The Week In Music: The Best Albums, Songs, Performances and More

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The Week In Music: The Best Albums, Songs, Performances and More

The music featured below consists of everything from the somber ballads of Tomberlin and the experimental pop/rap of Moors and Tune-Yards to the country punk of Lucero and the indie rock of Campdogzz. Here are Paste’s favorite music picks of the week.

BEST ALBUMS

Tomberlin: At Weddings
Sara Beth Tomberlin’s debut album, At Weddings, is an ode to the uncertainty and overall dishevelment of your late teens and early twenties: bogged down by self-doubt, seeking validation from others, rebelling against unsolicited religious beliefs that were pressed upon you as a child (the 23-year-old singer/songwriter was born to strict Baptist parents) and longing for someone even though you know they’re a bad influence. Featuring only an acoustic guitar and various keyboards and effects, the record centers on Tomberlin’s Joni Mitchell-esque pipes, loud in their softness and tenderness and unsuspectedly moving you to your absolute core. The naked instrumentation mirrors the transparency of her lyrics and while the songs consist of just a few elements, her overflowing emotions make the tracks feel full and warm. At Weddings is filled with such a powerful, saintly aura that even the most ugly subject matters can spur flawless, beautiful results. —Lizzie Manno

Lucero: Among The Ghosts
Lucero  have made albums with the blazing immediacy of a house fire: 1372 Overton Park from 2009 is practically a greatest-hits collection, full of ballsy riffs, brash horns and bare-knuckle lyrics that can knock you down flat. Among the Ghosts isn’t that kind of album. It’s like a reminder from the band: sure, we turn down sometimes, but don’t think we’ve forgotten how to blow your hair back, either. If Among the Ghosts would have benefitted from more of a balance between those poles, Lucero’s latest demonstrates that they do the quiet stuff nearly as well as the loud. — Eric R. Danton

BEST SONGS

Adrianne Lenker: cradle
Adrianne Lenker was a solo artist before she ever began writing and performing with her band, the always-prolific Big Thief. In 2014, two years before Big Thief’s first record—Masterpiece—she released Hours Were the Birds, 30 minutes of tender acoustics and her signature autobiographical lyrical style. Now, Lenker is preparing to release another solo project in that same vein, abysskiss, out Oct. 5 on Saddle Creek. Gentle and beautiful, “cradle” sways just as its name would imply. It harbors the same emotional rawness that’s on display in Big Thief’s music, but it’s much more stripped down. — Ellen Johnson

Moors ft. Tune-Yards: Mango
Considering his roles in such influential movies and TV shows as Atlanta, Get Out and this year’s Sorry to Bother You, Lakeith Stanfield might qualify as a cultural mogul. He’s also a musician, one half of the rap duo Moors (with L.A.-based producer HH). Stanfield, and the duo’s stellar, six-song self-titled EP from 2014, attracted the attention of indie-rock outfit Tune-Yards, who also worked on the Sorry to Bother You score—hence, an unlikely collaboration was formed. The two groups recorded a song together, the juicy hip-hop number “Mango.” Tune-Yard’s percussion-heavy production is evident on the track, as is Stanfield’s distorted brand of rap. There’s a colorful accompanying video, too, which splices negative B-roll with gold-splattered footage of Stanfield dancing. —Ellen Johnson

PASTE STUDIO

Lola Kirke
Country-rocker Lola Kirke released her debut album today, Heart Head West via Downtown Records and she came into the Paste Studio to perform three songs: “Sexy Song,” “Out Yonder” and “Turn Away Your Heart.” She was born to a musical family (her father is Simon Kirke, drummer of Bad Company and Free, and her sister is singer-songwriter Domino Kirke) and she embarked on her musical career in 2016 with the release of a four track EP. — Lizzie Manno

Campdogzz
Campdogzz are a Chicago indie rock five-piece who released their sophomore album, In Rounds earlier this month via 15 Passenger. The band was the first to sign to Cursive’s record label and they came to the Paste Studio to perform three songs: “Raw Bone Ring,” “Run Wild” and “Dry Heat.”— Lizzie Manno

FEATURES

Minority Musicians Shouldn’t Have to Speak on Behalf of Their Respective Communities
A woman or non-binary person or any other minority should be able to pick up a guitar, microphone or drumsticks without it having to be some kind of symbolic social or political statement. They’re artists. Let them make art and then judge them on the merits of their art rather than their demographics or lack of a grand manifesto. — Lizzie Manno

The Shortcomings of “Woke” Music Videos
Each act of violence still stings; every image of Black death leaves its gruesome, lasting imprint on the mind. Witnessing these videos asks us to weigh some moral costs, then: Is reliving trauma really worth it, when the only payoff is praising artists for their own self-awareness? No amount of artistic intention or filmic nuance seems to offer up much more than that. Rather, in the instance of videos like these, spectacles of police brutality racism, and violence only remind us that their artists know precisely what they’re doing. — Jenzia Burgos

How Oasis’ 1994 Hit Single ‘Live Forever’ Changed My Life
When I heard Liam Gallagher sing lines like “Maybe you’re the same as me/ We see things they’ll never see/ You and I are gonna live forever,” it was motivating and empowering. Despite the band’s constant fighting between brothers Liam and Noel, they were the last band to sulk or feel sorry for themselves. Their unshakeable self-confidence (or arrogance) was exhilarating, and it was everything I needed to hear as a shy teen. — Lizzie Manno

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