10 New Albums to Stream Today

Featuring Angel Olsen, Samia, Toots and the Maytals and more

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10 New Albums to Stream Today

New Music Friday is finally here, and it brings a really solid offering of albums. Angel Olsen has shared the companion album to her 2019 LP All Mirrors, Toots and the Maytals have released their first album in a decade and rising singer/songwriter Samia has shared her debut record The Baby. We’ve got all that plus an extensive Elliott Smith reissue, a Molly Tuttle covers album and much more. Scroll down for 10 essential new albums out today.

1. Angel Olsen: Whole New Mess

When All Mirrors was released in 2019, Angel Olsen had a different, earlier version of the record initially set to drop at the same time. Before bringing on a 12-piece string section and a host of other studio flourishes, she spent 10 days recording in The Unknown—an old Catholic-church-turned-recording-studio situated in Anacortes on the coast of Washington. Those sessions, which resulted in nine early versions of tracks that later appeared on All Mirrors plus two other original songs, are finally here in the form of Whole New Mess. Both records are without a doubt on the sadder end of the feelings spectrum, but where All Mirrors presented Olsen at her most enigmatic, wrapped up in a sort of cosmic mix of sorrow and rage rising above layers of ornate production, Whole New Mess stands on its own in presenting something raw, vulnerable and haunting. —Jack Meyer

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2. The Avett Brothers: The Third Gleam

On their most recent Rick Rubin-produced album Closer Than Together, The Avett Brothers expressed their discontent for violence in the media, made a call for gun control (sort of), asked God to forgive America for our innumerable malfeasances and tried their hand at a real feminist anthem. While we know their intentions were good and true, these paltry plays at incorporating liberal politics into their increasingly pop-forward brand of nu-folk music did not necessarily go well for them. But their musings on the bleak state of the world and American politics sound much less strained on The Third Gleam, their 10th studio album and the highly anticipated (at least among fans) third installment in the Gleam series, which, in its first two iterations released in 2006 and 2008, respectively, brought us beauties like “If It’s The Beaches” and Avett classics like “Souls Like The Wheels.” While The Avett Brothers lineup typically consists of a robust group of players including fiddler Tania Elizabeth and cellist Joe Kwon, The Third Gleam finds Scott and Seth Avett playing in a paired-down trio with longtime bassist Bob Crawford. This lineup more closely resembles the band in its early days, when Scott, Seth and Bob played their bombastic country-rock songs in grimey venues across the Southeast. —Ellen Johnson

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3. Elliott Smith: Elliott Smith (Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition)

For the 25th anniversary of Elliott Smith’s self-titled second album, Kill Rock Stars is releasing an expanded reissue on Aug. 28. The package will include the newly-remastered original album, plus a bonus disc of the earliest-known recording of Smith performing as a solo act, which took place at Portland’s Umbra Penumbra. It also includes a 52-page coffee table book of handwritten lyrics, two dozen previously-unseen photographs and more. Kill Rock Stars is also releasing a series of cover versions of Elliott Smith tracks, featuring artists like Bonny Light Horseman, Marisa Anderson, MAITA, Prateek Kuhad and Califone. The reissue will be available in various formats: 2LP/book, 2CD/book, WAV and MP3. —Lizzie Manno

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4. Jyoti: Mama, You Can Bet!

Jyoti, the solo jazz project of multi-talented singer and creator Georgia Anne Muldrow, is named after an Indian word that roughly translates as “divine light.” Muldrow is a modern-day Alice Coltrane of sorts—who herself released a 1987 album called Divine Songs—constantly morphing and creating in a quest for transformational liberation through song. On the third Jyoti album, Mama, You Can Bet!, the Grammy-nominated Muldrow is a one-woman band, playing percussion, piano, guitar and more. Throughout the release, she delivers subdued but stunning vocals over politically charged music that speaks to the pressing times we’re living in. “The Walk” is an exquisite groove, while “Orgone” is an operatic and sinewy piano number with layered vocals. Muldrow even re-works a couple tracks by Charles Mingus, further flashing her multifaceted approach to jazz music as Jyoti. —Adrian Spinelli

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5. Kelly Lee Owens: Inner Song

