(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, 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.


June 3

Cat’s Eyes, Treasure House

Given a boost by their acclaimed soundtrack for Peter Strickland’s The Duke Of Burgundy, the creepy retro-pop duo Cat’s Eyes (a.k.a. singer/multi-instrumentalist Rachel Zeffira and The Horrors frontman Faris Badwan) have finally gotten around to putting out a follow-up to their self-titled 2011 debut. Expect girl-group sounds, intoxicating reverb, string and woodwind arrangements, and a general air of the lushly unsettling. [Ignatiy Vishnevetsky]

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The Casket Girls, The Night Machines

Last time out, on 2015’s aptly titled The Piano Album, spooky Savannah sisters Phaedra and Elsa Greene worked their witchcraft in a most minimalist setting. They plug back in (and reimagine many of last year’s songs) for The Night Machines, their latest and perhaps greatest set of dreamy synth-driven goth-pop delights. “Triangulate my love,” the ladies sing on the title track, delivering a graveyard come-on that’ll make the blackest heart flutter. [Kenneth Partridge]

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Fear Of Men, Fall Forever

Fear Of Men explored longing and loneliness in tragic, overwhelming measures on its splendid debut, 2014’s Loom. The British indie-pop trio not only come to accept isolation on Fall Forever but also embrace it, as shown on early single “Island” and assured closer “Onsra.” The emotional and musical highs and lows level out from Loom, to be sure, but the band proves itself as adept dream-pop practitioners of subtly electronic-decked foundations and pastoral ease. [Brian Shultz]

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Gates, Parallel Lives

There’s a cross-pollination of second-wave emo and ’00s post-rock that’s yielded strong results over the past decade. Moving Mountains, Foxing, and The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die all come to mind. Gates fly a little more under the radar than those acts but are no less deserving of recognition. After a debut that featured everything from soaring Further Seems Forever-indebted sincerity to the minor-key alt-metal of Deftones and Vheissu-era Thrice, Gates dial back the grandiosity some in favor of airier atmospheres (picture Thrice’s Air EP, actually) and breathy restraint while exhibiting a curiosity of the humanity that exists outside their own social circles. [Brian Shultz]

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Steve Gunn, Eyes On The Lines

No longer just a former Violator, Steve Gunn has paved his own path alongside Kurt Vile, rambling through similar open ranges of dusty licks and laid-back vocal melodies. The single “Ancient Jules” from his upcoming Matador debut features a flickering guitar line that’s so catchy and nonchalant you practically don’t notice the swells of noise orbiting it. The video is a trip, too, because if Gunn’s motorcycle were to break down while cruising through rural England, it seems best for him to be rescued by Michael Chapman, one of his idols, who then invites him back to his home for a little wine and guitar. [Kevin Warwick]

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The Kills, Ash & Ice

The Kills’ first record in five years, Ash & Ice comes on the heels of some rather intense medical drama for the group’s guitarist, Jamie Hince, who underwent five hand surgeries during the past five years. According to press materials, the surgeries resulted in him having to relearn how to play guitar, something that should be interesting to listen for on tracks like “Doing It To Death,” the record’s first single. Bonus Hince-related fun fact: He wrote a good portion of the record while on a solo trip on the Trans-Siberian Express, the legendary train that crosses much of Russia’s most bleak and interesting terrain. [Marah Eakin]

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Ladyhawke, Wild Things

The effervescent New Zealand electronic artist Ladyhawke (not to be confused with the Vancouver-based indie-rock band Ladyhawk) is once again embracing gloriously retro ’80s sounds on her third album, Wild Things. “Sweet Fascination” is a sticky-sweet, rainbow-hued synthpop jam with gigantic beats, while the skyscraping “A Love Song” gives Carly Rae Jepsen a run for her new-wave money. [Annie Zaleski]

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Melvins, Basses Loaded

Putting aside their countless side projects, this is the first pure Melvins studio full-length since 2014’s Hold It In. And it has a gimmick! Six bassists take part in the record, including JD Pinkus of Butthole Surfers and Nirvana legend Krist Novoselic. Most of these intense sludge-rock tunes ain’t exactly new—nine of the 12 tracks have been released before—but frontman Buzz Osborne and drummer Dale Crover (who reprises his former bassist role for four songs) do indulge in a little bit of sports geekdom with a somewhat straightforward go at “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.” [Chris Mincher]

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Minor Victories, Minor Victories

This unusual alt-rock supergroup boasts some heavy hitters, including Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell, Stuart Braithwaite from Mogwai, and Justin Lockey from Editors. The band’s debut album also features collaborations with Mark Kozelek and The Twilight Sad’s James Graham, all of which should tell you you’re not exactly in for a happy-fest. Instead, the record is a strange mélange of the musicians’ respective influences and predilections (it was recorded collectively through online sharing before any of them were in a room together), a mashup of electronic invention, organic instrumentation, and round-robin vocals—all of it making for an unexpected (and very good) record. [Alex McCown]

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Mourn, Ha, Ha, He.

