10 New Albums to Stream Today

Featuring Jimbo Mathus & Andrew Bird, Adult Mom, Genesis Owusu and more

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10 New Albums to Stream Today

Between it being the first New Music Friday of the month, the second Bandcamp Friday of the year, and just a generally abundant release date, music lovers have lots to be excited about today. Bands like Arab Strap and Adult Mom are making comebacks, while artists including Genesis Owusu and Fake Fruit are making their debuts. It all adds up to a pile of compelling music, 10 select examples of which we’ve laid out for you below.

Adult Mom: Driver

Stevie Knipe’s Adult Mom is back, unveiling their first new record since parting ways with now-defunct label Tiny Engines. The details of Driver arrived in January alongside “Sober,” only the indie-pop project’s second new song since their 2017 sophomore album Soft Spots. Knipe co-produced Driver alongside Kyle Pulley (Shamir, Diet Cig, Kississippi), also collaborating with Olivia Battell and Allegra Eidinger on its 10 tracks. The album (which “sets out to soundtrack the queer rom-com they’ve been dreaming of since 2015,” per a press release) follows the aforementioned Soft Spots and Adult Mom’s 2015 debut Momentary Lapse of Happily, as well as five EPs they released between 2012 and 2014. Driver is their first full-length release on a label other than Tiny Engines, which collapsed after Adult Mom and a slew of other signees accused them of withholding payments and various other acts of mismanagement. It’s a new day for Adult Mom, and they’re in the Driver’s seat. —Scott Russell

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Arab Strap: As Days Get Dark

The seventh studio album from Scottish rock duo Arab Strap—the first since 2005’s The Last Romance, not to mention their breakup the following year—As Days Get Dark finds Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton reuniting to make music that braves new sonic territory while remaining true to the band’s ‘90s/’00s output. The result is a sparse, yet sprawling album “about hopelessness and darkness, but in a fun way,” as Moffat puts it. “Dark” is simply unavoidable as a descriptor for this record, a drum machine-driven, synth-studded exploration of where human beings turn for comfort in bleak times. Producer Paul Savage, with whom Arab Strap collaborated on their first, second and sixth albums, returns for As Days Get Dark, assisting the duo in wrangling the record’s many jazz, post-rock and electronic flourishes. Moffat’s signature Sprechgesang vocal delivery, in particular, gives Arab Strap’s comeback an of-the-moment feel, as do his erudite, blackly comic, frequently horny lyrics—these are songs like short stories, well-worth getting lost in, as engrossing as they are ominous. —Scott Russell

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Bernice: Eau De Bonjourno

Toronto group Bernice aren’t afraid to experiment on their new album Eau De Bonjourno. It’s hard to pin down an exact genre for their sound; elements of pop are certainly present, particularly in singer Robin Dann’s charming indie-esque vocals, but the group has a tendency to zag when you expect them to zig. The band’s background in jazz makes for some haunting and unexpected moments, like the dropping in of sharp dissonant chords or the occasional saxophone riff. Lead single “Groove Elation” encapsulates Bernice’s unique fusion of sound, a sampling menu of all the sonic goodness the band has to offer. —Carli Scolforo

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Blu DeTiger: How Did We Get Here?

Blu DeTiger’s debut project How Did We Get Here? is exactly what fans of her TikTok covers would want it to be: extremely fun, danceable pop with killer slapping basslines. DeTiger proves here that her success with viral hit “Figure It Out” was no fluke—tracks like “Toast with the Butter,” “disco banger but you’re crying in the bathroom” and “Night Shade” are just as infectiously feel-good as her breakout single, if not even more so. —Carli Scolforo

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Fake Fruit: Fake Fruit

Post-punk lovers have a new act to follow in Fake Fruit, a Vancouver-bred, Bay Area-based quartet whose self-titled debut is out now on Rocks In Your Head Records. The band cite Pink Flag-era Wire, Pylon and Mazzy Star as influences, and Fake Fruit bears that synthesis out: You’ll find the first two acts’ versatile, hard-edged, bright- and fast-burning guitar rock (“Old Skin,” “Yolk”), as well as the last one’s engrossing quiet-loud dynamics (“Stroke My Ego”). But that specific stylistic fusion is only a jumping-off point: “Keep You” finds singer and guitarist Hannah D’Amato’s melodic vocals overlaying hypnotic shoegaze guitars (courtesy of Alex Post on lead) and a clattering low end (Martin Miller on bass, Miles MacDiarmid on drums), while album closer “Milkman” finds D’Amato sharing vocal duties over deft guitar harmonics and a motorik backbeat. And an X factor in all this is Fake Fruit’s mordant lyricism: “My dog speaks more than you did tonight,” D’Amato sneers on “Keep You,” a laugh line on an album that shows serious potential. —Scott Russell

