Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide To Earth
Are you ready for the city?
Where Simpson’s enthralling second album was sometimes described as country music for people who don’t like country music, his third album could be described as city music for people who don’t like country music. Guitarist Laur Joamets’ phased outlaw twang has been swapped-out for sweeping string arrangements and The Dap Kings’ cosmopolitan horn section.
by Eric Shea
Curator’s Pick: YG & Nipsey Hussle -– FDT (F*ck Donald Trump)
LA Rappers unite to give the middle finger to DT.
YG & Nipsey Hussle shut down the streets of Crenshaw to share their political views over a funky throwback bass line from the Westside. Teaming up black love and brown pride, these Gs from Bompton rally the crew ready to go.
Jennifer Lopez – Ain’t Your Mama
Jenny From The Block lays down some rules.
After delivering her new single, controversy broke out when the production credits revealed Dr. Luke’s involvement with the track. If you’re able to separate the man from the music, this breezy summertime jam brings girl power spirit to the forefront. Listen closely for co-writer and labelmate Meghan Trainor in the chorus.
by Michelle Solomon
Parquet Courts – Human Performance
Raising The Game
The Brooklyn three-piece look to rock’s past (Velvet Underground, Modern Lovers, The Fall, Pavement) to revitalize its present, and to their home metropolis as inspiration and muse: NYC’s grit emboldens the strutting guitar riffs and singer Andrew Savage’s often wry delivery. Single “Dust” offers a witty and inspiring rallying cry against (personal and cultural?) stagnation: “Sweep!”
by Party Ben
Baby Metal – Metal Resistance
Resistance is Futile!
Babymetal’s J-Pop meets death metal sound (they call it “kawaii metal,” which translates to cute metal) may be a gimmick, but it’s a really, really good one. And on their second full length, it’s actually sounding less gimmicky than ever with heavier metal, catchier pop and some seriously irresistible songs. And yeah, it’s still plenty cute.
by Andee Connors
Hayes Carll – Lovers and Leavers
For the Sake of the Song
Lovers and Leavers is darker than Carll’s previous work, and he recognizes that he got what he wanted – a record with space, nuance and breathing room. In the Texas songwriting tradition of Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt, Carll bares his soul. Standouts include “Sake of the Song” and “Good While It Lasted.”
by Rachel Whitney
Blaqk Audio – Material
Davey Havok showcases his dramatic, electronic impulses
There is more to AFI’s Davey Havok than his MAC-wearing, punk-goth icon status would suggest. He has a new pop band TBA with members of No Doubt, and he’s just released his third Blaqk Audio album. It’s campy, it’s derivative, and it’s the best throwback EBM/dark electro record to be released in 2016.
by Mat Bates
Ozuna – No Quiere Enamorarse (Remix) (Feat. Daddy Yankee)
Remixing your single…
…with a co-sign from King Daddy makes a strong statement. Without a full-length album to his credit, Ozuna has made a huge impact as a newcomer in reggaetón. It’s been hard to ignore. Fanáticos have been pushing up spins of his singles on Pandora to the tune of 76% in the last month. Hay más por venir.
by Marcos Juarez
The Sun Days– Album
Meet The Sun Days
Haling from Gothenburg, Sweden this five-piece indie pop band is channeling the dissonant sound of ‘90s UK indie rock in the best way possible.Sprinkle in some dreamy pop and soulful vocals and you end up with a pretty killer album. Fans Of TheField Mice and Another Sunny Day – your prayers have been answered.
by Crystal Lowe
Indie Sub of the Week: Not Alive Yet– Krafft Ebing’s Beard
Hirsute Heroin House
Apparently based on the symmetry of the titular psychiatrist’s distinctive goatee, these grimy, gristly, distortion-drenched pulsations evoke something far more sinister. Clouds of abstract electrons and murky, motoric throbs are wrangled into undulating swaths of abstract / industrial electronica, which plays like a noisier take on the grimy slo-mo house of the late great Chain Reaction label.
by Andee Connors