The Pulse is the Uproxx Music guide to the best new albums, mixtapes, and other music releases that matter this week. Find our complete list of the records coming out in September here.
This is a fantastic week for fans of Pauls your parents grew up listening to: McCartney just released his seventeenth solo album, while Simon says goodbye to touring life with an album filled with rerecordings of lesser-known tracks from his esteemed catalogue. Legendary space rock group Spiritualized are also making their mark on modern music with their first album since 2012. Meanwhile, Waxahatchee is somewhat following in Simon’s footsteps with an album consisting of songs she wrote for a previous project, Great Thunder.
Elsewhere, The Blaze are one of the most fascinating things to happen to dance music this year, Ruston Kelly is more than just Kacey Musgraves’ husband, and a decorated pop collaborator is stepping out on his own.
Paul McCartney — Egypt Station
McCartney could be forgiven for taking it easy at this point of his career, but at 76 years old, he’s not taking his foot off the gas. He’s still beyond capable of writing and performing at a high caliber, as proven by singles like the infectiously fun pop of “Fuh You” and jaunty rockers like “Come On To Me.”
Read our review of Egypt Station here.
Waxahatchee — Great Thunder
A few years ago, Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield was part of a project called Great Thunder, which she’s now decided to revisit it with a new EP named after it. It’s led by the single “Chapel Of Pines,” a stripped-down number that Crutchfield has described as “a throwback to how I started.”
Paul Simon — In The Blue Light
Simon is getting ready to saw farewell to the stage on his final tour, but he’s leaving fans with one more treat. In The Blue Light ties up various loose ends from Simon’s storied career, as he’s said that the album “consists of songs that I thought were almost right, or were odd enough to be overlooked the first time around.”
Spiritualized — And Nothing Hurt
It’s been 28 years since the group’s formation, and while it’s only been six years since the band’s most recent album, 2012’s Sweet Heart Sweet Light, it feels nearly as long. The British space rock group is back in full force, though, with songs like the airy and joyful “Here It Comes (The Road) Let’s Go” and the orchestral optimism of “A Perfect Miracle.”
The Blaze — Dancehall
The French duo has made a name for itself in recent years for film-like clips that go along with their songs, and there’s a definite and profound cinematic feel in both the videos and music. Their specialty is epic electronica, and it’s something they do tremendously well, creating strong senses of energy, emotion, and vibrance with every track.
Russ — Zoo
Russ’s highly anticipated second album — his debut, last year’s There’s Really A Wolf, went platinum — is here. He’s generally hermitic in his approach to both rapping and production, and that’s mostly true here, save for the Snoop Dogg- and Rick Ross-featuring “Last Forever” and the patient “Keep It Pushin” featuring Mahalia.
Ruston Kelly — Dying Star
Let’s get this out of the way: Ruston Kelly is married to Kacey Musgraves. Now that that’s been said, let’s appreciate Kelly for what he is: A superlative country performer in his own right. His latest record features emotional ballads like “Big Brown Bus” and simple, fun country tunes like “Faceplant,” proving that Kelly is more than the superstar he’s married to.
Mothers — Render Another Ugly Method
Mothers are getting experimental on their latest record, as songs like “Blame Kit,” with its unusual time signature and structure prove. If that wasn’t enough, “Pink” goes on for seven minutes as a blooming post-punk epic that ramps up in intensity until noise is all that’s left. They’re trying stuff, and the experimentation is fascinating to witness.
St. Paul & The Broken Bones — Young Sick Camellia
The Alabama group has been bringing back old-school, big-band soul in a significant way for a few years now, and the train keeps on rolling on their latest effort. It’s powered by sunny singles like “Apollo” and the disco-inspired “GotItBad,” both of which are virtually impossible to not dance to.
Maribou State — Kingdoms In Colour
The UK electronic duo are real experimenters with sound, but their adventurous efforts ultimately end up forming a cohesive units that gives everything proper context. For example, the song features a recording of the two in a Beijing music store in playing the Guzheng (a traditional Chinese stringed instrument), and yet, what results is a forward-moving tune that’s cohesive and real easy to bob along with.
Mnek — Language
The English musician has collaborated with the likes of Beyonce, Madonna, Diplo, and a variety of others, so he knows a thing or two about writing exciting pop songs. That’s a skill he demonstrates on his debut record, a collection of kaleidoscopic pop that’s a perfect representation of the best of modern music.
Masego — Lady Lady
The jazzy hip-hopper is back with his debut album, on which he captures a variety of energies. The SiR-assisted “Old Age” is a punchy upbeat romp, songs like “Black Love” slow things down to jazz lounge speeds, and atmospheric mid-tempo track “I Had A Vision” gives you a minute to breathe and take in the room.