The story behind Mourn’s debut might have initially drawn people in—the four teenagers from Barcelona recorded their self-titled album in two days—but it’s the quality of their work that has sustained listeners’ attention. With eyes now on the band, it’s even more astounding that a year later Mourn has returned with a record even better than its debut. Ha, Ha, He. is at once tighter and more experimental than its predecessor, mixing tried-and-true garage elements with post-punk riffing and hooks that come in through the side door. It’s a huge step for Mourn, proving that the Spanish young’uns are only just beginning to show how many tricks they have up their sleeves. [David Anthony]

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Paul Simon, Stranger To Stranger

Veteran icons like Paul Simon are largely given critical passes on their modern output—when you’ve got a half century of quality records under your belt, you’re permitted to put out whatever else you want without catching much flak for it. So it’s impressive that on Simon’s latest, Stranger To Stranger, he’s still aggressively searching for new things to experiment with. Sure, the African woodwinds and South American percussion are to be expected, but there’s also a gospel quartet, synthesizers, flamenco-inspired rhythms, and microtonal instruments custom-made by music theorist Harry Partch. [Chris Mincher]

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Tegan And Sara, Love You To Death

Tegan And Sara’s last album, Heartthrob, was an abrupt left turn, stylistically speaking, into straight-down-the-middle ’80s pop songwriting. Behind all the gloss and sheen, however, the sisters’ compositional chops remain distinctive and recognizable. The new album continues their survey of contemporary dance-pop aesthetics, hopefully to even greater success than last time. Those longing for the artistically hard-charging days of The Con might want to get on board with their new direction or give up. [Alex McCown]

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Whitney, Light Upon The Lake

When Chicago glam wunderkinds Smith Westerns split up a few years ago, the band’s members went in markedly different directions. Frontman Cullen Omori relied on sparkling synths for his solo debut, while virtuoso guitarist Max Kakacek joined forces with drummer Julien Ehrlich to create Whitney, a soulful blend of ’70s guitar rock and backwoods melancholy. As in the Smith Westerns, Kakacek’s elegant, precise guitar licks form the band’s backbone, but Ehrlich’s candied falsetto, coupled with soft, soaring horns, exude a warmth that’s otherwise missing from the current indie landscape. [Randall Colburn]

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June 10

Air, Twentyears

Air’s Twentyears anthology culls hits and rarities from two decades of the French duo’s sanguine and otherworldly electronic sit-down pop. The double album includes favorites like “Sexy Boy,” “Kelly Watch The Stars,” and “Playground Love” from its six studio full-lengths on the lush first half. The second half collects rarities and unreleased cuts. Found here is material recorded for soundtracks (“Roger Song”), elusive songs like “Crickets,” B-sides, and live performances. A limited deluxe version featuring remixes, colored vinyl, and a poster will follow next month. [Lily Moayeri]

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Band Of Horses, Why Are You OK

As Band Of Horses changed residences, from Seattle back to South Carolina, the home state of leader Ben Bridwell, so, too, did its sound change. On 2010’s Infinite Arms and 2012’s Mirage Rock, the band abandoned its Northwest ’00s indie gleam in favor of Southern rock that matched Bridwell’s voice, but Why Are You OK looks to return to the project’s roots. With Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle producing and J Mascis showing up to sing backup, fans of early Band Of Horses have good reason to be excited. [Philip Cosores]

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Broncho, Double Vanity

While most would recognize Broncho not in name but by the hook of its infectious mini-hit “Class Historian,” the Oklahoma quartet should be known for its foot-on-the-gas attitude. The band seems not to have taken a break following its 2014 sophomore offering, Just Enough Hip To Be A Woman, having toured throughout 2015, which begs the question where they found time to record a new album. Double Vanity promises to dive further into the group’s hazy dreamscape, relying less on choruses and more on vibes. [Philip Cosores]

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Diarrhea Planet, Turn To Gold

Turn To Gold is “easily the most sophisticated and complex music” Diarrhea Planet’s ever made, according to a press release, but that’s no reason to think the band’s abandoned a single ounce of the sloppy fun of its raucous live shows. Pre-release singles like “Bob Dylan’s Grandma” and “Life Pass” showcase a refined sense of craft beneath Diarrhea Planet’s signature storm of distortion, but it’s also easy to see the band devolving into a string of dueling solos once it hits the stage, which, let’s be honest, is exactly what we want. [Randall Colburn]

