This Month's Picks

V (CD)

Black Country Communion
On their new album V , Black Country Communion conjures up some of their fiercest, grittiest, down-and-dirty work yet. "Stay Free" blends hard rock, blues, and gospel-tinged backing vocals into a driving, compulsive track that's a true force of nature. "Red Sun" is a scorcher, with relentless riffs, epic vocals, and moody atmospherics. "Enlighten" gains tension from the interplay between its driven, aggrieved verses and soaring, cathartic choruses. If you're hankering for the intensity of grunge and the no-holds-barred force of '80s metal, you've got to hear V . More
Genre: Rock

Fine Art [Color Vinyl] (LP)

Kneecap
Northern Ireland's Kneecap are the kind of once-in-a-generation group that'll make you reimagine the possibilities for rap. On Fine Art , the trio cannonballs off the diving board of grime and 2-step, creating unpredictable, relentless tracks that juggle unhinged irreverence and laser-focused insights. The group members' flows accent each other nicely, the beats shift from simmering Beastie Boys'-esque minimalism to hands-in-the-air dance to moody, bass-heavy garage. Fine Art is a woozy and wonderful thrill ride. You've got to hear this one. More
Genre: Hip Hop

Good Kid 4 (LP)

Good Kid
Toronto indie rockers Good Kid are masters at writing ultra-catchy, upbeat indie meets emo that'll keep listeners coming back for more. Their short but sweet Good Kid 4 EP is filled with a ridiculous amount of earworms. The band's ability to create consistently irresistible hooks is their superpower — surely no band of mere mortals should be able to write such ridiculously good, addictive tracks. And yet, here they are. Good Kid 4 deserves all the buzz. Fans of '00s indie and emo won't be able to get enough of this fast, fun listen. More
Genre: Rock

Why Lawd? [Smoke & Gold & Blue Vinyl] (LP)

NxWorries
When you're listening to NxWorries' latest, life is good. Why Lawd? feels like the album of the summer, with lush, soulful beats, vibey atmospherics, and a throwback, feel-good mood. Anderson .Paak and producer Knxwledge have created something truly special on their second collaboration as NxWorries. This is soul meets hip-hop at its finest: the songs feel contemporary and cool yet they already seem like stone cold classics. Featuring guest appearances from Dave Chappelle, Thundercat, H.E.R., Snoop Dogg, and Earl Sweatshirt. More
Genre: Soul

Pulsar (CD)

L'Impératrice
L'Imperatrice is about to make all your French house, nu-disco, and Italo dreams come true. Pulsar is a sweeping dancefloor epic, filled with alluring beats, breezy vocals, and glamorous '70s on the Riviera vibes. The songs are soulful and dreamy, enticing and emotional. Pulsar sounds like the best night of your life: warm summer breezes in the air, hands lifted high, those blissful moments as the mirrorball's light shimmers over your face. A blissful, delightful release from a band we can't get enough of. More

Gemelo (CD)

Angelica Garcia
Angélica Garcia's Gemelo will make you stop in your tracks and take notice. These arresting songs will tap into something deep inside, as the East LA native sings of loneliness and loss in the enchanting, almost delicate first half of the album before moving into the wilder, witchier themes of liberation and healing on the second half. Produced by Chicano Batman's Carlos Arévalo, it's Garcia's first album sung almost entirely in Spanish, a kaleidoscopic, dazzling, powerful melange of Hispanic musical influences and shimmering alt-pop. Garcia has gotten a lot of buzz and for good reason: she's a distinctive, enthralling artist and Gemelo is fantastic. More
Genre: Rock

Eels Time! (CD)

Eels
With the release of their fifteenth studio album, it is one again Eels Time ! Written in the wake of the pandemic, these new Eels songs feel contemplative, gentle, and ever so slightly off-kilter. E and the band sing about the temporality of life, finding the courage to choose love, and the comfort of pet fish. The deceptively simple lyrics are always eminently relatable and often lead to a surprise gut punch. Eels Time! is one of those albums that perfectly captures certain elements of the human experience: the doubt, the longing, and the emotional connections that make it all worthwhile. More
Genre: Rock

Dreamachine (CD)

Habibi
Habibi's Dreamachine is filled with the type of songs that'll make you stop what you're doing and take notice. The band's original garage-meets-'60s-girl-group sound has evolved into something a little dreamier, a little more wistful and lovely, with a gritty edge. Opener "On the Road" creates an insistent, entertaining mood from dance beats, searing guitars, hypnotic vocals, and intriguing lyrics. The opening notes of "My Moon" feel like a technicolor romance, all soft hues and twinkling sounds, before morphing into an Eastern psych-influenced bittersweet love song. A beautiful, refreshing, moving album. More
Genre: Rock

Bluey: Season 3 (DVD)

An immediate hit in its native Australia-with its popularity swiftly spreading abroad-this engaging animated series for preschoolers follows the adventures of Bluey Heeler, an energetic six-year-old Cattle Dog who'd find imaginative escapades with her kid sister Bingo and the neighborhood canine kids, and receive instructive indulgence from archeologist dad Bandit and airport security worker mom Chilli. More

Kung Fu Panda 4 (4K UHD)

