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10 New Albums to Stream Today

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After a dry July, August is going above and beyond with new music releases. Today we’ve been blessed with new albums from several heavy-hitters including Sleater-Kinney, Young Thug and The Hold Steady, plus noteworthy gems from newer faces like Peaer, Oso Oso and Dry Cleaning. Today also brings new albums from Nashville country rocker Lillie Mae and Australian experimenters King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard. So fire up your streamer of choice (or better yet, buy these artists’ albums at the “Listen here” links) and enjoy all the new releases from today, Aug. 16.

1. Dry Cleaning: Sweet Princess

It’s a tale as old as time: Go to a karaoke bar, realize your friends are talented, start a band. Lewis Maynard, Tom Dowse and Nick Buxton started writing just instrumentals, then a few months later decided—why not add a university lecturer to the mix to add vocals? That’s the story behind the new U.K. post-punk-via-new-wave band, Dry Cleaning, whose debut EP Sweet Princess is out today. The prickly “Magic of Meghan” was our first taste of what Dry Cleaning have to offer, an overcast bout of surf-rock spiked with deceptively simple spoken-word vocals. Florence Shaw’s lyrics celebrate the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, while interrogating her sexist representation in the British media; “Never has one outfit been designed, to send so many messages,” Shaw sings with reverberating flair. —Harry Todd

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2. The Hold Steady: Thrashing Thru The Passion

With five new songs in addition to the previously-released singles, Thrashing Thru The Passion arrives with plenty of The Hold Stead’s infectious, party-friendly brand of storytelling. Prior to the release, they gifted us with two more singles, “Denver Haircut” and “You Did Good, Kid.” The latter, held together with homecoming parade drums, provides the strongest showcase for frontman Craig Finn’s chatter-style vocals, while “Denver Haircut,” which opens the album, is all bold guitars from Finn and Steve Selvidge. “It doesn’t have to be pure, it doesn’t have to be perfect,” Finn barks on “Haircut.” Oh, but it is perfect, bright and warm, like a catch-up phone call from a long-lost friend, peppered with the hyper-specific details that make up The Hold Steady Extended Universe, including a pilot who looks like Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, a Residence Inn at the top of the exit. Not just any pilot, not just any hotel, but those very specific names to give the listener a real sense of exactly what is happening here. —Libby Cudmore

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3. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: Infest the Rats’ Nest

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard just won’t let the fun come to an end. The Melbourne-based seven-piece have released their second new album of 2019. Titled Infest The Rats’ Nest, the band’s 15th studio effort is described as their “hardest and heaviest” record to date. A departure in sound from February’s neo-psych release Fishing For Fishies, the album finds the band taking on thrash metal and pulling inspiration from the genre’s mid/late-1980s golden era. The album includes the band’s newest singles, “Planet B” and “Self-Immolate,” both of which showcase their new heavy sonic territory. —Savannah Sicurella

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4. Lillie Mae: Other Girls

Nashville country singer Lillie Mae just dropped her second LP, Other Girls, today (Aug. 16) via Third Man Records. Mae spent nearly two decades singing and playing the fiddle in venues across Nashville, and tomorrow (Aug. 17) Mae will return to the city to reach another career milestone—making her Grand Ole Opry debut. Mae stopped by the Paste Studio to perform four songs from Other Girls: “You’ve Got Other Girls For That,” “Whole Blue Heart,” “Didn’t I” and “A Golden Year.” —Lizzie Manno

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5. The Murder Capital: When I Have Fears

If you’re a fan of Fontaines D.C., then James McGovern, Damien Tuit, Cathal Roper, Gabriel Paschal Blake and Diarmuid Brennan of The Murder Capital will certainly appeal to your sensibilities with their riveting post-punk tunes. Their frontman is more fired up than Fontaines’ Grian Chatten, though, proving less lackadaisical and more insistent behind the mic. Each of their songs sounds like it could score a different drunken escapade, sowing seeds of danger underneath every line. After playing with the likes of Shame and IDLES, The Murder Capital are finally releasing their Flood-produced (PJ Harvey, New Order, Foals) debut album When I Have Fears today. —Clare Martin

