Cloudy with a chance of Drake: Here’s what’s coming to record stores in April

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Cloudy with a chance of Drake: Here’s what’s coming to record stores in April

Illustration: Nick Wanserski
Illustration: Nick Wanserski

Every Friday, dozens of new records are released into the wild. Some make big splashes, and others sink almost immediately. For most music consumers, it’s almost too much information, and save for those precious few who spend their hours glued to reviews sites and release calendars, it’s hard to know what’s coming out when. Thankfully, The A.V. Club is ready to help those struggling souls. Each month, we’ll publish a fairly comprehensive list of what’s coming to record stores and streaming services in upcoming weeks, complete with capsule previews so interested parties can know what to expect.


April 1

Weezer, Weezer

Hailed as another return to form for the group, Weezer’s latest self-titled LP—this time dubbed “The White Album”—is still probably a fans-only proposition. Tracks like “King Of The World,” “Thank God For Girls,” and “Do You Wanna Get High?” are cheery enough, but given that Weezer is the group’s 10th record of fairly similar material, casual observers can just YouTube the singles and skip the rest. [Marah Eakin]

Cheap Trick, Bang Zoom Crazy...Hello

How is Cheap Trick celebrating finally being inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame? By reminding people that it’s still a vibrant band with plenty of creative juice left in the tank. The forthcoming Bang Zoom Crazy...Hello LP is a throwback to the group’s ’80s hard rock days—not circa power ballad “The Flame,” mind you, but more specifically, the larger-than-life, guitar-slicked power-pop that ensured Cheap Trick’s perma-cool reputation. [Annie Zaleski]

Operators, Blue Wave

As Dan Boeckner readies for the return of his beloved indie outfit Wolf Parade, the Canadian singer and multi-instrumentalist isn’t neglecting Operators, the terrific synth-pop project he debuted in 2014. The follow-up to that year’s EP 1 promises a “more live, punked-out sound,” though producer Graham Walsh of Holy Fuck hasn’t stripped away all the ’80s sheen. Lead single “Cold Light” is New Order swoon with a Go-Gos backbeat. [Kenneth Partridge]

Tacocat, Lost Time

Seattle’s Tacocat is no stranger to making waves, and that’s what makes Lost Time’s lead single “I Hate The Weekend” hit so hard. Though their songs often bathe in the warmth of bubbly pop-punk, they’re also a vehicle for grand declarations, such as Lost Time’s “Men Explain Things To Me” referencing Rebecca Solnit’s excellent book of the same name. Lost Time is catchy, subversive, and perfectly Tacocat. [David Anthony]

Yeasayer, Amen & Goodbye

The first song released from Amen & Goodbye starts off riding a relatively normal pop vibe—“normal” being relative for a band that cites a worldly soup of influences. Eventually it drops into a chorus of female voices straight from a ’70s folk album, then just as quickly finds its psychedelic groove. In other words, it’s expansive, weird, and exactly what you should probably expect. [Josh Modell]

Moderat, III

Moderat, the moniker of Berlin rave scene alums Modeselektor and Apparat, has been forging some of the most immediate electronic music of our Information Age. Apparat’s shimmering vocals complement synthedelic beats and tantric percussion, especially on the single “Reminder” from the duo’s upcoming release, III. Pfadfinderei, the band’s longtime visual creative mastermind, will be joining Moderat on tour, which, if the “Reminder” video is any indication, may include elements of virtual reality. Dust off your dancing shoes, and stat. [Paula Mejia]

Babymetal, Metal Resistance

Metal Resistance marks the return of everyone’s favorite Japanese metal girl group Babymetal. The followup to its eponymous 2014 debut promises to further build on what the teen-fronted band does best: unrelenting, fast-paced metal tracks that are just as undeniably cute and melodic. Expect soaring riffs coupled with Japanese lyrics punctuated with English words clearly meant for sing-alongs. [Nilina Mason-Campbell]

