10 New Albums to Stream Today

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10 New Albums to Stream Today

Need some inspiration or a pick-me-up? We’ve got 10 new albums to try and help you with that. Today’s New Music Friday releases include the wildly divisive new album from The 1975, plus the long-awaited debut album from synth-pop upstarts Nation of Language and Badly Drawn Boy’s first new album in a decade. Scroll down to preview 10 new albums out today (May 22), with records ranging from pop and dub to folk and punk.

1. The 1975: Notes on a Conditional Form

The 1975 have done it. Now, it depends on your opinion of their fourth and latest album—you may think it’s the most inventive, forward-thinking pop album in quite some time, or you may think it sounds like they just spun a Wheel of Fortune-sized wheel that landed on a different emotion and genre for each song and are now proudly basking in their mess. Your opinion might even fall somewhere in the middle, but The 1975 will surely get you thinking, and thinking for a hell of a long time since the album clocks in at nearly 90 minutes. —Lizzie Manno

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2. Badly Drawn Boy: Banana Skin Shoes

If you know Damon Gough, it’s likely from his 2000 debut studio album The Hour of the Bewilderbeast or his soundtrack for the Hugh Grant-starring 2002 romantic comedy About a Boy. The British singer/songwriter has released music since then, but hasn’t dropped an album in a decade—that is, until today. Gough’s ninth and latest album, Banana Skin Shoes, sees him embracing off-the-wall pop sounds in addition to his happy-go-lucky, Beck-like alternative rock songwriting. Gough was recently a guest on The Paste Happiest Hour with our editor-in-chief Josh Jackson, and he performed some songs. Watch the full episode on YouTube here. —Lizzie Manno

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3. Indigo Girls: Look Long

Grammy Award-winning Atlanta folk duo Indigo Girls (Amy Ray and Emily Saliers) have shared their latest studio album and first in five years, Look Long. “People can feel lost in these times,” Saliers says of the album’s inspiration. “Let’s lament our limitations, but let’s also look beyond what’s right in front of us, take the long view of things, and strive to do better.” The album was produced by John Reynolds (who helmed one of the group’s most beloved records, 1999’s Come On Now Social) at Peter Gabriel’s Real World studios in Bath, England. The two-piece are today’s guest on The Paste Happiest Hour, and you can tune in to hear them chat and perform at 5 p.m. EST here. —Lizzie Manno

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4. Katie Von Schleicher: Consummation

Paste named Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Katie Von Schleicher the Best of What’s Next back in 2017 on the tail of her album Shitty Hits’ release. It’s a sturdy indie effort, full of bouncy melodies and Von Schleicher’s emotions laid bare. “Paranoia,” a ghostly glance inside the swirling unease of an anxious mind, is the stand-out track. Since 2017, Von Schleicher has stayed busy playing in labelmate Lady Lamb’s touring band. On her next solo effort, Consummation, however, she seems to have settled into her own groove even more. These songs, while tricky to grasp at times, are much more assured. The album itself has many different moods, but Von Schleicher masters them all with her keen rock sensibilities. While we had our eye on her back in 2017, Consummation could be Katie Von Schleicher’s biggest jumping-off point yet. —Ellen Johnson

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5. L’Eclair: Noshtta

Swiss six-piece L’Eclair have shared a new EP Noshtta (via Allah Lahs-run label Calico Discos) following 2019’s Sauropoda and their collaborative seven-inch single with The Mauskovic Dance Band. The EP is full of groovy instrumental jams that fuse mind-numbing psych-funk with echoing, synth-laden dub. Here, impressionistic soundscapes run wild—the inescapable grooves contain infinite grains of wisdom and boundless possibility. —Lizzie Manno

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6. Nation of Language: Introduction, Presence

New York City’s Nation of Language have been releasing singles since 2016, and their lead singer and songwriter Ian Devaney recently collaborated with Strokes drummer Fab Moretti on a project called machinegum for an album last year. It was obvious, even several years ago, that Devaney was an unusually consistent songwriter—every song was capable of making you pull over your car for a quick sob or triumphantly stick your head out of the sunroof with outstretched arms. His ’80s-indebted electro-pop meshed beautifully with the dance-punk sounds of the city’s yesteryear, and his songs had an emotional immediacy that was unrivaled. Now unveiling their debut full-length, which contains some of those incredible early singles, it feels like Nation of Language have more of a right to claim the “soaring synth-pop” mantle than anyone else right now. —Lizzie Manno

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7. Otzi: Storm

Paste recently premiered the video for Oakland punk outfit Ötzi’s recent single “Hold Still,” taken from their new album Storm, out now via Artoffact Records. “Hold Still” is a snappy marriage of classic punk-pop and gothic post-punk as their effervescent pop chorus melodies co-exist beautifully with their moody guitar echo. “I see the ocean in your eyes / I’m reaching for you / Tears reflecting darker skies / I’m all around you,” their dual vocalists sing, reflecting the inseparable bond between interpersonal and political despair with poetic grace. —Lizzie Manno

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8. Steve Earle and the Dukes: Ghosts of West Virginia

Steve Earle’s new album is sequenced to trace the history of West Virginia music, beginning with an a cappella hymn (“Heaven Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”), continuing through an old-time, mountain-country song (“Union, God and Country”) and a growling banjo blues (“Devil Put the Coal in the Ground”) to a bouncy bluegrass tune (“John Henry Was a Steel Drivin’ Man”) and an Appalachian ballad with fingerpicking guitar (“Time Is Never on Our Side”). It’s his best batch of new songs since his 2011 New Orleans album, I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive. —Geoffrey Himes

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9. Tim Burgess: I Love the New Sky

Charlatans frontman, solo artist, DJ, label founder and author Tim Burgess has long been a musical treasure, and he’s shared his latest album, I Love the New Sky, today. It’s his fifth solo album, and it’s his first without the help of co-writers. Burgess says it was written “in Norfolk, in the middle of the countryside, with the nearest shop eight miles away.” “There are no distractions, and I guess that way things happen,” he continues. “I wrote everything on acoustic guitar, and the chords were really considered. The guitar lines would lead the melody, and the melody would inform the lyrics—just dreaming away with music.” Burgess was a recent guest on The Paste Happiest Hour alongside David Bazan of Pedro The Lion, and you can watch the full episode here. —Lizzie Manno

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10. Woods: Strange to Explain

“Where Do You Go When You Dream?” Woods singer Jermey Earl asks on the lead single of the Brooklyn folk band’s 11th LP. It’s a question we all seem to be asking ourselves a lot more these days, as our dreams have had to suffice as our only true journeys out of the house in the desperate times we’re living in. To record Strange To Explain, Woods headed to Marin County’s bucolic Panoramic House Studio and the whirling keys and strings of songs like “Strange To Explain” and the aforementioned “Where Do You Go When You Dream?” gently transport you to that Pacific coast stretch of lush greenery flanked by Stinson Beach and Mt. Tamalpais. Whether or not Earl, Jarvis Taveniere and company were trying to make an escapist record, this is precisely what we need right now. —Adrian Spinelli

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