10 New Albums to Stream Today

Featuring Megan Thee Stallion, The War on Drugs, Kacey Johansing and more

Music Lists New Albums
Share Tweet Submit Pin
10 New Albums to Stream Today

Today’s New Music Friday is simply packed. There’s a new live album from The War on Drugs, a highly anticipated rap debut from Megan Thee Stallion, a comforting folk LP from Kacey Johansing, plus EPs galore from Shygirl, PVA, Dirty Projectors and more. Scroll down for 10 essential releases out today (Nov. 20).

1. Badge Époque Ensemble: Self Help

Badge Époque Ensemble formed around keyboardist Maximilian Turnbull (Slim Twig), and features several Toronto-based musicians known for their work with U.S. Girls and Andy Shauf. The seven-piece band released their self-titled debut album last year, followed by a three-track 12-inch titled Nature, Man & Woman in December. Both releases contained a mostly instrumental amalgamation of funk, psych and jazz, with its ebbs and flows either languorous or full of transcendent vigor. Now they’ve released their second full-length Self Help, which includes one of their best tracks to date, “Sing a Silent Gospel,” featuring vocals from Dorothea Paas and Meg Remy of U.S. Girls. The album is positively hypnotic, even in the latter half with its more spacious moments. Their grooves are ornate, unfurling with an engrossing psych-funk spirit that’s never esoteric. —Lizzie Manno

Listen here

2. Dirty Projectors: 5EPs

Dirty Projectors managed quite the feat this year: releasing five EPs, culminating in a 20-song collection simply titled 5EPs. While each of their first four EPs featured lead vocals from a different band member, the final EP Ring Road contains vocals from all four singers, with the same gorgeous, layered harmonies that are so prominent at their live shows. Each of the remaining EPs bring something unique to the table: Windows Open is pretty and minimal, Flight Tower is bubbly and light, Super João is gentle and pacifying, and Earth Crisis is flowy and whimsical. As a collection, it’s surprisingly cohesive, tapping into string-laden pop, bright R&B and even sleepy folk. —Lizzie Manno

Listen here

3. Hypoluxo: Hypoluxo

The third album from Brooklyn-based post-punk quartet Hypoluxo very nearly didn’t exist. The band’s former label Broken Circles “pretty much disappeared,” as frontman Samuel Cogen has explained, and Hypoluxo appeared on the verge of giving up the ghost. It was Allen Tate of San Fermin who stepped in and urged the band onward, eventually producing their follow-up to 2018’s Running on a Fence. Hypoluxo finds the four-piece scrapping their way back from the brink, polishing up their post-punk’s sharp, stylized geometry with just enough dream-pop sheen to leave no doubt about its emotional undercurrents. This is a band resisting the soul-suck of industry exploitation and reclaiming their artistic agency—who says no? —Scott Russell

Listen here

4. Kacey Johansing: No Better Time

Back in 2017, we discovered the beauty of Kacey Johansing’s music and highlighted “Hold Steady,” one of the best tracks of that year (seriously, go listen). Back then, Johansing explored the emotions that transpired from departing the green hills of the Marin County Coast for her new home in Los Angeles. Now in 2020, we find Johansing in L.A., releasing another fine collection of bucolic folk songs bearing a hint of Laurel Canyon nostalgia. Also a member of Hand Habits, Johansing is a wonderful songwriter and her voice is nothing short of a salve in dire times. Listen to the title track below. —Adrian Spinelli

Listen here

5. Laura Fell: Safe From Me

London singer/songwriter Laura Fell has released her debut LP Safe From Me, which centers on her arresting vocal presence, drawing you closer into her vulnerable lyricism. With touches of classic pop and refined, artsy folk, Fell dazzles with effortlessly compelling songwriting and the occasional backing of strings and brass. Her songs are empathetic and despite the grand accompaniments, they sound like they’re being performed in your living room, as your daily worries begin to evaporate. Above all else, her vocal timbres take this album to the next level, granting it both whispery elegance and majestic power. —Lizzie Manno

