Illustration: Nick Wanserski

Every Friday, dozens of new records are released into the wild. Some make big splashes, and others sink almost immediately. For most music consumers, it’s almost too much information, and save for those precious few who spend their hours glued to reviews sites and release calendars, it’s hard to know what’s coming out when. Thankfully, with this new feature, The A.V. Club is ready to help those struggling souls. Each month, we’ll publish a fairly comprehensive list of what’s coming to record stores and streaming services in upcoming weeks, complete with capsule previews so interested parties can know what to expect. Use it to plan your shopping sprees, or just as a way to absorb just enough info so that you can sound current around your friends.


March 4

Loretta Lynn, Full Circle

The first new studio album in over 10 years from Loretta Lynn, Full Circle is reportedly full of gospel standards, Appalachian folk songs, and new interpretations of country classics—all of which should bode well for diehard fans of both Lynn’s and of good, old-fashioned roots music. Though this record probably won’t have the rocking panache Jack White brought to 2004’s Van Lear Rose, Full Circle holds a good amount of promise all the same. [Marah Eakin]

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Wussy, Forever Sounds

For the last 15 years, Cincinnati’s Wussy—founded and fronted by Ass Ponys’ Chuck Cleaver—has released album after album that splits the difference between barnstorming alt-country and gut-punching folk rock. With Forever Sounds, the critical darlings might finally be getting the mainstream groundswell they’ve long deserved: Reaction to first single “Dropping Houses,” a noisy swirl of disorienting shoegaze and burnt-out jangle-rock, has been overwhelmingly positive. [Annie Zaleski]

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Nada Surf, You Know Who You Are

With the inclusion of touring member and guitarist Doug Gillard into the studio, You Know Who You Are is set to be the first Nada Surf record to feature four members, going beyond the nominal trio of Matthew Caws, Daniel Lorca, and Ira Elliot. How this new dynamic impacts the indie rock band’s sound has yet to be revealed, but this record was supposed to debut in January and had to be pushed back so that they could tinker with the songs a little bit longer. That’s not typically a good sign, but then again, you never know. [Corbin Reiff]

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Big Ups, Before A Million Universes

Recalling a bygone era of post-hardcore, Big Ups reference a time when early-’90s New York bands weren’t afraid to add a little groove to their destructive stomps. On its second full-length, Big Ups are showing what can happen when chugging riffs are once again united with a jazzier rhythm section. “Capitalized” is as close to a modern Quicksand song as one can get, showcasing Big Ups’ ability to write riffs that hit hard but aren’t afraid to be a little danceable, too. [David Anthony]

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Dead Stars, Bright Colors

’90s power-pop is alive and well on Dead Stars’ Bright Colors, a record awash in lo-fi riffs and infectious melodies that can’t help but conjure visions of Dinosaur Jr., Buffalo Tom, and, as our own David Anthony noted, The Lemonheads. Though they’re based in Brooklyn, Dead Stars are sure to appeal to those who long for that pre-Nirvana Seattle sound. [Randall Colburn]

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La Sera, Music For Listening To Music To

The creation of La Sera’s fourth album, Music For Listening To Music To, is the result of the literal marriage between Katy Goodman and Todd Wisenbaker. Working with Ryan Adams as a producer, the result is a record that’s less intense than its last, but no worse for wear. La Sera has always been a little bit country and little bit garage, and with Adams help Music For Listening To Music To brings the best of both to the table. [David Anthony]

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Låpsley, Long Way Home

Since she’s only 19 years old, it’s surprising how long the debut album from English songwriter Låpsley has been hotly anticipated. But with short releases dating back to 2013, the purveyor of chilled-out electro R&B has an already formidable repertoire, earning herself a spot on XL Records for her debut LP, Long Way Home. There are no sure things in music, but with a voice this deep and confident (not to mention an appearance at this year’s Coachella), Låpsley is a better bet to take-off than most. [Philip Cosores]

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M. Ward, More Rain

M. Ward’s eighth solo album, which excludes his high profile LPs with artists ranging from Conor Oberst and Jim James (Monsters Of Folk) to Zooey Deschanel (She & Him), finds Ward in full-on collaborative, and eclectic, mode. R.E.M.’s Peter Buck lends some trademark ’80s college jangle figures, while Neko Case and NRBQ’s Joey Spampinato also join in on what’s perhaps the closest thing to a raucous hootenanny by Ward’s somber standards. [John Everhart]

