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.
Trent Reznor has stayed busy since he dropped Hesitation Marks, his most recent full-length record, in 2013, working on EPs and film soundtracks to occupy his time. Don’t let the length of Bad Witch, his first album in five years, fool you: It’s a half hour long, but if he says it’s an album, it’s an album, which is especially easy to accept in light of the short albums Kanye West has been involved in recently. Speaking of which, one more Kanye-related record, Tayana Taylor’s latest, has arrived as the final of the five he promised when he returned to Twitter what feels like a thousand years ago now.
Meanwhile, Best Coast made a children’s album, Bebe Rexha is trying to create some pop success on her own, and Marshmello hopes to capitalize on the fame “Friends” has brought him with his second album.
Nine Inch Nails — Bad Witch
What was supposed to be the third installment of an EP trilogy has instead evolved into a full-length record, the bands first since 2013’s Hesitation Marks. The lead single “God Break Down The Door” is definitely a NIN song, yet its use of saxophone and sense of disorientation shows that Trent Reznor still has some adventure left in him.
Teyana Taylor — Keep That Same Energy
We’ve now arrived at the last of the albums (that we know of) from Kanye West’s productive stretch in Wyoming. Like the albums in this group before it, it was also a last-minute affair: Kim Kardashian tweeted that he was working on the record while on the plane heading for the listening party.
Dawes — Passwords
Dawes has been a consistent indie rock force over the past decade, consistently finding themselves at or near the top of the rock and folk charts. Their sixth album is led by “Telescope,” a six-and-a-half-minute groove that lives comfortably and meditatively in the midtempo.
Kamasi Washington — Heaven And Earth
Washington just released his previous album Harmony Of Difference back in September, but now, he’s already back with a follow-up. He previewed the album with minute-long samples of “Fists Of Fury” and “The Space Travelers Lullaby,” two lush cuts that are promising based just on their first sixty seconds.
Marshmello — Joytime II
Marshmello’s profile is as high right now as it’s ever been thanks to his infectiously catchy collaboration with Anne-Marie, “Friends.” However, he decided to eschew collaborators on his sophomore record, opting to go about it solo for a succinct instrumental dance record.
Bebe Rexha — Expectations
Rexha made her name writing for and collaborating with the likes of Eminem, Selena Gomez, G-Eazy, and others, but on her debut album, she’s really going about it on her own. There aren’t a ton of features on the record (just Quavo, Tory Lanez, and Florida Georgia Line), and recent single “I’m A Mess” proves she has a singular voice of her own plenty capable of carrying a song.
Best Coast — Best Kids
Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino wanted to make a kids’ music album “for the parents with cool music taste that might be tired of listening to the same songs off the Frozen soundtrack 200 times in a row,” and that’s what the group has done. Songs like “Cats And Dogs” show that there were no compromises in integrity here: Basically, it’s a Best Coast album with simpler lyrics, that’s it.
Stream Best Kids on Amazon Prime Music.
Paul Cauthen — Have Mercy
Cauthen may have the best deep, Johnny Cash-like drawl that’s recording music today, but he’s more than a traditional country singer. “Everybody Walking This Land” is a stance against the intolerant people of the world, presented as a Cash-meets-Cab-Calloway midtempo storytelling stomp.
Freeway — Think Free
Think Free‘s release was pushed back two weeks ago, but now it’s here, and it’s a very personal album. Aside from the record itself, the release is accompanied by a documentary that chronicles his struggles with kidney failure.