This week's new releases
Each title listed below will go on sale beginning Tuesday, May 13 unless otherwise indicated.
Unrepentant Geraldines LISTEN (Amazon)
The 14th studio album from the singer-songwriter is a return to the piano-driven alternative pop/rock format of her earlier works after devoting her recent albums (like Gold Dust and Night of Hunters) to orchestral works. The release will be followed by a rare solo tour.
The Black Keys
Turn Blue LISTEN (iTunes)
The duo of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney graduated to the big leagues with their two most recent albums, 2010's Brothers and 2011's El Camino, which were massive commercial and critical successes, and earned the pair multiple Grammy nominations. After an uncharacteristically long two-and-a-half-year recording break, they return this week with their eighth LP, which once again finds the Keys working with producer Danger Mouse, and once again collecting great reviews. Next, the duo will hit the road for a massive tour that will find them on the road for the remainder of 2014.
White Women LISTEN (iTunes)
[12 May ] Canadian party band Chromeo return with their fourth album of polished, tongue-in-cheek electro-funk today. The guest roster includes Toro y Moi, Ezra Koenig (Vampire Weekend), Solange, and Pat Mahoney (LCD Soundsystem), though some critics are finding the results to be partially (or wholly) unsuccessful.
Guided by Voices
Let's face it: it's time to call out Robert Pollard as a slacker. Cool Planet is just his second album of 2014 (following February's Motivational Jumpsuit), putting him well off his 2013 pace of 5 full-lengths and one EP (including solo and side projects). The new 16-track set features Kevin March behind the drumkit, replacing the fired Kevin Fennell.
Being dead has done nothing to slow down Michael Jackson's musical output. On the contrary, he's more prolific these days than ever before. For Jackson's latest posthumous release Xscape, producers such as Antonio "L.A." Reid, Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins, and J-Roc sifted through two decades worth of aborted studio sessions from the 1980s and '90s, first identifying 24 candidates among the unfinished and previously unreleased tracks, and eventually narrowing the tracklist down to eight songs (including one, "Love Never Felt So Good," that was co-written by Paul Anka in 1983). Those songs were then re-recorded (aside from MJ's vocals) with modern production techniques. A deluxe edition adds bonus tracks plus the original (unaltered) recordings, as well as a DVD with a making-of documentary.
Nabuma Rubberband LISTEN (Amazon)
Nabuma Rubberband follows three years after Little Dragon's last, Ritual Union. The Swedish electronic-pop band, fronted by talented, in-demand singer Yukimi Nagano, worked with a string quartet for the first time on the new set, which critics find stylish and classy, though perhaps a bit short of exciting.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Days of Abandon LISTEN (YouTube)
The Brooklyn indie pop band returns after a three-year break with its Andy Savours-produced third album, which finds frontman/songwriter Kip Berman backed by a slightly retooled lineup that now also includes Jen Goma (of A Sunny Day in Glasgow) and Kelly Pratt (who has worked with Beirut and David Byrne & St. Vincent). The band's live lineup has also been reconfigured, with departed guitarist Christoph Hochheim now back in the fold.
To Be Kind 2xCD LISTEN (NPR)
Since re-forming Swans four years ago, Michael Gira has been remarkably prolific, already releasing two studio albums (including 2012's stunning The Seer) and several live albums. Proceeds from their most recent live set have been used to finance the recording of this new double studio album, To Be Kind, with John Congleton. St. Vincent and Cold Specks are among the guests on the two-hour, 10-song set.
- Agalloch The Serpent & The Sphere LISTEN (NPR)
- Amen Dunes Love LISTEN (Pitchfork)
- Produced by Godspeed You! Black Emperor's Efrim Menuck
- Joseph Arthur Lou
- Arthur covers 12 songs by Lou Reed
- James Bay Let It Go EP
- Blondie Blondie 4(0) Ever 2xCD LISTEN (CoS)
- First disc is a new studio album (Ghosts of Download); second disc features new recordings of classic Blondie tracks
- Cheap Girls Famous Graves LISTEN (CoS)
- The Clientele Suburban Light 2xCD
- Expanded reissue of terrific 2000 singles collection adds B-sides, covers, and 3 previously unreleased tracks
- David J An Eclipse of Ships
- Alexandre Desplat Godzilla OST
- Down Down IV – Part Two EP
- Explosions in the Sky & Steve Jablonsky Lone Survivor OST
- Fatima Yellow Memories
- Geronimo! Cheap Trick LISTEN (Stereogum)
- Hallelujah The Hills Have You Ever Done Something Evil?
