Rock

The Order Of Time (CD)

Rootsy singer/songwriter Valerie June blends soul, blues, and folk with mystical wisdom delivered in an ageless, nasal voice. Co-written with Norah Jones, her sophomore album, The Order of Time, includes vocals from Jones as well as June's late father Emerson Hockett.

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A Black Mile To The Surface (CD)
Alt-rockers Manchester Orchestra's new album is grandiose and cinematic, featuring heavily layered production and a new line-up behind indie-emo frontman Andy Hull. The conflicted lyrics move from the personal to Hull's original concept of the tale of a mining-town feud. Read more
The Punishment Of Luxury (CD)
The synth-pop pioneers return with their dazzling 13th studio album, which sees them combine the wistful nostalgia and idealized romance of their previous work while stepping out of their comfort zone. The album is the sound of a band in their prime. Read more
Blood Offerings (CD)
Oakland-based old-school death metallers Necrot return after six years with an onslaught of buzz-sawing riffs and spine-rupturing rhythms. Read more
What Now (CD)

Electro-pop duo Sylvan Esso contrast feel good, festival-ready pop hooks with heavy sequenced synths. And what a contrast it is. Taken out of context, producer Nick Sanborn's glitchy, squelched earth instrumentals would give contemporaries from Nicolas Jaar to Com Truise a good run for their money. At the same time, singer Amelia Meath's vocals would not feel out of place on, say, a Grouplove song. Together they combine to form a uniquely 21st century Frankenstein musical creation, one that exists as both a culmination of trends completely en vogue for the past few years and as a progenitor of pop's future, a place where the yelpy indie-folk of the Dirty Projectors sits comfortably next to a Flume set at HARD summer, set to a slideshow of Lorde's dance moves. More importantly, and this is most important after all, Sylvan Esso are catchy, catchy, catchy. What Now, a fitting title for the album you'll be listening to for the rest of the year.

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Trouble Maker (CD)

With nine studio albums under their belt, Rancid continues to serve up timeless, solid ska-influenced punk on the anthemic and catchy Trouble Maker. With touches of rockabilly and folk-punk, the veteran rockers address politics and working class struggles, and celebrate Bay Area protestors.

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Dua Lipa (CD)
London-based pop singer Dua Lipa makes her mark with a surprisingly sophisticated first album. The 21-year-old Lipa shows off her husky voice and self-confidence on summer jams and heartbreak ballads, collaborating with big name producers and even Chris Martin of Coldplay. Read more
Cigarettes After Sex (CD)
Cigarettes After Sex's self-titled debut stands apart from the rest of the dream-pop crowd, mostly thanks to Greg Gonzalez's up-front, feminine vocals. Another strength is the band's songwriting, which emerges from the standard, subdued and echoing sound, and will draw in fans of other genres. Read more
Snow (CD)

The Stones follow up their 2014 self-titled release with the elegant, atmospheric Snow. The folk-pop siblings incorporate electronic elements and drum machines into their original acoustic sound, rounded out with soothing vocal layers. There is distinctly minimalist production courtesy of Rick Rubin.

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The Prestaliis (CD)

Hundred Suns make music cinematic in scope, haunting in presence, and disruptive in its moody upheaval. They offer an ambitious exploration of storytelling, introspective adventure, and atmospheric majesty, crushing in its depth and beautiful in its steady execution.

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