Charles Bradley, Changes

Growing up, Charles Bradley lived a quiet life of controlled chaos: He slept in subway cars and scraped by as a dishwasher, but he had talent, and moonlit as a soul singer at dingy venues for two decades. His debut record, No Time For Dreaming, came out in 2011, when Bradley was 61. Understandably, his sound evokes the heyday of Motown, striking a similar chord to Otis Redding and Smokey Robinson. [Sam Blum]

Bleached, Welcome The Worms

Fresh off an absolutely face-melting set at The A.V. Club’s SXSW party, Bleached appears ready to deliver a fierce followup to its 2013 debut album Ride Your Heart. Judging from the live versions of the new songs, Welcome The Worms should be full of even more anthemic barn-burners, with the group’s ’70s garage-rock style—along with just a hint of new wave glam—honed to a razor-blade sheen. [Alex McCown]

Explosions In The Sky, The Wilderness

Explosions In The Sky hasn’t been shy about mixing things up, especially with its steady film-scoring career of the past decade. But after a five-year hiatus in the cinematic wilds, the group is finally releasing a proper album again. The Wilderness looks to expand the group’s sonic palette even further, with new track “Disintegration Anxiety” suggesting some glitchy effects work and ambient tones slightly outside the Explosions’ historical comfort zone. But not too far outside. [Alex McCown]

Child Bite, Negative Noise

Produced by Phil Anselmo, the upcoming full-length from these veteran Detroit noise-rock weirdos is a mess of cycling bass lines, squealing guitars, and rantings and ravings from frontman Shawn Night. In short: It’s a Child Bite album and it’s going to be a freaky trip. For proof, just listen to “Born A Hog,” a hyper track of schizophrenic rhythms that devolves into what sounds like instruments trying to decapitate one another during a battle royale. [Kevin Warwick]

Mogwai, Atomic

When listening to “U-235” off Mogwai’s upcoming album Atomic, it’s easy to be thrown at first: The stately drums and single synth pulse sounds more like Kraftwerk. But soon enough, the band’s distinctive tone creeps in, integrating some new sounds into its potent brew. A re-working of music for a BBC documentary on the dawn of the atomic age from last year, it portends an uneasy and jittery vibe. [Alex McCown]

Andrew Bird, Are You Serious

Given that Are You Serious is Andrew Bird’s 13th studio album, fans are probably safe to assume they know what they’re going to get. The whistling tunesmith hasn’t mixed things up much over the course of his career—not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. Are You Serious could be a bit of a departure considering he’s enlisted guests like Blake Mills and Fiona Apple for appearances, but given what we’ve heard so far, it’s probably not. [Marah Eakin]

Frankie Cosmos, Next Thing

While it might seem likely that Greta Kline, a.k.a. Frankie Cosmos, would get a boost from her famous ’rents (Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates), that’s never really been part of the narrative for her project’s conquering of the twee hearts of Brooklyn through a prolific output of self-released material. With Next Thing, sights will be set beyond the DIY scene where she is already a fixture, building on the strength of her 2014 debut LP Zentropy through immediate, comforting melodies and lyrics that charm with open-heart sincerity. [Philip Cosores]

John Congleton And The Nighty Nite, Until The Horror Goes

Few producers have shaped the feel of contemporary indie rock more than John Congleton, a studio hound who’s had a hand in great records from St. Vincent, Shearwater, Modest Mouse, The Walkmen, Swans, and dozens of others. He also led the underrated noise-rock band The Paper Chase for over a decade. Until The Horror Goes is his first record under his own name, and while the first single “Until It Goes” retains the claustrophobic trappings of his old act, it’s a pop song at its core, cheerful in its own endearingly demented way. [Evan Rytlewski]

Pet Shop Boys, Super

Thirty years after “West End Girls” became a massive U.K. and U.S. hit, Pet Shop Boys are still peerless in the electropop realm. Proof: The duo’s latest album, Super, makes room for glitzy house throwbacks (“The Pop Kids,” an ode to youthful musical snobbery and freedom) and contemporary-sounding dancefloor surges with just a slight retro wink (“Inner Sanctum”). Expect the rest of Super to also reference Pet Shop Boys’ cheeky humor and sly social commentary. [Annie Zaleski]