Jack Black returns as Po, the world's most unlikely kung fu master, in this butt-kicking new chapter from DreamWorks Animation's beloved action-comedy franchise: Kung Fu Panda 4 . After learning he must find a new hero to take over as Dragon Warrior so that he may fulfill his destiny as the next spiritual leader of the Valley of Peace, Po decides to take one last adventurous mission. He teams up with a quick-witted thief named Zhen, a corsac fox to discover the truth about recent sightings of villains he's defeated in the past. In a journey that puts both to the test, it will take a wicked, powerful sorceress, Chameleon, to bring them together and perhaps remind Po that heroes can be found in the most unexpected places. More

Blue Electric Light (CD)

Lenny Kravitz
Lenny Kravitz sounds better than ever on his latest, Blue Electric Light . Replete with all the effortless swagger and blistering guitar work that are Kravitz trademarks, these tracks are bold, sultry, and cooler than cool. Elements of funk weave their way through the songs, whether it's on the potent and pleasing "Human" or the Prince-esque seduction of "TK421." Blue Electric Light is pure good times and perfect summer listening. More
Genre: Rock

The Avett Brothers (LP)

The Avett Brothers
The Avett Brothers are back with a warm and inviting new self-titled album. The band's lilting indie-folk packs quite the emotional punch as the brothers sing about aging and dying, the unpredictability of life, and the twists and turns of even the most well-intentioned of relationships. The melodies are exquisite, with layered compositions featuring banjo, organ, fiddle, piano, and strings. The perfect soundtrack for endless summer days and the cool night breezes that hint of autumn and the dying of the leaves.More
Genre: Rock

Orgy Of The Damned (CD)

Slash
Rock legend Slash makes his mark on the blues with his new album, Orgy of the Damned . As expected, the guitar work is phenomenal: these tracks are gritty, funky, and sizzling hot. Slash has enlisted an eclectic, all-star cast of collaborators for these steamy blues covers, too. Billy F Gibbons and Gary Clark Jr. bring electrifying blues meets rock 'n' roll attitude to their respective tracks. Demi Lovato brings soulful pop slink to a disco-laced funk/electro cover of "Papa Was a Rolling Stone." Iggy Pop brings his inimitable, easy swagger to "Awful Dream." Crank this one up and prepare to be transported to the sultry, sweaty roadhouse of your dreams. More
Genre: Rock

Lives Outgrown (CD)

Beth Gibbons
Wow. Expectations for a Beth Gibbons solo album were always going to be high and the great news is that Lives Outgrown delivers. The Portishead singer's voice has exceptional power, the arrangements are layered, haunting, and affecting, the songs will take your heart in your hands just as Gibbons' earlier work did. These ten chamber pop and art folk tracks were recorded over a decade, with production from Gibbons herself with James Ford, plus additional production by Lee Harris (Talk Talk). Lives Outgrown captures something about the experience of aging, mortality, and farewells that's difficult to articulate in words. Of course Beth Gibbons does it with devastating beauty and a sparse but lovingly-held sense of light. More
Genre: Rock

Standing Out Loud (CD)

Alastair Greene
Fans of down-and-dirty blues and scorching Southern rock will dig Alastair Greene's Standing Out Loud . Greene's work is rooted in the tradition of '60s and '70s blues rock; he's both a guitar virtuoso and a sort of music historian, not to mention a killer songwriter. These tracks are rowdy and rollicking, plainspoken and punchy. In short, there's a whole lot of rock 'n' roll spirit infusing these swampy blues and sizzlin' rock tracks. Turn them up loud and crank the AC because the temperature is about to rise. More
Genre: Blues

Dune: Part Two (4K UHD)

Dune: Part Two explores the mythic journey of Paul Atreides as he unites with Chani and the Fremen while on a warpath of revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family. Facing a choice between the love of his life and the fate of the known universe, he endeavors to prevent a terrible future only he can foresee. More

Orphan [Collector's Edition] (BLU)

Artistic and well-spoken in spite of a troubled past, 9-year-old Russian orphan Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman) is adopted by an American couple (Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard) unable to have the third child they desired. When bizarre accidents and disappearances begin to happen, Esther's stepmother begins to dread her new child may somehow be involved. Atmospheric, disturbing horror film co-stars CCH Pounder, Jimmy Bennett, and Aryana Engineer. More

The American Society Of Magical Negroes (BLU)

The American Society of Magical Negroes is a fresh, satirical comedy about a young man, Aren, who is recruited into a secret society of magical Black people who dedicate their lives to a cause of utmost importance: making white people's lives easier. More

That Golden Time [Gold Vinyl] (LP)

Villagers
That Golden Time is a fitting name for the latest from Dublin's Villagers. Singer/songwriter/instrumentalist Conor O'Brien writes warm, hazy, dreamy indie folk that sounds like the perfect soundtrack to a sunny summer day lounging in a field and watching clouds. The melodies range from lilting and wistful to downbeat and gripping. It is, as you may have guessed, an achingly lovely album. Intimate and introspective, Villagers just capture something about the poignancy of temporality and the everyday beauty of life in these songs. More
Genre: Rock

Cyan Blue (LP)

Charlotte Day Wilson
Charlotte Day Wilson's Cyan Blue is a hazy, dreamy just left-of-center R&B album. The songs are intimate and inviting, the sound of falling in love. Wilson's Sade-like silked vocals float in and around the standup bass and plaintive piano at the heart of the tracks; the effect is hypnotizing and enthralling. Influences ranging from jazz to neo-soul are woven together to create an ethereal, seductive atmosphere. Charlotte Day Wilson is a true R&B innovator and Cyan Blue is a must-hear. More
Genre: Soul