Katy Perry (Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images), Roger Waters (Photo: Steve Jennings/Getty Images), and Vince Staples (Photo: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images). Graphic: Natalie Peeples.

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 review 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 2

All Time Low, Last Young Renegade

Somewhat surprising for a band that takes its name from a New Found Glory lyric, All Time Low’s latest (and first for Fueled By Ramen), Last Young Renegade, is decidedly not pop-punk. Instead, its an amalgam of the band’s emo worldview and a newfound love of glossy production. When frontman Alex Gaskarth warned, “We tried a lot of new things on this album,” he wasn’t kidding: “Dirty Laundry” and “Life Of The Party” are a far cry from the Blink-182 and Green Day tunes All Time Low cut its musical teeth on. To be quite honest, they wouldn’t sound out of place on Katy Perry’s new record. [Leonardo Adrian Garcia]

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Alt-J, Relaxer

The third album from the Leeds alterna-poppers finds Alt-J as experimental as ever. First single “3WW” resembles the soundtrack to a romantic-comedy—“I just want to love you in my own language”—that’s underlined by a vocal interlude from Wolf Alice’s Ellie Rowsell. The brutally catchy “In Cold Blood” ramps things up with a horn section, military drum roll, and church organ. Sometimes the experimentation tends to meander, as in the seemingly interminable “Adeline,” which bumps into an all-encompassing choir vocal as it blessedly nears its end. But you can never fault Alt-J for lack of creativity, even if those yearnings make some of their songs much easier to listen to than others. [Gwen Ihnat]

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Dan Auerbach, Waiting On A Song

Dan Auerbach took a break from touring with The Black Keys and The Arcs to produce his second solo album, the first to be released on his new record label. Waiting On A Song is billed as an ode to his new hometown, Nashville, and its rich musical tradition, an eclectic assemblage of styles he pays homage to by collaborating with Music City residents like folk legend John Prine and pioneering rock guitarist Duane Eddy. [Matt Gerardi]

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Beach Fossils, Somersault

The first album in four years from Beach Fossils promises to be the richest outing yet from the Brooklyn dream-pop band. While it still sports the detached vocals and jangly guitar of prior work, early singles like the string-drenched sweetness of “Tangerine” and the Zombies-esque baroque pop of “Saint Ivy” showcase how far Dustin Payseur’s outfit has come since the hazy, DIY atmospherics of its self-titled debut. [Matt Gerardi]

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Bleachers, Gone Now

Bleachers’ followup to 2014’s Strange Desire finds Jack Antonoff revisiting some familiar territory. “Don’t Take The Money” is an anthemic, catchy ode to his live-in love, Lena Dunham, while “Hate That You Know Me” is a collaboration with Carly Rae Jepsen—both laden with ’80s synth and catchy hooks (if also really, really repetitive). [Gwen Ihnat]

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Benjamin Booker, Witness

Hoping to escape news and politics, New Orleans-based soul-rocker Benjamin Booker lived in Mexico for a month last year to concentrate on following up his widely praised 2014 self-titled debut, full of fuzzed-out, Chuck Berry guitar licks and wild energy. But friends sending stories of Black Lives Matter protests made retreating from racial injustice impossible. Judging from Witness’ title track, the sociopolitical undercurrent of Benjamin Booker comes to the fore here. Chicago soul stalwart Mavis Staples takes over lead vocals, asking the simple yet loaded question, “Am I going to be a witness?” The song’s gospel uplift is less departure than extension of Booker’s more expressive work, while energetic opening track “Right On You” rocks as hard and fast as any of his tunes, beginning with whirligigging guitars and psychedelic reverb before Booker launches into his familiar, confident rasp. [Laura Adamczyk]

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Celebration, Wounded Healer

Led by the soulful belting of Katrina Ford, the Baltimore-based Celebration emerged in the mid-2000s with a psychedelic spin on the anthemic post-punk plied by its friends/occasional collaborators in the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and TV On The Radio, built around Sean Antanaitis’ swirling Guitorgan and Wurlitzer tones. The new Wounded Healer is the band’s first release since 2014’s Albumin, and it promises to be a typically grandiose record filled with new elements of brass, piccolo flutes, and strings, and featuring guest vocalists like Future Islands’ Samuel T. Herring. [Sean O’Neal]

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Chastity Belt, I Used To Spend So Much Time Alone

Chastity Belt’s third LP finds the Seattle quartet working up another collection of jangly, fuzzed-out post-punk while lead singer Julia Shapiro covers a lot of the same lyrical terrain heard on 2015’s Time To Go Home (societal gender norms, femininity, etc.). This time, however, some of the band’s usual tongue-in-cheek witticisms have given way to sincerity: “Is this what you want? Is this who you want me to be?” Shapiro asks on second single “Caught In A Lie,” making for one of the more unabashedly emotional tracks in its catalog. [Leonardo Adrian Garcia]

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Amber Coffman, City Of No Reply

