We listen to new music every week, but finding out what’s new isn’t always easy. Below is a list of our favorite new albums and single that dropped this week so you can keep your head bobbing all through your commute and drum on your desk to the dismay of all your co-workers. Here are the best releases for the third week of December 2014.
New Albums for December 16, 2014
If you thought it was hard to avoid Nicki Minaj on the radio before, just wait as the singles off this record start working their way onto the airwaves. Minaj, more personal than before, mixes top notch features with her own impressive brand.
On her third full-length album (only the second commercial release), Charli XCX hits a stride that shows she’s mastered her own unique voice. Pop music with an unabashed punkiness makes her stand out even on overproduced tracks.
Music and Words
The album title of Arab Strap musician Malcolm Middleton might sound vague, but it tells plenty about the record. The music of Middleton serves to carry the words of poet David Shrigley, reworked and presented as songs.
R&B icon D’Angelo was one of the most prominent artists during the rise of neo-soul. It’s been nearly 20 years since his breakthrough record Brown Sugar, and he’s snuck back into the spotlight with Black Messiah, his first release in 14 years.
If you haven’t heard of Laurel yet, now two EPs into her young career, then get ready because she’s going to be unavoidable in the future. The London-based songstress has a voice that pierces through any soundscape and she sounds undeniable.
Back to the Ordinary
On an EP called Back to the Ordinary, Norwegian pop sextet Kid Astray sound anything but. Backed by bouncing synth sounds and an influx of influence from acts like Foster the People, the band begins exploring its own sound throughout.
The biggest news surrounding Chief Keef’s latest record is that he’s snagged Kanye West to join him on the titular track, their second collaboration after Hold My Liquor. But there’s plenty more here as the 19-year-old Chicagoan holds his own solo.
Salt Gall Box Souls
On his first release on London label Heavenly, H Hawkline drops a collection of tracks left off previous releases or put out in limited release, making the jangly, loose, and infectious tracks available widely for the first time.
Lampshades on Fire
Modest Mouse has been relatively quiet since the release of 2007’s We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. The band is back with an album planned for release in March 2015, and this is the first taste of that record.
You may know Panda Bear better as Noah Lennox of Animal Collective. His latest solo project is due out in January, and Boys Latin is the second single from the record to surface, available to hear with a beautiful animated music video.
20-year-old London-based producer Spinee has been making a name by making remixes of music that take dramatically new approaches. The latest on that theme, Pretty Green, takes on Ultrabeat’s 2003 release Pretty Green Eyes.
The Kids Aren’t Alright
Fall Out Boy
Fall Out Boy has been working up the release of their new record pretty heavily. The latest single to come out is The Kids Aren’t Alright, a lighter side after the curveball of their first single. The band also dropped the full track listing for its record.
It’s been a bit since Marilyn Manson was in the spotlight, but the often controversial artist hasn’t disappeared. He’s been working on a new record, and Deep Six serves as a sampler, offering up a stomping bluesy sound.
Next page: Hot new albums and singles from the second week of December 2014.
We listen to new music every week, but finding out what’s new isn’t always easy. Below is a list of our favorite new albums and single that dropped this week so you can keep your head bobbing all through your commute and drum on your desk to the dismay of all your co-workers. Here are the best releases for the first week of December 2014.
New Albums for December 9, 2014
Monuments to an Elegy
On their 10th studio album, Smashing Pumpkins return to peak form behind the guidance of frontman Billy Corgan. But it’s not a purely nostalgic trip – it’s a Smashing Pumpkins that have advanced sonically.
2014 Forest Hills Drive
Rapper J. Cole named his third album after the address of his childhood home in North Carolina. It’s a driving force behind the album, a rare instance of a hip hop record without a feature, and Cole stands strong on his own.
Wu Tang made a return as a collective earlier this year, but its members are still out making their solo work as well. Ghostface calls upon other Wu Tang members but keeps himself as the focal point throughout to the delight of his fans.
After the critically praised record Aurora was released earlier this year, Frost follows up with an EP expanding the album’s soundscape with remixes and b-sides that didn’t make the final cut.
Anybody Wanna Buy a Heart?
After her impressive debut, K. Michelle had a high bar set for herself. She exceeds it with her larger than life personality and presence, showing off her skills as both a songwriter and a performer keeping R&B alive.
Not satisfied with a successful solo career and being a member of the supergroup Slaughterhouse, Royce da 5’9″ has teamed up with super producer DJ Premier to create a record with the sound and feel of an instant classic.
Berkeley to Bakersfield
Alt rockers Cracker take their time on Berkeley to Bakersfield to explore the wide and varying landscapes of California, taking influence from different parts of the state and applying it to the tracks.
A collaborative work between Mike Patton of Faith No More and pianist Anthony Pateras results in a chaotic world, presented in a way that is equal parts thoughtful and panicked.
The Minnesota hip hop collective announced a new crew record and national tour. To support the announcement, they dropped Gray Duck, a banging track with clever wordplay and the second drop from the upcoming All Hands album.
Hope for the Future
It leaked online a few weeks ago, but a proper release for Paul McCartney’s new music has finally arrived. Hope for the Future is the latest effort from the former Beatle, and is accompanied by four remixes as well.
Post-rock group Hawk is offering up their latest single for free. Hush, a folk-like lullaby with a chilling tone and a dizzying climb, offers fans an epic listen and shows the progress of the band’s sound.
Punk trio Sleater-Kinney is reuniting with the upcoming record No Cities to Love. The second teaser for the record, Surface Envy, gives fans a taste of their big, brazen, and unafraid sound in full effect.
Next page: Hot new albums and singles from the first week of December 2014.