It seems the biggest releases this week are coming from across the pond. Electronically-inclined singer-songwriter James Blake politely surprise-dropped an album late Thursday night, and Grime MC Skepta is releasing his possibly most anticipated LP to date. On the U.S. side of things, Mike Posner has finally returned from Ibiza to unleash his long-awaited sophomore album. Plus we’ve got new ones from Anohni, Death Grips, White Lung, and more. Here are the albums you need to hear this week.
James Blake – The Colour in Anything
Few artists know how to strike the perfect chord of simultaneously swelling emotions like James Blake. When the singer/songwriter sits at a piano — or synthesizer — he can capture heartbreaking loneliness or lilting passion like no one else. His brand of electronica often feels like an embarrassment of emotions, almost overwhelming in its presentation. Blake’s third LP, The Colour in Anything, continues to cut down this path, garnished with collaborations with Frank Ocean and Bon Iver. The Colour in Anything is another introspective journey in downtempo soul, which Blake does so well. You may want to sit down for this one.
Skepta – Konnichiwa
Grime has been one of those genres which has always felt like it’s about to blow in the States, but never quite detonates. Rather than whole sounds making it to our shores, individuals who are larger than life are the ones who end up surviving. Skepta is the latest MC from the genre to make it through the ringer, and despite him making music for the better part of a decade, his latest album is his breakthrough over here. Konnichiwa is most notably led by “Shutdown” with shouts of “TRUSS ME DADDI” (thanks to Drake for the big up). It’s a booming track which summarizes everything you need to know about Skepta in three minutes. Beyond the usual Grime suspects like Wiley and his other BBK cohorts, the album also features Pharrell on the massive collab “Numbers.”
Mike Posner – At Night, Alone
It was six years ago that Mike Posner released the perfect kiss-off single “Cooler Than Me,” a blissed-out electropop jam about not quit fitting in, but being above it anyway. The track was promising enough to hear more from Posner, but due to label hell, he went back to writing songs for other artists instead, most notably Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” and Maroon 5’s “Sugar.” Then, in 2015, he uploaded the autobiographical track “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” and it gained some major traction. A few months after that, Seeb remixed the track, and Posner’s appeal was once again undeniable. That brings us to At Night, Alone, the long overdue second album from Mike Posner, and it’s really representative of his whole half-decade layover. The first half of the record is more acoustic pop, while the back end is dance influenced, encapsulating all the shades of what Mike Posner has to offer.
Here are the rest of the week’s releases:
Anohni – Hopelessness
Death Grips – Bottomless Pit
Keith Urban – Ripcord
White Lung – Paradise
Andy Black – The Shadow Side
Julianna Barwick – Will
KAYTRANADA – 99.9%
Homeboy Sandman – Kindness for Weakness
Cyndi Lauper – Detour
Beverly – The Blue Swell
Rooney – Washed Away
Thalía – Latina
Rittz – Top of the Line
Jean-Michel Jarre – Electronica 2: The Heart of Noise
The Goo Goo Dolls – Boxes