10 New Albums to Stream Today

Scary songs to hear on Friday the 13th

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10 New Albums to Stream Today

If you’re seeking chills and thrills on this Friday the 13th, you have absolutely come to the right place. In the “chills” category, we have new albums out by the always eccentric (Sandy) Alex G, freak-folk auteur Devendra Barnhart and wistful singer/songwriter Jenny Hval. For something more “thrilling,” we’d recommend you head over to Alex Cameron’s latest release, Miami Memory, the theatrical Aussie’s third studio LP, and/or pop enigma Charli XCX’s latest star-packed extravaganza. If that’s not enough to satisfy your adrenaline craving, you may want to check in on our own Jim Vorel’s ongoing “Century of Terror” project, which is counting down the best horror movies of the last 100 years. Now go forth and find the chills, thrills and tunes. Here are all the best new albums out on Friday, Sept. 13.

1. Alex Cameron: Miami Memory

Australian singer/songwriter Alex Cameron came out swinging on his theatrical 2017 LP Forced Witness (which featured guest spots from Angel Olsen and Brandon Flowers) as well as his recent live album Live in San Francisco, covering material from that album and his debut Jumping the Shark. Cameron announced his new album Miami Memory earlier this summer alongside an impressive title track, a steamy bit of baroque pop that explores Cameron’s relationship with the city of Miami and his girlfriend Jemima Kirke. It came with a vibrant, lustful new video directed by Cameron himself that also stars Kirke and Cameron’s sax player Roy Molloy. “Miami Memory is a story about how we audition in the present for our future selves to enjoy in retrospect. In that way, tender memories that we share together are captured in thought and stored with the same electricity that keeps our heart beating,” Cameron says. “It’s a gift for my girlfriend Jemima, and it is dedicated to the artist Greer Lankton and her partner Paul Monroe. I am lucky to have learned that a group of people can be a shining light.” —Adam Weddle

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2. Charli XCX: Charli

We did it, kids. Charli XCX has finally unleashed Charli, her third official album and just what we fans deserve. The self-titled collection is and brimming with features, as Chuck is wont to do—her excellent mixtapes are also a who’s who of forward-thinking pop artists. Charli continues that teamwork spirit. This project’s A-list roster of collaborators includes Lizzo, Christine and the Queens, HAIM, Troye Sivan, Brooke Candy, CupcakKe, Big Freedia, Sky Ferreira, Kim Petras, Clairo, Yaeji and Pabblo Vittar. Charli’s most recent singles include “1999” featuring Troye Sivan and “Blame It on Your Love” featuring Lizzo, both of which are included in the set. —Drew Novak

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3. Chelsea Wolfe: Birth of Violence

Chelsea Wolfe’s artistic arc has largely been one of amplification, each new album bigger and heavier than the last. This peaked with 2017’s Hiss Spun, a sludge-metal stunner and arguably Wolfe’s best yet. But on her new album, Birth of Violence, Wolfe has made the conscious decision to strip things back a bit. “I’ve been in a state of constant motion for the past eight years or so; touring, moving, playing new stages, exploring new places and meeting new people—an incredible time of learning and growing as a musician and performer,” Wolfe said in a statement. “But after awhile, I was beginning to lose a part of myself. I needed to take some time away from the road to get my head straight, to learn to take better care of myself, and to write and record as much as I can while I have ‘Mercury in my hands’ as a wise friend put it.” —Drew Novak

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4. Devendra Barnhart: Ma

Devendra Banhart has been an enigma since he first performed onstage 20 years ago. His lyrics frequently border the absurd, while his music takes so many twists and turns that it’s no wonder why he became the supposed leader of the freak folk genre in the mid-2000s. But fast-forwarding to 2019, Devendra Banhart is returning with Ma, a surprisingly straightforward and touching new album, his first since 2016’s Ape in Pink Marble. It’s frequently beautiful, occasionally sung in different languages (three in Spanish and one in Portuguese) and represents perhaps his best work of the decade. Ma explores the concept of motherhood, but also addresses his childhood in now-crime and recession-ridden Venezuela. It all leads up to album finale “Will I See You Tonight?,” a stunning collaboration with the legendary Vashti Bunyan, one of the most gorgeous songs you’ll hear all year. —Steven Edelstone

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5. Jenny Hval: The Practice of Love

Norwegian singer/songwriter Jenny Hval’s first return to music since 2018’s The Long Sleep EP, The Practice of Love is described as an expression of “the connection between life and creating art in a specific way—an umbilical magic about relating to others, finding empathy and a common language through speaking, singing and writing together.” You can find this romantic feeling in “Ashes to Ashes,” a pristine, buzzing wash of synth, clear vocals and syncopation. Hval takes her time to bounce over the track’s hypnotizing magnetic tape and contemplate mortality: “Like I used to dream of fucking before I knew how / I was playing some kind of instrument / It was just a shape in the earth / Like I was playing digging my own grave.” The album is a gauzy and illusionary departure from 2016’s disorienting Blood Bitch and unspools “with an almost deceptive ease,” per the album’s press release. —Savannah Sicurella