There’s a lot of narrative to mold around the solo debut by former Dirty Projectors vocalist-guitarist Amber Coffman. It’s a story of romantic and creative partnerships deteriorating, and two very different breakup records emerging—and while Dirty Projectors’ self-titled 2017 LP invited listeners to the weirdest public pity party this side of 808s & Heartbreak, the magic-hour pop tunes of City Of No Reply investigate what it’s like to be on your own. Before things went to shit, David Longstreth pitched in on City’s production, building a few sonic bridges between its more straightforward compositions and the grandiloquence Coffman wailed over on his own work. But tracks like the sauntering opener “All To Myself” and the “Tracks Of My Tears”-like “No Coffee” find the robust instrument of Coffman’s voice finally getting the chance to tell its own stories. [Erik Adams]

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Dauwd, Theory Of Colours

Berlin-based producer Dauwd spends his non-studio time touring as a DJ, so it’s no surprise to find that his full-length debut, Theory Of Colours, which follows some well-received singles, leans toward four-on-the-floor dance rhythms. But Dauwd is also a fan of experimental artists like Terry Riley and Raymond Scott, so there’s a lot of unpredictable texture to lead single “Leitmotiv,” which has a gauzy quality better suited to back-of-the-club introspection. [Sean O’Neal]

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Gunplay & Mozzy, Dreadlocks & Headshots

Miami rapper Gunplay has circled the rap consciousness for half a decade, originally turning heads with the mixtape 601 & Snort and the early Kendrick collaboration “Cartoons & Cereal.” Since then, he’s signed with Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group and released a billion other solid tapes and projects that largely failed to achieve that level of acclaim. Still, the upcoming collaboration with Sacramento rapper Mozzy is already turning heads for its two decidedly knuckle-headed tracks of masterful street rap; if they’ve got 10 more in them, Dreadlocks & Headshots could be one of the year’s best. [Clayton Purdom]

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Halsey, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom

Halsey is probably best known for contributing to The Chainsmokers’ inescapable “Closer.” But Halsey is a lot more complex than the bros she sings beside, weaving her pop into detailed narratives. She’s described her sophomore effort, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, as a “pretty elaborate concept,” explaining that the title refers to “a purgatory that exists in between Earth and hell.” Based on singles “Now Or Never” and “Eyes Closed,” the music itself—with its Auto-Tune and familiar beats—isn’t as distinctive as the wild backstory she’s created, but the ambition is intriguing. [Esther Zuckerman]

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Ikonika, Distractions

A cornerstone of Hyberdub’s roster, London producer Ikonika (a.k.a. Sara Abdel-Hamid) is one of the more restless artists working in the vaguely defined dubstep arena, with her 2013 sophomore album Aerotropolis marking a leap in sophistication from the wonky, video-game-influenced sounds of 2010’s Contact, Love, Want, Have. The four years in between have seen another seismic shift for both the genre and Abdel-Hamid’s approach, as the haunting new Distractions melds more hip-hop, R&B, and ’80s new wave into the mix. [Sean O’Neal]

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Mutoid Man, War Moans

The members of Mutoid Man charge into battle with their new album War Moans, the follow-up to the metal group’s 2015 debut, Bleeder. Featuring former members of Converge and Cave In, Mutoid Man combines punk energy and power-metal chops on lead single “Melt Your Mind,” gliding down a veritable Slip ’N Slide of blazing riffs. “Kiss Of Death,” meanwhile, goes for a dip in heavy Florida-style sludge, delivered with equal levels of urgency. [Katie Rife]

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Saint Etienne, Home Counties

It’s been five years since Words And Music By Saint Etienne, which is actually relatively fleet when compared to the seven-year gap between that one and 2005’s Tales From Turnpike House. Much as the last record continued the band’s slow progressions in Euro-disco electro-pop, this one looks to do more of the same, with Home Counties’ 19(!) tracks offering more of the low-key grooves it’s successfully mined for more than 25 years now. [Alex McLevy]

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Omar Souleyman, To Syria, With Love

Omar Souleyman offers a tribute to his troubled homeland with his third proper record, To Syria, With Love. While his music has always had a pulse fit for dance floors, his new label, Mad Decent, connotes a further shift from traditional dabke and baladi folk music to a more electronic thump. And despite the implications of the album’s title, Souleyman has said the new record is more of a personal ode, one that eschews politics entirely. [Clayton Purdom]

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Tops, Sugar At The Gate

The blissed-out throwback pastiche of Tops gets illustrated in cheeky fashion in the video for “Petals,” the first single from Sugar At The Gate. Over a groove that’s somehow slunk away from a Tango In The Night B-side, the band cavorts with Michael Jackson, Prince, and Madonna impersonators and drive winding California roads in a battered Ferrari convertible. The song and album come by their peer-through-the-smog sound naturally: The Montreal-based act decamped to the San Fernando Valley to record Sugar At The Gate in what press materials describe as a “mini-mansion and former brothel.” And if anything sounds like a brothel in the Valley being converted into an estate, it’s “Petals,” an addictive little number that carries the seediness of a different era. [Erik Adams]

