The Weeknd is finally here, literally and figuratively speaking. After last week’s leak forced the Canadian crooner to release an “official leak,” which was a shortened version of his album, Beauty Behind the Madness is finally out to hear in full. Newcomer Halsey is also dropping her debut LP, in addition to some great releases in indie rock from Beach House, Yo La Tengo, and Destroyer.
Here are the new albums you need to hear this week.
The Weeknd – Beauty Behind the Madness
If someone were to tell you a year ago that The Weeknd would be the biggest star in the country, they would think you were too tipsy off some XO. But, as right now, Abel Tesfaye is the man in pop music. Sure, “Can’t Feel My Face” may have cemented that, but it’s been a slow burn for the better part of 2015 with songs like “Earned It,” “Often,” and “The Hills,” as well. Even, “Love Me Harder” has aided in that transition.
Perhaps he’s opened the curtains a bit from the darkness found on House of Balloons, Thursday, and Echoes of Silence to something a little more accessible — it hasn’t changed who he is. The same mysterious and devious dude over poppier beats allows unlikely listeners to be drawn in to his den of debauchery. That’s not such a bad thing. Well, it is, but the good kind of bad.
Beach House – Depression Cherry
Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally have really never missed when it comes to their work in Beach House. The dream pop duo are back with their first record since 2012’s Bloom with another round of fuzzy and sparse tunes that leave you heart wanting. “Sparks,” our first taste of the record, was a little edgier than we’d expect for the group, but was still the floaty and lush indie rock that Beach House has perfected for the better part of the past decade. “Space Song” and “PPP” are also major standouts which belong on your “Lie on Your Floor and Stare at The Ceiling” playlist.
Halsey – BADLANDS
There’s been a great deal of talk about Halsey. One of the first stars to emerge from Apple Music’s Beats 1 radio station, there’s been whispers that she’s some sort of manufactured star who only gets relevant hype and play on the streaming service. Sometimes we get bogged down in the delivery when the message is what’s truly important. Here’s the takeaway from BADLANDS: Halsey delivers catchy electro-pop in the vein of a Ellie Goulding or Lorde with a slight bit more grit to her on tracks like “Ghost” and “New Americana.” She’s not reinventing the wheel, sure, but she’s hardly the double agent a lot of the music world has painted her to be. Ultimately, audiences should decide whether or not she’s worth a listen. See for yourself.
Here are the rest of the week’s releases
Yo La Tengo – Stuff Like That There
Destroyer – Poison Season
Foals – What Went Down
Alessa Cara – Four Pink Walls EP
ZZ Ward – Love and War EP
Frog Eyes – Pickpocket’s Locket
Motorhead – Bad Magic
Willis Earl Beal – Noctunes
Maddie & Tae – Start Here
Atlas Genius – Inanimate Objects
Andra Day – Cheers To The Fall
k-os – Can’t Fly Without Gravity
Sidewalk Prophets – Something Different
Nero – Between II Worlds