10 New Albums to Listen to Today

Featuring Porridge Radio, Harry Styles, Cola and more

Music Lists New Albums
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10 New Albums to Listen to Today

Fridays are a special day for Paste, thanks to the incredible music that we get to share with you. Like clockwork, we compile the week’s best, most exciting releases to accompany each batch of songs. Find something new to take into the weekend with you among these must-hear albums.

Boldy James & Real Bad Man: Killing Nothing

A perfect word to describe Detroit rapper Boldy James is “calculated.” His laser focus has garnered him some high praise, and across his extensive catalog, he’s proved his abilities alongside some of rap’s best producers, such as The Alchemist and Sterling Toles. Killing Nothing reunites Boldy with Los Angeles-based producers Real Bad Man and allows his bars to shine. Each beat sounds ripped from a horror movie, adding grime and an abyss-like depth to Boldy’s vivid pictures of crime and hardship. Killing Nothing is Boldy James’ own neo-noir, and he is an incredible leading man. —Jade Gomez

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Cola: Deep In View

For Ought’s Tim Darcy and Ben Stidworthy, forming Cola—their new band with U.S. Girls/The Weather Station drummer Evan Cartwright—was like giving a frozen-up laptop a hard reset. Shedding the expectations that had piled up around their former band, Darcy and Stidworthy found that their collaboration with Cartwright came naturally, with Deep In View as our first long look at what the trio can do. As exhibited by the album’s many singles, including “Blank Curtain,” “So Excited,” “Water Table,” “Degree” and “Fulton Park,” Deep In View is an album that stands shoulder to shoulder with anything in Ought’s esteemed catalog. But that’s not to say Cola aren’t shaping a nascent legacy of their own: Cartwright brings intriguing new rhythms into the fold, complicating Darcy and Stidworthy’s nervy, melodic post-punk in ways that feel true to its origins. —Scott Russell

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Craig Finn: A Legacy of Rentals

As usual, the people in Craig Finn’s new solo songs are vivid and compelling; few lyricists can match his talent for sketching such fully realized characters within the confines of a four- or five-minute song. He’s a master of oblique references, casual asides and offhanded observations that add up to complex people with complicated inner lives. “It never really mattered that she was 12 years older except for when we talked about the 1980s / Because I was still showing up to Modern European History while she was trying to hold on to her baby,” his narrator says on A Legacy of Rentals opener “Messing with the Settings,” and there are worlds contained within those two lines. Like any good fiction writer, Finn builds his stories so that each choice leads to the next until the choices run out, and the climax becomes inevitable. That’s the case on “The Amarillo Kid,” a taut bassline and synth and guitar accents framing the story of a small-time drug dealer who skips town with the stash. A sense of futility anchors “A Break from the Barrage,” where the protagonist ends up literally back where she started, with nothing to show for it but a wasted day and depleted sense of self. There’s not a lot about these stories, or the characters in them, that qualifies as feel-good, but all of it rings true, and sometimes that’s the weightier measure. —Eric R. Danton

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fanclubwallet: You Have Got To Be Kidding Me

fanclubwallet (Hannah Judge) is fine with not having everything figured out. On her debut album, You Have Got to Be Kidding Me, the Ottawa-based musician embraces the transitional phase she found herself in at the beginning of the pandemic after breaking up with her boyfriend, dropping out of university and moving back home to live with her parents. As she navigates shaky ground, let-downs and falling out of love, she does so with shrugged shoulders and casual kitsch. The dizzying drum loops and toy synthesizers elevate her bedroom-pop by giving it an endearing sense of animation. She balances out some of the album’s quirkiness by infusing it with a sense of ennui. It’s as if she’s gotten bored of the constant jokes the universe plays at her expense and is sick of patiently waiting for the punchline.Through her lyrics, Judge captures the universally relatable feeling of trying to get your life together but not really knowing how, as she confesses to changing her Facebook status to confuse her friends and waking up in someone else’s clothes. Still, it’s all the slightly messy slip-ups and missteps that make You Have Got to Be Kidding Me so charming. —Samantha Sullivan

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Harry Styles: Harry’s House

Harry Styles is a musician for all seasons, and his third album, Harry’s House, is proof of the chameleonic way in which the former boybander so effortlessly traverses genres, feelings and states of mind we all know too well. His relatability as a person who so happens to be a talented musician has been present and palpable since his introduction as a solo artist with his 2017 self-titled debut, but with this latest release, Styles opens himself up further than ever before, drawing a direct line to his heart. With each and every Harry’s House lyric, the English rock star—yes, he’s on that level now, let’s not lie to ourselves—delves deeper into both the loudest and quietest parts of his brain, where he keeps his secrets, his unmentionables and the threads of all the things he seemingly has always wanted to say. Styles continues to push his own personal boundaries with each record in a way that feels nothing but genuinely soul-baring. Harry’s House is a dance-pop record that bleeds folk edges, co-opting the recognizable guitar-based sound he’s built into something new he’s exploring—much like the story the album’s lyrics tell us. —Lex Briscuso

