Hear the hottest fresh tunes, from Beck's vibrant return to St. Vincent's poppy opus
Every Friday, artists drop anticipated albums, surprise singles, and hyped collaborations. As part of New Music Friday, EW’s music team chooses some of the essential new tunes. From Beck’s vibrant return to St. Vincent’s poppy opus, here are some of the week’s most noteworthy releases. Got Spotify? Stream all of EW’s picks by following our playlist (embedded below) for this week.
1. Beck, Colors
For the follow-up to 2014’s somber, Grammy-winning Morning Phase, the 47-year-old musical shapeshifter teamed with Greg Kurstin — the producer best known for his work on smashes including Adele’s “Hello” and Sia’s “Chandelier.” “We wanted to make a party album,” Kurstin told EW in September, referencing Beck’s far-out ’90s output as a touchstone. The collaboration yielded top-notch results. “As his first upbeat album in nearly a decade, Colors proves that Beck is still one of rock’s most intrepid inventors,” EW wrote in a B+ review of the LP. For more about Colors, revisit EW’s interview with Kurstin and review of the album. —Eric Renner Brown
2. St. Vincent, MASSEDUCTION
Unified by a singular creative vision and the helping hand of co-producer Jack Antonoff, Annie Clark’s fifth solo album as St. Vincent runs the gamut from berserk prog (“Fear the Future”) to synth-pop (“Sugarboy”) to cheekily cinematic balladry (“New York”). “It is definitely speaking to the manic panic of our time,” Clark told EW last month, but “all we have is each other in times like this, when the world seems like it’s completely falling apart.” For more about MASSEDUCTION, revisit EW’s interview and read EW’s A- review. —E.R.B.
3. Pink, Beautiful Trauma
“I believe in equality and inclusiveness and diversity and kindness and just generally not being a total douchebag,” the iconic pop star recently told EW. Her seventh LP matches her rebellious spirit with bold beats; in an A- review, EW notes that “she may just be getting this party started.” For more, read EW’s complete interview and review. —E.R.B.
4. Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile, Lotta Sea Lice
The two indie-rockers may be separated by thousands of miles — Barnett’s from Melbourne, Vile’s from Philadelphia — but they’re kindred spirits. Their low-stakes collaborative album makes folksy psych-rock sound effortless. —E.R.B.
5. Robert Plant, Carry Fire
The 69-year-old Led Zeppelin singer’s latest solo effort blends his bluesy American with far-flung genres including trip-hop and Malian folk. “It’s been a great adventure and a departure for me,” Plant told EW of Carry Fire, which also features some of his most political writing in years. For more, read EW’s full interview with the singer. —E.R.B.
6. William Patrick Corgan, Ogilala
The second solo album from the Smashing Pumpkins leader is a departure. Following 2005’s TheFutureEmbrace, Ogilala marks Corgan’s first release under his full name — rather than his colloquial nickname, Billy. Rick Rubin produced the record, which Corgan loaded with arresting, piano-driven ballads like the stunning “Aeronaut.” —E.R.B.
7. Gucci Mane, Mr. Davis
The prolific rapper already released a stellar album this year: May’s Droptopwop, a project-length collaboration with buzzy producer Metro Boomin. As Mr. Davis‘ title — a reference to Gucci’s given name, Radric Davis — and its stark album art suggest, the LP’s a higher-stakes affair. “I’m drop top, but put the top up when the storm comin’,” he rhymes on confessional opener “Work In Progress (Intro),” and Mr. Davis only gets more emotional and autobiographical from there. Gucci also widened his collaborative circle for the album, teaming with regional cohorts (Migos, Rae Sremmurd’s Slim Jxmmi) and A-listers (Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, the Weeknd) alike. —E.R.B.
8. Logic & Juanes feat. Alessia Cara & Khalid, “1-800-273-8255”
Colombian musician Juanes jumped on the powerful “1-800-273-8255,” which currently sits at No. 4 on Billboard‘s Hot 100, to provide some Spanish-language vocals on the chorus. The bilingual version of the tune doesn’t differ outside of the chorus, but serves as an important reminder that the discussion about suicide prevention extends globally. Juanes’ impressive appearance will surely expand the audience’s scale. —Josh Glicksman
9. King Krule, The Ooz
Archy Marshall’s first album as King Krule since 2013’s 6 Feet Beneath the Moon follows a period where he released A New Place 2 Drown under his given name, wrote songs for Frank Ocean, made beats for Earl Sweatshirt, and reportedly turned down a collaboration with Kanye West. His guest work makes sense — The Ooz radiates early Odd Future vibes, especially on beautifully spacey tracks like “Logos.” Across the album’s 19 tracks, King Krule deftly unites different styles: “Biscuit Town” may sound nothing like “Czech One,” but they both impress here. —J.G.
10. Hamilton Leithauser feat. Angel Olsen, “Heartstruck (Wild Hunger)”
The Walkmen singer’s latest solo single — following 2016’s excellent collaborative album with Rostam — lilts with retro verve and features spine-tingling vocals from Angel Olsen. “I have a good amount of material and I’m working with a few other people right now and that’s pretty exciting,” Leithauser told EW in August. “I think I’ve got a good thing in the oven.” —E.R.B.
11. Daya, “New”
Days before her 19th birthday, Daya dropped her first single in over a year, taking a fresh, “self-reflective” direction. The synth-riddled production and soul-baring approach on the track signal further maturity from the young Grammy winner. Combine her talent with an Interscope record deal and the excitement for the follow-up to her 2016 debut Sit Still, Look Pretty continues to mount. —J.G.
Listen to a playlist of the tracks from this week’s New Music Friday above.