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Two Inch Astronaut, Can You Please Not Help

Two Inch Astonaut’s latest comes right on the heels of 2016’s Personal Life, once again produced by the legendary J. Robbins (Jawbox, Burning Airlines) and continuing the trio’s evolution from angular post-punk to a more melodic power-pop sound. In the band’s own words, Can You Please Not Help is “sometimes tricky, sometimes poppy, with a range in mood from playful to suffocatingly, uncomfortably serious.” The full breadth of that dichotomy is laid bare in its first singles: “Snitch Jacket” is a certifiable jam, with its jagged guitars dynamically shifting several times over, while “Play To No One” would feel right at home on a Ted Leo record, letting the band’s natural pop instincts and gorgeous harmonies shine through. [Leonardo Adrian Garcia]

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Roger Waters, Is This The Life We Really Want?

Pink Floyd founder Roger Waters doesn’t have to do jack shit. He could easily rest on that band’s considerable laurels and royalties, spend the rest of his life touring its classic albums, and no one would ever demand anything more. So there must be something spurring him to make his first rock record in a quarter-century—and that something is just about everything. The Nigel Godrich-produced Is This The Life We Really Want? is billed as an “unflinching commentary on the modern world and uncertain times,” which Waters previewed with recent festival gigs where he projected images of Donald Trump while performing Animals’ classic “Pigs (Three Different Ones).” It’s not all Trump, however: New single “Smell The Roses” takes aim at a broad base of social ills and our general complacency with them. We’re guessing the answer to the album’s title is a definitive “no.” [Sean O’Neal]

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June 9

Big Thief, Capacity

Brooklyn’s Big Thief earned some acclaim following last year’s Masterpiece, and the band didn’t waste a lot of time before recording its successor. Ahead of touring that took Big Thief around the U.S., Europe, and Australia, the band decamped to upstate New York to record Capacity with Andrew Sarlo, who also produced Masterpiece. The new one mines similarly subdued, introverted sounds, enhanced Adrianne Lenker’s whispered vocals, but the results can be quietly powerful, like on the cinematic penultimate track, “Mary.” [Kyle Ryan]

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Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie

If you’re looking for a new Fleetwood Mac album that sounds a lot like a Fleetwood Mac, involves most members of Fleetwood Mac, but isn’t exactly Fleetwood Mac, then this is the one for you. Though it’s billed as a collaboration between Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie—the latter of whom returned to the band in 2014John McVie and Mick Fleetwood are also involved in its production. Sorry, Stevie. [Esther Zuckerman]

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Cigarettes After Sex, Cigarettes After Sex

Just in time for the return of Twin Peaks, Brooklyn dream-pop band Cigarettes After Sex readies its self-titled debut, an album whose ethereal, morphine-drip love ballads would sound right at home on The Roadhouse stage. Greg Gonzalez’s androgynous voice floats over gentle swells of reverbed guitar on singles like “Apocalypse” in a manner that should be pleasing to fans of similar purveyors of beautiful melancholy like Mazzy Star and Cocteau Twins. [Sean O’Neal]

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Lady Antebellum, Heart Break

After a brief hiatus, successful country trio Lady Antebellum reunites for its seventh studio album—and first since 2014. The time apart seems to have reinvigorated the group: Lead single “You Look Good” has already hit the Top 20 on the country charts, showing a fun new side of the band replete with a brass section and funked-up grooves. “Somebody Else’s Heart” treads more familiar ground, but even that ballad shows that the chemistry between singers Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley remains as steamy as ever. [Gwen Ihnat]

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London Grammar, Truth Is A Beautiful Thing

If you haven’t heard London Grammar yet, it’s only a matter of time. Having gone platinum in the U.K. and Australia with its debut, 2013’s If You Wait, the young British trio is looking to expand its reach on follow-up Truth Is A Beautiful Thing with help from hit-maker Paul Epworth (Adele, Rihanna). Comparisons to The xx have dogged the band since the get-go, but it’s the drama of singer Hannah Reid’s deep voice (think Florence Welch) that sets their spacey, melancholy pop apart. In “Big Picture,” the group’s ambient leanings are nicely amplified thanks to producer Jon Hopkins, and not even its choruses break the song’s cool restraint. [Kelsey J. Waite]

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Katy Perry, Witness

So far, none of the songs Katy Perry has debuted from her latest album have made themselves quite as omnipresent as a “Teenage Dream” or a “Roar,” though it’s not exactly like she’s reinventing her bombastic sound. While singles “Chained To The Rhythm,” “Bon Appétit,” and “Swish Swish” all vary in theme—one is semi-political, another is an ode to cunnilingus, the third an act of revenge against Taylor Swift—they all aim squarely for inescapable ubiquity, even if none of them have actually reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 yet. [Esther Zuckerman]

