10 New Albums to Stream Today

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10 New Albums to Stream Today

Fresh off ranking 2001’s best albums, your Paste Music pals are back with the past week’s best new songs, not to mention this New Music Friday’s standout releases. Detroit punk enigma The Armed overwhelm your senses on ULTRAPOP, Sir Paul McCartney and friends reintroduce you to his latest batch of tracks on McCartney III Imagined, and that’s just the beginning of your weekend. Get into today’s must-listen list below.

Andy Stott: Never the Right Time

Andy Stott’s work exists in fragments of captivating genre collages, readjusting into new places with each second that passes. The cinematic scope of his artistry continues to grow with each release, reaching new heights in Never Is The Right Time, with an incredible vocal performance from his piano teacher Alison Skidmore. Skidmore floats above Stott’s mechanic sounds and echoes as the two dance in a cold, empty warehouse that the Manchester-based electronic musician builds throughout the nine tracks. It’s equal parts romantic and cold, edging closer into even newer territories for Stott to explore. —Jade Gomez

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The Armed: ULTRAPOP

Everything you read about The Armed’s new album ULTRAPOP will mention the mysterious nature of the Detroit-based band’s true lineup. They’ll cite made-up names and untrustworthy interviews, falsified press releases and photos featuring models standing in for whoever’s behind such an uncommonly catchy and charismatic strain of hardcore punk. Here’s what we do know: Whoever is pulling strings and pushing boundaries for The Armed is doing a hell of a job. What’s most impressive about ULTRAPOP is not necessarily the killer riffs, the pummeling rhythms or the plentiful melodies, though all of those are consistently thrilling. What’s most impressive is the way this band brings together different, disparate styles in a way that sounds seamless and natural and new, even if others have done it before. When The Armed announced ULTRAPOP last winter, de facto leader Dan Greene was quoted as saying the album “seeks, in earnest, to create a truly new listener experience. It is an open rebellion against the culture of expectation in ‘heavy’ music. It is a joyous, genderless, post-nihilist, anti-punk, razor-focused take on creating the most intense listener experience possible.” With ULTRAPOP, they’ve done exactly that. Whoever “they” are. —Ben Salmon

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Conway the Machine: La Maquina

Conway the Machine’s near-constant output is overwhelming at times, but it harkens back to a golden age of hip-hop where artists churned out mixtapes to satiate hungry fans. Normally, this model proves fruitless, but Griselda Records, the collective comprising Conway, his brother Westside Gunn, and their cousin Benny the Butcher, have manipulated the rap landscape to suit their own needs, to great results. La Maquina’s slick production with horns and clickety hi-hats is a minimalist backdrop for Conway’s hunger, sprinkled with obscure sports references and a distinct braggadocio that New York rappers channel effortlessly. If you don’t take anything else away from this project, at least stream “Scatter Brain” featuring Ludacris and JID, a perfect example of Conway’s consistency and versatility with his wide array of collaborators. —Jade Gomez

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Cory Hanson: Pale Horse Rider

To hear him tell it, Wand frontman Cory Hanson’s much-anticipated second solo album is the story—part fact, part fiction—of a civilization in decline. “Myths and truths of a country on the way down, viewed through a deep-focus lens trained on the city from the deserts on the east,” he writes on his new album’s Bandcamp page, “a terminus of unoccupied residential parks and streets fading into craggy footpaths to nowhere, where our passage is seen as diligent, ephemeral and grotesque by turns, forgiven and made beautiful again by the sound.” The sound he speaks of, on his follow-up to 2016’s The Unborn Capitalist From Limbo, is mystic desert rock, with veins of Americana twang, proggy psychedelia and Laurel Canyon pop all running through it. Pale Horse Rider is cinematic and expansive, a truly transportive listening experience, despite always keeping an eye on the end of days. —Scott Russell

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London Grammar: Californian Soil

London Grammar’s lush new third set, Californian Soil, has the reverent, hushed feel of an intimate, rose-windowed cathedral, with Hannah Reid’s gossamer, radiant voice illuminating the interior like a beam of Sunday morning light. It even opens on “Intro” with the solemn tolling of a chapel bell, before settling into the exotic rhythms of the title track, then a finger-snapping “Missing,” a shimmering stroll called “Lord It’s a Feeling,” the bright, galloping “Baby It’s You,” and the nearly monastic “All My Love,” Reid’s tour-de-force showcase in this collection. And she can go from Top 40-casual (“Lose Your Head”) to Wagnerian oomph (“I Need the Night”) in a seemingly offhanded heartbeat. No stifling patriarchy restraining her this time, no producer telling her she has no right to correct him on wonky studio tones (yes, that’s happened quite often, she sighs). A formidable new force, indeed. —Tom Lanham

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Low Island: If You Could Have It All Again

