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 sees the release of one of the strongest indie rock albums of the year from Kurt Vile, a long-awaited solo album from Migos’ Quavo, and a piano-and-voice reimagining of St. Vincent’s most recent album. Yeah, it was a pretty great week for music. Check out the highlights below.
Kurt Vile — Bottle It In
There are many great things about a new Kurt Vile album cycle. One is that it allows us to appreciate the best hair in the music industry; his long, caramel locks standing as an essential part of his identity. Another is the craft that goes into his work, with our own Martin Rickman noting, “Like endless time spent in your own mind, thoughts enter and escape Vile’s tracks, reappear like wraiths, cause chain reactions of doubt and regret, and painful, introspective examination of your own self.”
St. Vincent — MassEducation
If you ever see a St. Vincent live show, you’ll witness a barrage for the senses. Projections, lighting displays, choreography, rock-star poses, and songs arranged in whatever way makes the most sense for her current iteration. That’s what makes her latest endeavor, a piano-and-voice recreation of her last album, such an exciting proposition. We’ve rarely heard St. Vincent this intimate and stripped-down, getting to the skeletal core of what makes her songs tick. It’s a brave move in a career defined by such bravery.
Quavo — Quavo Huncho
While some might be suffering from Migos fatigue, the members of Migos have not let up on the throttle for several years. Now comes the highly anticipated solo album from member Quavo, which features the likes of Madonna, Drake, and Cardi B. In previewing the album, Uproxx’s Aaron Williams captured the gravity of the release, likening Quavo to Beyonce’s role in Destiny’s Child. If that’s true, this could be a huge moment for the star, his moment to test the waters outside his group or a collaboration, and see what he can carry on his own.
Ella Mai — Ella Mai
The creator of one of the biggest breakout singles of the year, “Boo’d Up,” is ready to take on the world with this full-length. DJ Mustard handles production on several songs while John Legend shows up as a feature, but mostly it’s Ella Mai front-and-center, proving that there’s a whole lot more to her than just one song.
Anna St. Louis — If Only There Was A River
There aren’t a ton of artists that can be traced from roots in Kansas City to really getting their career going in Los Angeles. One is Anna St. Louis, whose debut album feels comfortably at home amongst the rootsy folk tradition of the city she now calls home. Another is Kevin Morby, who along with King Tuff, worked as a producer on the record. Classic country plays a big influence on the collection, which finds St. Louis establishing herself as an enthralling songwriter right out of the gate.
Yowler — Black Dog In My Path
No one should ever accuse Philadelphia-based songwriter Maryn Jones of being stuff on a particular sound. On her latest album as Yowler, the aesthetics can switch wildly from soaring, distorted incantations to intimate, longing meditations. Somewhere in there is even the practically danceable “WTFK.” It paints the portrait of an artist that is comfortable in the act of exploration, as interested in the process of searching as she is in what she finds along the way.
Run The Jewels – “Let’s Go (The Royal We)”
Last year, one of the key stories surrounding hip-hop super-duo Run The Jewels was about El-P’s shelved score for Blade Runner 2049. But one film’s trash is another film’s treasure, as some of the music has been repurposed for the latest RTJ offering, “Let’s Go (The Royal We),” which is being used as the closing song for Marvel’s Venom. The guitar is reminiscent of Nirvana, but when the beat kicks in, the pair weave an ominous, foreboding anthem that skirts the line between hero and villain.
Soccer Mommy – “Wide Open Spaces”
Dixie Chicks have roughly 50 songs that would sound great covered by indie rockers (or that sound great as is), but rising songwriter Soccer Mommy‘s choice is impeccable and iconic. “Wide Open Spaces” is a country radio classic, but in Soccer Mommy’s hands, it is wistful and elegant in a way that’s inherent in the song’s construction. The slide guitar sitting happily in the song’s shadows is a wonderful added touch.
Bad Bunny Feat. Drake – “Mia”
Canadian rap megastar Drake has made no secret about his infatuation with Latin and Carribean culture, as could be seen on his last couple albums. But on his new song with reggaeton star Bad Bunny, Drake dives in completely, singing in Spanish on the instantly catchy tune. But it doesn’t sound like just a play for increasing his reach. Drake manages to be chameleonic while always very much himself. There seems to be literally nothing in which he doesn’t excel.
Sia — “I’m Still Here”
Whether writing for others or herself, Sia can craft a pop banger just as easily as she can a sentimental ballad. Her latest song falls in the latter category, a cinematic take that demands lighter flickers and cellphone flashlights. It’s released to celebrate her new partnership with Maison Repetto for her first ever fashion campaign. If the shoes she’s releasing are of a similar quality to the song, then fans are in for a treat.