10 New Albums to Stream Today

Featuring The Killers, Wednesday, Provoker and more

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10 New Albums to Stream Today

This week has been an emotional one as we deal with loss, false promise and exciting victories. It’s times like these where the staff at Paste is grateful to those who allow us to inform, entertain and console you through it all. As we quickly approach the final quarter of the year, exciting releases continue to pile up. Whether you want to enjoy the witty exploits of Pet Symmetry or immerse yourself in the grit of The Killers, or maybe you prefer the chilled-out haze of Boldy James and the Alchemist, this week’s releases are nothing short of exciting. Below, check out some of Paste’s favorites of the week to tide you over for a scorcher of a weekend.

A Great Big Pile of Leaves: Pono

The third album from Brooklyn trio A Great Big Pile of Leaves—and their first since 2013—Pono overflows with a warm, wistful longing for simpler times, from summery opener “Yesterday’s Clothes” (“I wanna feel the speed of our bikes / and sticky fingers from the water ice / I wanna feel the burn on my feet / waiting for the ice cream”) to the “Simple Pleasures” of its math-y curtain call. The fleeting bittersweetness of such moments is the album’s bruised heart; meanwhile, co-founders Pete Weiland and Tyler Soucy and 2007 addition Tucker Yaro dole out consistently satisfying rock with shades of math and emo, never tipping too far in any one direction. Their charming hooks reinforce the childlike wonder of tracks like “Halloween” or “Writing Utensils,” in which little parts of life come to loom so large in one’s imagination. On Pono, A Great Big Pile of Leaves sound like a band at peace with the passage of time, cherishing times gone by and seizing as many days as they’re given—“We’re aching to say it all now,” sings Weiland on “Waiting for Your Love,” an earnest lust for life you can’t help but share as a listener. —Scott Russell

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alexalone: ALEXALONEWORLD

After years of experience playing in bands like Hovvdy and Lomelda, alexalone front-person Alex Peterson utilizes their creative resources on the band’s Polyvinyl debut ALEXALONEWORLD. Featuring songs carefully crafted over a period of almost a decade, the result of this labor is a lush, dynamic display of the artist’s curious and addicting style. Feeling at times like classic shoegaze and other times like the noisy, controlled chaos of artists like Sonic Youth, each style is met with thoughtful lyrics and vibrant arrangements. The densely packed opener “Electric Sickness” is a successful nod to ‘80s goth trends, and the expansive, slow-building “Let It Go” is a textural delight with unique percussion and a colorful, cathartic conclusion. With introspective and melancholy lyrics, ALEXALONE breathes with personality—a touch that justifies the long wait. —Jason Friedman

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Boldy James and The Alchemist: Bo Jackson

Detroit rapper Boldy James has gone from underground sensation to mainstream success following the steady rise of Griselda Records as one of rap’s most exciting collectives. Alongside The Alchemist, a living legend in the genre, James’ lackadaisical delivery over the stripped-down boom-bap beats position him side by side with the main players in the golden age of rap. His menacing bars open themselves up more with each listen to reveal a vivid portrait of street braggadocio painted with care. The chemistry between James and Alchemist becomes stronger with each release as the two bring out the best in each other to create love letters to a time in hip-hop that is seeing its resurgence. —Jade Gomez

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Jana Rush: Painful Enlightenment

Chicago footwork producer Jana Rush transcends the euphoria found within dance music to express intense feelings of arousal, sadness and conflict. Saxophone samples are chopped up with jittery hi-hats. Porn clips are manipulated underneath a warping ambience. Rush’s abstractions of humanity through her usage of a music so intertwined with her city makes Painful Enlightenment a stunning case study. Each sample is repeated, looped and manipulated until it becomes uncomfortable, forcing listeners to sit with the lingering feeling of anxiety prevalent throughout the project. Much like the jazz samples used, Rush’s improvisational, syncopated approach to footwork requires a little extra time to understand. Rush asks for your patience, and the rewards are plentiful. —Jade Gomez

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Jungle: Loving In Stereo

Continuing their streak of writing glossy, groovy pop tunes, electronic duo Jungle follow up their hit-generating For Ever with new album Loving In Stereo, a dynamic, highly danceable array of carefully manicured songs that would sound right at home in any post-pandemic party. Leaning heavily into their ‘70s disco and funk influences, tracks like “All Of The Time” and “Talk About It” are coated with the saccharine sheen of that era, adorned with the trappings of modern dance sensibilities and catchy melodies that have led the project to their success. A noticeable optimism radiates throughout Loving In Stereo that sets the new album apart from the group’s earlier work, and it serves to uplift their sound to glowing new heights. —Jason Friedman

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Pet Symmetry: Future Suits

On the QR code-covered Future Suits, their third album, and the follow-up to 2015’s Pets Hounds and 2017’s Vision, Chicago trio Pet Symmetry are out to transcend time, not to mention the pandemic. “2021: A Personal Space Odyssey,” the LP’s de facto title track, is where those two concerns are most interconnected: Bassist /vocalist Evan Weiss sings about waiting for “further news” in our bedrooms and on our couches, riding out an indefinite catastrophe in our pajamas—our “future suits.” Though Pet Symmetry recorded most of the album pre-2020, they finished it last year, those dark times only serving to inspire a more concerted effort to conjure positivity. The band’s ebullient rock accomplishes that not by shutting out the existential crises to which we’re all bearing witness, nor the ever-dehumanizing professional grind that’s continued unabated, but by letting it all in, making music to fuel jaded doomscrollers everywhere: “Value props, cutting costs / Times, they are tough / And vibes are off,” Weiss sings on “Pet Synergy,” one of numerous tracks titled as a play on their band name. Don’t let Pet Symmetry’s wry sense of humor fool you: Future Suits is seriously good, an “in case of emergency, break glass” album for the end times. —Scott Russell

