When did it become so difficult to keep up with new music? To stay up to date on your favorite artists as they release new singles and albums? Life keeps us busy, and before you know it, you’re yet again sitting at your desk, surfing Spotify, looking for new music to listen to.

Whether it’s to soundtrack your commute, maintain gusto at the gym, give fresh background music to your workplace, or, if you simply love music, here is a running list of the Latest Music Releases, the Best New Albums and Singles to hit our ears. Want to get the scoop on upcoming music releases? Check out The Most Anticipated Rock and Hip-Hop Albums of 2021.

ALBUMS

Playboi Carti: Whole Lotta Red

To be regarded as “highly innovative” and “unlike anything else happening in mainstream rap” is an impressive achievement in 2021, when the game has never been as diverse as it is now. The new Playboi Carti album, Whole Lotta Red, is a mixture of punk metal and rap, melodic and hard, nostalgic and experimental music. With tracks like “Vamp Anthem,” “Punk Monk,” and “Beno!” amplifying Carti as not only one of the freshest voices to come out of Atlanta, but as a visionary in the genre. Usually assists from Kanye West, Future, and Kid Cudi would define the likeness and strength of an album—but not for Playboi Carti’s Whole Lotta Red. The new Playboi Carti is finest when the rapper is to himself, playfully running amok with sinister production, cutting sounds, and lyrics that bite.

Taylor Swift: Evermore (Deluxe)

Not the first, but second incredible Taylor Swift album to arrive this year, Evermore is undoubtedly one of her best and most soulful and realized records to date. With assists on the album by The National, Bon Iver, and more, Taylor Swift’s final 2020 music release was a delicate indie folk dream with pop production quality. Quiet yet dazzling, personal yet infinitely relatable, and with some of Taylor Swift’s clearest and most serene lyrics, Evermore was without a doubt one of the most exciting album releases of the year—sneaking in right before the end. Needless to say, we remain shook by the power of this Taylor Swift album. Shook in the best way. And now that Taylor Swift has released Evermore (Deluxe) for those fans who didn’t order the physical copy, tracks “Right Where You Left Me” and “It’s Time To Go” are now on streaming services.

Paul McCartney: McCartney III

If you had told us, forty years ago, that the third installment of Paul McCartney’s DIY home-recorded record series would be out of a pandemic-enforced quarantine, we probably would’ve called you crazy. But here we are, with McCartney III, Paul McCartney’s friendly, warm, and often wondrous quarantine and solo album. From acoustic, to ruminative piano ballads, to traditional rock and roll renditions, McCartney III is a new album from the Macca that can’t be missed. Of the new Paul McCartney music that arrived last year, we think “Find My Way” and “The Kiss of Venus” were among his best singles.

Kali Uchis: Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios)

In her first predominantly Spanish release, Kali Uchis ruminates on romance and risk. Titled Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios), which translates to Without Fear (Of Love and Other Demons), Kali Uchis’ second studio album is boiling over with passion, reggaeton influences, and the artist’s stunning and soft vocals. Sin Miedo was supported by two singles, “Aquí Yo Mando” with Rico Nasty and “La Luz” with Jhay Cortez, and features contributions from PartyNextDoor and Jowell & Randy.

Chris Stapleton: Starting Over

After a rousing and raw performance at the 2020 CMA awards, Chris Stapleton dropped his fourth album Starting Over. The long-awaited follow-up to 2017’s two volume record From A Room, Stapleton’s latest finds the artist honestly and vulnerably discussing his life and fame of the past five years.

The style is no break from what Stapleton has refined for himself. Bluesy, traditional, contemplative, Stapleton never veers away from who he is. And for that, Starting Over is a delight, a relief, Stapleton’s trademark voice and lyrics a source of comfort we could all use this year.

2 Chainz: So Help Me God

Though some might criticize a 2 Chainz record for lacking in epicenter, we dig the artist’s varied gaze, hip-hop and trap sensibilities, and his unabashed willingness to both self-deprecate and gloat. 2 Chainz, now a veteran in the game, made his way by being everywhere at once. Why, then, shouldn’t his albums reflect this most stunning quality? And perhaps the very one which made him most effective as an artist and thinker—an influencer?

So Help Me God is flawed, but it is fun. The album includes a range of guests, including Rick Ross, Kanye West, Ty Dolla $ign, Mulatto, Chief Keef, and more. We will never get over how “Can’t Go For That”—yes, as in, a Hall and Oates sample—wasn’t released during the past sultry summer. “Lambo Wrist” is a bopping ode to rampant, high-luxury hedonism. “Grey Area” expands on that decadence. The album is fortified by punchlines and assertive rhymes. Aka, vintage 2 Chainz.

SINGLES

Kings of Leon: “The Bandit”

Miley Cyrus and Dua Lipa: “Prisoner”

Billie Eilish: “Therefore I Am”

Bleachers: “Chinatown”

Lil Nas X: “Holiday”

Foo Fighters: “Shame Shame”

Anderson .Paak: “JEWELZ”

Megan Thee Stallion and YG: “Don’t Stop”

 
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