HIP HOP

SKEPTA – Konnichiwa

Grime superstar proves UK rhymes can crush on this side of the pond.

01_SkeptaSpitting real ting over futuristic production, Skepta is the one poised to blow up grime in the states. The digital blips of “That’s Not Me” have been bumping in speakers from Broughton to Brooklyn. Features from Pharrell WilliamsJME and Wiley shine over dark, bass heavy beats.

by J Boogie


POP

Curator’s Pick: Bahari – Dancing on the Sun EP

SoCal trio has us “Dancing on the Sun.”

02_BahariThere’s nothing like that California sunshine, and Manhattan Beach’s own Bahari earnestly embodies the carefree sounds of summer: youthful lyrical themes, bright melodies and happy harmonies are all highlighted in this made-for-the-beach debut EP.

by Jordan Davidoff


POP

Justin Timberlake – Can’t Stop The Feeling (Single)

JT’s bouncy new tune will make you smile from the inside out.

03_Justin TimberlakeNo stranger to throwback dance beats, the Prince of Pop slides into a disco groove, singing “I got that sunshine in my pocket, got that soul in my feet,” accompanied by a star-studded dance party in his highly-anticipated new video. Could it be the “Happy” of 2016?

by Michelle Solomon


ALTERNATIVE

The Stone Roses – All For One (Single)

The Third Coming

04_The Stone RosesSure, 21 years is a long time between releases. But if we’ve learned anything from MBV, it’s that comparison is the thief of joy. “All For One” doesn’t sound better than anything on The Stone Roses. But it’s great to hear John Squire turn up his amps and remind Oasis fans who came first. When’s Whiteout reuniting?

by Eric Shea


COUNTRY

Keith Urban – Ripcord

Just in time for summer. 

05_Keith UrbanRipcord is an eclectic mix of influences for Keith Urban. There’s the piano-driven “That Could Still Be Us” and more electrifying collaborations showing just how much fun he had with this album. Highlights include the ‘80s synth inspired “The Fighter” with Carrie Underwood and summer anthem, “Sun Don’t Let Me Down” featuring Pitbull (no, really!).

by Rachel Whitney

 


ELECTRONIC

James Blake – The Colour in Anything

A Vibrantly Innovative Opus

06_James BlakeQuintessential bedroom artist James Blake steps into the light (comparatively) on his SoCal-recorded third album. While sprawling with guest artists and nearly 77 minutes long, Colour is raw, deeply personal and sonically adventurous; piano-led ballads are underpinned by throbbing static sweeps, warbling synths and reverberating, precise percussive effects. Through it all, Blake’s voice: heartsick, angelic, honest.

by Party Ben

 


TUAREG

Imarhan – Imarhan

Desert grooves will keep you moving.

07_ImarhanEver since Tinariwen broke the sounds of Tuareg music to Western ears, the blend of Ali Farke Touré-style guitars, loping rhythms, and political lyrics has proven to be fertile ground. Imarhan, with their acoustic guitars and sparkling production, fall closer to the polished sound of Bombino than the wooly sounds of Group Inerane.

by Diego Gonzalez


DEATH ROCK

Alaric – End Of Mirrors

SF heavies deliver deathly doses of psychedelic downer rock.

08_AlaricAlaric’s world of post punk/death rock is rife with tribal drumming, gruff bellowed vox and blackened tendrils of pentatonic guitar, balancing a modern, metallic heft with the bat cave creep of Scream Club era L.A. (Abecedarians, Kommunity FK) and the death punk dirges of Killing JokeRudimentary Peni and Comsat Angels.

by Andee Connors


COMEDY

Derek Sheen – Tiny Idiot

America doesn’t need a belt made of Bibles.

09_Derek SheenRecorded at Chicago’s Comedians You Should Know showroom, Derek Sheen’s sophomore standup album marries intellectual rigor with a spluttery, shouty delivery reminiscent of Lewis Black. Sheen aggressively fact-checks the New Testament, laments turning 45 without ever learning to roll a joint and describes one man’s quixotic quest for a Quizno’s.

by Kelly Anneken


DEATHCORE / DOWNTEMPO

Indie Sub of the Week: Beyond Deviation– White Noise EP

Death becomes them.

10_Beyond DivantThese Canadians play against type here, sounding ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYING, delivering a sick strain of sludgy, tar pit thick deathcore that’s low slung, downtempo heaviness. It’s an oozing black sprawl of crushing breakdowns woven into one massive downtuned churn, with some of the sickest vokills EVER: guttural, gurgling, pig-squeal grunts one second, hysterical, throat-shredding, demonic shrieks the next.

by Andee Connors

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