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, Lana Del Rey offered up what could be a career-defining song, camps for Lil Peep and XXXTentacion released a posthumous track that transcends genre, and the likes of Brockhampton, Lupe Fiasco, and Metric all put out new albums . Yeah, it was a pretty great week for music. Check out the highlights below.
Christine And The Queens — Chris
Christine And The Queens, the recording moniker of French songwriter Héloïse Letissier, have already proved a formidable festival force, years before releasing an album that American audiences anticipated. But Letissier’s French success seems to be catching on, and her brand of pop that openly delves with gender and identity couldn’t feel more relevant for 2018. Whether this is her breakout remains to be seen, but either way, one of pop’s most original and captivating voices is back in a big way.
Lupe Fiasco — Drogas Wave
Just when you thought album leaks were a thing of the past, Lupe Fiasco‘s whopping 24-song epic Drogas Wave somehow found its way to the public early, so Lupe just went ahead and released the thing. The album promises to be high-concept and intellectual, par for the course from the always brainy rapper. “Drogas Wave is based on a story about a group of slaves that jumped off of a slave ship transporting them from Africa,” he said, “The slaves did not drown, and instead somehow managed to live under the sea. They spent the rest of their underwater existence sinking slave ships. ‘Drogas’ is the Spanish word for drugs. I made it an acronym which stands for ‘Don’t Ruin Us God Said.’”
Brockhampton — Iridescence
Self-proclaimed hip-hop boyband Brockhampton has had a year filled with extreme highs and lows, becoming fixtures on the festival circuits and earning acclaim for their high-concept performances, but also having to take time off to part ways with member Ameer Vann after he faced allegations of sexual misconduct. This is the first offering in a planned trilogy, an ambitious claim that the prolific crew should have no trouble following through on. As one of rap music’s fastest rising stars, they are well aware that keeping the spotlight is easiest if you never let go of it.
Metric — Art Of Doubt
For the past decade, Canadian synth-rock band Metric have never seemed quite comfortable in either the indie or the alternative worlds. You’re likely to see them opening up major arena runs from The Smashing Pumpkins or Paramore, but you’re just as likely to see leader Emily Haines taking the time to tour as a featured vocalist in Broken Social Scene. On their latest album, Metric again proves they can have it all, as the cultural cachet of being an integral part of the aughts indie scene and the big-room bona fides to take their songs through the stratosphere.
Joyce Manor — Million Dollars To Kill Me
Five albums in, and there is no doubt that Joyce Manor knows who they are. The So-Cal pop-punks have been crafting music too hip for the Warped Tour and too blue collar for the indie blogs since their inception, with at least the latter of those softening their stance over the years. But what makes Joyce Manor really standout is how well they know their way around their form, coming across like grizzled vets when it comes to structure while still infusing their songs with the youthful ebullience that the genre demands.
Lana Del Rey — “Venice B*tch”
The high points of Lana Del Rey’s career stretch farther into the sky than most artists, including unimpeachable jams like “Video Games” and “Love.” It’s with that in mind that a song like “Venice B*tch” exists, where it makes you wonder if it is indeed the best thing she has ever recorded. It certainly exists on its own plain, stretching out nearly 10 minutes and featuring a sprawling, mostly instrumental midsection that recalls a song like Kanye West’s “Runaway” in how it evolves away from its core. Lana is out of pocket on this one, redefining what a Lana Del Rey song is, and the results are nothing short of brilliant.
Cat Power — “Stay”
Between Rihanna’s original, 30 Seconds To Mars making it a live staple, or Vin Diesel’s weird-ass social media viral moment, “Stay” is a deeply ingrained part of the music consciousness. But Cat Power still manages to bring something new to her version, just as she has across her many covers over the last 20 years of her career. The core of “Stay” remains familiar, but it’s most interesting in the subtle deviations, with Cat Power never feeling totally beholden to her script, fully confident in her own vision for this classic tune.
Imagine Dragons — “Zero”
In a world where rock music hits are about as rare as eclipses, Imagine Dragons can’t seem to do any wrong. Even outside their recent album, Evolve, which managed three alt No. 1s, the standalone track “Natural” currently tops the chart. “Zero,” from the upcoming Wreck-It Ralph sequel promises a reign that will continue. “Zero” is less a stadium anthem than a breezy bit of autumn fun, showing a band that’s proved surprisingly hard to pin down, unless you want to just lump everything they put out under the umbrella of success.
Lil Uzi Vert — “New Patek”
Good things come to those who wait. Lil Uzi Vert is just the latest example of this adage, teasing his first single from Eternal Atake for months before delivering a track that was well worth the wait. Like the best rap hits, it’s both instantly memorable and the kind of song that reveals new intriguing moments with increased listens, while still feeling risky in its sprawling nature.
Lil Peep & XXXTentacion — “Falling Down”
Two artists who recently passed away had linked up for a track that was released posthumously. The most surprising thing about it is how it’s hardly a hip-hop song at all, drifting closer to something Good Charlotte would record. And though it could stand to have the presence of a verse of some sort, the song’s chorus is an instant earworm, and might land these two a crossover hit.