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Jordana: Face the Wall

21-year-old guitar-pop auteur Jordana Nye, aka Jordana, spends her self-co-produced second album (and studio debut) Face the Wall pushing herself to be a better person—”Trying to be what I’m longing to be,” as she sings on “To the Ground.” This requires her to reckon with everything from songwriter’s block (“Like You Used To”) and pot smoke-clouded anxiety attacks (“Pressure Point”) to romantic dysfunction (“Play Fair,” “Catch My Drift”) and her struggles with letting others’ perceptions define her (“I Mean That,” “Get Up”). Nye is resolute in unpacking these internal conflicts (“Scary truth to acknowledge / But I’ll do it anyway,” she croons on closer “Why”), and she does so over pristine, nimble pop that mines early-2000s nostalgia for meaning (as opposed to a calculated trend-grab): Face the Wall is as much about Nye yearning for simpler times as it is her acknowledging her trying present and uncertain future, which is just another facet of her honesty. The record may be a lyrical document of what’s weighing Nye down, but its instrumentation—all of which Nye performed herself—is there to uplift her, as well as the listener, at every turn. —Scott Russell

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Porridge Radio: Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder to the Sky

For Brighton four-piece Porridge Radio, the fate of their sophomore album, Every Bad, was uncertain upon release. Just look at its March 13, 2020, street date and it’s obvious why one would worry about it being lost amidst the social upheaval. Fortunately, Every Bad was an album remarkable enough to break through the noise with some noise of its own: It established Porridge Radio as a deeply gifted band on the come-up. Led by Dana Margolin and composed of Georgie Stott, Sam Yardley and Maddie Ryall, they went from making a soft, subtle Bandcamp indie to building massive, vociferous slacker-rock songs. Their music is frenetic and unpredictable, melodic despite its cacophonous arrangements. Margolin’s voice, dark and powerful, is more often than not being pushed to the edges of its range, strained as though she’s trying to get every last drop of emotion out of each word she screams. As the record played and each song ended with growing chaos and incendiary performances, one could only speculate what power the next track would hold. It’s fair to wonder the same about a follow-up. When you come out swinging like Porridge Radio had, how long before you run out of steam? Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder to the Sky, the band’s third album, sees them sidestep the trap that question contains. Waterslide is a masterpiece, finding Porridge Radio, and Margolin especially, in an elevated state. They’re eager to embrace uncertainty, leveling up in every regard, sacrificing none of the intensity that made them stand out. —Eric Bennett

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SOAK: If I Never Know You Like This Again

SOAK’s Bridie Monds-Watson has spent their last two albums sifting through melancholy, trying to find nuggets of hope. “I’m lost in some nothingness,” they keened on “Valentine Shmalentine; backed by weary drums and sympathetic strings, “And I can’t find where the exit is.” 2019’s Grim Town brought out a cheeky, jauntier side of Monds-Watson compared to the drifting anxieties of their debut, but it’s on their third full-length If I Never Know You Like This Again that they finally embrace joy with a sprawling sense of abandon. Like a Mary Ruefle poem, these songs are spiked with a stream-of-consciousness candor that grapples with the pandemic’s absurd precarity: exploitative landlords, “Live Laugh Love” signs, existential crises. It’s a departure from the spare narratives of their past releases, but one that seems to come naturally for Monds-Watson. —Austin Nguyen

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SPICE: Viv

The first thing you notice about Viv, the second album from California rock act SPICE, is its carving-knife guitars, from the first chugging chords of “Recovery” to the eruptive riffs that punctuate both closer “Climbing Down the Ladder” and the album. But further observation reveals their sound’s compelling wrinkles, from singer Ross Farrar’s subtly emotional vocal drone to the mournful strings that elevate tracks like “Ashes in the BIrdbath” and “Vivid.” The aforementioned final track is particularly transcendent, mustering all the band’s force in search of lyrical and instrumental nirvana. Farrar doesn’t make much of the band’s sonic alchemy in press materials, simply stating, “We all got in a room and this is what came out.” Viv does have that kind of unassuming immediacy, but it also signals a band whose natural instinct is towards multidimensionality, as if they understand—whether innately or via hard-won wisdom—that nothing in life is solely what it seems like on the surface. —Scott Russell

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Static Dress: Rouge Carpet Disaster

With My Chemical Romance returning to the stage and Glassjaw wrapping up an anniversary tour, it feels like this nostalgia-obsessed generation continues to look to the past. Leeds’ own Static Dress, meanwhile, invite us into the present. Their intense debut Rouge Carpet Disaster is a dazzling confessional. The contained chaos sprawls into every possible sonic corner as vocalist Olli Appleyard shines across each track. Shoegaze, emo and hardcore influences crash and burn into restorative ashes, with Static Dress rising above to offer a fresh take on a classic sound that deserves another listen. —Jade Gomez

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And don’t forget to check out … Avi Kaplan: Floating On a Dream, Cave In: Heavy Pendulum, Charlie Hickey: Nervous At Night, Delta Spirit: One Is One, Everything Everything: Raw Data Feel, The Family Crest: The War: Act II, Flume: Palaces, Hanson: Red Blue Green, Hodgy: Entitled, Jo Schornikow: ALTAR, Joe Rainey: Niineta, Lykke Li: Eyeye, Mary Lattimore & Paul Sukeena: West Kensington, Mavis Staples & Levon Helm: Carry Me Home, mxmtoon: rising, Ravyn Lenae: Hypnos, Shabaka: Afrikan Culture, Tess Parks: And Those Who Were Seen Dancing, Weird Nightmare: Weird Nightmare, Will Joseph Cook: Every Single Thing