10 New Albums to Stream Today

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10 New Albums to Stream Today

I don’t know how it happened so fast, but we’ve nearly made our way through the first two months of a new decade. It’s been a weird ride for sure, but the one true constant we’ve been able to rely on are the new albums that make us think, feel and grow. If you’ve been waiting for that fresh new batch to soundtrack your weekend and the weeks to come, you’re in luck. Today (Feb. 28) brings new albums from indie staples Soccer Mommy and Real Estate, plus the first new Caribou album in six years, a surprise-released Christine and the Queens EP and so much more. For your listening pleasure, here are 10 essential releases that dropped this week.

1. Angelica Garcia: Cha Cha Palace

Back in 2016, Paste named Angelica Garcia “The Best of What’s Next” after the release of her debut album Medicine for Birds, praising her “delicate hymns” and “ominous, reverb-drenched tracks.” Garcia has now returned with her second full-length Cha Cha Palace, which spans stomping rock, sultry reggaeton, dense art-pop and blissful R&B. As someone with Mexican, Salvadoran and American roots, Garcia beautifully folds her culture into music while taking cues from past, present and future generations of music. Per a press release, it “finds Garcia confidently assembling a ‘mental scrapbook’ of her journey for listeners, and for herself, all the while confronting a lifetime of feeling split between two identities.” —Lizzie Manno

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2. Caribou: Suddenly

It’s been six years since Caribou’s Our Love (one of Paste’s 100 best albums of the 2010s) dropped, forever changing the way we think about dance music. Dan Snaith’s productions offered a maturation of classic electronic styles that both informed the listener about an influential past while also allowing us to become sophisticated appreciators of prevailing movements in sound. Simply put, Caribou’s music broadens our horizon as music fans. “You And I” and “Home” see the Canadian Snaith taking us on a musical trip from the London underground to the Detroit dance floor, with the auteur’s high-pitched voice as our benevolent guide. This is music about finding yourself, it’s music about love, it’s music about people arriving at mutual understandings of our places in this world, and you’ll be hard pressed to find anything more gorgeous. —Adrian Spinelli

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3. Christine and the Queens: La vita nuova

Thursday afternoon, Christine and the Queens released a surprise EP with an accompanying short film titled La vita nuova. The film was shot by Colin Solal Cardo at the Palais Garnier and features Caroline Polachek, who appears on one of the EP’s tracks. Choreography for the film was handled by Ryan Heffington, known for his work with Maddie Ziegler for Sia’s “Chandelier” video, as well as Arcade Fire’s “We Exist.” “People, I’ve been sad,” shared by the band earlier this month, appears as the EP’s first track. The film has a luscious, glittery sheen and bodily, primeval dancing reminiscent of Luca Guadagnino’s recent Suspiria remake. Chris (or Héloïse Letissier) struggles with her feelings for a horned creature credited as “The Fauna” (Félix Maritaud). There’s several gorgeous shots of the famed Parisian opera house, with styling that reflects the eclectic blend of baroque, classic and renaissance architecture present within the building. —Austin Jones

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4. Hailey Whitters: The Dream

Last year, the Iowa-raised, Nashville-based singer/songwriter Hailey Whitters released “Ten Year Town,” a feeling number about something country artists have been moaning about for the entirety of the genre’s existence: small towns, how they trap us and how they’re always there waiting, even if you’re lucky enough to make it out. But “Ten Year Town,” now the opener on Whitters’ new album The Dream—which she fully funded herself with money she earned waiting tables and plucked from her savings—doesn’t feel sorry for itself, or bemoan a geographical situation. Her outlook remains overwhelmingly positive. “Dreams come true and I think mine will,” Whitters sings. With this album, she graduates from Dream-er to doer. But the real “dream,” for most people, that is, is “a paycheck at the end of the week,” an indulgent cigarette, the miracle of the earth’s rotation and some people to accompany you on the long ride. “We’re all just livin’ the dream,” Whitters sings on the record’s final song. The Dream cherishes working-class triumphs and even failures, as country music always has. You won’t find a radical change where that content is concerned. But Hailey Whitters’ heartfelt manner of describing those ups and downs is what makes her dream so damn charming to behold. —Ellen Johnson

