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6 albums you need to hear this week

With music from The Smile, NewDad, Future Islands, 86TVs, Courting and Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes.

By Rolling Stone UK

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 The Smile, NewDad, Future Islands, 86TVs, Courting, Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes and Alkaline Trio.

The Smile – Wall of Eyes

By this point, The Smile are less a Radiohead  side-project and more the main concern of Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood. Together with Sons of Kemet drummer Tom Skinner, their new band has a free and exploratory energy to it, with Wall of Eyes landing only a year after debut album A Light for Attracting Attention. Highlights ‘Bending Hectic’ and ‘Friend of a Friend’ are up there with some of the duo’s best work in a decade, and to see them having such unrestricted fun is glorious. A famous quote from Greenwood stands out when listening to Wall of Eyes, where he said he’s always have rather Radiohead make music that is “90 per cent as good, but come out twice as often”. With The Smile, he appears to have got his wish.

Listen on: Spotify Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

NewDad – MADRA

There’s plenty of Gen Z bands spearheading the shoegaze revival, but few are doing it quite like NewDad. Here, the ethereal vocals of vocalist Julie Dawson are paired against decibel smashing guitars for a record that proves that they’re every bit as good as the genre’s forebearers. Dawson told Rolling Stone UK last year about her desire to become a generational band. This record firmly sets them on that path.

Listen on: Spotify Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

Future Islands – People Who Aren’t There Anymore

Future Islands’ new album is concerned with endings and new beginnings. Frontman Samuel T. Herring – who became a star a decade ago with one of the best late-night TV performances of all time on Letterman – reckons here with past versions of himself, as well as those who have left him in that time and a destabilising recent break-up. To balance out this rush of newness and discovery, the music behind him is quintessentially Future Islands, grounding the band in their comfortable synth-pop dreamland while their vocalist searches for new horizons.

Listen on: Spotify Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

86TVs – You Don’t Have To Be Yourself Right Now

It’s all too easy to categorise 86TVs as the what happened next from two fifths of The Maccabees (brothers Hugo and Felix White), but their debut EP shows that this band are doing everything to stand out in their own brilliant right. Aided by third White brother Will and The Noisettes’ Jamie Morrison, it’s a curious mix of arena-primed heartland rock with more classic UK indie flavours too. Either way, it’s a damn exciting look at what’s yet to come.

Listen on: Spotify Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

Courting – New Last Name

In the second modern wave of UK post-punk, Liverpool’s Courting are at the very forefront. On debut album Guitar Music, they pushed the resurgent genre’s sound onwards, mixing in elements of hyper-pop. New Last Name sees them go towards a more pure pop sound, and the ambition on show is admirable. They stand as testament to the fearlessness of young bands who would have previously been penned in to one sound or style, and can now have the space to do whatever they please.

Listen on: Spotify Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes – Dark Rainbow

This fifth album from Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes might just be their best effort to date. The rousing rock anthems remain, but it’s tempered with a sense of introspection that allows for quieter, more vulnerable moments too. It’s shown on the pulsating ‘Man Of The Hour’, but on the flipside songs like ‘Honey’ show off brutal, bone-rattling shades of desert rock. A brilliant effort.

Listen on: Spotify Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music