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.
Lil Wayne: Tha Carter V
The road to Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter V has been a long one. The album’s rollout has been marred by lawsuits, reconciliations, and even more lawsuits before finally being released seven years after it was first teased. Though there’s not yet a clear standout on the behemoth 23-track album (in this case the lengthy tracklist is justified; we’ve waited long enough as it is), the most talked about song so far has been the much-anticipated collaboration between Wayne and Kendrick Lamar on the Onhel & Infamous-produced “Mona Lisa.” The track, initially teased to the world in 2014 through disgraced “Pharma bro” Martin Shkreli, has little to no hook and is seemingly all BARS BARS BARS on first skim, as the two tell a story about a woman who sets her boyfriend up to get robbed. But what is most interesting about the track is that it's a long-awaited bookend to years of homages and tributes from Lamar to Weezy. —Jabbari Weekes, Kendrick Lamar and Lil Wayne Are a Perfect Student-Master Duo on "Mona Lisa"
The Pom-Poms: The Pom-Poms EP
The Pom-Poms are a rave-pop band. Or, in Sam [Ray]'s words, "cheerleader music, basically a super party-club-pop-rave-FUN-focused amalgamation of all the 'purely fun' or 'wildly fun' kinds of club, party, rave, pop music we've both been into our whole lives." Their first single, "I Got That Boom," was a bouncy, drop-filled club track dominated by Kitty's exuberant, mostly chanted vocals. "Sam and I both use music to release our heaviest emotions, so we often end up making some real dark shit," Kitty [Ray] told Noisey. "But The Pom-Poms is what happened when we decided to let go of heavy feelings and just turn the fuck up." —Alex Robert Ross, Travel Through Time, Space, and EDM with The Pom-Poms' Noisey Mix
The songwriter and producer Rook has already released two of the year’s most beautifully gnarled pop records—including one as half of the rave-death duo Black Dresses—and parasite is a special entry in her prolific collection of desperate, blown-out songs. Static and glitches crowd out sidewinding riffs, or self-assured synth programming, all while Rook whispers listlessly about the abstract appeal of death. It’s claustrophobic and uncomfortable, but despite the heaviness, there’s something about it that feels triumphant. There's a suggestion that somehow, if you scream loud enough at the void, it might shrink back from you, for once. —Colin Joyce
Bliss Signal: Bliss Signal
Two seasoned explorers of darkness and dark rooms—James Kelly of the dreamy metal band Altar of Plagues, the twisted electronic project wife and the dizzying DJ and producer Mumdance—team up on this strange melding of worlds. Even when tremolo picking, or smacking together pummeling drum programming, there’s an inherent uplift that reminds me as much of the cosmic wanderings of Manuel Gottsching or Popol Vuh as they do of any of their solo efforts. Drawing on their affinity for metal’s soul-scouring sonics and the rhythmic pulse of dance music, the pair have crafted eight ascendant pieces that highlight one of the similarities between the two forms: a desperate yearning for transcendence. —Colin Joyce
Prison Religion: RESONANCE IN EXOPLANETARY HYBRIDIZATION
Very seldom are remixes providing raw material as interesting and layered as the Virginia-born duo Prison Religion which is ends up making this reimagining of their document of interstellar industry OH FUCC IM ON THE WRONG PLANET so interesting. Largely composed of buds of P_R, the cast of collaborators here take the harsh, shattered sonics and push them into totally different corners of the galaxy. New York musician GENG makes “YABBADABBADONT” into a brain-caving noise track, while Lee Gamble takes “ALICIA KEYS” and puts it somewhere on the hardcore continuum. Given that they’re based on POOZY and PRPHT’s vocals, each of the tracks remains heavy and harrowing, but there’s an incredible variety here, so many shades of grey and black wrung out of the existing songs. —Colin Joyce
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