The Field, The Follower

The Follower is about old myths, finding utopia, and how mankind repeatedly makes the same mistakes over and over,” The Field mastermind Axel Willner said of his new album. Themes of repetition, it’s safe to say, are uniquely suited to Willner’s music, which tends to weave natural instruments into looping techno beats. Like his songs, The Field’s music develops slowly, with each album distinguishing itself more in tone than in structure. Each record does seem to expand the musician’s scope, however, and all this talk of “old myths” and “utopia” certainly sounds, well, big. [Randall Colburn]

Woodpigeon, Trouble

After his grandiose, atmospheric chamber-pop grabbed some attention in 2013, Mark Andrew Hamilton takes a weirder turn on Trouble, a record that is much less structured, sometimes repetitive, stubborn in demanding soft simplicity yet at times louder than feels appropriate. It’s the type of album that puzzles at first but intrigues with the possibility to grow into something memorable and lasting. [Chris Mincher]

Autolux, Pussy’s Dead

Autolux washes its sound in bubbly effects and lilting vocal patterns, the effect of which can create something quite serene. But it might be the smooth thump of Carla Azar’s drum beats and the band’s ability to fuse tension and relaxed, ebbing rhythms that give Autolux such a sense of cool. It’s been six years since the band’s last LP, and if we’re to expect anything similar to Transit Transit, we can expect exceptional things. [Sam Blum]

Black Mountain, IV

It’s been a few years since Black Mountain scored the surf-rock film Year Zero, and a few more since the release of its last proper album, Wilderness Heart. If anything, though, the popular taste for bearded dudes, flutes, and hypnotic psychedelic riffs has grown since then, creating a kind atmosphere for the band’s fourth stoner-rock opus, appropriately named IV. Lead single “Mothers Of The Sun” is an epic eight-minute jam, with ’60s style space-rock keyboards and singer Amber Webber’s uniquely beautiful voice floating over some seriously head-nodding guitar. [Katie Rife]

Kaada/Patton, Bacteria Cult

Mike Patton is a busy little bee. In addition to Faith No More’s triumphant return last year, Nevermen, Patton’s trip-hop super group, recently released its debut. Bacteria Cult is the follow-up to Kaada/Patton’s 2004 collaboration, Romances, which sounds like Animal Collective and Ween having a paint huffing party. With Bacteria Cult, all signs point to a similarly bizarre mass of oddball brilliance. [J.J. Anselmi]

Shonen Knife, Adventure

Pop-punk icons Shonen Knife are set to commemorate the group’s 35th anniversary with the release of the latest full-length Adventure. Coinciding with the return of original drummer Atsuko Yamano, the trio’s followup to Overdrive is equal parts ’70s rock and surf paired with poppy back beats and garage-like riffs. Tracks like “Jump Into The New World,” the first single off Adventure to be released, are arresting with bittersweet lyricism and undeniably catchy hooks. Easily a suitable soundtrack for spring, Shonen Knife’s Adventure is destined to be adored. [Dianca London]


April 8

M83, Junk

After 10 years of a steadily growing audience, French-born and Los Angeles-residing M83 transformed from atmospheric critical darling to unexpected alt-radio fixture with the release of 2011’s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming and its megahit, “Midnight City.” But all early indications are that Junk won’t continue the progression to commercial viability, as the record cites influences from esoteric sources like Tangerine Dream, Aphex Twin, and My Bloody Valentine. If anything, we can count on a wealth of ideas from a project that has never been content to rest on its laurels. [Philip Cosores]

Frightened Rabbit, Painting Of A Panic Attack

Frightened Rabbit shifted into a lower gear after touring for 2013’s Pedestrian Verse. Singer-guitarist Scott Hutchison moved to America and pursued the solo project Owl John, but the band regrouped for Painting Of A Panic Attack, which is about the most Frightened Rabbit album title ever. The music is similarly harrowing, as Hutchinson has gained no sunny disposition from living in Los Angeles. But he’s best when he’s anxious, so it works out nicely for the music. (Hopefully he’s okay, too.) [Josh Modell]