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Phoenix, Ti Amo

2009’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix was packed with hits, but 2013’s Bankrupt! wasn’t—not at all. With its sixth album, the French band seems to moving even further away from guitars and into the world of buttery disco, sounding more and more like their old friends in Air. The title track to Ti Amo glides along on a slinky ’70s groove and ’80s synths, but it doesn’t quite capture the more guitar-centric heights of albums past. Maybe the whole thing will prove to be a grower. [Josh Modell]

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Rancid, Trouble Maker

Despite being squarely in middle age—with both Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman now 51—the passage of years doesn’t seem to be slowing Rancid down. Or prompting them to try new things: With Rancid, we always know what we’re in for since, for better or worse, the band really hasn’t experimented since 1998’s Life Won’t Wait. Trouble Maker, the band’s ninth studio album, has everything hardcore fans would expect: production from Bad Religion’s Brett Gurewitz; lyrics from Armstrong that are hard to decipher despite being centered in the mix; group-sung “na na na na na’s”; songs that struggle to stick around for 90 seconds. The “new start” Armstrong sings about in “Ghost Of A Chance” is mostly theoretical, because these songs find Rancid doing what Rancid has always done. [Leonardo Adrian Garcia]

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Rise Against, Wolves

Punk stalwarts Rise Against have been on a long-term path to a progressively more polished and accessible sound, doing its best to transform early hardcore into arena-ready fist-pumpers. But the band’s politics were always progressive, and Wolves promises to be no exception. “The Violence” continues the combination of politically charged lyrics with chugging guitars polished to a glossy sheen, and the band has already announced a fall tour with Pierce The Veil and White Lung in which to further preach to the converted. [Alex McLevy]

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Slow Dancer, In A Mood

In A Mood is the sophomore album from Australian soft-rocker Simon Okely, who performs under the name Slow Dancer. On his debut, Okely showed off his alluring combination of jangly guitar-driven rock and classic R&B, and early singles from this follow-up show he’s primed to further explore and reconfigure both influences, with “I Would” seeing him stretch into sleepy orchestral pop and “It Goes On” providing some of the best laid-back soul he’s produced to date. [Matt Gerardi]

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Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, James McAlister, Planetarium

After relieving himself of all the emotions on Carrie & Lowell, Stevens gathers a bunch of friends for something a little less personal: He’s joined by Bryce Dessner of The National along with Nico Muhly and James McAlister for a concept album (sort of) about planets. There’s a lot of instrumental filler along with the songs, but for those who love Stevens’ voice, it’s worth the wait. [Josh Modell]

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June 16

Chuck Berry, Chuck

Chuck Berry goes out like he lived—with a guitar in his hand—on Chuck, a new posthumous album from the guitar legend, who died in March at the age of 90. This is Berry’s first full-length collection of original material in 40 years, prompting his first-ever official music video for “Big Boys.” The video, like the music, recalls Berry’s early days as one of the founders of rock ’n’ roll, with his gritty vocals and singing guitar echoing out into infinity. [Katie Rife]

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Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, On The Echoing Green

Like many of the artists on the label he co-founded, Root Strata, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma finds beauty in abstraction, creating droning, layered compositions of guitar and synth, distressed found sounds, and blissed-out noise that coalesce into something warm and inviting. His new On The Echoing Green adds something new to that gurgling mix in the form of Argentinian singer Sobrenadar, whose vocals on lead single “A Song Of Summer” reflect the album’s shift toward more shoegaze-derived pop. [Sean O’Neal]

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Com Truise, Iteration

Probably the biggest crossover star of the current synthwave revival, Seth Haley captured the growing craze for vintage synth tones and ’80s retro-futurism years before Stranger Things finally pushed it into the mainstream. For his second full-length album, Iteration—his first all-new collection since 2011—Haley doesn’t fiddle with the knobs too much, creating another fashionable selection of glittering neon tunes overlaid with robotic vocals. Still, where once those ghosts in the machine rambled about flight-waves and “VHS Sex,” on lead single “Memory” they’re lamenting a lost relationship, suggesting Com Truise’s intoxicating machine sounds will be a little more human this time around. [Sean O’Neal]

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Dead Heavens, Whatever Witch You Are

Walter Schreifels’ rock résumé should open any doors he chooses (assuming that’s how the music industry works): Play bass in Youth Of Today. Write most of the songs in Gorilla Biscuits. Front the influential post-hardcore band Quicksand. Produce (and sing) on a seminal punk record (Hot Water Music’s No Division). Dip your toe in the indie-rock world with Rival Schools. Try your hand at Merseybeat and British Invasion with Walking Concert. Release a solo album where you try on the whole singer-songwriter thing. And finally, start a psychedelic blues band with members of White Zombie and Cults that touts the James Gang, Black Sabbath, and Jimi Hendrix as its primary influences. Call it Dead Heavens—or whatever you want—and the listeners will show up. [Leonardo Adrian Garcia]