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Miike Snow, III

Miike Snow’s off-kilter pop sensibility hinges on blending a collage of styles and uniting it all under singer Andrew Wyatt’s outright croon. For the group’s aptly titled third full-length, it does exactly that. First single “Heart Is Full” is a slow burn buoyed by horns, while followup “Genghis Khan” sees the band using the historical conquerer as a metaphor for romantic possessiveness. Coming four years after its last offering, the triad—which also includes Swedish pop producers Bloodshy & Avant—explores the realities and confusions of romance in a catchy, screwball way. [Nilina Mason-Campbell]

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Poliça, United Crushers

Poliça, who became scions of the mid-’00s indietronica movement, will likely return to that well of sounds with its third record, United Crushers. Relocating from its Minneapolis home base to the warmer climates of El Paso, Texas, on a much-deserved break, the band worked again with their regular producer Ryan Olson to create this album. Expect heaping portions of rhythmic double-drumming patterns, synth-inflected melody lines, bottom-heavy bass grooves, and gracefully delivered, melancholic vocal passages performed by singer Channy Leaneagh. [Corbin Reiff]

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Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, A Man Alive

Thao Nguyen isn’t someone who skirts by on the easier, breezier side of the pop spectrum. But by all accounts, A Man Alive has the makings of what could be the experimental pop songstress’ most complex record to date. The singer herself has hinted at as much, calling the record a personal collection reflecting on her relationship with her father. Best not to underestimate the creative juices that a vexing father-daughter relationship can unlock, even for a songwriter with a taste for musical adventure as Nguyen. [Ryan Bray]

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The Violent Femmes, We Can Do Anything

Yes, the “Blister In The Sun” crew is releasing its first new album in more than 15 years. We Can Do Anything suggests the group has (at least temporarily) gotten over the acrimony that led to its previous breakup, and should possess the potential for a whole new crop of hummable, oddball pop gems. New single “Memory” sounds instantly like the material of old—no surprise, given it was actually a lost demo from the band’s salad days, reworked and re-recorded for the forthcoming album. [Alex McCown]

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Rob Crow’s Gloomy Place, You’re Doomed. Be Nice.

After putting Pinback to bed, and briefly ending his music career entirely, Rob Crow’s latest endeavor feels like a rebirth. His first album under the Rob Crow’s Gloomy Place moniker functions like a retrospective on his career as it balances the mathy bounce of Pinback against the introspection of his solo work. Crow sounds rejuvenated throughout, making for another great addition to his already deep discography. [David Anthony]

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March 11

Pete Yorn, ArrangingTime

For his first studio album in six years, Pete Yorn enlisted producer R. Walt Vincent, the man who helmed both 2001’s Musicforthemorningafter and 2003’s Day I Forgot. That was a good move: ArrangingTime is a throwback to the dusky rock vibe and piercing lyrical moodiness of those two records, with enough slight detours (the danceable ’80s backbeat of “Tomorrow,” the Beck-esque psych-rock swirls of opening tune “Summer Was A Day”) to ensure Yorn isn’t repeating himself. [Annie Zaleski]

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Lucius, Good Grief

If you’ve seen Lucius live, you probably haven’t forgotten it, with singers Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig mirroring each other visually while using their Berklee School Of Music-trained voices to provide impressive harmonies. After receiving increased attention for its 2013 debut album Wildewoman, the Brooklyn five-piece’s new Good Grief is poised to see the band break out even further, with eclectic songs inspired in part by years spent away from its Brooklyn home in support of the last album, and in part by writing and working in Los Angeles. [Philip Cosores]

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Diamond Head, Diamond Head

New Wave Of British Heavy Metal godfathers Diamond Head formed 40 years ago, so it makes sense that the quintet would self-title its seventh LP, even though guitarist Brian Tatler is the only remaining original member. If 2007’s What’s In Your Head? is any indication, Diamond Head will feature a smorgasbord of catchy riffs and grooves that sound like they were written in 1976—and quite possibly for the purpose of motivating Dog Town-era skaters to bomb hills. [J.J. Anselmi]

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Brian Fallon, Painkillers

Retro-rock aficionados The Gaslight Anthem spent the past decade turning kids on to the pleasures of old-school Springsteen-style songwriting, full of fist-pumping adrenaline and wanderlust. Now, singer/guitarist Brian Fallon is taking the band’s hiatus as an opportunity to release a solo album, Painkillers, where he leans even harder into his Boss tendencies. Leadoff track “A Wonderful Life” is full of “woh-oh-oh” singalong magic, and the rest of the album promises to follow suit. [Alex McCown]

