The Pulse is the Uproxx Music guide to the best new albums, mixtapes, and other music releases that matter this week. Find our complete list of the records coming out in June here.
It’s not easy to overshadow a week of releases that features new output from both Gorillaz and Florence And The Machine, but if anybody can do it, it’s Drake. He just dropped his new double album (his first ever), and Drake takes advantage of Scorpion‘s length to go all in on a variety of topics, perhaps most notably the previously unacknowledged existence of his own son. Meanwhile, this week also saw strong new releases from Let’s Eat Grandma, Jim James, and more.
Drake — Scorpion
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There’s a lot to unpack here: Scorpion is Drake’s first double album. It features posthumous vocals from Michael Jackson on “Don’t Matter To Me.” He acknowledges his son, who Pusha T previously revealed, on multiple tracks, like “Emotionless”: “I wasn’t hiding my kid from the world, I was hiding the world from my kid.” At an hour and a half, this is an album that will take some time to digest.
Gorillaz — The Now Now
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After going collaborator-heavy on Humanz, Damon Albarn decided to keep things mostly in-house on the follow-up. What results is an album that sounds more distinctly like a Gorillaz record. Much of the album falls into midtempo electronic territory, making it perfect for the lazy summer afternoons that are sure to come.
Read our interview with Gorillaz’s 2D here.
Florence And The Machine — High As Hope
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It’s been a minute since 2015’s How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, but now the group’s fourth album has arrived, and it’s come with a bang. Florence and company are just as epically bombastic as you remember them, with that energy perhaps best demonstrated on “Hunger,” a timeless single filled with smoldering energy that erupts into powerful choruses throughout.
Let’s Eat Grandma — I’m All Ears
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While this UK duo may have questionable dietary priorities, you should gladly eat them up. They’re making some of the most engaging synth pop out there today, all while refusing to stay in one lane: While “Falling Into Me” is very Chvrches-esque, there are plenty of experimental moments that stray from that aesthetic, including a pair of adventurous songs that exceed nine minutes in length.
Jim James — Uniform Distortion
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The My Morning Jacket frontman has built a respectable solo career for himself over the past few years, and this time around, he adds a pretty raw record to his discography. There’s no mistaking that this is a guitar record, hearkening back to the rocking-est of MMJ days, especially on tracks like “You Get To Rome,” which is an immediate and unrelenting assault of tasty, kinetic licks.
Listen to James’ recent appearance on the Celebration Rock podcast here.
The Milk Carton Kids — All The Things That I Did And All The Things That I Didn’t Do
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The good news with this one is that the title gives you something to read while to listen to the album. Jokes aside, though, few people do folk today better than this duo (their 2013 Grammy nomination proves that), and they continue the trend on their latest release. Their fourth album features back-to-basics tracks like album opener “Just Look At Us Now,” as well as more progressive fare, such as the ten-minute “One More For The Road.”
Ray Davies — Our Country: Americana Act II
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It sure is convenient that news of a potential Kinks reunion (which may or may not come to fruition) broke a few days before the release of Davies’ sixth solo album, huh? Davies was behind some of the most important music of the ’60s, and on his latest solo endeavor, he shows that he still has a knack for songcraft, and that he can still churn out catchy songs that will please fans of his career thus far.