- Hiss Tracts Shortwave Nights
- The Howlin' Brothers Trouble
- Iamsu! Sincerely Yours
- Killer Be Killed Killer Be Killed
- Kishi Bashi Lighght LISTEN (NPR)
- Kitty Impatiens EP
- La Sera Hour of the Dawn
- Walter Martin We're All Young Together
- Solo debut from The Walkmen member features guest appearances by members of that band as well as The National, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
- Dave Mason Future's Past
- John Mayall A Special Life
- Me First & The Gimme Gimmes Are We Not Men We Are Diva
- Mimicking Birds Eons LISTEN (Stereogum)
- Mirah Changing Light LISTEN (NPR)
- Guests include Greg Saunier (Deerhoof) and Mary Timony
- Mushroomhead The Righteous & The Butterfly
- Neighbors Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?
- Dolly Parton Blue Smoke LISTEN (NPR)
- Rascal Flatts Rewind
- Sean Nicholas Savage Bermuda Waterfall LISTEN (Pitchfork)
- Sturgill Simpson Metamodern Sounds in Country Music LISTEN (NPR)
- Candi Staton Life Happens
- Sylvan Esso Sylvan Esso LISTEN (NPR)
- New duo features members of Megafaun and Mountain Man
- Tiny Ruins Brightly Painted One LISTEN (NY Times)
- Tobacco Ultima II Massage LISTEN (Pitchfork)
- Vallenfyre Splinters
- Various I Saved Latin! A Tribute to Wes Anderson 2xCD
- Features artists such as Kristin Hersh, Juliana Hatfield, Matt Pond, and Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin covering songs heard in the director's films
- Various Music From the Original Series Orange Is the New Black OST
- Kristeen Young The Knife Shift LISTEN (SPIN)
- Guests include Dave Grohl and Tony Visconti
- Young Widows Easy Pain
More streaming and downloadable new music
- American Football
- ALBUM American Football (deluxe reissue) streaming at Pitchfork.
- Tori Amos
- TRACK "16 Shades of Blue" streaming at NPR.
- TRACK "Habitat" (from the forthcoming Habitat EP) streaming at Soundcloud.
- Haley Bonar
- ALBUM Last War streaming until its 5/20 release at NPR.
- TRACK "Bang" streaming at NPR.
- ALBUM Ghost Stories streaming until its 5/19 release at iTunes.
- Guided by Voices
- TRACK "Table at Fool's Tooth" streaming at Noisey.
- Jolie Holland
- ALBUM Wine Dark Sea streaming until its 5/20 release at NPR.
- Michael Jackson
- TRACKS "Xscape" and "Blue Gangsta" streaming at MTV.
TRACK "Do You Know Where Your Children Are?" streaming at Radio.com.
TRACK "Loving You" streaming at Idolator.
- TRACK "90s Music" streaming at YouTube.
- TRACK "Show Me a Miracle" streaming at YouTube.
- Hamilton Leithauser
- TRACK "In The Shallows" (new non-album B-side) streaming at Soundcloud.
- Lykke Li
- TRACK "No One Ever Loved" (from The Fault In Our Stars OST) streaming at YouTube.
- TRACK "No You And Me" streaming at Soundcloud.
- Conor Oberst
- TRACK "Kick" streaming at Pitchfork.
ALBUM Upside Down Mountain streaming until its 5/20 release at NPR.
- TRACK "Atatawa" streaming at Soundcloud.
- Reigning Sound
- TRACK "Never Coming Home" streaming at Soundcloud.
- Emma Ruth Rundle
- ALBUM Some Heavy Ocean streaming at Pitchfork.
