8 New Albums to Stream Today

As 2022 keeps picking up steam, the release calendar gets busier by the day. This particular New Music Friday, that includes the first new solo album from Anaïs Mitchell in nearly a decade, as well as the much-anticipated full-length debuts of Amber Mark and Thyla. What are you and your headphones waiting for?

Amber Mark: Three Dimensions Deep

Amber Mark’s debut album Three Dimensions Deep is being released at a strangely auspicious time, in light of Damon Albarn’s ill-considered claim that Taylor Swift “doesn’t write her own songs,” saying that “there’s a big difference between a songwriter and a songwriter who co-writes.” Besides the obvious sexism at play, Albarn (and others like him) overlook the fruitfulness of collaboration and the wider scope that can be achieved when artists work together, rather than indulging in possibly navel-gazing solo notions. While a handful of songs are written by Mark alone (“Most Men,” “On & On,” “Darkside” and “Event Horizon”), Three Dimensions Deep is all the more impressive for its cohesion in sound and message despite the number of collaborators at play, including Jeff Gitelman (Anderson .Paak, The Weeknd, Jorja Smith) and Julian Bunetta (One Direction, Leona Lewis, Jason Derulo). The 17-track record is divided into three acts-without, withheld and within—and draws a considerable amount of inspiration from Mark’s recent interest in astrophysics. The sultry R&B album’s most profound moments emerge when the New York-based singer searches for deeper meaning within herself and others. As she said in a press release, “I can only go as deep as the third dimension as that’s how we see the world, but what about when you start looking to the universe within for answers.” —Clare Martin

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Anaïs Mitchell: Anaïs Mitchell

Anaïs Mitchell is seemingly always busy. A serial collaborator, Mitchell has spent the last decade-plus either wrapped in the world of Hadestown — the Greek myth-inspired musical she wrote and later adapted for a concept album before it ascended to a hit run on Broadway in 2019 — singing in folk supergroup Bonny Light Horseman, or collaborating with the likes of Big Red Machine and others. But it’s been a while since we’ve heard Mitchell singing new music all on her own. Enter the new self-titled record from Mitchell, who last released a proper solo album nearly a decade ago. Anaïs Mitchell finds the accomplished singer/songwriter slowing down, not only in these 10 lovely new songs, but also in her life itself. When COVID-19 first erupted in the U.S., Mitchell left New York City for her grandparents’ old house on the family farm in Vermont and welcomed her second child shortly after. There, she says in the album’s press notes, an “unprecedented stillness” took over, and with it a newfound ease as a narrator. —Ellen Johnson

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Cloakroom: Dissolution Wave

Northwest Indiana quartet Cloakroom are marking their 10th year as a band with Dissolution Wave, their first new album since 2017’s Time Well. They envision the record as “a space western in which an act of theoretical physics—the dissolution wave—wipes out all of humanity’s existing art and abstract thought. In order to keep the world spinning on its axis, songsmiths must fill the ether with their compositions.” If that sounds especially heady, it’s supposed to be: As vocalist/guitarist Doyle Martin explains in a statement, ”“We lost a couple of close friends over the course of writing this record. Dreaming up another world felt easier to digest than the real nitty-gritty we’re immersed in every day.” Cloakroom have a sound to match their escapist ambitions, equal parts space-rock, heavy shoegaze and post-hardcore, with Martin’s murmurs as the only anchor to solid ground. Like the best of Hum and Ride, this record is hypnotic and immersive, its towering guitars and high-concept songwriting like a doorway to a waking dream. —Scott Russell

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Katie Dey: Forever Music

Melbourne-based “computer musician” Katie Dey runs the entire gamut of electronic pop on Forever Music, her Bandcamp-exclusive follow-up to 2020’s Mydata (and 2021 remix record Urdata). Dey’s vocals and lyrics are intertwined in continuous transformation: On gripping opener “unfurl,” she coos over a bouncy synth figure, “i take my medicine / twice daily so that i stay / pretty girl pretty girl,” only to later lament in layered voices, “so hard to be kind / so hard to be girls / pretty girls pretty / evil fucking world.” Dey builds a crystal castle of pulsing bass, hyper-pop pixelations of sound, digital strings and much more, and populates it with her fearless songwriting: “if you ever want my heart / all you have to do is ask / and when eventually i’m gone / you can listen to this song,” she sings on the title track, music made to last. —Scott Russell

