Keeping up with 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, Kanye West once again figures in (this time in a collaboration with Kid Cudi), two alternative giants return with new songs, and one of pop music’s most underrated greats shows off just why she deserves more credit than she gets. Yeah, it was a pretty good week for music. Check out the highlights below.
Kids See Ghosts — Kids See Ghosts
Despite all odds pointing the other way, Kanye West has successfully hit his deadline and released his third offering in the last three weeks. This time around it is a collaborative album with Kid Cudi, and initial reaction is a lot stronger than his previous week’s offering of Ye. If anything, this run is showing the strength of Kanye West as a producer, and just how well he works with others.
Lykke Li – So Sad So Sexy
On the Swedish pop singer’s fourth album, she delves into contemporary pop and hip-hop production deeper than ever before. But some things about Lykke never change, particularly how sadness is such an intrinsic part of her that becomes nothing to be ashamed of. It’s another masterful turn from an artist who has quietly put together an incredible decade of music.
Jorja Smith — Lost & Found
She’s got cosigns from Drake and TDE, but on her long-awaited debut album, Jorja Smith proves she probably would have been just fine on her own. Still basically just a teenager, Lost & Found is probably most incredible in the potential that it represents, the first chapter from a career that we expect many great things from.
Pllush — Stranger To The Pain
A band that described itself as “four-piece San Francisco sob rock,” Pllush is the latest in a wave of Bandcamp artists ready to breakout. On their debut LP, Erica Hawkins writes for Uproxx that “the album still wallows in the dizzying melodies the band is known for, but the 12 tracks that make up this iteration are decidedly less superfluous.”
Snail Mail — Lush
There might not be a more hyped debut album this year than the one by Baltimore’s Snail Mail. In our own Steven Hyden’s review of the record, he notes the project’s place in indie rock tradition and just how this could the start of something great. “Lush isn’t just an album title, it’s also a descriptive adjective for Jordan’s ravishing music,” he wrote.
Gorillaz – “Sorcererz”
If you’re ever struggling for ideas, you could just follow Gorillaz model of just putting a “z” on it. Joke(z) aside, “Sorcererz” is another sunny new song from the animated band, drifting closer to chillwave and Tame Impala-psych than usual for a song that could be the perfect soundtrack for your next backyard barbeque.
Interpol – “The Rover”
New York indie rock icons Interpol returned this week with a high-concept rollout complete with a mural in Mexico City, but “The Rover” finds the band closer to their comfort zone. “The Rover” has legs and knows how to use them, cruising at a frenetic pace that challenges the listener to keep up. It’s the sound of a band knowing what they do well and sticking close to the script.
The Smashing Pumpkins – “Solara”
Despite all his rage he is still, uh, full of rage? If The Smashing Pumpkins first song in 18 years with their classic trio of Billy Corgan, James Iha, and Jimmy Chamberlin is anything, it at least captures the spirit of the band at their most angst-ridden. The sound is sharp, with guitars piercing and vocals cutting deep enough that if you squint right, you might see the band in its younger days.
Future — Superfly (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Move over Black Panther, there is a new rap-centric soundtrack in town. This time it is Future playing master of ceremonies, featuring new music by himself as well as contributions from Khalid, Miguel, Young Thug, 21 Savage, and Lil Wayne. The film might be a remake, but these musicians are breaking new ground.
M. Ward – What A Wonderful Industry
It might sound like navel-gazing, but M. Ward (one of the least-likely surprise album release candidates) actually turns a “talking baseball” subject like the music industry into a project that dwells on the positives and negatives of a lifetime as a musician. Jim James pops up for a couple songs while Ward’s singular voice is just as comforting as it has ever been.