It would seem that deja vu is the theme of this week’s crop of new albums. For example: The highest-selling album will probably belong to a former Disney star looking to shed her old ways for something far more mature. Also, The Game has a whole album of new material just a week after releasing The Documentary 2, and Beach House is back with their second album in as many months.
To be fair, in brand new albums, we’ve got Deerhunter, Raury, Neon Indian, Majical Cloudz, and more. Here are the albums you need to hear this week.
Demi Lovato – Confident
On a surface level, it would be easy to group Demi Lovato with her former fellow child star Selena Gomez (and the several young musicians trying to break away from their pasts). But in forging their own paths, they each have their own stories to tell. Demi’s road has been admittedly rougher than her compatriots, battling drug addiction and body issues. Confident is a loud declaration to conquering those fears and feeling comfortable in your own skin.
“Cool for the Summer” was a fun romp that proved she could capture the country with a sexy smash single, and the title track is a triumphant mission statement that could easily be anyone’s pump-up song. It seems that Confident is simultaneously a therapeutic effort while still incredibly bright and catchy, which is probably the perfect representation of Demi’s current mood.
Neon Indian – VEGA INTL. Night School
Four years have passed since Alan Palomo and his synthpop partners in Neon Indian have released a new album. In that time, so much of the landscape of indie pop has changed that some ne’er-do-well voices in music tried to scoff at the idea of the “chillwave” act being back. But what that flippant attitude fails to acknowledge (or refuses to for the sake of emotional distance) is that Neon Indian is, at its core, an electronic band. There are elements of lo-fi and R&B and ambient and new wave, sure, but this is the strong base, and VEGA INTL. Night School is a clinic in Palomo’s range.
Lead single “Annie” is glitchy, needy, and soulful all in the same four minutes, and follow-up “Slumlord” is laced with ’80s synthpop goodness recalling the romanticism of Ultravox and layered tones of Yellow Magic Orchestra.
Deerhunter – Fading Frontier
Perhaps of all the singer/songwriters to emerge out of indie folk scene of the past decade, few have been more affecting than Brandon Cox and Deerhunter. However, Fading Frontier is a far different project than 2013’s Monomania, an insular effort inspired by the garage rock of the 1970s. Here, Cox embraces a freedom that he hasn’t allowed us to hear in a long time, all while coated in fuzzy, psych pop. It’s an inviting album, despite its incredible openness. Sometimes those can be diametrically opposed ideas — too much raw honesty can be a bitter pill — but you want to hear everything here, both figuratively and literally.
Here are the rest of the week’s releases:
Raury – All We Need
Beach House – Thank Your Lucky Stars
The Game – The Documentary 2.5
Majical Cloudz – Are You Alone?
Coheed and Cambria – The Color Before the Sun
!!! – As If
Big K.R.I.T. – It’s Better This Way
YACHT – I Thought the Future Would Be Cooler
Christine and the Queens – Christine and the Queens
Machine Gun Kelly – General Admission
Here We Go Magic – Be Small
Jean-Michel Jarre – Electronica 1: The Time Machine
Omi – Me 4 U
Maritime – Magnetic Bodies/Maps of Bones
Pentatonix – Pentatonix
Chris Walla – Tape Loops
Small Black – Best Blues
Keep Shelly in Athens – Now I’m Ready
Josh Ritter – Sermon on the Rocks