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Pinegrove: 11:11

When we last heard from Pinegrove’s Evan Stephens Hall, he was working through some very public personal stuff and trying to look to the future on his band’s pretty and introspective 2020 album, Marigold. “Is it so wrong?” he sang on “No Drugs,” the album’s third track. “I wanna feel good.” Two years later, Hall seems to have found his way there, even as the world has gone to shit. On Pinegrove’s new album 11:11, the New Jersey band deliver 11 tracks of their reliably twangy, heart-on-sleeve rock ’n’ roll, Hall’s focus has shifted from inward to outward, and his message has evolved from contemplative to comforting. —Ben Salmon

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St. Paul & The Broken Bones: The Alien Coast

All’s not well in the world, if you ask Alabama octet St. Paul & The Broken Bones. In fact, going by their new album The Alien Coast, they appear convinced that we’re on the precipice of obliteration. They aren’t happy about it. Frankly, they sound pissed off, and they’re blowing off steam by preaching end times-level fire and brimstone. It’s right there on the record’s opening track, “3000 AD Mass”: “Lord, can you hear me out there in the sky? / The fire, the brimstone / The fire, the brimstone.” Frontman Paul Janeway poses the query first gently, the way an erstwhile preacher might, and then with burning indignation, waiting for an answer that’s never going to come. The Alien Coast makes the band’s intentions crystalline from the start, and what a start to make on their fourth album, especially at this particular moment in time. Maybe you would like relief from your music—a bit of reassurance that although things look bleak, one may still escape or find solace in a good song. You should avoid The Alien Coast if that’s the case. There’s not much reassurance to find here, which, for the sake of clarity, is a feature, not a bug; just as Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up stares dead center at a cataclysm on the horizon without giving its audience any trace of hope, so too does The Alien Coast offer nothing in the way of consolation. The record’s message isn’t that this ruinous phase we’re stuck in shall pass. It’s that the best thing, or the only thing, to do is dance the night away while the sky falls. —Andy Crump

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Thyla: Thyla

Brighton dream-pop outfit Thyla’s self-titled debut album has been a long time coming—not because they don’t have something to say, but because they’ve put so much thought into how they say it. The band started releasing singles in 2017, then released their What’s On Your Mind and Everything at Once EPs in 2019 and 2020, respectively, winning acclaim on both sides of the pond. Since then, Thyla’s lineup has narrowed (with the departure of guitarist Mitch Duce), but their sound has done the opposite: January 2021 one-off “Breathe” and September’s “Gum” were early evidence of their efforts to “push their propulsive dream-pop and shoegaze […] in a glossier, more anthemic direction,” as we wrote upon the latter single’s release last year. There’s plenty more where that came from on Thyla, a soaring and confident debut for vocalist Millie Duthie, bassist Dan Hole and drummer Danny Southwell. —Scott Russell

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Your Old Droog & Tha God Fahim: Tha Wolf on Wall St 2: The American Dream

Brooklyn’s Your Old Droog and Atlanta’s Tha God Fahim have steadily churned out some of the most vivid, grimy storytelling in the rap underground. Together, they fill in each other’s stylistic gaps to create the second addition to their Tha Wolf On Wall St series. Laden with jazz loops provided by Fahim himself, the duo set a gorgeous stage for their contrasting bars and styles that brings them together in harmony. —Jade Gomez

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And don’t forget to check out … Babyface Ray: FACE, Bad Suns: Apocalypse Whenever, Beirut: Artifacts, Black Flower: Magma, Brimheim: can’t hate myself into a different shape, deathcrash: Return, Eels: Extreme Witchcraft, Jethro Tull: The Zealot Gene, Keb’ Mo’: Good to Be … , MØ: Motordrome, Modern Nature: Island Of Noise, North Mississippi Allstars: Set Sail, Pink Sweat$: Pink Moon EP, Pixies: Live in Brixton, Ronnie Martin: From the Womb of the Morning The Dew of Your Youth Will Be Yours, Slayyyter: Inferno Euphoria EP, Squirrel Flower: Planet EP, Urge Overkill: Oui, Wasuremono: Let’s Talk, Pt. 2