Every Friday, artists drop anticipated albums, surprise singles, and hyped collaborations. As part of New Music Friday, EW’s music team will choose some of the essential new tunes. With new releases from Ryan Adams, Alison Krauss, and more, here are the most noteworthy new releases this week.
Ryan Adams, Prisoner
The prolific alt-country rocker doesn’t break the mold with his latest release — ’80s FM sounds buoy his heart-on-his-leather-sleeve lyrics aplenty — but his meticulous craftwork pays off, and his full-band reinvention that began in 2014 finally feels well-worn. —Madison Vain
A year has elapsed since the Atlantan trap god last released a project — February 2016’s EVOL — which counts as an eternity for the prolific rapper. On his self-titled effort, Future rewards patient fans with another hour of concussive, woozy bangers. And, while Future has previously collaborated with artists including the Weeknd, Drake, and Pharrell, this album includes no credited features. —Eric Renner Brown
Nikki Lane, Highway Queen
The South Carolina-bred spitfire returns with her third LP and the opening howl of “Yipikaye!” tells you all you need to know: This is the 33-year-old’s spunkiest outing yet. —M.V.
Alison Krauss, Windy City
The Grammys’ winningest female artist ever had just one goal for her first solo LP since 1999: To record songs that are older than her. She teamed up with producer Buddy Cannon (George Strait, Kenny Chesney) and culled favorites to reinvent. From Roger Miller’s “River in the Rain” to The Osborne Brothers’ title track, it’s all a wonderful, full-bodied soprano’d blast from the past. —M.V.
Strand of Oaks, Hard Love
Timothy Showalter’s new album as Strand of Oaks is the latest indie-rock record to bring Springsteen-style heartland rock into the 21st century. But while Hard Love echoes the War on Drugs (sweeping closer “Taking Acid and Talking to My Brother”) and the Killers (jangling single “Radio Kids”), its a singular statement that’s among rock’s best of 2017 so far. —E.R.B.
Sun Kil Moon, Common as Light and Love Are Red Valleys of Blood
The codgerly singer-songwriter is back with more than two hours of his ultra-personal indie-folk. And the specifics of the album read like a Sun Kil Moon parody: None of the 16 songs clock less than five minutes (three go past the 10-minute mark). Tunes feature titles like “Chili Lemon Peanuts” and “Sarah Lawrence College Song.” And his lyrics remain master classes of hyper-specificity, like when he sings about the Syrian civil war and mint-flavored Klondike bars in the same verse on “Vague Rock Song.” —E.R.B.
Flume, Skin Companion EP: II
The Australian producer releases the second batch of leftovers from his now Grammy-winning 2016 release. This one features original collabs with Dave Bayley, Pusha T, and Moses Sumney as well as a fourth, solo track. —M.V.
Hanni El Khatib, Savage Times
Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach famously produced Khatib’s sophomore album years ago, and the Californian rocker continues to churn out collections of sludgy, high-octane garage-blues. Savage Times compiles the five (!) EPs Khatib released in 2016 and tacks on four new tracks for good measure. —E.R.B.
Aaron Carter, “Sooner or Later”
The youngest Carter returns to music with his LØVË EP and its lead single “Sooner or Later,” a track heavy with tropical synths reminiscent of Justin Bieber’s “What Do You Mean?” It’s no “Aaron’s Party” — it’s better: slick and confident, proving that Biebs isn’t the only pop wonderboy who can make a comeback. —Ariana Bacle