New in Alternative Rotation (Updated 7/4/17)
Kevin Morby – City Music
Former Blue Valley North student, Kevin Morby continues to showcase the fact that he is among the elite songwriters in indie music today as his music gives nods to artists like Lou Reed and Bob Dylan.
Beach House – B-Sides and Rarities
As the name implies, this is a compilation of B-sides and rare and unreleased tracks from over the years from the SUB POP signees.
Hot Flash Heat Wave – Soaked
Out of San Francisco, Hot Flash Heat Wave has released their sophomore follow-up to 2015’s Neapolitan. They blend elements of surf rock and dream pop for a glistening final product.
B Boys – Dada
After their debut EP in 2016 (which we played the hell out of), B Boys have quickly returned with their debut LP, Dada. They built off the indie punk vibes created during that EP.
Fleet Foxes – Crack-Up
Seattle indie folk band, Fleet Foxes, have hardly put a foot wrong in any of their releases sending out a good self-titled debut and a gorgeous sophomore follow-up a few years later in 2011. Six years later, they give us their most experimental sound ever on Crack-Up.
Palehound – A Place I’ll Always Go
The solo project of Ellen Kempner has taken the natural step forward from her amazing debut, Dry Food, in 2015. It’s a well-made record. If you haven’t listened to it yet, stop wasting time.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Murder of the Universe
Before 2017 started, King Gizzard had announced they would be releasing four (yes FOUR) albums in 2016. Here is #2, and it’s a concept album if we’ve ever heard a concept album. You know know what you’ll get with King Gizzard, so listen to the entire record for a fierce, fast, psychedelic rock sound.
Fake Natives – Lose Touch
One of the greatest bands to ever come from our home of Manhattan, Kansas, this five piece quickly released a couple records a few years ago and has spent all the time since getting together during the summers to record another one. Each of the five members live in a different state, and the struggle of staying friends with all that distance is what the album is all about.
Japanese Breakfast – Soft Sounds From Another Planet
Japanese Breakfast’s (solo project of Michelle Zauner) 2016 record, Psychopomp, was well-received, but it gave you what you would expect out of a lo-fi dreampop group. This 2017 effort pushes the envelope a little bit more with elements of synthpop, and it is far more interesting.
The Drums – Abysmal Thoughts
This is the indie pop group’s first record since signing to ANTI- Records (home to Japandroids, Girlpool, and more). They stray away a little bit from the Drums sound we know and love. It may not be for everyone, but see what you think.
New in Hip Hop Rotation (Updated 7/4/17)
JAY-Z – 4:44
Like him or not, Jay is one of the biggest figureheads in hip hop and has been for some time. He even made headlines in 2016 because of some music that his extremely talented wife, Beyonce, had released. It seems most of the drama surrounding the Tidal-exclusiveness is subsiding with it available for free download. Now, let’s just enjoy the music.
Ice Cube – Death Certificate 25th Anniversary Edition
Ice Cube reissued one of his classic records, and he just wants to make sure you didn’t forget about him. And if you don’t know what he was (is) capable of, he wants you to check out his early discography and the influence he had on so many household names and the west coast gangsta rap scene in general. This reissue contains three bonus tracks.
Denzel Curry – 13 EP
A 2016 XXL Freshman, Curry has stayed his own path and balanced mainstream bangers with the kind of art he wants to bring to hip hop. Still waiting on a debut record from the man, but this five track EP will do nicely in the meantime.
SZA – CTRL
Known as the first signee to heavy weight hip hop label, Top Dawg Entertainment, SZA steps out from the shadows cast on her by labelmates, Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q and others to show just what she is capable of. After a decent project in 2014, SZA’s debut record contains features from Lamar, Travis Scott, and Isaiah Rashad (also signed to TDE).
Vince Staples – Big Fish Theory
Vince Staples might be the most consistent rapper in the game right now. He’s never had a bad album, track, or even verse. After the gigantic success of his debut record a couple years ago, Summertime ‘06, Vince continues down the same kind of artistic path he established with his 2016 EP, Prima Donna with help of the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Ty Dolla $ign, Damon Albarn, A$AP Rocky, and more.
Young Thug – Beautiful Thugger Girls
One of the most polarizing artists in hip hop has finally released his debut album after a series of wonderful mixtapes leading up to what may have been his peak, 2016’s JEFFREY. Thugger referred to this record as a singing album – and that’s what it is. He showcases his wonderful singing abilities that complement his elite lyric-writing.
2 Chainz – Pretty Girls Like Trap Music
Much of 2 Chainz’s music is tongue-in-cheek, but this might be his most serious project yet. Trap music has been tweaked and has evolved in the past few years, but 2 Chainz gives us the consistent trap sound we know and love.
Public Enemy – Nothing Is Quick In The Desert
Lots of classic hip hop legends (Ice Cube, Big Boi, and now Public Enemy) have come back to the forefront to drop some fresh tunes for us to enjoy lately. While some of them are certainly getting up there in age, Chuck D and co. have still got it.
The Underachievers – Renaissance
The Flatbush affiliates of Pro Era and Flatbush Zombies followed up their lackluster 2016 mixtape with a very enjoyable full-length record. Fans of their great 2015 project, Evermore: The Art of Duality, will be pleased.
Big Boi – Boomiverse
Half of what might be the greatest hip hop duo of all time, OutKast, has released another solo record that is solid. And it bangs. There have been reports recently that prior to Phife Dawg’s death, OutKast and A Tribe Called Quest were planning a collab album. I mean, oh my goodness.