Every week, the Noisey staff puts together a list of the best and most important albums, mixtapes, and EPs from the past seven days. Sometimes it includes projects we’ve written about on the site already; sometimes it's just made up of 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.
Thom Yorke, ANIMA
Yorke’s tenuous relationship with rest haunts ANIMA, a Carl Jung-inspired album that combats the fugue state of modern existence. On the standout "Last I Heard (He Was Circling The Drain)," he croons and repeats, "I woke up with a feeling that I just could not take." The uneasy synth stabs and Yorke's haunting looped voice capture the anxiety of being "swallowed up by the city" and seeing visions of "humans the size of rats." The rat thing, it turns out, came from Yorke's literal dreams. While, on paper, this sounds like a cloistered and severe listen, Yorke and Godrich's partnership makes it thrilling instead. Songs like "Twist," a danceable, wide-open, seven-minute epic that boasts swirling strings and glitched out percussion, stand out in Yorke’s discography. —Josh Terry, Thom Yorke's Dreamlike 'ANIMA' Is His Best Solo Album Yet
J Balvin and Bad Bunny, OASIS
Pure metrics wise, it's hard to imagine that there will be any album-events this year as big as Bad Bunny and J Balvin's surprise record of duets OASIS. But even each of them hadn't accrued literal billions of YouTube views on their own, this album would be something special. Over airy, minimal production the duo offer some electric interplay, bouncing off each other in ways that don't really feel too indebted to either's solo style. It's neither solely trap nor exclusively reggaeton, ending up somewhere in between or other worlds altogether. The last track is an afrobeats collab with Mr. Eazi, proof of their ambitions to take over the whole world. They probably will. — Colin Joyce
Freddie Gibbs and Madlib, Bandana
A couple decades of psychedelic collagework have proven that virtually anyone can sound good over a Madlib beat. But few have ever sounded so comfortable amid the jagged samples and dusty breaks as Freddie Gibbs. On Bandana, their second full-length team up, Gibbs slashes through twisty jazz riffs and creeping soul cuts, making space for unfathomable amounts of syllables among dense arrangements. As such, there's a lot of layers packed into this, so I won't pretend to have fully digested this one yet. But there is a song called "Half Manne Half Cocaine" that features a line about mixing Tylenol and heroin, which is probably enough to know whether this is your bag or not. —Colin Joyce
Kim Petras, Clarity
2019 is still young, but it's mostly been devoid of the sort of towering records from big pop stars that you can count on getting through the interminably slow summer months. Just in time, here’s Kim Petras with Clarity, a collection of all-killer-truly-no-filler pop songs. Though the 12 tracks—most of which have slowly dropped onto the internet over the last few months—make up her first full-length project, when you take them all together it kind of feels like a greatest hits collection. Petras demonstrates a robust knowledge of several decades of pop music—note the diffuse neon shimmer of 80s synth pop-inflected cuts like "Do Me," the 90s R&Bisms of songs like "Got My Number," the wheezy early aughts emo of “All I Do Is Cry.” The title track is one of the most immediately striking songs and it plays like a candy-pop flip of SoundCloud rap hit; it goes down like bubblegum-flavored Xanax. She does it all well, and there's a particular joy in hearing all these sounds and moods slamming into one another. —Colin Joyce
The borders around the idea of cool are ever-changing and mostly arbitrary. But if anyone embodies the spirit of the idea, it's the perennially chill, sunglass-wearing talk-house producer from Detroit known as Moodymann. His latest full-length, Sinner, offers more proof of that fact, low-riding through lush soul, funk, and house tracks at a gentle cruising speed. Whether he's reimagining classic pop-rave samples or looping budget funk basslines, the project seems to be about luxuriating in familiar sounds, finding a way to make things you've heard before feel fresher than you could have ever imagined. —Colin Joyce
Peggy Gou, DJ-Kicks
The Seoul-raised, Berlin-based DJ Peggy Gou has enjoyed an enviable ascent in the dance club scene since her breakout 2018 EP Once, which boasted the single "It Makes You Forget (Itgehane)." Her sets around the world have been adventurous, gleefully blending house and techno, and her DJ-Kicks installment feels less like one of her signature rave-ups than a guide through her varied tastes. It's a relaxed but rewarding hour and 12 minute mix with highlights including her original track "Hungboo" early in the set and also a later standout of Black Merlin’s Papau Nu Guinea found sound banger "Kundu" into the Aphex Twin mainstay "Vordhosbn." —Josh Terry
Kilbourne, NJ Terror
Speedcore firebombs and blistering breaks set alight the New York producer Kilbourne's first release for the local hardcore mainstays Industrial Strength records. All four tracks here feature real face-through-a-brick-wall type beats. So consider this a legal disclaimer: neither I, nor Kilbourne, nor Lenny Dee himself are responsible for whatever misfortune might befall your cranium, should you choose to play this at the wrong time. Bang your head. But be careful. —Colin Joyce
Mega Bog, Dolphine
Several of 2019’s best albums have fused staggering emotional resonance with adventurous, near-baroque inspired arrangements like Cate Le Bon’s Reward and Weyes Blood’s Titanic Rising to name just two. Mega Bog’s excellent and eclectic Dolphine operates in a similar zone, albeit one that incorporates songwriter Elizabeth Birgy's whimsical croon. The unhurried way songs like "I Hear You Listening (To The Bug On My Wall)" unfold before crashing into a burst of loud lead guitars is a treasure, especially when tracks like "Truth In The Wild" patiently burrow into folksy comfort. —Josh Terry
With featured guest spots from the rapper and multi-instrumentalist Sen Morimoto and the harpist Brandee Younger—along with a host of other players in Miller's orbit—it's a tribute to the power of collectivity and the joy of letting go. Tracks like "Resavoir" or the Younger-featuring "Taking Flight" are open and optimistic. They flow freely between interlocking melodies, allowing each player's voice space to lead, to follow, to join in the breathy arrangements. —Colin Joyce, "Resavoir's Spiritual Jazz Debut Offers Peace to Those Who Need It"
Trey Gruber, Herculean House of Cards
Spanning 25 songs, it's an effort compiled from 130 home demos, studio recordings, and audio from live shows. The LP highlights Gruber’s versatility; songs like "Summer City" highlight his breezy sensitivity while others like "Momma’s Way" and "The Leaving" show his power as an unflinching songwriter. On the latter, he sings, "The world is hell without you / Wish I could change your mind / Cause I cannot change mine.” Herculean House of Cards is a heavy listen given the circumstances of its release but undoubtedly one that's cathartic and rewarding. It's a document of a resilient and charismatic musician whose potential was limitless but unfulfilled. —Josh Terry, Trey Gruber’s Devastating Songs Live on in a Great Posthumous Compilation
This article originally appeared on VICE US.