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5. Kevin Krauter: Full Hand

Indiana-based singer/songwriter and Hoops bassist Kevin Krauter released his second solo album Full Hand, which follows his 2018 debut Toss Up, a nine-track collection of tuneful, reassuring guitar pop. Per a press release, Full Hand tackles subjects like religion, self-confidence and sexuality. “A lot of the lyrics touch on how I was raised religiously, touch on me understanding my sexuality more and more in recent years,” Krauter says. “Just growing up and becoming more confident in myself…that process of looking inward and taking stock of myself.” —Lizzie Manno

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6. Ratboys: Printer’s Devil

When you listen to the new Ratboys album Printer’s Devil, you might hear, from the first track to the last, a range of bands other than Ratboys: The Beths, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, Paramore, The Hives, Fleet Foxes, perhaps even Hinds. What you might not hear much of in that assortment is Ratboys, or at least not the same Ratboys responsible for 2017’s GN, 2015’s AOID, and a handful of EPs scattered between and before dating back to 2011. Nearly a decade of self-discovery and evolution have led to this point, where Julia Steiner and David Sagan, who founded the Chicago outfit in 2009, have fully established a robust alt-rock sound for themselves that frankly doesn’t sound like them at all. This isn’t exactly a criticism. Good artists grow and learn and change their tune all the time, and they’re occasionally better off for it. Case in point: Printer’s Devil is a pretty rad listen. —Andy Crump

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7. Real Estate: The Main Thing

Though The Main Thing deals with a bevy of heavy topics, it’s not like Real Estate have become a band full of downers (though, to be fair, their music has always been a bit melancholic behind those sunny guitar riffs). It’s actually quite the opposite: Their experimentation with sounds led to lead single “Paper Cup,” perhaps the most fun and danceable track Real Estate have ever released. It features glistening synth and a playful string section (“Our producer was like, ‘What if you sped it up a lot?’”). Album opener “Friday” is even a nod to The Cure’s “Friday I’m in Love.” Five albums in, they’re willing to try new things and be a bit unpredictable—all in moderation, of course. —Steven Edelstone

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8. The Secret Sisters: Saturn Return

Grammy-nominated, real-life-sibling duo The Secret Sisters have shared their new album Saturn Return, which was produced by Brandi Carlile and Tim and Phil Hanseroth and recorded at Carlile’s home studio. Carlile said of the sisters’ newest folk album, “To be a harbinger for their honesty in these songs and to watch them work together to see the tension was one of the greatest gifts of my career because those are two very powerful people in a very interesting point in their lives.” —Lizzie Manno

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9. Shell of a Shell: Away Team

Nashville quartet Shell of a Shell have shared their debut album Away Team, and fronted by Pile guitarist Chappy Hull, this band is no stranger to dynamic songwriting. The record is filled with intimate and intricate slowcore, punk, emo and post-hardcore. They experiment with time signatures and apply varying degrees of weight, gravel and restraint—each song is teetering on slippery emotional and sonic ground, but they squeeze every drop of thoughtfulness they can out of noisy guitars and vulnerable songwriting. —Lizzie Manno

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10. Soccer Mommy: color theory

Although Soccer Mommy’s 2018 debut studio album Clean transformed her into a critical favorite, indie-rock leader and tour opener for Paramore, Kacey Musgraves and Vampire Weekend, anyone who’s grappled with mental illness knows that success isn’t a salve. Following Clean, Soccer Mommy (real name Sophie Allison) became especially vocal about her struggles with body dysmorphia, depression and anxiety. These challenges lied solely at the periphery of Clean’s tales about youthful, regretful romantic breakdowns and insecurities, but on her eagerly anticipated Clean follow-up color theory, Allison bravely pulls her mental illness from the sidelines to the forefront, and she also tackles a grave subject she’s spoken about far less frequently: her mother’s terminal cancer. Success neither curing mental illness nor reversing a parent’s medical death sentence is a lot for a 22-year-old to face, but Allison is more than up to the task. color theory is an astounding feat of lyricism as clever as it is devastating, and Allison’s songwriting, production and voice are likewise orders of magnitude stronger than they were on Clean, recalling ’90s alt radio while pushing Soccer Mommy in galvanizing new directions. To call it an early contender for the year’s best indie rock album wouldn’t be an exaggeration. —Max Freedman

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