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Garbage, Strange Little Birds

While Garbage spent much of 2015 celebrating the 20th anniversary of its self-titled debut, the band’s sixth studio album, Strange Little Birds, has far more in common with 1998’s Version 2.0. Atmospheric electronic programming—highlighted by ominous opener “Sometimes” and the Cure-reminiscent “Blackout”—collides with barbed-wire guitars and rain-on-tin drums. Anchoring it all is Shirley Manson, who remains a fierce, feminist presence. [Annie Zaleski]

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The Gotobeds, Blood // Sugar // Secs // Traffic

On their second full-length and Sub Pop debut, Blood // Sugar // Secs // Traffic, Pittsburgh’s The Gotobeds imbue their ringing indie sound with an abrasive post-punk edge. While the pensive, crawling guitar work is evocative of Pavement, the lyrics hint at the raised stakes that delineate Mission Of Burma territory. That the component parts never quite mesh seems by design, and the resulting jaggedness underscores the band’s aggressive physicality, as evidenced in the opener “Real Maths/Too Much.” Guest spots from members of Protomartyr and Silkworm make the undertaking feel like a party, even it’s one of the political variety. [Ian Thomas]

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Nick Jonas, Last Year Was Complicated

Since departing the Disney-sponsored pop-rock endeavor the Jonas Brothers in 2013, Nick Jonas has made a worthwhile volte-face into R&B, managing to garner Jay Z’s approval in the process. Indeed, Jonas’s smooth and boyish crooning, infused with vulnerable cracks, is better suited to the heartbreak ballads of his third solo album, Last Year Was Complicated. His newfound musical and lyrical maturity is best conveyed in the pulsating suaveness of single “Chainsaw” as he struggles to power through a tough breakup. [Sarah Sahim]

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Nite Jewel, Liquid Cool

Nite Jewel put out her sophomore record on Secretly Canadian but never seemed to get comfortable accommodating a label. After a four-year break, she strikes out on her own with Liquid Cool—and lets her airy electro-pop drift off into the bleak, frosty ether. While some of the lean compositions that flow from her walk-in closet home studio to her 8-track recorder may feel a little amateurish production-wise, that minimalism benefits shadowy dance cuts like “Boo Hoo.” [Chris Mincher]

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Peter Bjorn And John, Breakin’ Point

A decade ago, Writer’s Block positioned Peter Bjorn And John as the new kings of the cosmopolitan indie earworm. Instead of trying to replicate the success of their breakthrough, the eclectic, punctuation-averse Swedish trio followed it up with an album composed almost entirely of instrumentals, before moving into a starker direction influenced by African pop. Breakin’ Point is their first record after a lengthy hiatus, with a lead single, “What You Talking About?,” that promises the kind of danceable indie-pop that’s always been their forte. [Ignatiy Vishnevetsky]

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Sumac, What One Becomes

The reason Isis and, hell, even Hydra Head Records, for that matter, seem like such distant memories is because head honcho Aaron Turner has stayed prolific since their dissolution, rejuvenating Old Man Gloom, working with wife Faith Coloccia on the soundscape-happy Mamiffer project, and fronting heavy-music super-trio Sumac. Flanked by Brian Cook of Russian Circles and Nick Yacyshyn of Baptists, Turner orchestrates opuses of pummeling sludge riffs and tortured, guttural vocal cries in Sumac, both of which should blow you back a few miles on the monstrous 10-minute-plus “Rigid Man.” [Kevin Warwick]

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Yung, A Youthful Dream

The members of Denmark’s Yung aren’t looking to recreate the dark, Nick Cave-esque bombast of fellow countrymen Iceage or Lower (R.I.P.). Early singles “Pills” and “Uncombed Hair” offer glances into the band’s intentions on its full-length debut. Both tracks feature nimble, practically uplifting indie-rock rhythms and punk-rock looseness, with the former exploring the impossibility of simple solutions. After a few buzzy EPs that nicked at its Danish peers’ post-punk inclinations, Yung appears poised to carve its own path. [Brian Shultz]

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June 17

Case/lang/veirs, Case/lang/veirs

Case/lang/veirs sounds like a badass law firm, but it’s actually the moniker under which songwriters Neko Case, K.d. Lang, and Laura Veirs are releasing their first collaborative album. The three trade off vocal leads—giving rise to songs like Lang’s languid, sepia-toned country number, “Honey And Smoke”—but when the trio combine for gorgeous harmonies and overlapping melodies, as on “Atomic Number,” the results are even more stunning. [Annie Zaleski]