Parquet Courts, Human Performance

Brooklyn’s Parquet Courts gets existential on its fifth full-length album Human Performance. Recorded over the span of a year, the four-piece’s latest explores the all-too-familiar anxieties and instabilities of our postmodern predicament. The metaphorical and literal implications of urban landscapes, clutter, and noise are conveyed via fuzzed-out chords and deliberate diction, making songs like “Dust” living proof that Human Parts is more than just memorable, it’s cathartic. [Dianca London]

The Lumineers, Cleopatra

It’s make-or-break time for The Lumineers, who are hoping Cleopatra can make them more than just that “Ho Hey” band. Though the hit single did wonders for the Denver group, spending 62 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, if Cleopatra fails to hit, it could also land the band firmly in one-hit wonder territory. With producer Simone Felice of The Felice Brothers in tow, the group’s aiming big with tracks like “Ophelia.” [Marah Eakin]

Future Of The Left, The Peace & Truce Of Future Of The Left

Just when you think Andrew Falkous can’t snarl with any more bite, he always seems to drill deeper to unearth a well of piss and vinegar. The Future Of The Left frontman spearheaded a PledgeMusic campaign to get their newest nugget of noisy rock released via the band’s own Prescriptions label, and you can’t mistake the thrum of the choppy yet thick drumming and grinding bass sound on a track like “The Limits Of Battleships.” There’s never a dull moment with these dudes. [Kevin Warwick]

Niki & The Dove, Everybody’s Heart Is Broken Now

Niki & The Dove’s mantra seems to be “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Nearly four years after releasing its debut LP, Instinct, the Swedish duo is returning with a new album steeped in moody synthpop. “So Much It Hurts” resembles Stevie Nicks’ early ’80s solo work (that’s a good thing), while the seductive gem “Play It On My Radio” fits right in with Tegan And Sara’s recent work. [Annie Zaleski]

Mayer Hawthorne, Man About Town

Neo-soul purveyor Mayer Hawthorne returns with his fourth full-length album, which sounds even slinkier and groove-driven than 2013’s Where Does This Door Go. The album features Hawthorne as producer, which hints that this may well be the purest distillation of his idiosyncratic take on myriad genres to date. It’s an emotionally eclectic album, running a wide gamut of emotions, ranging from the frivolous to disarmingly vulnerable. [John Everhart]

Colin Stetson, Sorrow

Colin Stetson’s latest record, and his first solo effort since 2013, seems to be about how music can be transformative, how sounds can shift our perspective. Sorrow reimagines Polish composer Henryk Górecki’s “Symphony No. 3,” changing the aesthetic and delivery rather than the notation. Considering Stetson’s consistently ambitious and moving creative vision, and the wealth of collaborators he’s brought in for the album, including fellow Canadians Sarah Neufeld and Rebecca Foon, Sorrow is bound to be more than just an interesting experiment in sonic interpretation. [Kyle Fowle]

Deftones, Gore

Considering the longevity—and quality—of Deftones in comparison to bands like Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park, nü-metal seems like an inaccurate category for the band. At this point, the Sacramento quintet has become its own genre, and Gore further exemplifies Deftones’ ability to evolve. First single “Prayers/Triangles” drips with a no-wave sensibility, marking yet another stage in this dynamic band’s career. Like the flamingos’ necks in the video, the song moves in hypnotic waves. [J.J. Anselmi]

Hayes Carll, Lovers And Leavers

Hayes Carll wasted no time recording Lovers And Leavers, his first solo album in five years: The singer-songwriter and producer Joe Henry recorded the album live in just five days. Unsurprisingly, this batch of songs is immediate and intimate, with Carll’s honeyed cowboy twang matching wits with sparse acoustic guitar, and the occasional swinging organ or mournful piano—a moody atmosphere fit for songs about divorce, new love, and fatherhood. [Annie Zaleski]

The Dandy Warhols, Distortland

In the druggy, psychedelic world long-inhabited by the Dandy Warhols, it’s hard to think of a more on-the-nose album title than Distortland. The Warhols’ 10th studio effort lives up to its name, at least if we’re to judge by its lead single “You Are Killing Me.” Moving forward in a heavier direction from 2012’s subtle This Machine, the song is almost mechanical in its straight-forwardness, but it’s as self-consciously cool and catchy as one would expect from the alt-rock veterans. [Ryan Bray]