Dream pop and techno might be vastly different genres, but they share a common goal. Where dream pop’s glimmering, reverb-soaked guitars and keyboards entrance listeners into a listless stupor, techno’s clattering 808s and simple, repetitive rhythms keep the party going. While these modi operandi at first seem diametrically opposed, a closer look reveals that both genres impart enchantment, nirvana, hypnosis and even healing—a night out at the rave is as palliating as an evening splayed out listening to Teen Dream. Welsh songwriter-producer Kelly Lee Owens understands these genres’ powerful overlap more than any other musician in recent memory. With her sophomore album Inner Song, however, Owens potentially opens herself to a much wider audience. A thrilling, dynamic LP that overflows with life, Inner Song is full of dancefloor devotionals that easily rank among her most accessible creations to date. If Kelly Lee Owens gently opened the door between dream pop and techno, Inner Song rushes through it and builds a world where ecstatic, curative, untethered electronic sounds abound. —Max Freedman

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6. Molly Tuttle: ...but i’d rather be with you

One of the more fortunate sides of quarantine is extra time for making art. Award-winning guitarist and singer/songwriter Molly Tuttle is one of many artists who’s been letting the creative juices flow over the last few months, and today she returns with the result: a covers release titled …but I’d rather be with you, out now via Compass Records. It’s an entire collection of covers recorded during quarantine, including numbers by FKA Twigs, The Rolling Stones, Cat Stevens and more. Another highlight is a very nice cover of The National’s song “Fake Empire,” the first track on the rock band’s 2007 album Boxer. Tuttle’s version is glistening acoustic-pop with a touch of country twang, but it still upholds that distinct foreboding energy of Matt Berninger’s vocals on the original. —Ellen Johnson

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7. Narrow Head: 12th House Rock

Narrow Head’s brand of shoegaze is groovy yet dark. Lyrically, this Texas band’s music lives in a world of loss and self-destruction, and their combination of nu-metal and ’90s grunge makes for pleasurable sonic immersion. Their 2016 debut is a beautiful canvas of complex and adrenaline-fueled shoegaze. Today, the band released their self-produced sophomore album, 12th House Rock, available now via Run For Cover (North America) and Holy Roar (UK/EU). “A lot of the record was made in the late hours and early morning,” frontman Jacob Duarte says. “Those quiet moments alone when utter silence and my self-medication made it impossible to escape from my own thoughts.” —Danielle Chelosky

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8. Samia: The Baby

After a string of hushed ballads and spirited pop/rock tunes, Samia Finnerty (aka Samia) began drawing ears and eyes. The New York-based singer/songwriter’s debut album The Baby centers on her low, rather soulful voice, and it finds her at her most self-assured. Operating in a ’90s and ’00s pop/rock lane, Samia thrives on soaring hooks, which carry even more power thanks to her impressive vocal range. Upbeat rock songs like “Fit N Full” and “Big Wheel” possess yearning and the type of humor that everyone’s craving these days, and they bring instantaneous choruses, too. Her downtempo side is just as moving, if not more so—“Pool” and “Stellate” are packed with desire, with the former embracing a more ethereal pop airiness and the latter leaning into stripped-down, contemplative rock. —Lizzie Manno

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9. Ricky Reed: The Room

Ricky Reed has been behind the boards for some of the biggest contemporary pop hits. Prolific as a producer and songwriter for artists like Leon Bridges, Kesha and Meghan Trainor, Reed cemented himself as one of the best in the business as a co-writer and producer on much of Lizzo’s decorated Cuz I Love You. Now, on The Room, Reed builds on music that came out of “NICE LIVE!” livestream sessions with a community of collaborators who he sought to stay creatively connected with as the pandemic’s quarantine lifestyle unfolded. The debut album from Reed is out on his own Nice Life Recording label, and it has already yielded singles like the pensive and punchy “Us” featuring Jim James and duendita and the bouncy and uplifting “Real Magic” with insanely talented producer Terrace Martin and vocalist St. Panther. Also on The Room, collaborations with Lido Pimienta, Dirty Projectors and Alessia Cara hint at an ambitious release from a true industry game-changer in Reed. —Adrian Spinelli

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10. Toots and the Maytals: Got To Be Tough

Legendary reggae, ska and rocksteady musician Frederick “Toots” Hibbert has released his first album as Toots and the Maytals in a decade. Titled Got To Be Tough, the album was co-produced by Zak Starkey and features appearances by Ziggy Marley and Starkey’s father, Ringo Starr. It’s a lively wash of synth, organ, horn and guitar riffs alongside Toots’ soul superpower: his warm, stony voice that has resonated for decades and continues to do so. Perseverance is Toots’ bread and butter and this album is spilling over with it—there’s no bitterness, just faith and determination. “I want to ask everyone to keep their focus in this time of wonders. Make such focus be of good faith,” Toots says. “Love each other, take it as a warning and exercise brotherly and sisterly care for each other of all race, religion and creed.” —Lizzie Manno

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