- Shabazz Palaces
- TRACK "They Come In Gold" streaming at Soundcloud.
- Yann Tiersen
- ALBUM Infinity streaming until its 5/20 release at NPR.
- White Sea [M83's Morgan Kibby]
- TRACK "Future Husbands Past Lives" streaming at Soundcloud.
ALBUM In Cold Blood (out next week) streaming at Hype Machine.
On TV this week (new episodes only)
- Monday: The Black Keys (Letterman, plus Live on Letterman webcast at 7:30p ET) Franz Ferdinand (Carson Daly), M.I.A. (Meyers), Neil Young and Jack White (Fallon; their performance will be pressed to vinyl live during the broadcast)
- Tuesday: The Black Keys (Colbert), Hozier (Letterman), Night Terrors of 1927 (Carson Daly), Dolly Parton (Fallon), Wild Cub (Conan)
- Wednesday: Lily Allen (Fallon), Birds of Satan (Kimmel), Blondie (Daily Show), Randy Houser (Letterman), The Preatures (Carson Daly), The Wild Feathers (Meyers)
- Thursday: Iggy Azalea (Kimmel)
- Friday: Chromeo (Letterman), Elbow (Fallon)
- Saturday: St. Vincent (Saturday Night Live)
Recent artist and industry news
- Apple is reportedly on the verge of acquiring Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion, though many financial analysts question the logic of the deal. - Wall Street Journal
- Check out the CBC's '90s alt-rock vocal hook supercut.
- Watch a trailer and some clips for the Kickstarter-funded documentary about the shoegaze movement, Beautiful Noize, which profiles artists such as My Bloody Valentine, Cocteau Twins, and the Jesus and Mary Chain.
The latest music videos
Lana Del Rey, "West Coast":
Deltron 3030 feat. Jamie Cullum, "Do You Remember":
Mogwai, "Simon Ferocious":
Courtney Love, "You Know My Name":
First Aid Kit, "Cedar Lane":
Flying Lotus, "Phantasm":
Usher, "Good Kisser":
Eminem, "Headlights" [directed by Spike Lee]:
In the studio / coming soon
- EDM star Deadmau5 will release his seventh album, While (1<2), on June 17th. The double album will feature 25 tracks. - Billboard
- Shabazz Palaces return with second LP Lese Majesty on July 29 via Sub Pop.
- British singer La Roux will release her sophomore album Trouble in Paradise on 7/7.
- Madonna has been in the studio with Diplo to record her next album. - Billboard
- Why Do the Heathen Rage?, the first album in a decade for Matmos side project The Soft Pink Truth, will consist of house music covers of classic black metal tracks; it's out June 17th via Thrill Jockey. - Pitchfork
- Robert Plant's upcoming (and still untitled) solo set will be out September 9th; he tells Rolling Stone that it is "very West African and very Massive Attack-y."
- 1990s emo band Braid will release No Coast, their first album in 16 years, on July 8th.
- Sinéad O'Connor will release her 10th album, The Vishnu Room, on August 12th via new label Nettwerk. - Billboard
- Big Boi has signed a new record deal with Epic, though there's no word yet on a release date for his next solo album. - Billboard
- After her current tour ends, Miley Cyrus will head to the studio to record her next album ... with the Flaming Lips. - Rolling Stone
Visit Metacritic's Album Release Calendar for a full listing of upcoming release dates, updated daily.
Tours and festivals
- Dates for next year's Coachella festival have been set: April 10-12 and April 17-19, 2015. Tickets go on sale this Friday at 10am PDT.
- Lily Allen has announced fall dates in North America. - Billboard
- The Black Keys will spend the remainder of 2014 on the road in support of their new album; some dates feature St. Vincent. - Billboard
- Neutral Milk Hotel continue to add dates to their 2014 tour. - Pitchfork
- Conor Oberst has added more U.S. dates. - CoS
- Spoon have announced a few live dates for summer and fall as they gear up to release their first album since 2010's Transference. - Pitchfork
- The War on Drugs kick off a North American leg of their tour in September. - Pitchfork