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Beth Ditto, Fake Sugar

Gossip singer Beth Ditto goes it alone with her debut solo record, an album she’s described as “my Southern record, but not necessarily a country record.” Even in her main gig, there’s always been a touch of Southern swing to her music, and based on the first single “Fire,” that swagger continues here, albeit in a more rootsy blues manner. At least, that is, until the stomping electronic rhythm kicks in. It’s both more out there and more pop than anything she’s done before, yet it also feels like an effortless expression of the roiling soul-singer persona she’s had all along. [Alex McLevy]

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The Drums, “Abysmal Thoughts”

For his first record since 2014’s Encyclopedia, The Drums frontman Jonny Pierce is making like a Svengali by writing and singing the whole thing, playing every instrument, and recording it himself in Los Angeles and New York. (Longtime member and co-founder Jacob Graham amicably and quietly left the group more than a year ago.) The sound mines more lo-fi melodies and heartfelt emotions, fusing them to a cracked art-school vibe that nevertheless retains a Britpop musicality. [Alex McLevy]

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Ekoplekz, Bioprodukt

The ridiculously prolific Nick Edwards has cranked out a lot of woozy, warped ambient explorations under various names since joining the Planet Mu team, releasing three full-length Ekoplekz albums in just under a year (to say nothing of his work in several side projects, each with names of varying levels of inscrutability). That they’ve all been equally entrancing bodes well for the upcoming Bioprodukt, which furthers his lo-fi, watercolor-blur aesthetic while adding bigger beats to the mix. [Sean O’Neal]

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Fleet Foxes, Crack-Up

Though a lot has changed since we last heard from Fleet Foxes—drummer J. Tillman now has a successful solo career as Father John Misty; late-’00s folk revivalism has widely dissipated—the Seattle five-piece aims to pick up precisely where 2011’s Helplessness Blues left off. Crack-Up, Fleet Foxes’ third full-length, was written entirely by frontman Robin Pecknold, but with an experimental approach evident in its first single, “Third Of May / Ōdaigahara.” Featuring piano, 12-string guitar, and a string quartet, the track sprawls across nearly nine minutes, shape-shifting among movements soaring, jagged, and delicate. Lyrically, Pecknold says Crack-Up deals with “perception, and the difference between how I have seen the world and how it actually is,” suggesting listeners can expect an album as grand in theme as it is in arrangement. [Kelsey J. Waite]

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Goldie, The Journey Man

In 1995, Goldie released Timeless, an ambitious, sprawling double-disc drum-and-bass odyssey that altered the course of electronic music. Three years later, he came out with Saturnz Return, an even more ambitious, even more sprawling double-disc drum-and-bass odyssey. He’s spent the intervening [checks watch] two decades acting, often as an extremely British gangster in Guy Ritchie movies, but he’s now set to make his return with The Journey Man. It is—you guessed it—an ambitious, sprawling double-disc drum-and-bass odyssey, tipped off by the single “I Adore You,” which sounds straight out of 1995 with its gossamer strings and a wailing soul diva. [Clayton Purdom]

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Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit, The Nashville Sound

The Nashville Sound finds Isbell looking to build on the success of 2015’s Something More Than Free, which took home Grammys for Best Americana Album and Best American Roots Song. That record was a bit more subdued than Isbell tends to be with The 400 Unit, which is probably why he released it under his name, but The Nashville Sound reunites Isbell with his backing band for the first time since 2011’s Here We Rest. The difference is quickly noticeable, with the stomper “Cumberland Gap” following the subdued opener “Last Of My Kind.” Isbell also gets pointed on “White Man’s World,” a potentially cringe-inducing examination of white privilege that’s more humanizing than hectoring. The Nashville Sound balances quieter moments with rockers, nicely blending the best elements of Isbell’s style. [Kyle Ryan]

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Lorde, Melodrama

Fans of the New Zealand singer’s debut Pure Heroine were likely caught off-guard by the decidedly club-friendly vibe of “Green Light,” the first single from Lorde’s upcoming sophomore release, Melodrama. While her distinctive voice remains, the slow, soul-inflected retro vibe of her earlier work is now paired with EDM-friendly beats—though her recent SNL appearance also included the piano ballad “Liability,” co-written with Jack Antonoff. Who knows where the rest of the closely guarded album will go. [Alex McLevy]

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Nickelback, Feed The Machine

Hey, Nickelback is back! The band everyone loves to diss—while still selling more than 20 million records and going platinum for nearly all of its eight albums—returns with Feed The Machine. On the rebellious/whiny title track, the band tries for a new edginess that’s augmented by a fucked-up, Matrix-esque video that sees its members running around in menacing masks. Tracks like “Song On Fire” fare a little better, featuring the sort of earworm melody and emotional venting from Chad Kroeger that made Nickelback famous in the first place. Of course, it doesn’t matter what we say here, as this will undoubtedly go platinum as well. Somebody must like them. [Gwen Ihnat]

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Kevin Morby, City Music

Marble-mouthed folk-rock singer Kevin Morby’s last album, Singing Saw, was released to much critical acclaim in 2016. Just one year later, he’s back with more of the same—if it’s not broke, why fix it?—on City Music. Single “Come To Me Now” is rich with soft-rock ’70s influences, melancholic songwriting, and a longing for classic Americana.[Laura M. Browning]

