Keeping up with new music can be exhausting, even impossible. From the weekly album releases to standalone singles dropping on a daily basis, the amount of music is so vast it’s easy for something to slip through the cracks. Even following along with the Uproxx recommendations on a daily basis can be a lot to ask, so every Monday we’re offering up this rundown of the best music released in the last week.
This week saw a new solo album from Alabama Shakes leader Brittany Howard and what may be J. Cole’s last ever feature. Yeah, it was a great week for new music. Check out the highlights below.
Brittany Howard — Jaime
Perhaps more so than anything Brittany Howard did with Alabama Shakes, her new album, Jaime, is incredibly personal. It’s named after her sister who passed away as a kid, and its songs explore topics, for example, like the meaning of God (on “He Loves Me“). While Howard’s bandmates are certainly pivotal to the Alabama Shakes experience, Howard manages tremendously without them here, and really takes her gigantic voice to new places.
Read our review of Jaime here.
Tove Lo — Sunshine Kitty
Tove Lo says her new album is “filled with songs about naive love, teen crushes, future fears & being a vulnerable weirdo.” Ultimately, it’s also filled with bangers. “Glad He’s Gone” is catchy all the way through (and it has a pretty great video), Tove Lo reminisces about her first girl crush over a warm beat on “Bad As The Boys,” and “Sweettalk My Heart” is a subtle and sneaky earworm. On her fourth album, the Swedish pop star further illustrates her ability to captivate, whether she’s delivering upbeat bangers or softer fare.
Gang Starr — “Family And Loyalty” Feat. J. Cole
Talk about unexpected: Gang Starr recently returned with “Family And Loyalty,” the group’s first single since the death of member Guru, and their first new song in 16 years. They got a big-time contributor too, as J. Cole blesses the track with a guest spot. This song could go down in history for its Cole inclusion, as the song apparently features Cole’s last guest verse ever.
Kemba — Gilda
Kemba came up during the original blog rap era as YC The Cynic, but now he continues to thrive as Kemba. He’s currently making the most personal and powerful music of his career as he establishes himself as a hip-hop force to really watch.
Read our interview with Kemba here.
Ronny J — “Stack It Up” Feat. Lil Pump
Ronny J produced both sides of the recent Eminem and Machine Gun Kelly, but he doesn’t need beef in order to thrive. He instead got friendly, recruiting Lil Pump for “Stack It Up,” and in a rare move, he actually delivers some bars himself.
Watch our documentary on Ronny J below.
Liam Payne — “Stack It Up” Feat. A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie
Ronny J and Lil Pump aren’t the only ones who stacked it up last week, as One Direction member Liam Payne also shared a new track called “Stack It Up.” Naturally, Payne’s song is more pop-leaning, featuring his own catchy verses and hooks, as well as a verse from A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie. The track is also a low-key Ed Sheeran collaboration, as he is one of the track’s co-writers.
Soccer Mommy — “Lucy”
Soccer Mommy said of her new song, “I’m really excited to share this with everyone because I think it shows a different side of my writing.” She’s right: The lyrical themes are darker, the production is bigger and more polished, and Soccer Mommy shows that she’s ready to somehow improve on her stellar debut album.
Caroline Polachek — “So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings”
The former Chairlift leader has made solo music before, but her upcoming album is the first time she’s done it under her own name. She’s not going to slap her real name on something she believes is less than stellar, and so far, advance tastes of the record have been impressive. The latest is “So Hot You’re Hurting My Feeling,” a jaunty tune that ought to please Chairlift fans.
The Free Nationals, JID, Kadhja Bonet, and Miknna — “On Sight”
The Free Nationals have been rolling out a tremendous slate of collaborations ahead of their upcoming debut album, and have so far proved that they’re far more than just Anderson .Paak’s backing band. The group recruited JID, Kadhja Bonet, and Miknn to help them out on “On Sight,” their latest single, a throwback-style funk track.
Travis Thompson — Reckless Endangerment
Macklemore associate Travis Thompson has come far enough in his career that he’s more than ready to step out from under his mentor’s shadow. The Seattle rapper makes use of elaborate rhyme patterns to deliver strong doses of wit, and he’s a strong example of the quality emerging from his city’s growing hip-hop scene.
Some artists are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music.