Tim Hecker, Love Streams

If Tim Hecker’s output doesn’t already make you clamor to hear his new record, consider that he’s said to have found inspiration for Love Streams in considering the current state of music and has namedropped Yeezus as an aesthetic interest along the way. Hecker’s music has never shied away from deconstruction, from using space and dissonance to create fascinating compositional juxtapositions. Judging by the first track released from the album, “Castrati Stack,” Hecker is ready to do it again. [Kyle Fowle]

Woods, City Sun Eater In The River Of Light

Nine albums is a statement. Heck, it’s a career for most bands. But for freak out-prone folkies Woods, it’s just a decade’s worth of work. That isn’t to say that ninth album, City Sun Eater In The River Of Light, isn’t without its distinction—it is only the band’s second LP recorded in a proper studio—but part of the charm of Woods has been in the group’s subtle refinements. This offering is also promising an influence from Ethiopian jazz, too. So, there’s that. [Philip Cosores]

Har Mar Superstar, Best Summer Ever

Sean Tillmann is best known for his horny slob of an alter-ego, Har Mar Superstar, but his minimalist R&B isn’t always tongue-in-cheek. As if reminding everyone that even sex fiends have souls, his latest single, “Youth Without Love”—penned by Julian Casablancas—focuses on a back-and-forth romance rather than full-on lust. While that’s not definitive proof that Best Summer Ever won’t have its dirtier moments, perhaps Tillmann wants to be taken more seriously than usual. [Dan Caffrey]


April 15

John Carpenter, Lost Themes II

John Carpenter’s Lost Themes was one of the best albums of 2015, an assemblage of music that would perfectly score one of his films, full of ominous synths and throbbing tension. Lost Themes II looks to expand on that sonic palette, adding more guitars and including more of a live-band sound, as the three musicians were in the same city this time around. Sounds scary, in the best possible way. [Alex McCown]

PJ Harvey, The Hope Six Demolition Project

PJ Harvey’s latest project is also one of her most conceptually daring recordings. The music was composed as part of a London museum exhibition last year, in sessions that were open to the public. Harvey also traveled to Kosovo and Afghanistan during the record’s creation, and the resulting music promises to once more transform the artist’s sound, both stylistically and structurally. Unfortunately, the second single and video for the album are… not encouraging. [Alex McCown]

J Dilla, The Diary

Like many departed hip-hop icons, J Dilla has had his name stamped on volumes of posthumous releases since his death in 2006. The five posthumous releases that preceded it have been mostly compilations of unreleased instrumental, but The Diary is something entirely different: a full, finished album, which Dilla recorded for MCA records in the early ’00s. And while Dilla is most celebrated as a producer, The Diary makes the case for him as a rapper, showcasing his voice over beats from peers like Hi-Tek, Pete Rock, Madlib, and Nottz. Is it a lost classic? Probably not, but it’s a complete statement from one of hip-hop’s all-time greats. [Evan Rytlewski]

Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros, Persona

The latest LP from Alex Ebert’s 10-piece cult of personality, Persona promises hippie-infused, jazz-saturated sounds, all of which were recorded in New Orleans. Marking the group’s move from less of a in-and-out musical collective to more of an actual band, Persona is also the band’s first record without “Home” singer Jade Castrinos, who left the group in 2014. [Marah Eakin]

Blaqk Audio, Material

Davey Havok and Jade Puget reconvene their electro-AFI side project for a third full-length of brooding synth work and cryptic lyricism. The first single “Anointed” covers the gamut, moving from dancing Depeche Mode to Wax Trax-era darkness, and it’s safe to assume the always expressive Havok will work the mega hooks with the same kind of foot-on-the-monitor bravado he’s been showing off since he was a wee hardcore-punk kid with a devilock. [Kevin Warwick]

