Note that Music Monday will be off next week due to the Memorial Day holiday. We'll return on Monday, June 2. However, next week's key album releases will be covered in our big Summer Music Preview, coming later this week.
This week's new album releases
Note that most releases this week will be out on Monday, May 19 instead of the usual Tuesday. Titles out on Tuesday, May 20 are marked with an asterisk.
Chris Martin & co. return today with their sixth album overall and first since 2011's Mylo Xyloto. Ghost Stories finds the band teaming up with producer Paul Epworth (Adele) for the first time, though other producers like Jon Hopkins, Rik Simpson, Dan Green, and the band's own Guy Berryman also contributed. While it seems that Coldplay may have finally found the more stripped-down sound they were originally aiming for with their previous album, that may not be a good thing. Many critics are complaining that the new set—which basically serves as Chris Martin's break-up album—is bland, unvarying, and forgettable.
Upside Down Mountain LISTEN (Spotify)
The Bright Eyes and Desaparecidos leader returns with his sixth solo album. This intimate set of 13 folk-pop songs was recorded mainly with producer Jonathan Wilson. Swedish alt-folk duo First Aid Kit (who have their own new album out next month) provide backup vocals on much of the album. Reviews are mostly strong, though some critics note a lack of excitement present on the record.
After a detour with an Elvis Costello collaboration (Wise Up Ghost), Philly's Legendary Roots Crew (aka The Tonight Show Band) return with a proper follow-up to 2011's excellent undun. Like that set, &TYSYC is also a concept album, this time exploring themes of violence in American society (and especially in the world of hip-hop) through the stories of several characters. Guests include Raheem DeVaughn, Nina Simone, and Mary Lou Williams.
- Afrojack Forget the World LISTEN (Spotify)
- Debut LP for the Dutch producer features collaborations with Wiz Khalifa and Sting
- Ambarachi, O'Malley, Dunn Shade Themes From Kairos
- American Football American Football 2xCD/2xLP
- Deluxe reissue of emo band's only album (originally out in 1999) adds a disc of demos, live tracks, and other rarities
- Archie Bronson Outfit Wild Crush
- Matt Berry Music for Insomniacs
- Blu Good to Be Home 2xCD LISTEN (Spotify)
- * Bo Ningen III
- * Haley Bonar Last War
- The Brian Jonestown Massacre Revelation LISTEN (Spotify)
- * Melaena Cadiz Deep Below Heaven
- California Breed California Breed
- * CFCF Outsiders EP
- * Chatham County Line Tightrope
- Cherry Ghost Herd Runners
- * Crow Bait Sliding Through The Halls Of Fate
- * Devo Something Else For Everybody
- Compilation includes previously unreleased demos and focus group rejects, recorded from 2006 to 2009
- Toumani Diabate and Sidiki Diabate Toumani & Sidiki LISTEN (Spotify)
- The Doors Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine 2xCD
- Remastered re-release of out-of-print 1972 compilation that includes 22 songs recorded between 1967-71
- The Everymen Givin' Up On Free Jazz
- The Flaming Lips 7 Skies H3 LISTEN (Spotify)
- CD release of 50-minute condensed version of the band's 24-hour song (originally released via skull in 2011)
- Brantley Gilbert Just As I Am
- Holly Hoffman Low Life
- * Jolie Holland Wine Dark Sea LISTEN (3voor12)
- Billy Joel A Matter Of Trust: The Bridge To Russia—The Deluxe Edition 2xCD+Blu-ray/DVD
- Deluxe remastered reissue of 1987 live set adds 11 previously unreleased tracks, while the Blu-ray combines the 1987 VHS Live From Leningrad concert film with a new documentary (while the separate DVD release offers condensed versions of both)
- Oasis Definitely, Maybe 3xCD/4xLP
- Deluxe 20th anniversary reissue includes remastered album plus demos, live tracks, and other rarities
- Phillip Phillips Behind the Light LISTEN (Spotify)
- * Plaid Reachy Prints LISTEN (Clash)
- Rachel Portman Belle OST
- PUJOL Kludge LISTEN (Spotify)
- Quirke Acid Beth EP
- R.E.M. Unplugged 1991/2001: The Complete Sessions 2xCD
- Royal Trux Radio Video EP
- * Emma Ruth Rundle Some Heavy Ocean
- * Ed Schrader's Music Beat Party Jail LISTEN (Spin)
- Kenny Wayne Shepherd Goin' Home
- Smoke Fairies Smoke Fairies
- The Sunshine Underground The Sunshine Underground
- Available only as an import in the U.S.