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Emmy The Great, Second Love

Singer-songwriter Emmy The Great is back with Second Love, a thematic companion to her first studio album First Love. Now living in New York, she pieced the cohesive album together in cities throughout the world. Second Love traces the course of her current romance, distilling experiences and stages into lively pop gems, her soft voice spinning the tales in a plain-spoken way over rhythmic keys and spare chords. [Nilina Mason-Campbell]

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Into It. Over It., Standards

Produced and recorded by John Vanderslice, Standards is the most cohesive work to be released yet under the Into It. Over It. moniker. The album shows Evan Weiss’ innate ability to make big rock songs that feel intimate and delicate, acoustic tracks that overflow with urgency. It’s a record that shows Weiss is beholden to no sound or scene, and Standards is all the better for it. [David Anthony]

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Jeff Buckley, You And I

Less of a “new” Jeff Buckley record and more of a collection of 10 previously unreleased studio remnants, You And I is yet another tribute to the gone-too-soon artist behind desert-island records like Grace. Smashing together early takes on tracks like “Dream Of You And I” and Buckley’s covers of tracks by Bob Dylan, Joe Green, and The Smiths, You And I is probably more fan service than anything—but Jeff Buckley has a lot of fans. [Marah Eakin]

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Jeremy Gara, Limn

Arcade Fire drummer Jeremy Gara, following in the footsteps of bandmate Will Butler’s 2015 solo debut Policy, will be releasing the stark, impressionistic Limn, worlds removed from the bombast of his main band. Fans of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Mogwai will find much to appreciate on this lovingly crafted work that recalls Brian Eno’s ambient sojourns, particularly Airport. [John Everhart]

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Shooter Jennings, Countach

One of the weirder releases set for March, Countach finds Shooter “son of Waylon” Jennings paying tribute to the legendary Giorgio Moroder. Though Jennings is known best for his take-no-prisoners style of outlaw country, Countach is billed as “a sound-collage-style journey through ’80s and ’90s culture, innovative songwriting, genre-bending fiddle-meets-synthesizer soundscapes and a shrine to pioneers of books, bytes and beats,” and features guest appearances from Marilyn Manson and legendary video game designer Richard Garriott. It’s anyone’s guess as to what Countach will actually sound like, but it should be interesting to hear, either way. [Marah Eakin]

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El Guincho, Hiperasia

Spanish producer Pablo Diaz-Reixa has always been into exotic sounds—just check out the bouncing steel-drum beat on “Bombay,” the best track off of 2010’s Pop Negro—but on follow-up Hiperasia, he ditches the beach for the futuristic bustle of a Pacific megapolis. Keeping with the theme of high-tech utopia, El Guincho is also releasing the record in a cutting-edge format: as wearable items, such as wristbands and sweatshirts. No, for real. [Chris Mincher]

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March 18

The Body, No One Deserves Happiness

The Body is one of the most prolific bands in heavy music, and, with every release, the Portland duo has only become increasingly caustic. The first single for 2016’s No One Deserves Happiness, “Shelter Is Illusory,” finds The Body expressing its acidic misanthropy through a completely new approach: harsh industrial that utilizes electronic drumming, synthesizers, and clean guest vocals to create a sonic amalgamation of Swans, Throbbing Gristle, and Neurosis. [J.J. Anselmi]

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Baauer, Aa

Aa is the first solo record from Baauer, the man behind both “The Harlem Shake” and some of Pusha T’s latest album King Push: Darkest Before Dawn–The Prelude. Perhaps hoping to make a splash, Baauer has enlisted a bevy of truly famous friends to lend their voices to this album including the aforementioned Pusha T, M.I.A., and Future. The innovative producer is one of the leading voices in the burgeoning EDM scene and Aa has the potential to be one of the defining records of that particular sound. [Corbin Reiff]

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Boris With Merzbow, Gensho

The seventh collaboration between the two Japanese titans sees Boris and Merzbow getting even more conceptual than normal. Playing like noise-rock’s version of The Flaming Lips’ Zaireeka, Gensho is two separate works meant to be played simultaneously. Though each half is punishing in its own right, when grafted together Gensho is disconcerting in the best of ways. [David Anthony]