Sturgill Simpson, A Sailor’s Guide To Earth

The followup to 2014’s excellent Metamodern Sounds In Country Music, Sturgill Simpson’s latest, A Sailor’s Guide To Earth, promises not only eight original alt-country burners, but also a twanged-out cover of Nirvana’s “In Bloom” that (no shit) is a lot better than the premise would suggest. Conceived as a love letter to Simpson’s first child, born about 18 months ago, “A Sailor’s Guide To Earth” could—or should, realistically—push Simpson into the upper echelon of cool country motherfuckers alongside people like Chris Stapleton and Kacey Musgraves. [Marah Eakin]

Sam Beam And Jesca Hoop, Love Letter For Fire

Jesca Hoop’s last album, 2014’s Undress, features a duet with Iron And Wine’s Sam Beam, and the two must’ve found a musical connection, since Love Letter For Fire intertwines their voices for an entire dusky set. They really do make a gorgeous pair, taking turns at the mic as much as singing together, and challenging each other to get bigger while keeping relatively hushed. [Josh Modell]

Graham Nash, This Path Tonight

For the ’60s folk-rock icon’s first solo album in 14 years, expect Nash to build upon what got him to this point in the first place: solid songwriting and superb musicianship pushing forward a message of either outward social justice or intense introspection. At 74, Nash is not about to reinvent the wheel, but—outside a creative fallow period a few decades agowhether as a solo artist, a member of The Hollies, or within the confines of Crosby, Stills & Nash, he’s consistently been able to put together something worth listening to. [Corbin Reiff]

Kevin Morby, Singing Saw

There are tinges of darkness and restlessness in the folk-rock from this 27-year-old Los Angeles singer-songwriter. On his third solo record, Morby (formerly a member of Woods and The Babies) swings from the yearning and wanderlust of songs like “I Have Been To The Mountain” and “Dorothy” to the eerie dreamscape of “Singing Saw,” a mesmerizing seven-minute excursion of guitar and piano that edges ever closer to chaos. [Eric Swedlund]

Cate Le Bon, Crab Day

Crab Day is the newest release from Welsh songwriter and shredder Cate Le Bon, whose last album, 2013’s spectacular Mug Museum, became an anthem for introverts everywhere. Given the trailer for the new album (which includes mashing pomegranates to gold-painted women swinging chairs, among other things) and the traveling “semi-experimental, semi-improvisational” musical ensemble Banana! that’s been announced for the Crab Day tour, Le Bon’s latest promises to be an ode to the whimsical and wonderful. [Paula Mejia]

The Coathangers, Nosebleed Weekend

With the release of fifth LP Nosebleed Weekend, the remarkable thing about The Coathangers’ music is how fresh and inspired it still sounds, 10 years in. The trio have never tried to reinvent the wheel of loose, three-piece punk, but the members have always appeared uncomfortable with easily classifiable labels. For its latest, The Coathangers ditched Atlanta in favor of a Southern California studio that had previously seen The Beach Boys and Bing Crosby cut records. The results should be as electric as usual. [Philip Cosores]

Ashley Shadow, Ashley Shadow

Spending a decade as bass guitarist for The Organ and an occasional collaborator with Pink Mountaintops, The Cave Singers, Lightning Dust, and Bonnie “Prince” Billy has given Ashley Shadow time to slowly refine a quiet, windswept folk sound, and her solo debut nails it. As cool and solitary as the evening sky creeping over the Western grasslands, Shadow’s vocals are a perfect match for both achingly desolate ballads (“In Shadows” taking top billing here) and distorted electric-guitar slow-burners. Ashley Shadow is sure to be one of more captivating and haunting records of the year. [Chris Mincher]


April 22

A$AP Ferg, Always Strive and Prosper

A$AP Rocky may be the clear star of their crew, but A$AP Ferg cemented himself as the fan favorite with his 2013 solo debut Trap Lord, an instant cult classic that pushed A$AP Mob’s sheik aesthetic into wilder, darker directions. So far he’s teased two tracks from the followup: “New Level,” a by-the-number Future collaboration that wasn’t much to write home about, and the awesome Schoolboy Q collaboration “Let It Bang,” which more than makes good on its title. Here’s hoping the bulk of the album is as loud and unruly. [Evan Rytlewski]

