With a mix of surprise releases, overdue drops, and expected but nonetheless welcome new music, here are our picks of the week’s best new albums — and where to listen to them.
Weezer, Solange, Little Simz — fans have been eagerly waiting for new music from all of them for some time now. In Weezer’s case, Rivers Cuomo has been teasing the release of the long-awaited Black Album for about as long as repeats of Friends have been showing. Where Solange is concerned the wait has been shorter, but anticipation has been high since the release of 2016’s A Seat at The Table, ramping up further earlier this week when she shared a track list on Twitter.
When's the black album coming out— Rivers Cuomo (@RiversCuomo) June 18, 2018
As far as Little Simz goes, speculation may have been quieter, but — since releasing 2016’s Stillness in Wonderland — fans and casual observers have nonetheless been waiting to hear from one of London’s most important young voices.
With those and more all released today, take a look at our selection of this week’s best new albums — and listen via the streams below.
Solange — When I Get Home
A Seat At The Table was always going to be a hard act to follow, but then again, taking that album as evidence, if anyone knows how to push their own sound forward — how to progress and develop on the past without being mired in it — it’s Solange. With a host of big-name features from the likes of Earl Sweatshirt, Tyler the Creator, Gucci Mane, When I Get Home is an ode to her childhood in Houston and to the voices of the strong black women that populate the city’s Third Ward.
The Japanese House — Good At Falling
Somehow managing to mix elements of sound familiar to Björk, Grouper, Oneohtrix Point Never — as well as many many more — Amber Bain’s debut album as The Japanese House is sprawling, visceral, tender, and wholly original despite wearing its influences on its sleeve, perhaps even benefiting from the warmth and openness that kind of sonic honesty creates. Following on from the four EPs released under the name to date, Good At Falling is a fully encompassing experience worth waiting for.
Little Simz — Grey Area
Rightly heralded as one of the brightest young MCs in London (and within the genre at large) right now, Little Simz’ third studio album is a powerful chronicle of the fractious malaise that comes with being 20-something in the city. Brooklyn Vegan has already dubbed Grey Area “the best rap album of 2019 so far” — and, you know, they might well be right.
Weezer — The Black Album
Despite Blinkerton stans’ confusing obsession with a supposed era of bygone artistry, Weezer are best — and have always been best, even on those sacred albums — when they’re having fun with what they do. With that in mind, the long-awaited released of their thirteenth studio album has vexed both sides of the Weezer fandom, some concerned it would be a drab appeasement to the Serious Weezer Fans and others worried it would be a continuation of the more bombastic Weezer of recent years.
Rivers Cuomo, of course, has always been a law unto himself and The Black Album is yet another testament to that, managing to keep the swagger of “Pork and Beans,” “Beverly Hills”-type Weezer, while never diving entirely off the deep end.
2 Chainz — Rap Or Go To The League
Sometimes less is more — and while that’s never the case with 2 Chainz — “TWO CHAINS!” — himself, it is the case with talking about 2 Chainz. Featuring Kendrick Lamar, Ariana Grande, Travis Scott and more, Rap Or Go To The League is full of bravado, braggadocio, and bombast that borders on baroque: it is, undeniably, a 2 Chainz record.
While She Sleeps — So What?
Following the mainstream success of Bring Me The Horizon’s amo back in February, While She Sleeps — having worked just as hard for almost exactly as long as their fellow Sheffield metalcore contemporaries — are here to confirm Sykes and co. are not an outlier in successfully delivering heavy music to a wider audience, with the trademark combination of crushing riffs and anthemic hooks further ramped up on So What?
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