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Cullen Omori, New Misery

Cullen Omori’s previous band, Smith Westerns, evolved from snotty, lo-fi glam to sumptuous ’70s rock across its first two records, then splintered beneath a clashing amalgam of influences on the group’s final album, 2013’s Soft Will. It makes sense; the band’s members were kids, still in the process of honing their styles. Since dissolving the band, Omori seems to have found his. New Misery’s early singles swim in lush, jaunty synths and Omori’s wisp of a voice, sounding like Soft Will-era Smith Westerns as filtered through Madonna’s True Blue. [Randall Colburn]

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Damien Jurado, Visions Of Us On The Land

Damien Jurado has quietly amassed an incredible body of work over the last 20 years, releasing a dozen albums of intelligent, touching songs that sound both classic and modern. His last two albums have gotten weirder and woolier, with psychedelic flourishes and more out-there lyrics. Visions is pitched as the third in a trilogy, and its cover art features a ‘70s fantasia with a walrus, a broken-down car, and flying saucers, so expect some reverb at the very least. [Josh Modell]

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Gwen Stefani, This Is What The Truth Feels Like

Fresh off both the dissolution of her marriage to Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale and the start of whatever she’s got going with Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani is set to drop This Is What The Truth Feels Like, her third solo LP. With a couple of singles—“Baby Don’t Lie” and “Make Me Like You”—making the rounds already, it’s clear Stefani’s sticking closer to pop than to punk on this record, something that could prove rather promising to fans of older cuts like “Hollaback Girl.” [Marah Eakin]

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Iggy Pop, Post Pop Depression

As Iggy Pop well knows, punk rock is all about embracing and celebrating the quirks that make us individuals. In “Break Into Your Heart,” the second single for Post Pop Depression, Pop turns his worn-down, grizzled voice into a strength, sounding like the bastard child of Johnny Cash, Lou Reed, and Nick Cave as he croons atop Josh Homme’s strange take on cabaret. (Homme produced and plays guitar on the album.) This star-studded collaboration has gotten a lot of buzz, and Post Pop Depression might actually live up to its expectations. [J.J. Anselmi]

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Lust For Youth, Compassion

Can compassion coexist in a time of crisis and clickbait? Sure it can, says Sweden’s goth pop outpost Lust For Youth, whose newest album, Compassion, seeks to be a gorgeous respite during an anxious time. While the trio’s last release, 2014’s International, put it on the map, it remains unclear if Compassion can unglue us from our devices long enough to connect IRL again. But hey, at least someone’s trying to make an anthem for the ages. [Paula Mejia]

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Grant-Lee Philips, The Narrows

Fans of Grant-Lee Phillips’ previous solo work (as well as his four albums with ‘90s Americana trailblazers Grant Lee Buffalo, not to mention his tenure as Gilmore Girls’ town troubadour) will find much to love on The Narrows. Recorded at Dan Auerbach’s Nashville studio, the record is a well-crafted amalgamation of sturdy folk- and roots-rock featuring faint hints of twang and some of Phillips’ most plaintive, expressive vocal performances yet. [Annie Zaleski]

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Primal Scream, Chaosmosis

It’s hard for a band to surprise on its 11th studio LP, but Primal Scream might just do that on Chaosmosis. Billed as the group’s “freshest sounding album to date,” Chaosmosis features not one but two guest appearances from Haim, as well as a pop-in from Sky Ferreira. While Primal Scream has always blended its own sound with that of its friends, influences, and compatriots, Chaosmosis could mark the band’s journey into a different, younger direction—and that’s definitely a good thing. [Marah Eakin]

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Underworld, Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future

It’s fascinating, hearing the insistent throb of a new Underworld track (above single “I Exhale”) in this post-LCD Soundsystem world, as the band gets ready to release its first new album in six years, Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future. The group has clearly been influenced by the direction of contemporary electronica, and yet retains the iconic pulsing beat, dark synths, and swooping sounds that’s kept the band so vital all these years. [Alex McCown]

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March 25

Bob Mould, Patch The Sky

With its strident acoustic guitars and marching tempo, “Voices In My Head”—the first single from Bob Mould’s latest, Patch The Sky—distinctly recalls his 1989 solo album, Workbook. Expect that same kind of ferocity on the rest of the record: Mould recorded Patch The Sky with his ace live and studio collaborators, bassist Jason Narducy and drummer Jon Wurster, and has been on a creative tear since 2012’s Silver Age. [Annie Zaleski]

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Blood Ceremony, Lord Of Misrule