Oxford quartet Low Island’s debut album is a rueful look back into frontman Carlos Posada’s twenties in the form of grooving indie rock. The band shows a broad range of sound over the record’s 11-track run, from indie club tracks perfect for a bout of melancholia on the dance floor to more toned-down moments of introspection. Their single “Who’s Having The Greatest Time?,” which critiques Instagram culture, remains a highlight in Low Island’s discography with its slightly off-kilter charm. The slow burn of “Momentary” is an excellent new addition towards the album’s tail end, beginning almost as a lullaby before transforming into a glitched-out, dreamy rock track. Posada asks the question the LP has been building towards with the closing number “What The Hell (are you gonna do now?)” as he contemplates the feeling he’s wasted the last decade. As the moving track fades out with a spoken clip reflecting on how the band is applying their past lessons for a better tomorrow, it’s clear that their future in music is bright. —Carli Scolforo

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Nick Hakim & Roy Nathanson: Small Things

The debut release on New York City experimental-jazz outfit Onyx Collective’s NYXO label, Small Things unites two Onyx affiliates, art-soul singer/songwriter Nick Hakim, and poet, professor and saxophonist Roy Nathanson. The duo met at an Onyx show and became collaborators organically (“It seems we were lucky. Looks like we got ourselves on the moon the old fashioned way,” as Nathanson puts it in a statement), with Hakim setting chords to Nathanson’s poetry, and the duo working together to arrange Small Things while guided by Onyx member Isaiah Barr’s executive production. Hakim’s velvety vocals prove an entrancing counterpoint to Nathanson’s saxophone flutter, and that interplay is where the album’s rubber meets the road. But, as befitting of the expansive Onyx cosmos, there’s a celestial sprawl to Small Things that belies both its title and its nimble 27-minute runtime, a testament to the months Hakim and Nathanson spent fine-tuning their creative collision, a jazzy, thoughtful work of art-pop and neo-soul. —Scott Russell

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Paul McCartney: McCartney III Imagined

Most Beatles fans probably felt mild anxiety or eye-roll apathy when they learned of Love, the soundtrack remix LP for the titular Cirque du Soleil show. Why fuck around with perfection, especially in a divisive format—the mash-up—that had already become a cliché by the mid-2000s? But that record wasn’t a display of lazy ProTools splicing, nor gimmickry for the sake of gimmickry. Under the guidance of George and Giles Martin, Love re-contextualized melodies and words that had seemed codified for decades, teaching us to hear The Great Rock Songbook with new ears. Paul McCartney had already dabbled in remixing with the 2005 Freelance Hellraiser collaboration Twin Freaks, which added an electronic spin to his solo tunes. But after the success of Love, why not get more ambitious with that concept? McCartney III Imagined is a different kind of remix record, inviting a creatively far-flung crew of A-list artists to experiment with his latest LP—aiming for sprawl over symmetry, contrast over consistency. Perhaps it’s the uniform thrill of aiming to impress a Beatle. Perhaps it’s the source material on McCartney III—a home-brewed project with no-nonsense arrangements that lend themselves well to tweaking. But most of these artists strike a rare rework/remix balance, preserving what made the original tick while infusing enough of their own identity to justify the new take. Imagined could have been a diehards-only distraction. Instead, the album’s somewhat Love-like: It helps you see a revered artist from a different angle. —Ryan Reed

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Vision Video: Inked In Red

The new record from Athens, Georgia’s Vision Video feels like a direct descendent of the great works of The Cure or Joy Division. Even with their trad goth look and ‘80s-style synth additions, the songwriting by frontman Dusty Gannon keeps the band potent and relevant as he draws on his experiences both as an U.S. Army veteran from Afghanistan and as a paramedic amid the global pandemic. “Siren Song,” a single co-written by Gannon and Emily Fredock, draws from their respective experiences in a warzone and in a failed relationship. Its alluring pop infusion contrasts interestingly with the album’s next song “Organized Murder,” which opens with dark, ambient synths, heavy drums and low spoken word. The album’s title track encompasses everything great about the record, with Gannon and Fredock both offering vocals against some fantastically new-wave instrumentation. —Carli Scolforo

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Zoé: Sonidos de Karmática Resonancia

Acclaimed Mexican alt-rock band Zoe have been creating immersive and lush sonic backdrops for over two decades. On their seventh release, the band doesn’t sacrifice their psychedelic-tinged euphoria with sparkly keys and lush guitars, but possess enough awareness to hit the refresh button. Frontman León Larregui forgoes his signature falsetto for most of the album, the band experiments with negative space on “Tepoztlán,” and songs such as “Popular” and “Karmadame” steer the band into a poppier direction. Sonidos de Karmática Resonancia is a solid effort that seeks to bridge the gap between their longtime fans and non-Spanish speakers to enjoy the magic of Zoé. Take that chance. —Jade Gomez

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And don’t forget to check out … Cannibal Corpse: Violence Unimagined, Noods: Blush, Spencer Krug: Fading Graffiti, Young Stoner Life, Young Thug & Gunna: Slime Language 2

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