Listen here

6. Megan Thee Stallion: Good News

Megan Thee Stallion is one of the most-hyped artists in some time. The Houston rapper released her critically acclaimed third EP Suga last year, which featured one of her biggest songs, the biting “Savage” (Beyoncé later appeared on a remix of the track). She also appeared on Cardi B’s 2020 smash hit “WAP” and featured on albums by DaBaby, Chance the Rapper, Wale and more. Four years on from her debut single, “Like a Stallion,” Megan has shared her debut album Good News, which features “Savage Remix,” along with new tracks featuring SZA, Lil Durk, Popcaan and more. —Lizzie Manno

Listen here

7. Partner: Never Give Up

The sophomore effort from Canadian post-classic-rock pair Partner is characterized by the kind of resilience that’s proven essential in 2020, not to mention more than a little much-needed fun. Never Give Up, the follow-up to the duo’s Polaris Music Prize-nominated 2017 debut In Search of Lost Time, doubles down on their flair for waggish rock ‘n’ roll theatrics, bringing Lucy Niles and Josée Caron’s charming interplay to the forefront, and writing party-starting joy large with each raucous guitar solo. Partner are an easy band to root for, and a testament to just how alive and well rock continues to be. —Scott Russell

Listen here

8. PVA: Toner

London disco-punk trio PVA share more with buzzy English acts like black midi and Black Country, New Road than just a point of origin. Much like their similarly oft-tipped peers, Ella Harris, Josh Baxter and Louis Satchell have generated hype by making mercurial music that confounds simple categorization, blending elements of post-punk, electro-pop and balearic house to invigorating effect—particularly in a live setting. As recent signees to Ninja Tune’s Big Dada imprint, PVA have released their debut EP Toner; the release features their first single, 2019’s “Divine Intervention,” as well as production from Dan Carey of cult U.K. label Speedy Wunderground, and remixes by Mura Masa, Lynks and Girl Band / Daniel Fox. PVA formed at a house party, and though the sample size remains tantalizingly tiny in terms of their output, the band’s sound stays true to the intoxicating energy of their genesis. —Scott Russell

Listen here

9. Shygirl: ALIAS

With Shygirl’s second EP of industrial murk and braggadocious hip-hop, the rising British artist says that, even when you think you know someone, what you see is only one of their many sides. That the EP is titled ALIAS darkens the edges of her thesis. An alias is less a nickname than a shadow identity used by someone evading detection, an alternate self more concerned with the alleyways than the everyday. Shygirl claims to jump among four distinct aliases throughout the EP’s wobbly, night-lit club cuts. In the video for ALIAS highlight “SLIME,” these aliases appear for the first time (Shygirl dropped the video 10 days before the EP’s release). She neglects to name them directly—only the press release accompanying the video formally introduces Baddie, Bae, Bovine and Bonk. The EP’s lyrics likewise do little to distinguish these characters from one another, though clearly, little overlap exists between Bae’s glamorous blonde ‘do and Bonk’s, uh, clown-like makeup. Even if these aliases remain imperfectly distinguished from one another throughout the EP, Shygirl’s consistently puffed-up swagger manages to illuminate her nuanced but aggressive persona. —Max Freedman

Listen here

10. The War on Drugs: LIVE DRUGS

LIVE DRUGS is not your typical live album. Rather than recording a board feed from a specific night at a specific venue in a specific city, this is a collection of live recordings from multiple live shows that the band feel best represents what they’ve done on stage. “Even though this recording is from a year of tours, this is really how these six guys evolved as a band from 2014 to 2019,” frontman Adam Granduciel says. In essence, even though these are all different recordings stitched and mastered into LIVE DRUGS, the album is sequenced like how a live set would feel. And damn it if anything remotely resembling a real live concert ain’t exactly what we’re all craving right now. So if we can’t be at a live show just yet, we’ll gladly take the mind trip that Granduciel and company are so graciously handing us. —Adrian Spinelli

Listen here

Also in Music