This Month's Picks

What Now (CD)

Sylvan Esso
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. More
Genre: Rock

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. More
Genre: Rock

Dua Lipa (CD)

Dua Lipa
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.More
Genre: Rock

Cigarettes After Sex (CD)

Cigarettes After Sex
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.More
Genre: Rock

From A Room: Volume 1 (CD)

Chris Stapleton
Chris Stapleton made his solo debut with 2015's Traveller , breaking out from his accomplished songwriting career for A-list artists. A solid country/soul singer in his own right, Stapleton delivers slow-burning tales of vice and heartbreak on his more-focused follow-up, From A Room: Volume 1 . Steel guitar and harmonica flavor the spare arrangements, and highlight his impressive vocals. More
Genre: Country

Snow (CD)

Angus & Julia Stone
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. More
Genre: Rock

The Prestaliis (CD)

Hundred Suns
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. More
Genre: Rock

Concrete & Gold (CD)

Foo Fighters
Foo Fighters show no sign of slowing down on their ninth studio album, Concrete & Gold . Dave Grohl himself described the LP as "the biggest thing sonically we've ever done,” which is basically true. Sometimes the lyrics are down and dirty, other times they’re preoccupied with the cosmic. The sound, while always sounding like Foo Fighters, can vary from classic power pop to heavy alt-rock to more sneering industrial sounds. It’s good to have Foo Fighers back and the addition of The Kills’ Alison Mosshart on a few tracks makes it that much better. More
Genre: Rock

The Last Days Of Oakland (CD)

Fantastic Negrito
This is from last year, but a new discovery for me. “Blues with a punk attitude.” Slide guitar with tinges of gospel and some Oakland grit. He’s got something to say. Pick it up! More
Genre: Blues

Popular Manipulations (CD)

The Districts
The Districts’ third full-length represents an exponential leap in sound and cohesion, an impressive and impassioned burn with a wide scope that threatens to swallow everything else surrounding it. You’ll find yourself wondering why people don’t make indie rock like this anymore. More
Genre: Rock