- Syd Arthur Sound Mirror LISTEN (Stereogum)
- Kate Tempest Everybody Down
- Yann Tiersen ∞ (Infinity) LISTEN (Spotify)
- Guests include Aidan Moffat of Arab Strap
- Tohpati Tribal Dance
- * Trans Am Volume X
- * Traxman Da Mind of Traxman Vol 2
- Various Chef OST
- Various The Fault in Our Stars OST LISTEN (Spotify)
- Includes tracks by Ed Sheeran, Lykke Li, Charli XCX, Ray LaMontagne, Radio Dept., Jake Bugg, and more
- Various Hyperdub 10.1 2xCD
- Various Million Dollar Arm OST
- * Bry Webb Free Will
- Solo album from Constantines frontman
- White Sea In Cold Blood LISTEN (Spotify)
- Solo debut for M83 vocalist Morgan Kibby
- Rob Zombie The Zombie Horror Picture Show DVD/Blu-ray
- Concert film recorded during recent tour
Stream upcoming albums and new tracks
- ALBUM Babes EP (out 5/27) streaming at AV Club.
- TRACK "Drowning" streaming at Soundcloud.
- Beat Connection
- TRACK "Hesitation" streaming at Soundcloud.
- Bonnie "Prince" Billy & The Cairo Gang
- TRACK "We Love Our Hole" streaming at Soundcloud.
- Anna Calvi
- TRACK "Papi Pacify" (FKA twigs cover) streaming at Soundcloud.
- TRACK "Windswept" streaming at Soundcloud.
- Cymbals Eat Guitars
- TRACK "Jackson" streaming at Soundcloud.
- Echo & The Bunnymen
- ALBUM Meteorites (out 6/3) streaming at The Guardian.
- TRACK "Come Crashing" (first new song in 18 years) streaming at Bandcamp.
- The Fresh & Onlys
- TRACK "Who Let the Devil" streaming at Soundcloud.
- Hercules and Love Affair
- ALBUM The Feast of the Broken Heart streaming until its 5/27 release at Pitchfork.
- Hundred Waters
- ALBUM The Moon Rang Like A Bell streaming until its 5/27 release at NPR.
- TRACK "Where No One Goes" (from the How to Train Your Dragon 2 OST) streaming at Soundcloud.
- Lil Wayne
- TRACK "D'usse" streaming at YouTube.
- Manic Street Preachers
- TRACK "Europa Geht Durch Mich" streaming at YouTube (lyric video).
- Owen Pallett
- ALBUM In Conflict streaming until its 5/27 release at NPR.
- Parquet Courts
- TRACK "Instant Disassembly" streaming at Soundcloud.
- ALBUM Fortuna (out 5/27) streaming at Stereogum.
- Spank Rock
- TRACK "Gully" streaming at Soundcloud.
- TRACK "Let's Go" (feat. Icona Pop) streaming at YouTube.
- Sharon Van Etten
- ALBUM Are We There streaming until its 5/27 release at iTunes Radio.
- Tom Vek
- TRACK "Broke" streaming at Stereogum.
- Jack White
- TRACK "Just One Drink" streaming at Rolling Stone.