Wire, Nocturnal Koreans

Only a year after releasing its self-titled full-length, post-punk pioneer band Wire returns with a mini-album of Colin Newman’s forlorn, indifferent vocal flair coated over straight-ahead rhythms and serrated guitar lines that twirl with one another in a kind of eerie waltz. The dropped title-track single features all of the above: It’s simple and short and hooky in the way at which Wire has always been so proficient—at least if the band felt like it, that is. [Kevin Warwick]

Rufus Wainwright, Take All My Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets

Rufus Wainwright has well-expressed his love of William Shakespeare’s sonnets, having provided orchestrations for five of them to the San Francisco Symphony and composing songs for three on All Days Are Nights in 2010. Released one day prior to the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Take All My Loves turns nine sonnets into 16 tracks with the chamber-pop accessibility of the Want albums and featuring vocals (a lot of the spoken-word variety) by a motley assemblage of contributors, including Helena Bonham Carter, Carrie Fisher, William Shatner, Martha Wainwright, and Florence Welch. [Chris Mincher]

Guided By Voices, Please Be Honest

Since Guided By Voices’ most recent breakup in September 2014, Robert Pollard’s stayed busy, releasing the solo albums Of Course You Are and Faulty Superheroes. Now he’s back to using the Guided By Voices moniker, even though he played all the instruments and self-produced the new LP, Please Be Honest. Cynics may posit that he brought back the GBV name to ensure better sales and bigger live crowds. That said, the ardent, and even casual fans of the indie-rock godfather, will likely be pleased to hear a healthy mix of these new songs, which are at times commensurate with prime GBV, and his deep well of classics when they catch the ad hoc band assembled for live performances this spring. [John Everhart]

Greys, Outer Heaven

The Toronto boys in Greys play a kind of loud and blown-out brand of rock that’s comparable to their brethren in Metz. Only they’re not averse to going for the sweeping, earnest hook, which you can hear on “No Star,” the first single from Greys’ upcoming record. The band members play around with a bit of pop-punk too—not unlike Trail Of Dead—regardless of how much they try to drown everything in distortion. This is gonna be a sneaky good record. [Kevin Warwick]


April 29

Aesop Rock, The Impossible Kid

Aesop Rock’s been MIA and hasn’t released a solo album since 2012’s Skelethon. But indie-rap’s presiding maestro is back from his four-year hiatus with The Impossible Kid. It’s the product of some deep life meditations: He left the city and hightailed it to a barn in the woods to record part of the album, which probes many difficult topics, including family troubles and depression. [Paula Mejia]

Katy B, Honey

While Katy B is a U.K. superstar, that same kind of fame has (unfairly) eluded her thus far Stateside. With any luck, that’ll change with the release of her third album, Honey. After all, the Major Lazer- and Craig David-featuring R&B swerve “Who Am I” and the Deee-Lite-recalling “Turn The Music Louder (Rumble)” (a song that also features rapper Tinie Tempah) compare with—if not best—anything on the U.S. radio or dance charts. [Annie Zaleski]

Travis, Everything At Once

The first Travis record in about three years, Everything At Once finds the Scottish band exploring the art of the pop song. With all 10 songs on the record coming in around if not under three minutes, the “All I Want To Do Is Rock” group said in a press release that its new streamlining is the result of learning “to be frugal with [its] writing,” noting that “you can say everything you want to say. You don’t need four minutes to do it.” [Marah Eakin]

Brian Eno, The Ship

Not one to head down the path of least resistance, ambient king and Kraut collaborator extraordinaire Brian Eno is releasing an album that is two tracks and nearly 50 minutes in length—though the second, “Fickle Sun,” is split into three subchapters, including a cover of The Velvet Underground’s “I’m Set Free.” In reference to the makeup of the record, Eno writes on his site: “One of the starting points was my fascination with the First World War, that extraordinary trans-cultural madness that arose out of a clash of hubris between empires.” Sounds like a blast. [Kevin Warwick]