While many ’70s doom revivalist bands don’t move beyond Pentagram worship, Blood Ceremony’s Alia O’Brien takes ownership over this subgenre by including searing flute work in the midst of her hauntingly beautiful vocals. Lord Of Misrule shows this Toronto quartet expanding upon the parasitic eeriness of its previous albums by exploring the violent and bizarre rites of the Feast Of Fools ceremony in England. [J.J. Anselmi]

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Beastmaker, Lusus Naturae

Fresno, California, is a drought-stricken city that seems like a beacon of our societal collapse, so it follows that doom trio Beastmaker calls that place home. Guitarist-vocalist Trevor William Church conjures Ozzy when he actually conveyed an air of aggression, and the rhythm section of Andres Alejandro Saldate and John Tucker stomps around like Hulkamania-era Hulk Hogan on even more steroids. Beastmaker’s first LP might not be genre-bending or avant-garde, but its deftly structured desert doom fully justifies the trio’s status as one of stoner metal’s most promising new acts. [J. J. Anselmi]

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Amon Amarth, Jomsviking

Swedish quartet Amon Amarth has been bludgeoning audiences with epic death metal for over 20 years, and the band’s 10th studio album, Jomsviking, is a fitting addition to its legacy of musical warfare. Driven by relentless double bass and melodic riffs that soar like crows seeking carrion, “First Kill” tells the story of a Viking warrior and the first time he murdered a man. In short, Jomsviking is the ideal soundtrack for Dungeons & Dragons tournaments and LARP battles. [J.J. Anselmi]

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Eric Bachmann, Eric Bachmann

A decade after his first solo album, the Archers Of Loaf and Crooked Fingers frontman (and lead guitarist for Neko Case) returns with his self-titled follow-up. While 2006’s To The Races was a somber record, limited mostly to acoustic guitar, Bachmann expands to a fuller, piano-driven sound here. “Carolina” and “Mercy” feature his sharp, vulnerable songwriting, honest and reflective about the life lessons he’s soaked up in 25 years as a musician out on the road. [Eric Swedlund]

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RJD2, Dame Fortune

Philadelphia producer RJD2 is back with another collection of soulful samples, speaker-rattling beats, and start-stop percussion odysseys. Dame Fortune, the follow-up to 2013’s More Is Than Isn’t, doesn’t look to reinvent the wheel so much as it continues to burnish and shine the musical style RJD2 has been slowly evolving over the past decade. New single “Peace Of What” takes from the 1991 Main Source rap track “Peace Is Not The Word To Play,” and indicates the new album won’t skimp on the inventive soul music and hip-hop fusion the producer brings in spades. [Alex McCown]

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The Joy Formidable, Hitch

Self-releasing its third studio full-length, The Joy Formidable is ready to once more hit the road. The group took an entire year to write and record Hitch—the first album since 2013’s Wolf’s Law—and if new single “The Last Thing On My Mind” is any indication, that time has opened up the band’s sound, with a slinkier, more groove-based foundation to its music. We’ll see on March 25 if that’s just a fluke, or if the whole album is trying something a little different. [Alex McCown]

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The Thermals, We Disappear

Each Thermals record sounds like it’s ready to drive the trio off the nearest cliff, in the best way. We Disappear’s “My Heart Went Cold” taps the brakes just slightly, and it ends up sounding a bit like The Mountain Goats. (That’s a good thing.) Maybe it’s a hint of a slight mellow, but that’d still be pretty intense. [Josh Modell]

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White Denim, Stiff

Following a line-up change, rambunctious Austin group White Denim is charging out of the gates with Stiff, its seventh studio album full of southern power chords and stadium worthy riffs. Over the years, the guitar-driven act’s psych has evolved from essentially free-form jam sessions into full-on rock that embraces more typical song structures, but still remains every bit as energetic and exciting. Highlights include “Real Deal Momma,” and “Thank You,” which stand as tribute to the swagger and groove of the ’70s. [Nilina Mason-Campbell]

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Open Mike Eagle & Paul White, Hella Personal Film Festival

Open Mike Eagle is a rarity in this day and age: an alternative rapper who’s actually as funny as he believes he is. His follow-up to 2014’s wonderfully wild Dark Comedy pairs him with Paul White, the British producer behind many of Danny Brown’s liveliest tracks, and features guests spots from Aesop Rock and Future Islands frontman Sam Herring (appearing under his rap alias Hemlock Ernst). If it can sustain the De La Soul Is Dead vibe of lead single “Check To Check,” we’re all in. [Evan Rytlewski]

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