The 10 Albums We're Most Excited About in February

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The 10 Albums We're Most Excited About in February

February is the shortest month of the year, but this year is a leap year, which means we get an extra day of February goodness (or an extra day of icy, wet misery, depending on where you live)! One extra day this year means an extra day for listening to new music. This month we’re anticipating a collaborative EP from a group of Texas musical titans, some heartfelt indie rock from a rising new Chicago band, the much-anticipated new album from some psych-rock staples and more. Read on for all the albums we’re most excited about in February.

February 7

Khruangbin & Leon Bridges: Texas Sun
Dead Oceans

The announcement of a collaboration between rising psychedelic instrumentalists Khruangbin and neo-soul singer Leon Bridges was a bit of a shock initially, but after listening to Texas Sun, it’s obvious that this partnership represents the best of both of their respective worlds. Bridges’ ultra-smooth croon works perfectly when placed on top of guitarist Mark Speer’s deft playing, evoking the wide-open plains and endless roads of Texas. Beautiful and laid-back, Texas Sun’s only fault is its short runtime: At just under 21 minutes across four songs, you’ll find yourself playing the EP over and over again, hoping that a full album is in the mix at some point down the line. —Steven Edelstone

The Lone Bellow: Half Moon Light
Dualtone Records

For their fifth full-length album, prominent indie-folksters The Lone Bellow teamed up with The National’s Aaron Dessner at his studio in upstate New York. “I want it to bring comfort,” the band’s Brian Elmquist said of the new album in a statement. “But it’s not all hard conversations. There’s a lot of light and some dancing that needs to happen.” —Ellen Johnson

More notable February 7 releases: Shopping: All Or Nothing, Aubrie Sellers: Far From Home, John Moreland: LP5, La Roux: Supervision, William Prince: Reliever, Green Day: Father of All Motherfuckers, Cadillac Three: Country Fuzz, Tenille Townes: The Road to the Lemonade Stand, Nada Surf: Never Not Together, HMTLD: West of Eden, Fat Tony and Taydex: Wake Up, Thyla: Everything At Once

February 14

Bambara: Stray
Wharf Cat Records

Narrative-based songs may be completely out of step with what’s happening in music right now, but that leaves plenty of room for New York outfit Bambara to shine. Their gothic rock is gripping and shadowy, and Reid Bateh unfurls lines about characters who are much the same. Their forthcoming album, Stray, follows 2018’s Shadow on Everything. —Lizzie Manno

Beach Bunny: Honeymoon
Mom + Pop

Sometimes the simplest feelings are the most universal. When Beach Bunny lead singer Lili Trifilio sings, “You love me / I love you / You don’t love me anymore, I still do / I’m sorry / I’m trying / I hate it when you catch me crying” on “Rearview,” a slow pop-punk ballad that builds to a thrilling, hands-in-the-air finish, it’s hard not to think back to some time where you, too, have felt the exact same way. It’s a cliché to say that this record’s lyrics read like a diary entry, but Honeymoon truly does: With the same raw energy as Camp Cope’s Georgia Maq or Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino, Trifilio sings—and occasionally screams—of her innermost desires and heartbreaks over some of the smartest and catchiest pop-punk songwriting in quite some time. It’s easily the most fun album I’ve heard so far this year, a record that’s just begging to be played at parties once winter finally ends. —Steven Edelstone

Tame Impala: The Slow Rush
Interscope

It’s been awhile, huh? After the Australian psych band led by Kevin Parker dominated the first half of the decade, particularly with its back-to-back classics Lonerism and its poppier sibling Currents, we haven’t heard much from Tame Impala since 2015. Sure, they’ve headlined virtually every major music festival and the biggest stages across the world over the past five years, new music has been few and far in between. This is the band that headlined Coachella and played SNL on the heels of releasing two singles and nothing else, after all. Now almost a year since the poppy groove of “Borderline” was dropped, we’re finally getting to hear The Slow Rush, a record that sounds like the logical progression from Currents’ embrace of psychedelic modern R&B and Parker’s work with Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson and Travis Scott. But don’t worry, you Innerspeaker and Lonerism purists: There’s lots of psych rock jams to love here underneath the shimmering synth, too. —Steven Edelstone

