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6 albums you need to hear this week

With music from Jorja Smith, Wilco, Animal Collective and more

By Joe Goggins

In the age of streaming, it’s never been easier to listen to new music — but with over 60,000 new songs added to Spotify every day, it’s also never been harder to know what to put on. Every week, the team at Rolling Stone UK will run down some of the best new releases that have been added to streaming services.

This week, we’ve highlighted records by Lucia & the Best Boys, Animal Collective, Jorja Smith, Oneohtrix Point Never and Wilco.

Lucia & the Best Boys – Burning Castles

The title track to this debut album from the Glasgow indie rockers gives listeners an insight into the intensity of emotion they can expect from the record, with singer Lucia Fairfull having described it as an unflinching description of the visceral reaction that the body has after a person has received bad news. As well as such poetic reflections on love and loss from Fairfull, expect tight hooks and melodies and incendiary guitars, if the four-piece’s early output is anything to go by, particularly their single from earlier this year, ‘When You Dress Up’.

Listen on: Spotify Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

Animal Collective – Isn’t It Now?

Animal Collective are not a group who can reasonably be accused of ever having made the same record twice and, if this twelfth full-length is anything to go by, they are not lacking in inspiration as the years roll by. Having holed up at a cabin in the bucolic surrounds of rural Tennessee, they quickly conjured up enough material for two albums; in the end, this one, Isn’t It Now?, constitutes their longest record to date, with a runtime in excess of 63 minutes. Working with Russell Elevado on production duties suggests that the band are ready to head into the kind of hip hop and jazz territory that he’s well-known for, with both that and the decision to embrace analog recording techniques proof that this is yet another left turn from the Maryland experimentalists.

Listen on: Spotify Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

Jorja Smith – Falling or Flying

Birmingham’s premier purveyor of experimental R&B experienced a meteoric rise to fame five years ago, achieving the kind of mainstream success that you would not necessarily readily associate with a debut album as assured in its blending of genres as Lost & Found was; it earned a Mercury nomination with its intelligent melding of everything from trip hop to downtempo to 90s hip hop. She has taken her time in following it up, but the sprawling and thrillingly ambitious Falling or Flying is proof positive that she made the right decision; this album includes her poppiest track yet in ‘GO GO GO’, lo-fi singer-songwriter fare on ‘Too Many Times’, and a dancehall crossover with J Hus on ‘Feelings’. She seems incapable of turning her hand to a new style and not pulling it off.

Listen on: Spotify Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

Listen on: Spotify Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

Oneohtrix Point Never – Again

Daniel Lopatin, one of modern music’s foremost experimentalists, often gives off the sense that he is operating from such future plane, whether that he on his hugely influential reinventions of modern electronica like Garden of Delete and Age Of, or in his pulsating soundtracks to the Safdie Brothers’ Good Time and Uncut Gems. Now, he’s back with another new statement, Again, which sees him return spiritually to the kind of warped autobiographical material that came to define Garden of Delete, whilst demonstrating his continued mastery of synth-led soundscapes, on an album he has apparently imagined as a conversation between himself now, at 41, and his younger self.

Listen on: Spotify Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

Wilco – Cousin

Perhaps it’s Wilco’s longevity, and the fact that they feel now like a part of the indie rock furniture, that has led to it flying under the radar somewhat that they are in the midst of an incredibly prolific patch that has seen them turn out five albums in eight years, even more impressive when you consider that frontman Jeff Tweedy and guitarist Nels Cline have hardly slacked off on various side projects either. This latest, Cousin, brings in alt-pop maestro Cate Le Bon behind the boards, which means we get a weirder, more-off kilter take on the group’s traditional alt-country side than on, say, their last album, Cruel Country. There’s touches of impressionism to Cline’s guitars, while Tweedy’s colourful lyricism is slightly more obtuse than before. It’s a fascinating addition to one of modern alternative music’s most impressive canons.

Listen on: Spotify Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

Mae Muller – Sorry I’m Late

While Eurovision glory wasn’t quite on the cards for Mae Muller this year, her debut proves that a bright future in pop awaits. Across 17 dynamic tracks, the Londoner proves that bigger and brighter things are on the horizon away on the stage. Pop bangers? Break-up anthems? Relationship advice? It’s all on display here. Mae Muller is already beginning to forge a bright future of her own.