This Month's Picks

Sublimation (CD)

Shalom’s Sublimation is one of the most enjoyable, most assured debuts in recent memory. The Brooklyn-based, South Africa-raised artist creates urgent yet catchy-as-hell music that combines elements of power pop, punk, garage, indie, and even ‘90s alterna-pop. Shalom and producer Ryan Hemsworth (Quarter-Life Crisis) have crafted a super tight album that chronicles the ultra-loose and messy experiences of self-medicating, watching creative opportunities fall apart, and getting sick of being yourself. The joy of Sublimation , though, is the journey listeners go on as Shalom finds herself and her will to fight once again. Shalom is one to watch, to be sure, and this album will likely be on many year-end “best of” lists. More
Genre: Rock

Radical Romantics (CD)

Fever Ray
Fever Ray is back with their first album in five years, Radical Romantics . The album title is an accurate synopsis of this left-field electro-pop production; as you’d expect, the songs are glittering and strange, filled with twists and turns both lyrical and melodic, all rooted in a deep love for both the darkness and the (heavily filtered) light. Fans of The Knife will rejoice to hear that Karin Dreijer has recruited their brother and The Knife bandmate Olof Dreijer for the first several songs, creating a vibe that eventually shifts into more buoyant, technicolor sonic territory as the album goes on. Fellow travelers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross contribute, as do Nídia, Johannes Berglund, Peder Mannerfelt, and Vessel. More

The Beauty In All [White Vinyl] (LP)

Oddisee's 2013 release The Beauty in All deserves another spin. Out now on white vinyl and opaque purple vinyl, this instrumental LP's title sums it up: you could easily soundtrack your day with any of these selections and get a 200% boost in your mood. The tracks radiate old-school soulfulness, whether Oddisee is trafficking in retro-futurism or taking it back to the eternally cool era of classic funk. The Beauty in All is cinematic, gorgeous, and brilliantly alive. More
Genre: Hip Hop

College Park (CD)

On his first independent release since leaving Def Jam, Logic goes back to his roots with College Park . Logic takes it back to 2011 on the album, giving us an autobiographical glimpse into a formative period. It’s a truly epic album, filled with the optimism and desperate hope of youth, alongside all the fears and challenges that lurk in the shadows. Featuring an all-star cast of collaborators, College Park has appearances from Bun B and Lil Keke, Norah Jones, Joey Bada$$, and RZA, just to name a few. It’s a heartfelt, high-octane album that showcases Logic doing what he does best. More
Genre: Hip Hop

High Drama (CD)

Adam Lambert
Adam Lambert delivers what he promises on High Drama . These tracks are simply grand: larger-than-life operatic rock numbers featuring Lambert’s smooth, soaring vocals, powered by a legend’s over-the-top rock ’n’ roll spirit and imbued with an artist’s emotional high-highs and low-lows. High Drama is an ingenious mix of cover songs, ranging from karaoke classics (Bonnie Tyler, Culture Club) to edgy recent releases (Billie Eilish, Lana Del Rey). Lambert delivers them all with panache; it’s a pleasure to hear his take on these tracks. More
Genre: Rock

Strange Dance (LP)

Philip Selway
Radiohead drummer Philip Selway evolves his sound on his third solo album, Strange Dance . The songs feel at once familiar and down-to-earth, cinematic and sweeping. Selway wrote the tracks at home on his piano and guitar, passing off drum duties to his impressive cast of collaborators. (Hannah Peel, Adrian Utley, Quinta, Marta Salogni, Valentina Magaletti, and Laura Moody all contribute to the soaring, orchestral atmosphere.) Strange Dance is an album that’s both inviting and intriguing, a nuanced work that nourishes the soul of the listener as much as it seems to have fed the creative spirit of its dream team of creators. More
Genre: Rock

É O Que A Casa Oferece (LP)

Gabriel da Rosa
Gabriel da Rosa makes his debut on the blissful, brilliant É O Que A Casa Oferece . Now based in LA, the Brazilian artist makes bossa nova and samba that are firmly rooted in the tradition of the greats while still sounding contemporary and fresh. These are tracks made for sunshine-filled summer days…and if it’s not one where you are, put this album on and you’ll be transported. This dreamy, celebratory, easy-going album will make you fall in love with the artistry of Gabriel da Rosa. More
Genre: World

The Land, The Water, The Sky [Marble Blue Smoke Vinyl] (LP)

Black Belt Eagle Scout
Rarely does an album title so perfectly capture the essence of an album as Black Belt Eagle Scout’s The Land, The Water, The Sky . Black Belt Eagle Scout is Katherine Paul, a Portland, OR resident who returned to her roots in the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community in Washington in 2020. Each track feels like an ode to the natural beauty of the region, a soundtrack to the timelessness of this place, as Paul’s celestial-toned, ethereal voice floats through the country, folk, and rock fusion of her compositions. The Land, The Water, The Sky is a transformative and transcendent listening experience that taps into deep, human emotions while surveying the natural world. More
Genre: Rock

Raven (CD)

On Raven , Kelela proves once again she’s one of the most exciting artists working in the alternative R&B space. The tracks on Raven sound like a sort of rebirth; the emotions are intense, the compositions innovative and exhilarating. There’s no predictability here and Kelela has her listeners on the edge of their seats the entire time as shimmering and ethereal textural tracks segue into drum ’n’ bass ballads and electronic washes of sound shift into dancehall grooves. Raven is impressive. If you dug what Kelela was doing before, these new tracks are on a whole other level. More
Genre: Soul

Marlowe 2 [Deluxe Edition] (LP)

Several years ago, producer L’Orange and rapper Solemn Brigham first brought us Marlowe, an alt-rap project with an ethos rooted in the musical stylings of the past and a lyricism inspired by the social issues of today. Now they’re back with Marlowe 2 . It’s an album that’s pure fire. The crackle of vintage vinyl samples, the propulsive beats, the vocals that swim seamlessly from funky to fierce; few acts are doing it like Marlowe these days. Brigham raps about police brutality, poverty, and the societal issues that dominate the news cycle today (but that stem back generations). This is heady stuff. The intelligent, impactful Marlowe 2 will work its power on both your heart and your mind. More
Genre: Hip Hop