10 New Albums to Stream Today

Featuring Animal Collective, Mitski, Saba and more

Music Lists New Albums
10 New Albums to Stream Today

A mouth-watering month of releases starts today, with this New Music Friday—and Bandcamp Friday!—delivering a handful of Paste’s most-anticipated releases of the year. Avant-psych titans Animal Collective are back with their first new album in the better part of a decade, indie-rock idol Mitski has taken a breathlessly anticipated step back into the spotlight, and Chicago rapper-producer Saba has released his follow-up to 2018’s acclaimed CARE FOR ME. Dive into a deep pool of new music below.

Animal Collective: Time Skiffs

In the years after their 2016 album Painting With, Animal Collective’s ambitions started to gear towards scoring visual projects and creating location-based music, until a global pandemic reshaped the way they—and all working musicians—were able to function. Though no strangers to working on music remotely (the original demos for Merriweather were composed over email), the band were met with the challenge of living up to their legacy while facing an uncertain future for the music industry. The result is Time Skiffs, in which Animal Collective find a way to make peace with the swarms of present-day adulthood anxieties while paying tribute to their past. A far cry from the rushed, electronic dirges of their previous album, Time Skiffs finds the band taking their time and doing what they do best: allowing space, texture and infectious melody to whisk the listener away to various sensory destinations, all with the wisdom and confidence of a group who have weathered life’s storms, and recognize the opportunity for joy and growth that resides within them. —Jason Friedman

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Black Country, New Road: Ants from Up There

When Black Country, New Road released their debut album For the first time last February, they’d been sitting on the material for at least a year; songs like “Athens, France” and “Sunglasses,” though ultimately reworked on the album, had already been out since 2019. The group described For the first time as the summation of their first 18 months as a band, a helpful framing for such intricate, yet manic work. Last September, the band confirmed they had already finished a follow-up, and began playing “Bread Song” and “Basketball Shoes’’ during their live sets. These would become parts of Ants From Up There, the group’s sophomore effort. Being released just 364 days later, it’s an incredibly quick turnaround for the London septet, a result of their remarkable productivity. Ants From Up There feels like the work of a band figuring itself out. While they may not use the term themselves, it’s hard to argue that Black Country, New Road can’t be called a jam band. Try as they might to create short, digestible tracks, they still go long; they’re never married to their songs being presented in just one way, and embrace improvisation. Sure, they come across more self-serious than the stereotypical jam band, but all the markers are there. This is a record that sees Black Country, New Road reestablishing themselves. Having been lauded by nearly every outlet following their debut, you get the sense the band are trying to reset expectations: Buried beneath their own laurels, they’re not afraid to shake them off. —Eric Bennett

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Cate Le Bon: Pompeii

Cate Le Bon’s been called an absurdist—a weirdo, an alien—because her music is industrial and her songwriting is a product of deliberate philosophical interrogation in an era of impatient desire for commodified answers. She works among envelope-pushers like black midi and The Spirit of the Beehive, acts existing on a margin where technical skill and inventive, experimental visions intersect. She’s not quite as singer/songwriter-oriented as Weyes Blood; her electronic compositions aren’t droney or balmy like Ellen Arkbro’s; she’s a Dadaist at heart, an active practitioner of purposefully off-kilter soundscapes and contrarian responses to traditional art of the era. But on Pompeii, Le Bon completely ruptures the mold, using the record to divorce herself from the current subculture of flashy 1980s new wave ripoffs by tackling similar themes of religious affection, but through a subdued, meticulous approach. The LP’s tonal landscape derives from Japanese city pop, Depeche Mode synths, jazz percussion and the Dada bleakness of Cabaret Voltaire. Stella Mozgawa, a frequent collaborator of Le Bon, Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, brings patient percussion to the compositions; Stephen Black’s saxophone sounds like a glossy, beautiful earthquake. Samur Khouja’s production energizes Le Bon to lean far into a paradox: ancient texts germinating into contemporary lyricism. —Matt Mitchell

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Memphis rap has been synonymous with the dark, grungy horror that was popularized by the likes of Tommy Wright III and Three 6 Mafia. Cities Aviv takes that label and tests its limits, nestling into pockets of silence and ambience in the sounds of his predecessors and exploring how to magnify them. On his latest effort MAN PLAYS THE HORN, Cities combines fuzzy jazz samples with blown-out vocals that give the album a comforting lo-fi feel reminiscent of old-school homemade rap tapes. Hypnotizing jazz band loops and disjointed echoes of choirs layered with chopped up drums combine to show the strengths of Cities’ keen ear for balancing the melodic with the chaotic. It’s Memphis rap at some of its most innovative without failing to pay homage to the ones who paved the way. —Jade Gomez

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Los Bitchos: Let the Festivities Begin!