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Palehound, A Place I’ll Always Go

If the first record from Ellen Kempner’s indie outfit Palehound—2015’s Dry Food—was a breakup album, full of wan searching and wry self-reflection, the initial sound of A Place I’ll Always Go seems a bit more confident and assertive. While the comparisons to Mac DeMarco and Pavement probably aren’t going away anytime soon, Kempner is stretching beyond those easy analogies, with the album’s first single “Flowing Over” alternating between her familiar gruff smoker’s rasp and a dreamy falsetto, carrying her music into new territory. [Alex McLevy]

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Peaking Lights, The Fifth State Of Consciousness

The California two-piece Peaking Lights somehow hold together through forays into pattering electronic psychedelia and droning Velvet Underground bliss-outs. Their upcoming double album seems like a further trip down the rabbit hole, if the decidedly acid-trip cover and album title are anything to go by. [Clayton Purdom]

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Ride, Weather Diaries

The welcome return of shoegaze’s pioneers has so far yielded new albums from My Bloody Valentine, Swervedriver, The Jesus And Mary Chain, and Slowdive, though few have been dormant as long—or seemingly as permanently—as Ride. After acrimoniously splitting around the turgid, ’70s-rock-cribbing Tarantula in 1996, the group reunited in 2015 to pretend like its post-Going Blank Again years never happened, a reclamation of its former shimmering, psychedelic greatness that continues on Weather Diaries with some new electronic textures in the mix. [Sean O’Neal]

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Royal Blood, How Did We Get So Dark?

Royal Blood’s follow-up to its 2014 self-titled debut promises to be a more polished variation on its sludgy rock ’n’ roll sound, with frontman Mike Kerr promising a “way sexier, more confident sounding” album. That declaration is borne out by first single “Lights Out,” whose heavy groove seems well-suited to bigger stages and movie trailers. [Caitlin PenzeyMoog]

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Royal Trux, Platinum Tips + Ice Cream

Mercurial scuzz-rock duo Royal Trux was completely unpredictable throughout its 1990s heyday, so why would its reunion be any different? After Neil Hagerty and Jennifer Herrema surprised everyone by getting back together for a handful of shows in 2015, they upended expectation again by announcing a new album, their first in 17 years. Well, technically new: Platinum Tips + Ice Cream is a “live and unrehearsed” reworking of earlier tracks spanning the length of Royal Trux’s career, recorded in a matter of two days, and reimagining them with the “rawness” of the band’s recent live gigs. [Sean O’Neal]

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Tombs, The Grand Annihilation

Tombs follows up last year’s All Empires Fall EP with The Grand Annihilation, the Brooklyn avant-garde metal outfit’s fourth album and first for new label Metal Blade. It’s also the first full-length recorded with the band’s latest lineup, which, as ever, shifts around bandleader Mike Hill. Lead single “Cold” sees Tombs trudging across the cracked permafrost of black metal for inspiration, while follow-up “Saturnalian” foregrounds Hill’s moaning, Ian Curtis-style vocals. In all, it promises a veritable rainbow of musical styles—if every shade in that rainbow is black. [Katie Rife]

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Umfang, Symbolic Use Of Light

Emma Olson, better known as Umfang, makes a form of splintered and submerged techno that’s more about playing with negative space than pounding the walls. Symbolic Use Of Light, her first album for Ninja Tune imprint Technicolour, captures Olson’s work in live takes with minimal post-production—fitting for electronic music this dynamic. “Weight” is a strong lead-off single, a haunting blend of churchly organ and almost subliminal kick-drum patterns that seems to undulate and breathe. [Sean O’Neal]

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June 23

Algiers, The Underside Of Power

The timing has unfortunately never been better for Algiers’ sophomore record, The Underside Of Power, a powerful, polemical statement from the group whose industrial R&B—an unlikely, uncanny mix of Suicide-derived synth-churn and Motown soul—carries with it all the clangor of the apocalypse and the uplift of gospel spirituals. On the title track, Franklin Fisher unleashes an anthem for the resistance that’s matched by a video spliced with civil rights protest footage and provides a much-needed catharsis for an age when everything leaves you feeling angry and helpless. [Sean O’Neal]

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Bent Knee, Land Animal

There are oddball rock bands that get lumped under the title of “art-rock,” and then there are those who truly deserve it—bands that manipulate time signatures and keys like twists of a Rubik’s cube. Bent Knee have been delivering the latter form of art-rock since 2009, carrying on the tradition of groups like Yes (or even the quieter parts of Queensryche), only with a lot more violin in its baroque soundscapes and rhythms. Land Animal marks a quick turnaround, following last year’s Say So. [Alex McLevy]

