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 the long-awaited new album from Vampire Weekend, further proof that Big Thief are one of the most exciting artists currently making music, and a bop from Shawn Mendes ahead of his SNL appearance. Yeah, it was a great week for new music. Check out the highlights below.
Vampire Weekend — Father Of The Bride
Vampire Weekend, the band of the internet era, are back. And while six years was a long time for many fans to wait, the 18-song collection strives to make that wait worth it. Writing about the record for Uproxx, Steven Hyden said, “One of the many small miracles of this lovely and wise comeback album is that it doesn’t feel like it was made by a guy in his mid-thirties pretending like he’s still a fresh-faced, post-collegiate twentysomething. Rather than reviving a remnant of his old, indie-famous life, Koenig has brought Vampire Weekend into the smaller, more intimate confines of his current family-man existence.”
Big Thief — U.F.O.F.
While Vampire Weekend certainly offered up the most anticipated indie album of the week, Big Thief might have the best one. Over the last couple years, the band’s leader and vocalist, Adrianne Lenker, has been offering up inspired releases both as a solo artist and within the band, but this newest offering shows that there is no ceiling for her reflective, often-brilliant songwriting.
PnB Rock — TrapStar Turnt PopStar
Philly rapper PnB Rock has certainly been bubbling with potential for the last several years, and TrapStar Turnt PopStar attempts to be a big breakthrough on his proper debut album. It’s a double-record that offers a load of guests, including A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Diplo, Lil Durk, Lil Skies, Quavo, and XXXtentacion.
Mormor — Some Place Else
A new year, a new EP for Toronto singer Mormor. Last year’s Heaven’s Only Wishful put him on the map, and on Some Place Else, he expands what he’s capable of. The release hits on the cracked-window dreaminess of Captured Tracks releases and on the genre-bending of Blood Orange, all while carving out his own distinct lane. Mormor is quickly becoming an essential artist.
Shawn Mendes — “If I Can’t Have You”
Pop heartthrob Shawn Mendes appeared on Saturday Night Live last week, so it is only appropriate that he has new music to offer up. “If I Can’t Have You” is more than just a track dropped to coincide with a television appearance, it’s a bona fide jam that’s sure to become a staple in his catalog. Writing about the tune for Uproxx, Chloe Gilke said, “It’s pop perfection, building passion in the verses to an explosive, cathartic chorus.”
Taron Egerton — “Rocket Man” (Elton John Cover)
Following the monster success of Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman is due this month to see if music biopics can continue to win audiences’ hearts. Our first taste of hearing Taron Egerton sing Elton’s songs is pretty remarkable, as he not only looks the part, he sounds great, too. The R-rated film promises to be unlike any rock star story we’ve seen before, and this song bodes well for that.
The National — “Hairpin Turns”
The National have many speeds, ranging from all-out rockers to gorgeous slow jams and everything in between. “Hairpin Turns” definitely files under the woozy ballad territory, less a love song than a song that revolves around love, a faithful moon orbiting the complexities of human relationships.
Rhye — “Needed”
Rhye’s first couple albums have a multi-year gap between them, but it looks like his next one will be out much quicker. Spirit is being described as a return for project mastermind Mike Milosh to his love of piano playing, and that can be heard in “Needed.” But the hushed melodies and lusty vocal performances that fans already love seem firmly intact.
Lil Nas X — “Old Town Road” Feat. Billy Ray Cyrus (Diplo Remix)
Every version of this song seems to evolve it closer to its final form. Who knows what that form will wind up being, but linking the seemingly-unrelated artists of Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Diplo keeps this pop culture moment both fun and relevant.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.