Los Bitchos’ guitarist and lead composer Serra Petale has described the group’s ideal sound as a cross between Van Halen and Cocteau Twins—if they were both from Turkey—and now, we’ve gotten our first taste of that intriguing combination with the arrival of the U.K. band’s debut album. Produced by Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos, Let the Festivities Begin! is simultaneously a party album and a lesson in blending global music styles, from African Highlife and Argentine cumbia to surf rock and beyond. It sounds like exactly what its title and cover suggest, pulling out all the colors and textures it can find that scratch that maximalist itch. In other words, it’s an ideal way to kick off this weekend, or any other. —Elise Soutar

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Mitski: Laurel Hell

Mitski is always beckoning, no matter how she may recoil. Her work stacks contradictory compulsions: She wants, and wants to be wanted; at any moment, she’ll offer herself up, or be taken, or take. She has all the power, and none. She can’t have enough or be enough for even herself. A laurel hell, the namesake of her latest album, is a maze where thickets of beautiful flowers grow knotty and impassable, the plants poisonous. Laurel Hell also evokes resting on one’s laurels—getting lazy or complacent about future achievements because you’re focused on past success. It’s almost ironic to consider this ’80s-electro-rock turn unfinished or lax, but such self-criticism is ingrained in Mitski’s work. As she wades into the maze of performance, she’s continually choked by her own ceaseless desire, the enticing flowers disguising the plant’s vicious, toxic acid. Laurel Hell encapsulates the parasitism inherent to performing for consumption and then being consumed. Videogame-glitchy track “Love Me More” is a nod to toxic fandom—something that contributed to Mitski’s departure from social media—as well as the music industry churn. Twinkling synths emulate the inevitable climb: releasing art for yourself, needing fans’ love to buoy that art, and ultimately becoming overwhelmed by that very love. —Caitlin Wolper

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The Reds, Pinks & Purples: Summer at Land’s End

The fourth album from San Francisco singer/songwriter Glenn Donaldson’s “kitchen pop” project in just under three years (after 2019’s Anxiety Art, 2020’s You Might Be Happy Someday and 2021’s Uncommon Weather), Summer at Land’s End is another dreamy DIY gem from an artist as consistent as he is prolific. The Reds, Pinks & Purples asks little of the listener, yet offers much: Donaldson frequently delivers his bittersweet lyrics in something just above a whisper, wandering in slow-motion through rippling fields of acoustic and electric guitars, and frequently de-emphasizing percussion so his melodies can lead the way. Steady strums awash in humming keys and oceanic feedback cast a spell over the sprawling title track, while Donaldson’s songwriting comes to the fore amid the jangle-pop heartache of “Let’s Pretend We’re Not in Love.” This is music you sink into like a warm bath, savoring for as long as its comforts last. —Scott Russell

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Rolo Tomassi: Where Myth Becomes Memory

Beauty and brutality boldly coexist on English rock quintet Rolo Tomassi’s first new album since 2018, Where Myth Becomes Memory. The band presents that push and pull right away on the record, leading with the ethereal vocals and atmospheric post-rock of “Almost Always,” then swerving into the towering hardcore riffs and crushing polyrhythmic percussion of lead single “Cloaked.” (Later, the transition from “Stumbling”’s eerie piano to the pummeling thrash of “To Resist Forgetting” makes that opening 1-2 punch look like child’s play.) Rolo Tomassi—Eva Spence, her brother James Spence, Chris Cayford, Nathan Fairweather and Al Pott—wield their spectrum of sound with an expertise that can only come through creative unity, as seen on songs like “Labyrinthine,” which snaps from chainsaw guitars and punishing screams into dreamy melody, then back again. It’s not often you can truthfully say a hardcore album has “something for everyone” on it, but then again, it’s not often you encounter a band like Rolo Tomassi. —Scott Russell

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Saba: Few Good Things

Saba is one of Chicago’s brightest rap stars, and the unfortunate tragedy of the stabbing of his cousin Walter Long Jr. mobilized him to craft 2018’s CARE FOR ME, a chilling and meditative reflection on his grief immediately after Long’s death. It has been five years since then, and Saba is still picking up the pieces. On his latest album Few Good Things, Saba begins to sound more hopeful. Interspersed with jazzy instrumentals and snippets of his family, his storytelling shines as he wrestles with happiness and the guilt that comes from it, teetering into a breathless flow that must feel as therapeutic as it sounds. Few Good Things is a careful reflection of the uglier, more desperate side of grief less spoken about, as Saba finds new life without forgetting the ones lost. —Jade Gomez

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yeule: Glitch Princess

Singapore-born Nat Cmiel, aka yeule, has never been one to shy away from that which unsettles, whether it’s the intensely personal subject matter of their songs or the unconventional sonic textures they weave, turning noise-pop inside out. Their third full-length project Glitch Princess turns the intensity up to a 10, swallowing up everything in its path with shiny synths and noise-pitched vocals that collapse into harsh, glitchy musical passages. “You tell me not to be so hard on my own beauty / You still hold me even though / I’m made of fire burning through you,” they sing on the beautiful, relatively straightforward “Don’t Be So Hard on Your Own Beauty,” giving a hint that the album isn’t for the faint of heart, especially not by the time you reach its nearly-five-hour-long (!!!) closing track, the ambient “The Things They Did for Me Out of Love.” If anything, Cmiel is committed to laying out everything they feel with this latest project—and an impressive amount of those big, ambitious swings they take for it pay off. —Elise Soutar

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And don’t forget to check out … 2 Chainz: Dope Don’t Sell Itself, A Place to Bury Strangers: See Through You, Bastille: Give Me The Future, The Districts: Great American Painting, Erin Rae: Lighten Up, Hembree: It’s a Dream!, Hippo Campus: LP3, Korn: Requiem, Marissa Nadler: The Wrath of the Clouds EP, Niagara: Parva Naturalia, Partner Look: By the Book

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