10 New Albums to Stream Today

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10 New Albums to Stream Today

The U.S. continues to withstand scorching temperatures despite the fact that we’re now in the thick of October, and we’re also experiencing another heat wave in the form of today’s New Music Friday. On what may be the best album release day of 2019 so far, listeners were gifted with new records from vibrato rock goddess Angel Olsen, rap’s class clown Danny Brown, gothic rock legend Nick Cave and alternative rock veterans Wilco. If you’re thirsty for more, scroll down to check out all 10 of today’s most essential new albums.

1. Angel Olsen: All Mirrors

Olsen still deals with bad partners on her fourth album, All Mirrors, but this time around, she escapes their destruction and finds not just happiness, but catharsis. She narrates her journey alongside a 14-piece orchestra, with string co-arrangement from Ben Babbitt and conductor-arranger Jherek Bischoff (and co-production from the ever-busy John Congleton, who also co-produced her Burn Your Fire for No Witness). Her newfound embrace of violins, violas and cellos elevates her shadowy, often synth-infused rock to extraordinarily goosebump-inducing heights, making All Mirrors her third consecutive (and likely best) masterpiece to date. —Max Freedman

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2. The Avett Brothers: Closer Than Together

Closer Than Together follows 2016’s True Sadness, which featured the single “Ain’t No Man.” While that record delved into personal strife, this album will focus more on political issues and the “state of the world and observations reflected from the band’s own experiences.” Seth Avett penned a Mission Statement explaining the album’s themes, which the band shared on Instagram. He wrote, “The last thing the world needs is another piece of sociopolitical commentary… We didn’t make a record that was meant to comment on the sociopolitical landscape that we live in. We did, however, make an album that is obviously informed by what is happening now on a grander scale all around us…because we are a part of it and it is a part of us…The Avett Brothers will probably never make a sociopolitical record. But if we did, it might sound something like this.” —Ellen Johnson

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3. Danny Brown: uknowhatimsayin¿

“’Cause ain’t no next life, so now I’m tryna live my best life,” Danny Brown raps on uknowhatimsayin¿’s second single, and it’s pretty clear he’s trying his damn hardest to do so. Now an Eric Andre-esque host on his own Viceland talk show, Danny’s House, Brown has cast aside the impenetrable industrial beats from 2016’s Atrocity Exhibition for something more soulful and joyful, yet another indication that he’s in a better place than ever before. But regardless of where his head is, Brown is still rap’s resident weirdo, hilarious and creative as ever, simultaneously able to air out his “Dirty Laundry” and play a violent cab driver in the song’s laugh-out-loud corresponding music video. Throw in the fact that uknowhatimsayin¿ features production from Q-Tip, Flying Lotus, Thundercat, Standing on the Corner and JPEGMAFIA, and we might have one of the best major rap releases in a year full of disappointing ones. —Steven Edelstone

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4. DIIV: Deceiver

Brooklyn shoegazers DIIV made a huge splash in indie rock circles and among critics with their two full-lengths—2012’s Oshin and 2016’s Is the Is Are—but the band eventually came to a grinding halt as a result of frontman Zachary Cole Smith’s struggles with drug addiction, which led him to seek treatment. Described as a “soundtrack to personal resurrection,” Deceiver is their first new album in four years and their first completely collaborative record with the entire band arranging every track. Inspired by the dark undertones of artists like Unwound, Elliot Smith and True Widow, DIIV recruited producer Sonny Diperri (My Bloody Valentine, Nine Inch Nails, Protomartyr) to create something more brooding. The steamy, filthy chug of the guitars on “Horsehead” and “Like Before You Were Born” set the tone for a much headier sound. Channelling the richness of Swevedriver, the sludge of Deafheaven and the tender harmonies of Nothing, DIIV have never sounded as musically scorched and emotionally renewed. “On Deceiver, I’m talking about working for the relationships in my life, repairing them, and accepting responsibility for the places I’ve failed them,” Cole says. “I had to reapproach the band. It wasn’t restarting from a clean slate, but it was a new beginning.” —Lizzie Manno

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5. Kelsey Waldon: White Noise, White Lines