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Guerrilla Toss, GT Ultra

For anyone who’s heard Guerrilla Toss’ frenzied, undefinable tunes, the fact that the title and cover of its latest album is one big LSD reference shouldn’t be surprising. While these New York natives have calmed down a bit since signing with DFA, their music is still the closest you can get to a cartoon acid trip, and the drippy, saccharine muck of lead single “The String Game” is a sign they aren’t coming down any time soon. [Matt Gerardi]

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King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Murder Of The Universe

Australia’s King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard started out as a jam session among several friends, and honestly, it still kind of sounds like that. Its output resembles Black Sabbath with a punk sensibility, GWAR without costumes, or Spinal Tap with some extra rehearsals. KG&TLW are also incredibly prolific, releasing 10 records since the group’s formation in 2010, most of them boasting at least four 10-minute songs per album. But the first cut from the new Murder Of The Universe, “Digital Black,” resists those expectations with a punked-up track that clocks in just under three minutes, energetically fighting the darkness even as it gets enveloped in it. [Gwen Ihnat]

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Laurel Halo, Dust

Suggesting a promising return to the alien beauty of her 2012 debut, Quarantine, Laurel Halo’s new Dust finds the electronic artist once again melding her techno-dystopian atmospherics with her own, unaffected voice. This time, however, she’s backed up by a series of guest (read: more professional) singers that includes Julia Holter, Michael Salu, and—as heard on first single “Jelly”—Klein and Lafawndah. “Jelly” has a surprising playfulness to it, especially in light of 2015’s grayed-out In Situ, its pitch-shifted harmonies and wobbly synth-lines recalling a slice of ’90s R&B-lite pop that’s being reconstructed in real time by a malfunctioning computer. [Sean O’Neal]

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Imagine Dragons, Evolve

Where Imagine Dragons could easily segue into melodious banality, the band always seems game to kick things up a notch or three. Evolve has already been preceded by three singles: “Believer” was the first, a ferocious tidal wave of a song about fighting for yourself that already has more than 200 million Spotify listens; “Thunder” is a fun epic that relies on vocal harmonies and foot stomps, like an electronica country song from the year 2189; and “Whatever It Takes” unspools some semi-rapped vocals that are more inspired than its plodding chorus. [Gwen Ihnat]

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Radiohead, OKNOTOK

Just in time to create a new generation of angsty art-school kids who obsessively wonder about the connection between alien life and artistic creation, Radiohead’s OK Computer is getting a 20th-anniversary reissue. The album features a newly remastered copy of the classic record, eight B-sides, and three previously unreleased tracks—“Lift,” “I Promise,” and “Man Of War.” Super-fans can opt for the “Boxed Edition,” which comes with heavyweight black vinyl, a hardcover book with 30 pieces of art, a freaking 104-page notebook of Thom Yorke’s album-related scribblings, a 48-page sketchbook of Stanley Donwood and Yorke’s “preparatory work,” plus a cassette tape featuring demos and session outtakes. [Alex McLevy]

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Jeff Tweedy, Together At Last

In the first of a series he’s calling Loft Acoustic Sessions, Jeff Tweedy is re-recording songs from his catalog—with Wilco and beyond—in, you guessed it, stripped-down format. If that sounds like a fans-only prospect, it probably is, but those fans will surely be delighted with even milder versions of “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” and Loose Fur’s “Laminated Cat,” among others. [Josh Modell]

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Unkle, The Road, Pt. 1

James Lavelle’s long-running, collaboration-heavy electronic troupe returns for its first album in seven years, the suggestively titled The Road, Pt. 1. Strings swoon and guitars chug on the single “Looking For The Rain,” featuring Mark Lanegan and Mercury Prize nominee Eska, implying that Unkle is still making melodramatic dystopia rock. This time, guests include members of Primal Scream and Queens Of The Stone Age. [Clayton Purdom]

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Vince Staples, Big Fish Theory

Few rap records this year will come with weightier expectations than Vince Staples’ sophomore effort, Big Fish Theory. His double-disc debut Summertime ’06 sounds increasingly like a classic, and Big Fish Theory will be tasked with both fulfilling Staples’ second-coming-of-Nas prophecy for the real-hip-hop school of true lyricism as well as the scruffier, more postmodern possibilities explored by his fellow Odd Future ex-pats Earl Sweatshirt and Frank Ocean. Label folks wouldn’t mind if he had it in here somewhere, too, presumably. Staples maintains a uniquely caustic, impassive public face (check out this excellent recent interview for proof), but first single “Big Fish” shows his ability to channel that persona into two and a half intensely hot minutes. This kid sure can rap. [Clayton Purdom]

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June 28

Cornelius, Mellow Waves

Two decades after Fantasma earned Cornelius nods from every late-’90s music writer on the planet as “the Japanese Beck,” the collage-happy beatmaker returns. Fantasma’s re-release last year showed how well his immensely pleasing approach to pop-art sampledelica has aged, and it sets a nice stage for Mellow Waves—which seems appropriately titled, given the leisurely six-minute first single, “あなたがいるなら (If You’re Here).” [Clayton Purdom]