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Provoker: Body Jumper

The act of leaving one’s self behind to inhabit a fictional character is key to Body Jumper, Bay Area four-piece (and Paste’s July Best of What’s Next pick) Provoker’s debut album. Lyricist and vocalist Christian Petty told Paste he finds “songwriting so much easier” when he can seek emotional truths through the eyes of fictional characters—he estimates he does so on about half of Body Jumper’s 13 tracks—but as founder Jonathon Lopez points out, “with any kind of writing, a portion of the person writing it comes out anyway, little parts. So in a way it is relevant to what’s happening within our lives.” That frequently manifests as what percussionist Kristian Moreno calls “a common emotion in goth music [...] ethereal love mourn,” with Provoker’s characters animated by powerful feelings for another, but dreading the dangling axe of rejection—Petty’s smoky R&B vocals, set to the band’s doomy, yet propulsive instrumentals—menacing and danceable, part post-punk, part R&B and part synth-pop—perfectly reflect this in-between state of impossible passion and inevitable pain. —Scott Russell

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Quicksand: Distant Populations

Distant Populations, Quicksand’s second post-reunion album (and fourth overall), charts a course that’s light years away in outlook and temperament from the angsty style that secured the band’s legend. Frontman/bandleader Walter Schreifels, bassist Sergio Vega and drummer Alan Cage find themselves facing the same conundrum as the rest of us, which is that age takes away as much as it gives. Which isn’t to say that Quicksand aren’t aging gracefully. The melancholy mood of “Brushed,” an electro-tinged acoustic number, arguably gets as enveloping as the unbridled roar of the old stuff. The clipped drum loop actually captures Cage’s ever-taut, assertive style, while Vega positions his rumbling bass in such a way that it doesn’t smother Schreifels’ haunted vocal. All three players, in fact, are known for approaching their instruments in highly distinct ways, and the chemistry between them played a huge role in why Quicksand struck such a chord back in the day. “Missile Command” and Distant Populations closer “Rodan” transplant that chemistry into fertile creative soil that points in a droney direction. Both songs suggest that Quicksand still have more ground to explore. —Saby Reyes-Kulkarni

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The Killers: Pressure Machine

Where The Killers’ sophomore album Sam’s Town was a triumphant return to the band’s dust-riddled origins of Las Vegas, Nevada, Pressure Machine is a raw and visceral slouching back home. Told through the guises of multiple characters, each song narrates memories and true stories from frontman Brandon Flowers’ hometown of Nephi, Utah, weaving tales of religious disenchantment, broken dreams, death by train collision, and escape by means of “heroine hillbilly pills.” Most of Pressure Machine’s brightest moments come by way of quiet contemplations on forfeited desires. It can be heard in “Another Life” when the protagonist harps on a parallel reality where hopes are fulfilled. It’s also there in the timeless, tear-inducing “Runaway Horses,” which sees Flowers and Phoebe Bridgers duetting the lyrics, “Small town girl, put your dreams on ice, never thinking twice / Some you’ll surely forget and some that you never will,” over acoustic guitar. Despite being one of the world’s most successful rock bands, when they sing about broken dreams and small-town struggles, every single word feels true. —Erica Campbell

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Wednesday: Twin Plagues

Famed novelist and poet Richard Brautigan was best known for his blurry, fragmented writing style. The scenes he describes are ephemeral—almost painfully so—but they’re so specific and meaningful that they resonate long after your eyes leave the page. Karly Hartzman, vocalist and lyricist of Asheville five-piece Wednesday, writes in a similar manner. Like Brautigan, she captures the pain and surreal nature of reality, and she writes with a rapidly shifting focus and no sense of chronology, imprinting a sense of longing on their songs. Unsurprisingly, Hartzman cites Brautigan as an influence on the band’s new album, Twin Plagues. Brautigan’s work predates shoegaze, but Wednesday’s distorted, wailing guitars pair perfectly with this style of writing, which is just as blustery and powerful as their triple guitar barrage. Wednesday aren’t a straightforward shoegaze band by any means—they also fold in elements of slacker rock and country—but they harness a considerable amount of force from their rugged guitar roars and quiet-loud dynamic. Simply put, Twin Plagues is one of the best and most consistent records you’ll hear this year. It’s a stunning body of work for many reasons—the way it grapples with trauma, the way it captures suburban melancholia, the way each hook somehow sounds better than the next, the way they manage to spark something inside the listener with such specific lyrics—but more broadly, it’s because every song feels like a cathartic explosion. —Lizzie Manno

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And don’t forget to check out… Charles Spearin: My City Of Starlings, Chorusing: Half Mirror, Devendra Banhart & Noah Georgeson: Refuge, Jade Bird: Different Kinds of Light, Junior Varsity: Junior Varsity EP, M.A.G.S.: Say Things That Matter, Marie Ann Hedonia & Grant Bouvier: Kenopsia, Media Jeweler: The Sublime Sculpture of Being Alive, Meet Me @ The Altar: Model Citizen EP, Pachyman: The Return Of …, Still Woozy: If This Isn’t Nice, I Don’t Know What Is, Suzie Ungerleider: My Name Is Suzie Ungerleider,Walt McClements: A Hole In The Fence,Watchhouse (fka Mandolin Orange): Watchhouse, Willie Nile: The Day The Earth Stood Still