10 New Albums to Stream Today

Featuring Told Slant, Goodie Mob, Chris Stapleton and more

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10 New Albums to Stream Today

As Friday the 13ths (Fridays the 13th?) go, this one is actually shaping up quite nicely: Phoebe Bridgers’ much-anticipated “Iris” cover has arrived, the cherry on top of a compellingly eclectic New Music Friday. Our new release radar features reliably strong efforts from veteran acts, up-and-comers taking fresh steps forward and even a couple of covers albums, all worth your time. Take a look and take a listen.

1. Aesop Rock: Spirit World Field Guide

The ninth LP from underground hip-hop mainstay Aesop Rock is described in a press release as “a concept album of sorts, presented as a guide to an uncanny world parallel to our own.” The MC and producer escorts listeners deep into the strange dimension he’s broken through to, peppering his glitchy, idiosyncratic production with vividly imagined “anecdotes, recipes, survival tips, warnings, maps, drawings and more.” Aesop Rock’s staying power isn’t talked about enough—this is the fourth decade he’s released an album in, and inspiration continues to flow unabated through his microphone. —Scott Russell

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2. Ana Roxanne: Because of a Flower

Each of the seven songs on New York-based songwriter Ana Roxanne’s sophomore album Because of a Flower began as “a drone element and a mood,” she explains in her Bandcamp biography—from these emotional, meditative depths, more specific characteristics eventually bubbled up, from lyrics and melodies to the incorporation of film audio and spoken-word samples. Roxanne, who is intersex, concerns herself with the innumerable shapes life can take, making ambient music imbued with the infinite possibility of light refracted through glass. —Scott Russell

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3. The Bats: Foothills

New Zealand-based rockers The Bats have released their 10th full-length album Foothills via Flying Nun Records. Foothills follows their 2017 album The Deep Set. The band’s debut Daddy’s Highway arrived in 1987 and members Robert Scott (vocalist/guitarist) and Paul Kean (bassist/producer) already have spots in The New Zealand Music Hall Of Fame. —Paris Rosenthal

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4. Chris Stapleton: Starting Over

Five-time Grammy winner Chris Stapleton is back with his first new album since 2017 two-parter From A Room. The Kentucky-born singer/songwriter completed his fourth LP just days before the initial COVID-19 lockdown hit, working with super-producer Dave Cobb to deliver 11 new original tracks, plus covers of John Fogerty’s “Joy Of My Life,” and Guy Clark’s “Worry B Gone” and “Old Friends.” Starting Over runs the gamut from rockabilly stompers to bluesy balladry, further cementing Stapleton as one of country’s brightest stars. —Scott Russell

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5. Emily A. Sprague: Hill, Flower, Fog

L.A.-based synthesist and songwriter Emily A. Sprague (aka Florist) describes her new release as “an illumination of consciousness across six modular meditations,” as well as an attempt to connect “the everyday to the cosmos,” offering a much-needed respite for the earthbound. A portion of the album’s proceeds will go to benefit the Lion’s Tooth Project, which puts its collective efforts toward “inspiring immigrant, queer and BIPOC youth through photography and earth medicine.” —Scott Russell

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6. Goodie Mob: Survival Kit

In 1995, Goodie Mob released their debut LP Soul Food, an album that wasn’t only soul-stirring, introspective and wise beyond its years, but one that also helped define and establish the soul of Atlanta hip-hop. Deeply familiar in its homegrown wisdom and searing in its sociopolitical commentary, Soul Food introduced Atlanta natives Big Gipp, Cee-Lo, Khujo and T-Mo as sharp commentators and gatekeepers of the truth. So it makes sense that exactly 25 years later, during possibly the most jarring year in modern American history, Goodie Mob are back with a new album, aptly titled Survival Kit. “This kind of atmosphere brings out the best in us,” Gipp says. “I think it’s our best work.” —Jacinta Howard

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7. Lambchop: TRIP

Rather than embarking on a tour rendered impossible by the pandemic, Kurt Wagner and Lambchop opted to craft an unusual covers album: Each band member selected one of TRIP’s six tracks, resulting in renditions of songs originally by Wilco, Stevie Wonder and Yo La Tengo’s James McNew, to name a few. The engrossing album’s title is apt; “It also seems to describe a life in music and the situations we created in our life as a band over the years,” Wagner notes. “It’s been a trip … ” —Scott Russell

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8. Marika Hackman: Covers

Marika Hackman has released a Covers album via Sub Pop. Recorded over the past few months of quarantine, Hackman’s Covers includes cover versions of songs by Grimes, Beyoncé, Sharon Van Etten, Elliott Smith, Radiohead, Alvvays and more. “When it comes to covers, I like to pick songs which I have been listening to obsessively for a while,” Hackman said. “It gives me a natural understanding of the music, and lets me be more innovative with how I transform it.” —Lexi Lane

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9. Told Slant: Point the Flashlight and Walk

The third full-length from Told Slant has all the intimacy of a bedroom album—it was, indeed, written and recorded in one—but it also boasts all the grand ambition of a career highlight. In their return from a four-year layoff, Brooklyn songwriter Felix Walworth eschews the stripped-down, guitar-centered sound of previous Told Slant releases in favor of more diverse instrumentation and sweeping emotion, with added emphasis on meticulous production, unexpected arrangements and soul-baring songwriting. As evidenced by the four singles already released, including “Family Still,” “No Backpack,” “Run Around the School” and “Whirlpool,” Point the Flashlight and Walk finds Walworth examining the ties that bind us, weighing what we put on the line when we dedicate ourselves to one another and deciding, “When there’s no one you’re afraid to lose, you lose.” —Scott Russell

10. TSHA: Flowers EP

London-based producer TSHA’s third EP, out now via Ninja Tune, is a four-track electronic collection that includes collaborations with Ell Murphy, Gabrielle Aplin and Malian griot supergroup Trio Da Kali. Despite its brevity, Flowers showcases the impressive scope of TSHA’s vision, blending disco and deep house (“Sister,” “Change”) with rock (“Renegade”) and Afrobeat (“Demba”) sounds. —Scott Russell

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