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June 30

Beach House, B-Sides And Rarities

It’s been just over 10 years since Baltimore darlings Beach House debuted with the earliest iteration of its dark, hypnotic dream pop, and outside of the six full LPs it’s produced in that time, the band has also accumulated a number of songs that were either scattered among various projects or never given a proper release. Looking as far back as the summer the duo formed, B-Sides And Rarities signifies a tying up of those loose ends: Two unreleased originals, a Queen cover, remixes of live Teen Dream cuts, and hard-to-find odds and ends are collected here, 14 in all. As the band puts it, “This compilation contains every song [we’ve] made that does not exist on one of [our] albums.” Single “Chariot” is an outtake from the Depression Cherry session whose massive live drums set it apart from that album’s airtight aesthetics, but that stands whole and resplendent on its own here—a perfect example of the kind of gauzy, time-bending slow jams the pair has become synonymous with. [Kelsey J. Waite]

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Coldplay, Kaleidoscope

Chris Martin celebrates his 40th birthday with a new, five-song Coldplay EP that, judging by the new track “Hypnotised,” has an appropriately middle-aged lack of energy. Like most Coldplay songs, it’s pretty enough, with plaintive lines of piano intersecting with some sad steel guitar as it mopes around for six lovelorn minutes, even if its effect is mostly narcotic. For something a little less sleepy, there’s also the already released collaboration with The Chainsmokers, “Something Just Like This,” which shows a similarly middle-aged commitment to trying to stay hip to what the kids are into. [Gwen Ihnat]

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Floating Points, Reflections: Mojave Desert

Sam Shepherd’s full-length debut, Elaenia, was one of the best records of 2015, a fluid fusion of krautrock rhythm and free-jazz exploration, constructed with the meticulous precision of an electronic composer who also happens to be a neuroscientist. The album truly came to warm, vibrant life in the shows Shepherd arranged with his live band, and the new Reflections: Mojave Desert captures that interplay in a group of tracks Shepherd and his group recorded while seeking seclusion in the titular badland, where they included found sounds from the local environment while making an accompanying short film of their improvisatory desert wanderings. [Sean O’Neal]

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Calvin Harris, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1

You may not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, but a decade into his career, Calvin Harris seems to have shed the EDM that made him famous on a pair of radiant, sun-kissed pop-disco tracks. The Frank Ocean and Migos collab “Slide” is probably the most immediate of them, but woe unto those who sleep on the Future team-up “Rollin” or the combined power of Ariana Grande, Young Thug, and Pharrell on the anthem “Heatstroke.” That’s a whole lot of star power on just three singles, suggesting that the upcoming Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 is a spare-no-expenses attempt to seize pop radio this summer. [Clayton Purdom]

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LANY, LANY

LANY is not just an acronym: It’s a statement of nation-spanning ambition from this synthpop three-piece, and also the title of its first album. “ILYSB,” another acronym meaning “I love you so bad,” is a hurts-so-good sentiment from this mega-earnest MGMT for the EDM age. LANY is made up of these and other soaring tracks made for underlining emotional moments on Grey’s Anatomy, thumping anthems for hopeless romantics with a passing knowledge of L.A. geography. [Erik Adams]

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Lapalux, Ruinism

With his 2013 debut, Nostalchic, Stuart Howard (a.k.a. Lapalux) arrived near the tail-end of the indie-R&B craze surrounding artists like James Blake and How To Dress Well, offering a more digitized, deconstructed take on their watery soul that also fit in with Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label. Its follow-up, Lustmore, traded some of that acid-corroded experimentation for songs that tread closer to straightforward pop with occasionally lackluster results, which could explain why his new Ruinism is being pitched as a collage of sounds that have all been “ruined” through repeated manipulation. Ruined or not, there’s still a lot of uncompromised prettiness to lead single “Rotted Arp,” whose decaying, metallic synth tones surround but never quite destroy the breathy guest vocals from Louisahhh. [Sean O’Neal]

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Moon Diagrams, Lifetime Of Love

Moon Diagrams is the solo project of Moses Archuleta, who’s been drumming for Deerhunter since the band’s inception. This debut album collects songs that he’s been working on for the last decade, and although it’s inextricably linked to his band’s ups and downs, it’s a far cry from the dark, dreamy rock of his main squeeze. “End Of Heartache,” the final track and touted as the “optimistic end” of Lifetime Of Love’s story, even finds Archuleta building a disco groove that’s as infectious as it is muted and detached. [Matt Gerardi]

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Ratboys, Gn

Chicago’s indie/country/space-rock band returns for the follow-up to its 2015 debut, Aoid. It looks to continue the group’s oft-mellow, occasionally loud amalgam of genres, ranging from the downright folksy to the noisily ambient. Singer Julia Steiner’s voice still holds the entire enterprise together, familiar and comforting while also bearing the aching grain of an old weathered soul. On new single “Elvis Is In The Freezer,” the trumpet functions like a slide guitar, giving a Southern-fried twang to the ambling groove. Gn might be the album that makes the rest of the world take notice. [Alex McLevy]

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