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Caveman, Otero War

The New York indie-rock quartet Caveman has toured with The War On Drugs, whose approach—an ’80s production sheen applied to a propulsive, folk-rock sound—looms large on single “Never Going Back.” The song is a rush of cool, retro-sounding air that also conjures the timelessness of later-period The Gaslight Anthem, all of which bodes well for the rest of Otero War. [Annie Zaleski]

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Gojira, Magma

With its sixth LP, Gojira defends its status as one of metal’s most elite bands. Laced with grooves that pay homage to Undertow-era Tool, first single “Stranded” illustrates a move toward catchiness that sacrifices nothing in intelligence. Fittingly, the video for the track pulses with the angular queasiness of Tool’s infamous “Sober” video. Unlike most heavy bands that have veered toward the more melodic and digestible, Gojira hasn’t lost its vicious bite. [J.J. Anselmi]

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Mitski, Puberty 2

Mitski Miyawaki is a serious threat to the indie-rock scene and its beloved overuse of barre chords. Her classical training blended with the fuzzy, undone nature of indie rock makes for a refreshing take on the genre. Puberty 2 almost serves as a sequel to 2014’s Bury Me At Makeout Creek, from the title to the music itself. While “Townie” from Makeout Creek possesses a teen-like hopefulness, “Your Best American Girl” exhibits reluctant maturity as Mitski considers her place as a woman of Japanese descent living in America. She challenges notions of whiteness being the default for beauty and calls bullshit on the status quo. Watch out, Mitski has raised the bar. [Sarah Sahim]

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Mumford & Sons, Johannesburg

Less of a Mumford & Sons record and more of a Mumford & Sons & Friends record, Johannesburg finds the band teaming up with influential African recording acts Baaba Maal, The Very Best, and Beatenberg. Recorded in two all-day, all-night sessions while the band was in South Africa on tour, Johannesburg is a bit of a different look for Mumford & Sons, with tracks like “There Will Be Time” blending its occasionally hokey folksiness with more global rhythms. It’s not for everyone, but what is? [Marah Eakin]

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Nails, You Will Never Be One Of Us

The wildly heavy Nails merges metal, power-violence, and a little bit of hardcore punk into one destructive amalgam. While its previous two full-lengths have been all-consuming works of anger and nihilism, its latest, You Will Never Be One Of Us, flips the script. Nails remains as vicious as ever, though Todd Jones’ lyrics unite the band with the larger world of aggressive music. Nails invited some friends—such as Baroness’ John Baizley and Converge’s Jacob Bannon—to say the album’s name as an intro before the band dives into its riff-heavy title track. It’s a record that gives a shout-out to the lifers, those who’ve been kicked around but refuse to quit, with music that is just as unrelenting. [David Anthony]

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Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Getaway

The Getaway’s solid first single, “Dark Necessities,” feels most related to By The Way, caught halfway between Anthony Kiedis’ knucklehead rapping and his more serious-minded soul searching. Hopefully, RHCP’s 11th LP skews more toward the latter trait, as the whole spiritual sex-fiend persona feels tired at this point and—let’s be honest—more than a little gross, given some recent allegations surrounding Kiedis and Flea. That news came to light after The Getaway was completed, so while it’s doubtful the band will address any of the accusations in their music, maybe Kiedis will at least explore the two-year relationship at the center of the album with grace and maturity. Or maybe he’ll just spend each song squonk-a-donking about samurais. [Dan Caffrey]

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Swans, The Glowing Man

Supposedly the final record that will feature this specific Swans lineup—leader Michael Gira officially regrouped the band in 2010 with My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The SkyThe Glowing Man currently has nothing more than a pair of two-minute album teasers. The first is a vocal-less, rhythmically jogging excerpt from the 28-minute title track, while the second, “When Will I Return?,” was written specifically for Gira’s wife, Jennifer. The latter falls in line with the spells cast by Swans since their reformation: slow-going though thrumming percussion, harrowing chanting, and a sense of dread. With Swans, a triple-LP album just never seems like enough. [Kevin Warwick]

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Weaves, Weaves

A stunning blast of confection-sweet pop from Toronto, the debut album of the eminently hyped Weaves is one of June’s more anticipated releases. One listen to the second single “Candy” reveals why. Frontwoman Jasmyn Burke teases, “I’m gonna get you home to the sugar-coated land,” over an irresistibly locomotive chug of overdriven, hyperadrenalized guitar riffs. It’s a welcome invitation to dig into the ineffably powerful pop of this album, which, come December, may well be remembered as one of the finest opening volleys of 2016. [John Everhart]

