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 saw Maren Morris offer her anticipated follow-up to her smash song “The Middle,” Juice Wrld proved why he is one of the most exciting young voices in hip-hop, and indie rock bands The National and The Black Keys returning to action without missing a step. Yeah, it was a pretty great week for new music. Check out the highlights below.
Maren Morris — Girl
Maren Morris’ monster hit with Zedd last year, “The Middle,” launched her into a new level of pop stardom, and her first album since tries to reconcile this new popularity with her brand of country-infused songwriting. The resulting album is Girl, a mature and poised effort that includes features from Brandi Carlile and the Brothers Osborne while renowned songwriter Greg Kurstin lends a hand on co-writes, as the record chronicles the last few years that has seen her career take off and her personal life soar with a recent marriage.
Juice Wrld — Death Race Of Love
Emo-rap is thriving in the hands of Juice Wrld. His second release in as many years (in addition to his collaborative project with Future last year) finds the Chicago young star light on features but heavy on feelings. Spanning a sprawling 22 songs, the record threatens to be too much of a good thing, but it’s hard to keep your ears off this guy when he’s in his groove.
Sigrid — Sucker Punch
“I know that I love every single song off it,” Sigrid told Zane Lowe a couple of weeks back, adding, “they’re all my favorite songs.” On Sucker Punch, fans of the Norwegian pop star are likely to agree with her, but this cycle is just as much about making new fans as it is about pleasing the established ones. With one of the most exciting pop releases of this young year to present, that shouldn’t be hard for Sigrid.
Helado Negro — This Is How You Smile
This gentle, meditative album evokes the likes of Caetano Veloso and Devendra Banhart in both its relaxing take on Bosa Nova and its effortless use of bilingual wordplay. But even if you only speak one of the languages being presented, there’s enough truth in the melodies and arrangements that the emotion can be gleaned without following the words. This Is How You Smile is a special album that doesn’t hide how personal it is for the artist, and it’s all the better because of it.
Warm Human — Ghastly
Chicago songwriter Meredith Johnston lovingly refers to her Warm Human project as “sludge pop” in the press materials, and the debut album is bedroom pop in its most literal sense, even if you can’t tell by listening to it. But regardless of how it is classified, Warm Human is instantly presented as music that can’t be ignored. Writing about the record for Uproxx, Sasha Geffen said, “These are bold, capital-P pop gestures kidnapped from their native environment and thrown against the wall in new and surprising formations.”
Gesaffelstein -– Hyperion
Gesaffelstein has been pretty quiet since his contributions to Kanye West’s Yeezus put him on the map beyond the electronic world, and his latest album reaches across the aisle firmly into the pop universe. The Weeknd, Haim, and Pharrell Williams all show up for features that range from ’80s dance to, well, a pretty Weeknd-y sounding Weeknd song. Based on his prime placement on festival posters, this could be a huge moment for the French producer.
The National — “You Had Your Soul With You”
The last time The National went two years between albums was between Alligator and Boxer. Does that mean that the just-announced I Am Easy To Find is ready to join these classics? Not necessarily, but 2017’s Sleep Well Beast won a Grammy and started a new chapter for the band, and with the strength of this first single, it’s easy to imagine the band continuing a new level of quality for this second part of their career.
The Black Keys — “Lo/Hi”
Ohio’s favorite blues rockers return after a five-year break. And the good news is, they have added at least one new fan to the mix. Still, this is an example of a reliable band sticking to their guns and continuing down the path that has earned them festival-headlining status. Sure, it’s a little Foghat-esque, but that’s part of what makes the band so charming. Few acts are this consistent, and we’re lucky to have The Black Keys because of it.
Billie Eilish — “Wish You Were Gay”
It didn’t take much more than reading this song’s title to know it was going to be controversial. But the relaxed tune provides a sort of bait-and-switch approach, really about how Billie wishes the object of her attraction had a different reason for not reciprocating her feelings besides simply not being interested. Of course there has been a backlash, but not enough to take the shine off of one of pop music’s most intriguing new voices.
Tierra Whack — “Gloria”
The era of minute-long songs is officially in the past. Following her previous abandonment of brevity, Tierra Whack is back with the very-normal length “Gloria.” As our own Chloe Gilke notes, “She can put her verses to a 15-minute album/EP/short film/longform music video, but she doesn’t need the non-traditional format to make exciting, innovative music. These new singles maintain what makes Whack so unique.”
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.