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Genesis Owusu: Smiling with No Teeth

Genre classifications can be a helpful shorthand when it comes to understanding and engaging with new music, but nowadays, more and more artists are leaving them entirely in the dust. Just take Ghana-born, Australia-based musician Genesis Owusu, whose thrilling debut record Smiling with No Teeth is consistently difficult to pin down in a way that feels nothing less than vital. The avant-garde, yet undeniably accessible album spans glitchy, Death Grips-esque electro-hip-hop, lush dark-pop and R&B, lusty synth-funk and new-wave rock, with Owusu as the charismatic presence in the eye of the stylistic cyclone. On lead single “Gold Chains” and the album as a whole, Owusu exposes “the flaws of being in a profession where, more and more, you have to be the product, rather than just the provider of the product,” emphasizing the human being under all that gold, whose peace of mind may be the price he pays. —Scott Russell

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IAN SWEET: Show Me How You Disappear

IAN SWEET, the moniker of Jilian Medford, undergoes a journey of healing on new album Show Me How You Disappear. From pining love song “Dumb Driver; to the coping mechanisms Medford shares in “Drink the Lake,” the record is a powerful insight into the songwriter’s journey in healing from trauma. The contrast between Medford’s delicate vocalizations and the dizzying synths and distorted guitar make for a mesmerizing and all-consuming listen. —Carli Scolforo

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Jesswar: TROPIXX EP

The debut project from Fiji-born, Australia-based rapper Jesswar, TROPIXX EP is six songs’ worth of head-banging, go-for-the-throat hip-hop that was three years—and, in some ways, a lifetime—in the making. “When I first started writing TROPIXX, I was tired of being overlooked, and I knew I had a lot to say,” says Jesswar. “It was really upsetting to wake up every day and see how women of color are constantly overlooked in the music industry.” Slim chance the Pasifika MC is overlooked any longer: She pulls zero punches on her statement-making debut, fearlessly announcing herself over the booming bass (opener “Hit Em With Bass” might shake some books off your shelves) of her explosive self-produced beats, and aiming her gravelly raps at anyone who would dare turn her down. The braggadocio characteristic of so much modern hip-hop can ring hollow, but Jesswar’s hits hard—she puts any would-be gatekeepers in their place while claiming her own. —Scott Russell

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Jimbo Mathus & Andrew Bird: These 13

Andrew Bird first met Jimbo Mathus in 1994 at a North Carolina folk festival, while Bird was working—and this is true—as a medieval fiddler at a Renaissance fair in Wisconsin. Mathus managed to see beyond the doublet and breeches to the keen musician within, and soon Bird was contributing to albums by Mathus’ band, Squirrel Nut Zippers, the jazz and swing revivalists best known for their 1996 song “Hell.” After each ventured off into the thick of their respective solo careers, Mathus and Bird have reconvened on These 13, a collection more deeply rooted in gospel and Appalachian folk than jazz or swing. The pair co-wrote all 13 tracks, which consist solely of their voices, Bird’s violin and Mathus’ guitar. Old folk tunes were often signifiers of careworn lives, and these songs are accordingly solemn: Mathus and Bird sing of the downhearted, the weary and the dispossessed on songs that could have easily come from the depths of the Great Depression, or been handed down from one generation to the next in an isolated fold in the mountains of some backcountry refuge. But solemnity doesn’t preclude a spirited sensibility. The two-guys-and-a-microphone approach here shows a genuine musical affinity between the musicians. Mathus’ earthier voice contrasts well with Bird’s more refined vocals, and the guitar and violin interact like two sides of an engrossing conversation. Throughout These 13, Bird and Mathus sing and play together as if they’ve been doing it routinely over the past two decades, instead of not at all. —Eric R. Danton

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Ki Oni: Indoor Plant Life

Released one week ahead of schedule for Bandcamp Friday, Indoor Plant Life is the first of two new Ki Oni (i.e., ambient artist Chuck Soo-Hoo) projects on the way via sound as language. Though electronic music inherently tends to evoke the artificial, Soo-Hoo’s places great emphasis on the organic; his stage name was inspired by “a creature in a Japanese monster movie—a tree with a human face that spews flower pedals from its mouth,” per a press release. Indoor Plant Life exists at the intersection of the manufactured and natural worlds, much like the titular houseplants that have been transplanted in a foreign space. “Inspired by quarantine life, I resonated with my indoor plants,” says Soo-Hoo of the album’s making—the result is a free-flowing, meditative half hour of ambient sound, divided into two distinct movements, that breathes tranquil, lovely life into even the most stifling lockdown. —Scott Russell

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