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Neil Young, Earth

Half a century into his career, Neil Young still isn’t letting go of his productivity or impulsive weirdness. In the past four years alone, he’s released an album of American traditionals, a protest album about Monsanto, an orchestral LP, and a covers album recorded using Jack White’s 1940s technology. The new one, Earth, is an uninterrupted, 98-minute live album that incorporates the sounds of insects, birds, mammals, and the Earth. If nothing else, it’ll be interesting—and well-timed to confuse your dad on Father’s Day. [Zach Schonfeld]

June 24

The Avett Brothers, True Sadness

A record inspired in part by Seth Avett’s recent contentious divorce, True Sadness marks a bit of a dark turn for The Avett Brothers, even if tracks like first single “Ain’t No Man” are still pretty rollicking. A true collaborative effort among members of the group, True Sadness was inspired, Avett says, by acts such as Queen, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Jimmie Rodgers, Tom Petty, Nine Inch Nails, Gillian Welch, Aretha Franklin, Walt Disney, and Pink Floyd. [Marah Eakin]

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Deerhoof, The Magic

Deerhoof keeps busy. It’s been only a year and a half since the band’s strong 12th album, La Isla Bonita, and a month since its collaboration with classical outfit Ensemble Dal Niente. Now the experimental-pop geniuses return with The Magic, an album birthed from seven days spent playing, according to the band, “REALLY LOUD” in an abandoned office space in the middle of the New Mexico desert. Our first taste of the album is the sweet and fuzzy “Plastic Thrills.” [Zach Schonfeld]

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DJ Shadow, The Mountain Will Fall

It’s been almost 20 years since DJ Shadow, a.k.a. Josh Davis, released his debut game-changer Endtroducing……, and in the subsequent two decades he’s refused to rest on his laurels. The restlessly ambitious producer and DJ has shifted from form to form and style to style throughout the years, as his muse has taken him through explorations in hip-hop, hyphy, and whatever else has struck his fancy. The only thing dependable in his output is knowing that it will be different than whatever came before. [Alex McCown]

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Hot Hot Heat, Hot Hot Heat

It was for sure a daunting task acting as ambassador for an early ’00s dance-punk revival, but Hot Hot Heat has surprisingly persevered over the past decade-plus. The band’s debut, Make Up The Breakdown, forever captures the zeitgeist of that era with frontman Steve Bays’ nasally panache and the tinny din of the bass and drums. From its upcoming self-titled record—not only the first in six years but also what’s being spun as the group’s last—the single “Kid Who Stays In The Picture” captures some of the danceable luster of Hot Hot Heat’s earlier catalog but ultimately sounds a bit more forlorn and nostalgic as the band heads off into the sunset. [Kevin Warwick]

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Kayo Dot, Plastic House On Base Of Sky

2014’s Coffins On Io showed Kayo Dot filtering its majestic post-rock through a web of disconcerting electronica. That album has proven to be a bridge, because Plastic House On Base Of Sky is a syringe of hallucinatory synth and electronic beats. The band, like Busdriver in hip-hop, has always operated on its own plane. An aural depiction of our dependency on technology, Plastic House On Base Of Sky further highlights Kayo Dot’s refusal to stagnate. [J.J. Anselmi]

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Rae Sremmurd, SremmLife 2

It’s been roughly a year and a half since Mississippi hip-hop brother duo Rae Sremmurd blessed the world with their debut single “No Flex Zone” off their first record SremmLife. With producer Mike Will Made It as their secret weapon, Sremmurd’s sound featured youthful yelping layered over crisp and intoxicating trap beats. While what’s available so far from their sophomore effort, Sremmlife 2, doesn’t show much advancement in terms of production, single “By Chance” boasts a continuation of their lyrical charm and wit, this time delivered with a dash of seductive debonair. [Sarah Sahim]

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June 30

Pusha T, King Push

For most of his career, Pusha T has been strictly business, rapping about the coke game with cold pragmatism. In last year’s brief Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude, however, Pusha T moved into new territory, sharply criticizing police brutality against African Americans on final track, “Sunshine.” Elsewhere, the beats were a touch more indulgent than usual, less steely and stark than My Name Is My Name and his work with Clipse. Although the details surrounding Darkest’s main course, King Push, are hazy (even the June 30 release date seems tentative), this gives plenty of reason to believe the album might show a warmer, more empathetic—yet still angry—side of the laser-sharp rapper and GOOD Music President. [Dan Caffrey]

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