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6. Joseph: Good Luck, Kid

Portland-born sisters and folk-pop harmony-makers Joseph are back after a three-year hiatus. As ever, Natalie Schepman and her sisters Allison and Meegan Closner use harmony like an emotional conveyor belt, packaging their feelings up and pushing them out into the world through a warm vocal connection that could only be made by siblings. But “Fighter,” the album’s lead single, is bigger and more anthemic than the often-subdued folk of their previous releases. The through-line of the album is this idea of moving into the driver’s seat of your own life—recognizing that you’re an adult now, and everything’s up to you from this moment on,” Schepman says. “You’re not completely sure of how to get where you need to go, and you don’t have any kind of a map to help you. It’s just the universe looking down on you like, ‘Good luck, kid.’”—Ellen Johnson

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7. Long Beard: Means to Me

Long before Leslie Bear was of national interest, she was a staple of the New Brunswick, N.J. music scene. During the early part of the decade in some of the same basements where punk bands such as Screaming Females first began turning heads, Bear, who goes by the moniker Long Beard, played her drumless, homespun confections of shimmering guitars and ambiguous near-whispers to college students who almost universally loved her music. Her debut EP, 2014’s Holy Crow, became a staple of the area’s college radio station. Holy Crow’s best song, the devastating voice-and-guitar-only reverie, “Hates the Party,” appeared in a sweeping full-band rendition on Long Beard’s proper debut album, 2015’s Sleepwalker. Means to Me, Bear’s second album, operates entirely in the pristinely produced vein of the rerecorded “Hates the Party.” Every song features live drums, astoundingly bright and audible guitars, and vocals that prevent listeners from playing any guessing games about Bear’s lyrics. Often, this unexpectedly lucid approach shines a potent light on the song parts that might otherwise remain dark, and occasionally, it results in her best music to date. —Max Freedman

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8. Pixies: Beneath The Eyrie

The Pixies’ latter-day music has made people angry, as if the band sought to personally offend some listeners by daring to sidestep the albums the original foursome released between 1988-91. That’s deeply silly, of course, not least because the band’s new material is better than they’ve been given credit for. Sure, the transitional 2014 album Indie Cindy had some patchy moments, and the rapid turnover in bass players, from Kim Deal to Kim Shattuck to Paz Lenchantin, wasn’t the greatest look. Even amid personal turmoil for some of the members since then—rehab for guitarist Joey Santiago in 2016, a recent divorce for singer Black Francis—things seem to have settled down in the band, and The Pixies’ latest is loud, weird and full of hooks. Is it the second coming of Surfer Rosa? No, but it was never going to be. —Eric R. Danton

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9. (Sandy) Alex G: House of Sugar

At the southern tip of Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood, there’s an imposing structure on the Delaware River that somehow looks equal parts parking garage, hospital and convention center. The building is none of these things, but it’s just as overwhelming as each one of them. It houses SugarHouse Casino, a dystopian abyss of colorful images leaping forth from slot machines and laser-bright ceiling lights hovering over card tables where gamblers can earn $150 in blackjack, lose it and swear off gambling forever (which may or may not have happened to this writer). Philly resident (Sandy) Alex G’s newest album, House of Sugar, his third for storied label Domino (and eighth or ninth overall, depending on who you ask), is named for this casino. As unsettling as its namesake, the newest record from Alex Giannascoli at times improves on the inscrutable, circuitous experimentation of his Domino debut, Beach Music. At other times, it refines the accessible but still characteristically sauntering country-lite of Rocket, his masterful second album for the British indie label. In other words, House of Sugar sounds like a middle ground between the two albums that preceded it. —Max Freedman

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10. Twin Peaks: Lookout Low

Chicago-based indie-rock outfit Twin Peaks have unveiled the details of their newest studio effort Lookout Low. Described as their most deliberate and seamless record yet, the follow-up to 2016’s Down In Heaven was pieced together with the intent of capturing the raucous energy of the band’s live shows. Prolific alternative producer Ethan Johns (Paul McCartney, U2) helmed the project to help refine and solidify the band’s live recordings. The announcement arrived with the album’s first cut, and the band’s first track since wrapping their Sweet ‘17 Singles series in 2018: a lounge-lizardy groove set ablaze by heavy bass, swelling horns and warm organ tones titled “Dance Through It.” “Writing and arranging ‘Dance Through It’ felt like a dive into and embrace of experimenting with a new palette for us,” guitarist Cadien Lake James said in a statement. “After having been directly involved in the creation and direction of all of our videos, it felt fitting to allow this song the breath of collaboration in having Ariel Fisher take the helm and run with it.” —Savannah Sicurella

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