Every week, the Noisey staff puts together a list of the best and most important albums, mixtapes, and EPs from the week just gone. Sometimes that list includes projects we’ve written about on the site already; sometimes they're just great records that we want everyone to hear but never got the chance to write about. The result is neither comprehensive nor fair. We hope it helps.
The Breeders: All Nerve
Ten years on from Mountain Battles, the Breeders have returned with their long, long-awaited fifth LP, All Nerve. Sessions for it began at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio studio in Chicago, where the band has recorded for each album save Last Splash. The first two tracks to lay down were the title track and “Skinhead #2,” which had already made their way into the band’s set list. All Nerve is the most adventurous Breeders album since, no surprise, Last Splash. There’s a cover of Krautrock lords Amon Düül II’s “Archangel Thunderbird” that makes complete sense. Wiggs takes lead vocals and inhabits a dead-serious tone on the macabre “MetaGoth.” And obvious disciple of the band, Courtney Barnett, provides backing vocals on“Howl at the Summit.” — Cam Lindsay, The Breeders Are Still America’s Best Basement Band
DJ Taye: Still Trippin’
One of the best parts about following footwork is how unafraid even its strictest adherents are to totally throw out its playbook every now and again. That’s the tact DJ Taye takes over the course of his debut full-length Still Trippin’, nodding to the grid-busting form that he and the rest of the Teklife crew have explored over the last decade, without ever being bound to it. He’s prone to acid house freakouts (“The Matrix”) and imploded collagework (“I’m Trippin”), but this record’s at its best when he explores dizzy rap tracks. He filled a recent mix with lopsided, fleet-footed remixes of Kanye and Trippie Redd and tracks like “Trippin” and “Get It Jukin” (which scores a feature from the Cool Kid Chuck Inglish) find him further exploring that hip-hop mutation, suggesting a future for Taye that’s unbound to any one genre. — Colin Joyce
Lucy Dacus: Historian
“I don't really intend to write songs. They just happen to be written,” [Dacus] says with Buddhist calm. Intentional or not, those songs have built up a lot of anticipation. If you’ve heard the 22-year-old Richmond, Virginia singer’s debut, 2016’s No Burden, you know why—the album opened with Rolling Stone’s 17th best song of the year, “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore,” an exceptionally apt calling card for her songwriting personality, winking yet grounded by some small, sad and unspecified weight she’s carrying. When you hear Historian, her sophomore album released today, you’ll realize any expectations were too low—quoting the first lines of Historian’s first song (she’s setting a hell of a precedent) almost feels like a spoiler: “The first time I tasted somebody else’s spit,” she issues in a dark-roasted, matter-of-fact singsong. “I had a coughing fit.” — Rebecca Haithcoat, Lucy Dacus Is Paranoid, In Pain, and Writing Great Indie Songs By Accident
Soccer Mommy: Clean
What you learn from listening to Clean, the debut album by Soccer Mommy, is that Sophie Allison is very good with words. She has the ability to compress big sentiment into plain phrases: “Only what you wanted for a little while,” “I don’t wanna be your fucking dog,” “None of this was you.” Her knack for making all-consuming feelings or realizations— betrayal, rejection, jealousy—seem factual and unremarkable can be disconcerting; she somehow crams The Big Stuff—the shit that defines us at the time and puts us in therapy later—into short refrains. Allison appears to know if you can step outside of these, you can say what they really are, thus breaking their spell. That’s what is so beguiling about her as an artist, and Clean as a project. — Lauren O'Neill, Soccer Mommy's 'Clean' Is an Indie Rock Exorcism
Lil Aaron and Judge: Aaron Judge: Rookie of the Year
At the avant edge of the fluorescent-haired, Soundcloud-dwellers currently blurring the borders between rap, punk, and all the other emotive music that warmed your teenage heart is Lil Aaron, a Los Angeles-based songwriter whose knack for adaptability has landed him work with such diverse D.R.A.M., Dev, and the German pop singer Kim Petras. This new one’s a collaboration with the forward-thinking producer Judge—whose high drama beats are rendered in hyperreal neon—showcasing their preternatural knack for effortless pop immediacy. Corralling together a handful of the undergrounds greatest weirdos—like the teenaged Delaware polymath Lil West, Dark World’s steely DJ Lucas, and a host of others—Aaron and Judge made the whole tape in a day, a testament to the power of spontaneity. Sometimes miracles can happen by “literally just winging it.” — Colin Joyce
Haley Heynderickx: I Need to Start a Garden
The debut album from this Portland, Oregon-based singer-songwriter doesn't cut down convention. Its eight folk songs could, on first listen, have been written anytime in the last half-century. The stand-out tracks are "Jo" and "Untitled God Song," which borrow melodies from one another and showcase Heynderickx's talents for spinning a story and singing about the cosmos. But the real gift is Heynderickx's voice, which is versatile and compelling, swooning through falsetto to lull the listener into security before breaking into a formidable howl when you least expect it. The obvious comparison is Joni Mitchell, and there's every reason to believe that Heynderickx can grow into that. — Alex Robert Ross
Setting aside the dance scene’s occasional hedonism, there’s few art spaces more suited to collective euphoria and community building than the democratizing realm of the dancefloor. That’s part of the founding principle of the Oakland collective Club Chai, who named their party in a nod to the healing ritual of drinking tea, highlighting the way the activity can be a space for “relaxation and a distraction from day to day anxieties.” Co-founder 8ULENTINA’s new EP EUCALYPTUS is a continued exploration of those ideas, offering brittle beats and elongated synth lines as the backbone for a meditative sort of dance music. They told Resident Advisor it’s a way of “addressing self care,” a rare place of comfort in a club context. — Colin Joyce
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