Kelsey Waldon became the first new artist to sign to John Prine’s Oh Boy Records in 15 years, and the label just released her forthcoming third studio album, White Noise, White Lines. But the story began decades ago, when a 16-year-old Waldon copped a vinyl copy of John Prine for her record collection. Then, last year, she met Prine and his wife Fiona. They played some shows together and struck up a friendship, which led to the label’s “completely organic” decision to release the album. Waldon has had a slow-burning career, playing opening gigs for fellow Kentuckians like Tyler Childers and touring across the country, and it seems like her hustling is about to pay off with the arrival of White Noise, White Lines. On the record, Waldon stuns with classic country arrangements and blue-collar tales. It’s easily the best songwriting of her career. —Ellen Johnson

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6. Lisa Prank: Perfect Love Song

If you sit someone down and make them listen to a playlist of every song ever written about love, that person would perish of old age before the last track. This doesn’t mean that musicians are done singing about love or that we’re done listening, though. For Robin Edwards, better known as Seattle’s pop-punk princess Lisa Prank, the subject is an obsession of sorts, hence the title of her latest album: Perfect Love Song. Like all good LPs on matters of the heart, it was conceived after a breakup. “I wish a different emotion was so alive and exciting to me, but love is just the one that feels so visceral and consuming,” she says. Thankfully, Edwards makes the potentially trite feel fresh again with her lively lyrics, focusing as much on her own emotional journey as on her romantic relationships. While some of the songs begin to sound the same—brimming with bright power-pop chords and drummer Tom Fitzgibbon going hard on the high-hat—each one invites you to sing along, wistfully thinking about the latest person who broke your heart. —Clare Martin

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7. Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds: Ghosteen

Over the past 18 years, Metacritic has been carefully aggregating album review scores from critics around the world. They paint an interesting picture, one that can illustrate what widespread critical acclaim actually looks like and give a definitive number to virtually every record released with any fanfare whatsoever over the last 20 years. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ most recent album—2016’s heartbreaking Skeleton Tree, written largely about the death of Cave’s teenage son, Arthur—scored a 95 and tied for the number six best-reviewed album in the site’s history with Kendrick’s DAMN., OutKast’s Stankonia and D’Angelo’s revelatory comeback record, Black Messiah. It’s even ranked higher than best of the decade contenders My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Lemonade, and channel ORANGE. If Skeleton Tree—as well as virtually anything else from his massive and accomplished back catalog—is anything to go off of, we might have a late album of the year entry on our hands. —Steven Edelstone

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8. San Fermin: The Cormorant I

There are few songwriters today enacting grandiose music centered on literary symbolism and fantasy worlds that mirror a sense of self. Highly specific, I know. But the Decemberists’ Colin Meloy comes to mind as perhaps the finest example of this, and San Fermin’s Ellis Ludwig-Leone isn’t too far behind. For San Fermin’s fourth LP, The Cormorant I, Ludwig-Leone stole away to Iceland to write the first of two full-length albums that together weave into a mystical full circle tale. The complete horns, strings and drum baroque pop ensemble of San Fermin make the Brooklyn group one of the most consistently riveting live bands out there. There’s also a new cast of female lead singers alongside male lead Allen Tate, including gorgeous vocals from the emerging Samia on single “The Hunger.” —Adrian Spinelli

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9. Swim Deep: Emerald Classics

Since releasing 2015’s Mothers and going on a four-year hiatus to regroup, Dream-pop darlings Swim Deep have undergone some significant changes, notably switching to the new label imprint Pop Committee via Cooking Vinyl and retooling their lineup. Swim Deep mainstays Williams, Cavan McCarthy and James Balmont are now joined by drummer Tomas Tomaski (Childhood) and guitarist Robbie Wood. “Personnel changes, friendships revived, relationships requited sees the original axis of Austin and Cav return together with a steely confidence and a collection of their most fully-fledged pop songs yet,” a press release reads. —Savannah Sicurella

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10. Wilco: Ode to Joy

Maybe this is the half-baked opinion of someone who wasn’t around to see and hear their entire rise to indie stardom, but Wilco have never made a bad album. From Being There to Star Wars, Wilco’s music has fluctuated, but rarely faltered. So gearing up to listen to the rock band’s latest and 11th studio album, Ode to Joy, left me less with concerns about whether or not it’ll be good music and more with what kind of music it will be. The answer? Political music, feathered with folk influences and Jeff Tweedy’s characteristically sound lyrical ideas. Distinct drum beats and mathematic percussion, what could be a career triumph for drummer Glenn Kotche, guide the entire album, like soldiers marching to battle or peaceful players sharing air in a drum circle. The equation results in larger-than-life soft rock full of both grand ideas about the state of our world and small musings about matters of the heart. —Ellen Johnson

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