6. Oso Oso: basking in the glow

Sparkle-punk project Oso Oso are already living in the 2020s. As we ride the 30-year nostalgia cycle into ‘90s revivalism, the Jade Lilitri-led project is roaring ahead of the pack, already emulating touchstones like Third Eye Blind and Bleed American while the rest of us are still pondering the Ghost Town DJ’s. On his last and best album to date, The Yunahon Mixtape, Lilitri did for early-aughts emo-pop what Carly Rae Jepsen did for ‘80s synth-pop: extract the sugariest bits of an old sound to spin into pure bubblegum confectionery. The album was sun-kissed and summery, adjectives usually not associated with their genre. But as soon as you know it, the leaves brown and the wind picks up. Basking In The Glow reflects a chillier outlook on life. The hooks are still there, as catchy as ever, but they’re a little more desperate, like smiling to hold back tears. —Substitute Thapliyal

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7. Peaer: A Healthy Earth

Creating a capital-m Moment in a song is more about the pitch than it is the big swing for the fences. It’s about anticipation and, more importantly, wondering what the big crack is going to sound like. A Healthy Earth, the new record from Brooklyn-based Peaer, lives in those liminal spaces between the release of the pitch and the contact of the bat. Over the album’s 11 tracks, the Brooklyn trio set themselves up for massive math-rock moments with precise instrumentation and a keen ear for particularly geeky songwriting. Despite some undercooked lyrics, the sonics on A Healthy Earth often make contact to send the ball soaring. “Don’t” might be the best distillation of that sound, changing time signatures and decibel levels at the drop of a hat. A twirling guitar lick swerves in the negative spaces defined by tangible bursts of percussion and Katz’s strained vocals, setting the stage for a reverb-heavy, cacophonous bridge that leads into the track’s deceptive outro. There are some really great moments throughout A Healthy Earth—the acoustic bossa guitar outro on “Wilbur,” the Shamir-assisted harmonies on “In My Belly” and the xylophone-assisted, explosive percussion on “Have Fun!” all come to mind. But instrumentation is only part of the big swing; you’ve got to have the full follow-through if you’re going to clear the fences. —Harry Todd

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8. Ride: This Is Not A Safe Place

Apart from the occasional flash (the outro to “Pulsar,” the guitars on “Lannoy Point,” the driving bass and floaty quality of “Home is a Feeling”) Ride have largely avoided attempts to reconjure their classic sound. Their new album, This Is Not A Safe Place, doesn’t change course in that regard either. Ride’s post-reunion material is bolstered by modern recording technology not available to them at their peak, so their urge to explore new sounds is understandable. While This Is Not A Safe Place is lofty in its lyrical and sonic ambitions, Ride don’t always stick the landing. —Lizzie Manno

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9. Sleater-Kinney: The Center Won’t Hold

There is no room for nostalgia in Sleater-Kinney’s reunion. The band’s excellent 2015 reentry point, No Cities to Love, was not exactly a rote run-through of past glories. And the trio (now duo) did not spend 2017 going around playing Dig Me Out on some obligatory 20th anniversary run. It barely even feels like a reunion at this point—how has this band not always been here, making its bass-resistant racket and soundtracking our slide into right-wing authoritarianism? Like 2005’s The Woods, The Center Won’t Hold finds Sleater-Kinney bringing in a big name producer to jolt their routines and play more than a symbolic role in the record-making process. Except this time, the friendly intruder is art-rock maestro St. Vincent, not Dave Fridmann. And unlike The Woods, which was largely tracked live—all the better to reimagine the band’s sound as a ferocious Zeppelin-esque roar—Center finds Sleater-Kinney more inclined than ever to utilize the studio as an instrument. At its best, The Center Won’t Hold is an urgent and deliriously impolite record about powering through exhaustion, despair and the ambient dread any feminist feels pretty much constantly in 2019. Full of transformation and deserved indignation, The Center Won’t Hold is the first Sleater-Kinney album since the rest of the world started to catch up. —Zach Schonfeld

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10. Young Thug: So Much Fun

So Much Fun” is exactly what listening to Young Thug’s high-energy, official debut album is like. Following an EP, a compilation and nearly 20 mixtapes, the Atlanta legend has finally delivered on a solo LP, and it features an impressive crew: Future, Lil Baby, Gunna, J. Cole and Travis Scott all appear on the new project, Young Thug’s first since 2017’s Beautiful Thugger Girls. —Ellen Johnson

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