More notable February 14 releases: Tennis: Swimmer, Post Animal: Forward Motion Godyssey, Nathaniel Rateliff: And It’s Still Alright, Puss N Boots (Norah Jones, Sasha Dobson & Catherine Popper): Sister, Justin Bieber: Changes, Mush: 3D Routine, The Men: Mercy

February 21

Best Coast: Always Tomorrow
Concord Records

Bethany Cosentino’s swift rise to fame as lead singer of L.A. rock duo Best Coast was exciting to witness. Their 2010 debut album Crazy For You spilled with lo-fi, love-dovey rock songs, which became instant classics, but while the band gained notoriety and their music climbed up the Billboard charts, Consentino was struggling to cope with success and was losing a battle with her insecurities. Following their most recent album—2015’s California Nights—and Trump’s election victory, Consentino experienced a creative dry spell and a whirlwind of emotional setbacks, so she turned to alcohol to numb the pain. In 2017, she finally decided to get sober and found herself creatively tuned in again. The result was their fifth album Always Tomorrow, which leans into stomping, hi-fi rock riffs and anthemic choruses. The lyrics were largely informed by her “broken patterns” and journey back to sanity. “Some days I wake up and I feel like I’m on top of the world and I forget about everything that’s ever bummed me out, and other days, it all comes flooding back,” Consentino says. “This album is about leaving the darkness for the light, but still understanding that nothing is ever going to be perfect.” —Lizzie Manno

More notable February 21 releases: Katie Pruitt: Expectations, Grimes: Miss Anthropocene, Letitia VanSant: Circadian, King Krule: Man Alive!, Wilsen: Ruiner, Sunny Jain: Wild Wild Eas, Sarah Harmer: Are You Gone, Banoffee: Look At Us Now Dad

February 28

Caribou: Suddenly
Merge Records

It’s been six years since Caribou’s Our Love (one of Paste’s 100 best albums of the 2010s) dropped, forever changing the way we think about dance music. Dan Snaith’s productions offered a maturation of classic electronic styles that both informed the listener about an influential past while also allowing us to become sophisticated appreciators of prevailing movements in sound. Simply put, Caribou’s music broadens our horizon as music fans. And now, the two singles from Suddenly that we’ve heard so far, “You And I” and “Home” see the Canadian Snaith taking us on a musical trip from the London underground to the Detroit dance floor, with the auteur’s high-pitched voice as our benevolent guide. This is music about finding yourself, it’s music about love, it’s music about people arriving at mutual understandings of our places in this world, and you’ll be hard pressed to find anything more gorgeous. —Adrian Spinelli

Real Estate: The Main Thing
Domino

Indie-rock quintet Real Estate have announced their first new album since 2017’s In Mind, previewing their fifth LP The Main Thing with “Paper Cup,” a danceable, strings-accented search for purpose that features background vocals from Sylvan Esso’s Amelia Meath—the 13-track album, first teased a year ago, is Real Estate’s first time recruiting outside instrumentalists and special guests like Meath. —Scott Russell

Soccer Mommy: color theory
Loma Vista Recordings

On the heels of her 2018 standout debut Clean, Soccer Mommy—aka 22-year-old Sophie Allison—has finally unveiled her sophomore album, color theory. Allison’s late-2019 singles, “lucy” and “yellow is the color of her eyes,” put her new record on Paste’s radar in a big way, landing it on our most anticipated 2020 albums list even prior to its official announcement. Those songs are joined among color theory’s 10 tracks by new single “circle the drain.” Allison wrote most of color theory while touring, recording the album in her Nashville hometown with production from her Clean collaborator Gabe Wax. For the first time, Allison’s live Soccer Mommy band joins her on each recording, with their live takes laying the foundation for most of the album’s 10 tracks. —Scott Russell

More notable February 28 releases: Kevin Krauter: Full Hand, Sierra Hull: 25 Trips, Hailey Whitters: The Dream, Wasted Shirt (Ty Segall & Brian Chippendale): Fungus II, James Taylor: American Standard, Ratboys: Printer’s Devil

TBA

Moses Sumney: græ
Jagjaguwar Records

The evocative musician is returning with his second full-length project after his acclaimed 2017 debut, Aromanticism. His new LP will arrive in two parts, the first in February and the second in May. —Ellen Johnson

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