Phony Ppl: mō’zā-ik
In the three years since their last LP Yesterday’s Tomorrow, the Brooklyn-based outfit Phony Ppl endured lineup changes, inked a record deal with 300 Entertainment, and refined their genre-bending sound. Now, they are out with the jazz/funk/bossa nova influenced mō’zā-ik, a record comprised of 11 tracks, each of them sounding like a jam session that could’ve gone on forever.
Elle King: Shake the Spirit
It’s been a wild ride for Elle King since “Ex’s and Oh’s” and other Love Stuff took her to the big leagues. For those of you who are looking to hear about that ride, look no further than King’s sophomore album Shake the Spirit, which deals frankly with a rough couple of years. If you can get through the infusion of divorce, self-diagnosed PTSD, self-doubt, and more divorce, Shake the Spirit will rattle you with grungy bangers of redemption.
Greta Van Fleet: Anthem of the Peaceful Army
We finally have it, a full LP from the rock revivalists hailing in from Michigan, the dudes with chops and style to match, Greta Van Fleet. Though the writing isn’t fully realized on Anthem of the Peaceful Army, resulting in sort of a scatter shot of classic rock nostalgia, the record doesn’t fail to provide what first made us notice Greta Van Fleet in the first place: powerhouse vocals, and physically astonishing guitar. Come and get it.
Esperanza Spalding: 12 Little Spells
If you haven’t turned yourself onto bassist/composer/singer Esperanza Spalding, now is the time, as she’s well on her way to honing one of the most uniquely successful careers in contemporary classical music, music that even resembles pop at times. In 12 Little Spells, Spalding continues to spar melodies within a dreamlike aesthetic, producing gorgeous, overture-like pieces that remind us of her magic.
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit: Live from the Ryman
There are few live albums that come close to the amount of bottled energy and spontaneity as Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit’s Live from the Ryman, recorded from the group’s annual residency. Featuring songs from their last three studio releases, 2013’s Southeastern, 2015’s Something More Than Free and last year’s The Nashville Sound, this new album stays true to the original recordings, but with the urgency and creative spontaneity a concert can create.
Future & Juice WRLD: WRLD On Drugs
Though it took a little while for people to lay off the A Star is Born soundtrack, the numbers for Future & Juice WRLD’s collaboration WRLD On Drugs are finally looking good. If you can bring your own existential questions to the table, WRLD On Drugs is a fairly enjoyable project to contemplate our vices to.
Laura Gibson: Goners
Gibson’s fifth studio album Goners has been hailed as her best, and her strangest. The multi-instrumentalist has come a long way in diversifying her songs with thick arrangements and swelling melodies. How could a record about grief and accountability be so bold, so loud and evocative? Goners attempts to, and often does, carry the weight of it all.
Sometimes it works to be everywhere, as proven on Khalid’s latest offering, Suncity. Ranging from country to latin pop, Khalid builds many different nests, as if to say he can do it all, he can accommodate any kind of collaboration. Though he hasn’t come out with a purely R&B single since 2016’s “Location”, Khalid remains well on his way to becoming a pop powerhouse.
Lil Yachty: Nuthin’ 2 Prove
At least in Nuthin’ 2 Prove, we get a glimpse of Lil Yachty’s potential, particularly when in the company of some notable guests. Cardi B, Offset, and Juice WRLD provide stinging lyrics to an otherwise lazy offering, Lil Yachty’s second LP to clunk this year.
Dua Lipa: Dua Lipa
Though we wouldn’t normally pay attention to a re-release, the seven new songs on Dua Lipa’s self-titled do more than shine amongst a pack of strong bangers—they glow. The tracks Lipa adds are collaborations she’s had with other artists, such as Martin Garrix, Calvin Harris and BLACKPINK, on top of two new completely original songs, “Running” and “Want To.” If you were undecided on the talent of Dua Lipa, look no further than this dazzling re-release.