Konono No. 1, Konono No. 1 Meets Batida

For the latest entry in the Congotronics series, Konono No. 1 has teamed up with Angolan-born, Portugal-based producer Batida for a record that a press release says “is devoted to the strange and spectacular electro-traditional mixtures which are being concocted in the suburbs of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic Of The Congo.” It’s a bit of a niche record, but fans of Congotronics are legion, and that’s who this release should appeal to. [Marah Eakin]

King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard, Nonagon Infinity

The talents of the lysergic Australian cohort King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard extend beyond crafting whimsical rhymes and kicking out the fuzz jams. The group’s forthcoming album, Nonagon Infinity, marks their third LP released in the past year alone (along with Paper Mache Dream Balloon and Quarters!, both released in 2015). And this one’s said to be a freaky, if weighty feat “intentionally recorded to artistically play out on an infinite loop,” according to Allmusic. [Paula Mejia]

Rogue Wave, Delusions Of Grand Fur

Rogue Wave emerged during an era when there was so much great guitar-based indie-pop that it sometimes got lost in the crowd. These days that lane is a lot less crowded, but the band has evolved considerably over the years, so much so that its sixth album will probably come as a surprise to anybody who lost track of RW several records ago. Mixed by Death Cab For Cutie veteran Chris Walla, it trades warm guitars for chillier electronic textures that underscore the weariness in Zach Rogue’s songs. [Evan Rytlewski]

Rob Zombie, The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser

No one’s ever accused Rob Zombie of being subtle. In fact, the first song released from his forthcoming solo album, the slashing “Well, Everybody’s Fucking In AUFO,” sounds like Primus on a B-movie bender. As for the rest of the LP? Well, Zombie noted on the album’s PledgeMusic campaign that “not since [1998’s] Hellbilly Deluxe have I spent this long putting an album together,” which is a good sign: That particular record contains some of his best work. [Annie Zaleski]

Pity Sex, White Hot Moon

Big ambitions find their match in a collection of bombastic alt-rock songs on White Hot Moon, the sophomore album from this Ann Arbor, Michigan quartet. The record combines shoegaze, power-pop, and ballads adorned in thick guitar fuzz, with the band drawing inspiration from 1990s greats like Yo La Tengo, Sonic Youth, and Smashing Pumpkins. It’s an album that makes the most out of its contrasts: loud-quiet dynamics, male-female vocals and bittersweet lyrics. [Eric Swedlund]

Fog, For Good

Every album by Fog, a.k.a. Andrew Broder, has sounded profoundly different, and yet somehow, they all still also sound like Fog, as though there were a signature style to identify. The multi-instrumentalist is back with the first new album under the Fog moniker in almost 10 years, again mixing together percussion, turntables, synths, guitars, violin, sax, and more. Presumably, it’ll sound like nothing else, and a lot like Fog. [Alex McCown]

Britta Phillips, Luck Or Magic

After years of collaborating with Dean Wareham in both Luna and in Dean And Britta, Britta Phillips has at last ventured on her own for her debut album, rife with the gossamer, exotic melodies so synonymous with Phillips other musical projects. But Luck Or Magic allows Phillips to shine, exhibiting that beyond being a fine vocalist and instrumentalist, she’s also a superb songwriter. [John Everhart]

Plants And Animals, Waltzed In From The Rumbling

In the four years since their last record, the members of Montreal trio have slowed down and started families, but rather than returning with a somber, reflective album, Plants And Animals jump back into things with a bold and eclectic set of songs. Waltzed In From The Rumbling is challenging and inventive, with songs jumping in unexpected directions, like “Stay,” which explodes from lullaby to driving electric rock, cresting on a wave of energy. [Eric Swedlund]


Sometime in April, maybe?

Drake, Views From The 6 (TBD)

It’s only been three years since Canada’s best rapper/human meme, Drake, released his last proper album, Nothing Was The Same. But, damn if that title isn’t just perfect to describe how much has changed for Drizzy of late. From his biggest single yet in “Hotline Bling” to a pair of mixtapes that were strong enough as to question why they can’t be considered official albums in their own right, the bar has been raised to monumental heights for his fourth full-length, Views From The 6. If the LP follows suit with every other album he has put out, Views From The 6 holds the potential to be a massive record from an artist at his peak. [Philip Cosores]

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