On TV this week (new episodes only)
- Monday: Band of Skulls (Carson Daly), Charles Bradley (Kimmel), Counting Crows (Meyers), The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger (Conan), Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks (Letterman), Conor Oberst (Fallon)
- Tuesday: The Roots (Fallon), Timeflies (Kimmel), We Are Scientists (Letterman)
- Wednesday: Dierks Bentley (Letterman), Barry Gibb (Fallon), Lykke Li (Kimmel), Sylvan Esso (Carson Daly), Veruca Salt (Conan)
- Thursday: Little Dragon (Kimmel), Jennifer Nettles (Conan), Chad Smith vs. Will Ferrell drum-off (Fallon), Tinariwen (Carson Daly)
- Friday: Rascal Flatts (Fallon)
The latest music videos
Arcade Fire, "We Exist" [starring Andrew Garfield]:
Paul McCartney, "Appreciate":
Damon Albarn, "Mr Tembo":
Michael Jackson feat. Justin Timberlake, "Love Never Felt So Good":
The Roots, "Understand":
Sharon Van Etten, "Every Time the Sun Comes Up":
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, "Until the Sun Explodes":
Fucked Up, "Sun Glass":
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, "As Always":
M.I.A., "Double Bubble Trouble":
Röyksopp & Robyn, "Sayit":
Lee Ranaldo & The Dust, "Blackt Out":
In the studio / coming soon
- Foo Fighters have confirmed a fall release for their next LP, which the band has been recording in eight cities around the world with special guests (including Joe Walsh and Cheap Trick) at each stop (while filming the sessions for an upcoming HBO documentary series, which will also debut this fall). - Billboard
- Bob Dylan may release a new album later this year, reports Rolling Stone.
- Basement Jaxx have set an August 25 release date for Junto, their first LP since 2009.
- Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis will release her next solo album, The Voyager, on July 29th.
- Sia's first album in four years, the Greg Kurstin-produced 1000 Forms of Fear, now has a confirmed July 8 release date.
- Phish's first studio album in five years, Fuego, drops June 24th. - Billboard
- Saddle Creek artist (and Azure Ray member) Orenda Fink will release her next album, Blue Dream, on August 19th.
- Maroon 5's fifth album, V, will arrive on September 2. - Billboard
- The (now-capitalized) JJ will release a new album, V, on August 19th. Here's a somewhat creepy trailer.
- The Flaming Lips will release With A Little Help From My Fwends, a track-for-track cover of The Beatles' 1967 landmark Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, on October 28th. The "fwends" guesting on the LP include Miley Cyrus and Moby.
- In addition to reuniting with Fleetwood Mac this year, Stevie Nicks is working on a new solo album, 24 Karat Gold: Songs From the Vault, which includes new recordings of songs that never made it onto her previous releases. It's due in October. - Billboard
- Anna Calvi has her own covers project, Strange Weather, due on July 15th. The five-song EP features two collaborations with David Byrne.
- Out June 2nd in the UK, La Petite Mort will be the first album from James in six years. - NME
Visit Metacritic's Album Release Calendar for a full listing of upcoming release dates, updated daily.
Tours and festivals
- Nonesuch Records will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a 23-night concert series at the Brooklyn Academy of Music with performances from artists ranging from Stephin Merritt to Philip Glass.
- The Afghan Whigs have made plans for the fall. - Pitchfork
- The Airborne Toxic Event kick off a fall tour with a three-night stand at San Francisco's Fillmore. - Pollstar
- The Beach Boys: still touring. - Rolling Stone
- Ceremony has new dates set for this summer. - Matador
- Clap Your Hands Say Yeah will tour in support of their upcoming LP. - Pitchfork
- How to Dress Well start their North American tour on August 21st. - CoS
- Jay Z and Beyoncé's joint summer tour now has a trailer starring Sean Penn, Don Cheadle, Emmy Rossum, Jake Gyllenhaal, Rashida Jones, and more.
- Kasabian have scheduled 10 North American dates for the fall. - Pollstar
- Miranda Lambert kicks off her Platinum Tour on July 10th. - Pollstar
- The Orwells will hit the road this fall. - CoS
- Jeff Tweedy of Wilco launches his solo tour (with a new backing band) in June; a solo album is also coming soon. - Pitchfork
- The War on Drugs will take the fight back to the U.S. this fall. - Pollstar