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 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 was the last huge release day of the year, offering an incredible new album from The 1975, hip-hop heavyweights like Earl Sweatshirt and Meek Mill, and a new song from Grimes that is one of the most divisive of her career. Yeah, it was still a pretty great week for music. Check out the highlights below.
Earl Sweatshirt — Some Rap Songs
Earl Sweatshirt’s relatively quiet time between his 2015 I Don’t Like Sh*t, I Don’t Go Outside and now felt very deliberate, an absence from the spotlight as much about keeping his own mental health as it was anything to do with his career. But like anything that we can’t have, that gap makes Some Rap Songs all the more anticipated. Earl remains one of the most singular voices of his generation, offering an album that is light on features and heavy on feelings.
The 1975 — A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships
The 1975 continue the transformation from teen-approved curiosity to critically-acclaimed juggernaut. And they do so on their own terms. Sure, you’ve probably already heard the best moments of A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships thanks to a steady rollout of singles, but damn if those singles aren’t something special. This is the album that catapults the band into a new realm, where their critical cachet matches their commercial viability.
Meek Mill — Championships
If anyone deserves a win, it’s Meek Mill. Following an ungodly time spent behind bars for what is widely reported to be utter bullsh*t, Meek is back where he belongs, not just out of prison, but on the tips of the tongues of the music world for the art he has created. Drake shows up for one of the most anticipated songs of the year, Jay-Z causes a stir with bars that critique Trump, and the likes of Cardi B, 21 Savage, and Future turn up. It’s enough to demand a trophy.
Jeff Tweedy — WARM
Between Wilco, Loose Fur, Uncle Tupelo, Tweedy, and Golden Smog, the world has never been at a shortage of projects to appreciate the work of Jeff Tweedy. But he hasn’t released a whole lot of music under just his own name, and that changes with this solo album. Without the pressure of Wilco behind the project, Tweedy is as relaxed and comfortable as ever, offering up a collection of songs that showcase the sturdiness of his craft.
Lil Baby — Street Gossip
Lil Baby has had quite a year. He’s already offered up his first proper studio album, Harder Than Ever, as well as his collaboration with Gunna, but the name of the game in hip-hop these days is maximum saturation, and he’s back with one more before the end of the year. Despite this being his first offering out of his last six without some variation of “hard” in the title, that doesn’t affect just how hard the rising rapper goes. Meek Mill, Gucci Mane, Young Thug, and Gunna all turn up on the offering.
Kaytranada — Nothin Like You / Chances EP
One of electronic music’s most exciting artists is back, at least in a limited sense. With little fanfare, Kaytranada has dropped a brand new EP, complete with appearances from Ty Dolla Sign and Shay Lia. It’s his first bit of new music since his amazing 99.9%, and will hopefully be the kickstart of the next chapter for this magnetic producer.
Grimes — “We Appreciate Power”
Remember when Grimes’ label, 4AD, had a big conflict with the singer and the world was left to speculate exactly why? Well, listening to the songwriter’s nu metal-referencing, AI-discussing, and honestly quite wild new single, it’s not hard to imagine what the issues could have been. Is this the most extreme of the upcoming new Grimes material or the most tame? We’ll have to wait to find out, but in the meantime, it’s hard to deny that she’s sticking to her guns and making music that literally no one else could.
Sharon Van Etten — “Jupiter 4”
It’s been years since the last Sharon Van Etten album, enough time for there to be a t-shirt campaign asking when the next album would be coming. And as seen on previous single “Comeback Kid” and now “Jupiter 4,” the time has been put to good use, crafting a whole new sound so the artist who could easily rest on her laurels. “Jupiter 4” is dramatic and grand, emotionally charged but pushing her aesthetic beyond just that. Van Etten has never sounded so rich and free, and it suits her marvelously.
Los Unidades — Global Citizen EP Vol. 1
Coldplay just released a pretty fantastic documentary about their band, but they are also pressing forward with a new release. Well, kind of. They’ve adopted a new moniker for this one, putting out a charity endeavor featuring the likes of Pharrell Williams, Stormzy, and, uh, Nelson Mandela. The band is such a huge global presence that this offering makes a lot of sense, likely appealing more to their international following specifically than to their English-language one.
Mark Ronson — “Nothing Breaks Like A Heart” Feat. Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus has always had country pulsing in her veins, just look at who her father is. Still, this collaboration with Mark Ronson uses her twang to its advantage, evoking her Southern roots for a lush pop gem. As our own Caitlin White notes, “If “Nothing Breaks Like A Heart” is indicative of Miley’s new phase, though, the sonics are a welcome left turn.”