There are so many high-profile albums that dropped this week, we just want to get right to it. Of course, aside from Drake & Future’s What a Time to Be Alive and Ryan Adams’ cover record of Taylor Swift’s 1989, which both came out earlier in the week, the new releases include Disclosure, Chvrches, Fetty Wap, The Dead Weather, Kurt Vile, Big Boi and Phantogram’s project Big Grams, New Order, Silversun Pickups, George Strait, the highly anticipated soundtrack to the Broadway show Hamilton, Peaches, and so many more.
Yeah, it’s a lot this week. So here’s what you need to hear.
Disclosure – Caracal
2013’s Settle was a blazing debut from the brothers in Disclosure. As one of the more prominent leaders in pushing the UK Garage and House revival back into the mainstream again, it was impossible to not fall in love with their catchy and entrancing songs like “White Noise,” “F for You,” and the megahit “Latch” featuring Sam Smith. But now what does the duo do for a follow up?
Well, their first approach was star power. Their new album, Caracal, features massive appearances from Lorde, Miguel, The Weeknd, and, of course, Sam Smith. But they aren’t just relying on big names. Many of the textures of this record are more soulful than the kinetic Settle, making for a slower burn. Featuring R&B singers like Lion Babe, Kwabs, and jazz singer Gregory Porter jives exactly with this style choice. Caracal isn’t a party in a box like its predecessor, but instead tries a number of different things. It’s the sound of a band growing, pains and all.
Chvrches – Every Open Eye
In our profile on Chvrches, the band explained why they didn’t feel the need to reinvent the wheel on their new album Every Open Eye:
“It’s a case of having some sort of ego that you think you know better than the people who love what you do,” Cook says. “It’s like, ‘No we don’t want to do that anymore. We’ve reinvented ourselves. We’ve risen above that.‘ That’s just f*cking bullsh*t. People fall in love with what you do. You don’t want to alienate them. You want to keep them on board, but still please yourself creatively.
This could easily be the mission statement for their new record. It’s not about doing something entirely different from their smash debut, The Bones of What You Believe, but rather taking that fantastic sound and expanding it, shaping it, and building it like a muscle. That’s what this album sounds like. “Never Ending Circles” and “Leave a Trace” could both easily be from their first album, but they’re both crafted and cut in such a way that they feel like they come from a place of experience and self-assuredness.
Fetty Wap – Fetty Wap
Around this time last year, when “Trap Queen” first started to really blow up and become a hit, people were afraid that not only would Fetty Wap be a one-hit wonder, but he would utilize all of his star power before he could actually sell the song. (It was still on mixtapes at the time.) Well, now nearly a year later, he’s full steam ahead with his debut album and shows no signs of slowing down.
Yes, all the hits from the now record-setting rapper are here, like “My Way,” “679,” “Again,” and “Trap Queen,” but throughout the whole album, it’s impossible not to hear the joy in Fetty’s other-worldly gargle and flow. If you enjoy any of his work so far, it’s definitely worth the look.
The Dead Weather – Dodge and Burn
Jack White, when he’s not getting into fights, is probably the elder statesman of the current rock scene — non Dave Grohl division. When he decided to form a group with members of The Kills, Queens of the Stone Age, and his other band The Raconteurs, it was another welcomed addition to his already rich oeuvre of rock and roll.
The Dead Weather, thankfully, isn’t just another extension of the same bluesy shtick of his solo work, and Dodge and Burn is a perfect example of that divergence. A little looser in the hips and unpretentious, the third album from the group has The Kills’ Alison Mosshart grabbing you right by the throat. Don’t get it twisted, this is still unmistakably a Jack White project, but it’s a space that Jack isn’t so confined within his own heavily manicured identity and can just create something fun.
Here are the rest of the week’s new releases:
Drake & Future – What a Time to Be Alive
Ryan Adams – 1989
Kurt Vile – B’lieve I’m Goin’ Down
Big Grams (Big Boi and Phantogram) – Big Grams EP
Girl Band – Holding Hands With Jamie
Jr Jr – Jr Jr
Youth Lagoon – Savage Hills Ballroom
New Order – Music Complete
The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die – Harmlessness
Julia Holter – Have You in My Wilderness
The Underachievers – Evermore: The Art of Duality
George Strait – Cold Beer Conversation
Dungen – Allas Sak
Arcade Fire – Reflektor (Deluxe Re-Release)
Silversun Pickups – Better Nature
Dumblonde – Dumblonde
Peaches – Rub
Various Artists (prod by The Roots) – Hamilton Original Broadway Cast Recording
Casey Veggies – Live and Grow
Don Henley – Cass County
Paul Wall – slab god
Thomas Rhett – Tangled Up
The Dears – Times Infinity
Kaskade – Automatic
Widespread Panic – Street Dogs
Sexwitch – Sexwitch
Caspian – Dust and Disquiet