mogwai, “As the Love Continues”

While the amusement value of the track list is high, the music lags behind at times.

Django Django, “Glowing in the Dark”

All the diversity on the oddly alluring neo-psych group’s fourth record doesn’t always make for great intrigue.

Wild Pink, “A Billion Little Lights”

The dreamy indie rockers’ third LP is hazy, sparkly, and full of atmospheric character.

God Is an Astronaut, “Ghost Tapes #10”

This is the sound of a band burrowing deep into the heart of its genre, ripping it apart and reviving.

Dusty Springfield, “The Complete Atlantic Singles 1968-1971”

These Southern-rubbed and Philly-styled recordings open the vocalist up to a freedom she never experienced before or after.

slowthai, “TYRON”

The UK rapper’s origin-story prequel experiments with earnest beauty while still feeling like a prank.

Frank Zappa, “Zappa Original Motion Picture Soundtrack”

Will even the most extreme Zappa-head want to listen to a quasi-greatest hits culled from less than 1/5 of Zappa’s output?

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, “New Fragility”

“New Fragility” builds up a better framework for CYHSY as an Alec Ounsworth solo project.

Foo Fighters, “Medicine at Midnight”

The Foos’ 10th studio album dabbles with a new pop sound while also holding true to their classic rock roots.

Sun June, “Somewhere”

Though not entirely innovative, “Somewhere” is filled with arrangements that have a lot of room to breathe.

John Carpenter, “Lost Themes III: Alive After Death”

Carpenter accomplishes a meditative dread he avoided as a filmmaker on his latest “Lost Themes” installment.

Tommy James & the Shondells, “Celebration: The Complete Roulette Recordings 1966-1973”

A deep dive into pop’s rare past with a man who made the journey bold, original, and downright frisky.

The Weather Station, “Ignorance”

The latest, truly masterful statement from Tamara Lindeman blooms beyond her Americana roots.

Arlo Parks, “Collapsed in Sunbeams”

The London songwriter is able to achieve a collision of cool and gut-wrenching that is all her own. 

Martin Gore, “The Third Chimpanzee”

This rare solo release from the Depeche Mode songwriter is memorably haunting.

Langhorne Slim, “Strawberry Mansion”

The write raw-boned, ruined country anthems of “Strawberry Mansion” make it a neighborhood worth visiting.

Lia Ices, “Family Album”

Ices’ Northern California surroundings and recent transition to motherhood contribute to a holistic voice that serves her arrangements wonderfully.

The Besnard Lakes, “…Are the Last of the Great Thunderstorm Warnings”

The return of the Canadian ensemble provides us with a late-Malick meditation on mortality.

Richard Hell and the Voidoids, “Destiny Street Complete”

These demos and fuller, remixed recordings show off more of the Albert-Ayler-meets-Iggy-Pop thing that Hell and his band probably intended.

Speed Stick, “Volume One”

The debut from the avant-garde supergroup demonstrates the power of collaboration, but struggles with cohesion and emotional drive.

Lande Hekt, “Going to Hell”

The Muncie Girls songwriter finds much more fertile ground in the internal on her solo debut.

Iggy and The Stooges, “You Think You’re Bad, Man: Road Tapes ’73-’74” + “From K.O. to Chaos”

Iggy Pop’s last gasp with the original Stooges is hyper-energized and essential listening alongside the official canon.

The Dirty Nil, “Fuck Art”

The Canadian punks’ pugnacious third LP is also their most tender and nuanced release yet.

Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou, “The Helm of Sorrow”

The doomy pair share more mournful explosions of existential tragedy and aggressive solemnity that transcend genre.

Beach Bunny, “Blame Game” EP

The EP’s subject matter is thornier than past efforts’, leading to songwriting that pulls fewer punches.

Pearl Charles, “Magic Mirror”

Charles’ latest collection of songs is a musical mosaic weaving in the influence of artists like Fleetwood Mac and ABBA.

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