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7 albums you need to hear this week

With music from Disclosure, J Hus, Mahalia and more

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 Disclosure, J Hus, Mahalia, Rita Ora, Bimini, Being Dead and Lauren Spencer Smith.

Disclosure – Alchemy

Howard and Guy Lawrence’s new album, their fourth LP as Disclosure, was announced just a few days before its release alongside the announcement that they were now independent artists. Alchemy is, in Guy’s words, “a celebration of us feeling liberated right now. We’re no longer signed to a major record label. We’re not going to tour this record. We can do whatever we like and be super creative,” they said. The creativity pays off. Here is Disclosure at their liberated best.

Listen on: Spotify Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

J Hus – Beautiful and Brutal Yard

J Hus’ third studio album arrives three years after ‘Big Conspiracy’, and features an all-star cast of collaborators including Burna Boy, Popcaan, Jorja Smith, and Naira Marley. Burna Boy joins Hus on the album’s standout track ‘Masculine’, an evisceration of expectations on young men. On the other end of the spectrum is the song of the summer contender ‘Who Told You’, featuring Drake, a delightfully bright and bold pop hit. Elsewhere, the single ‘It’s Crazy’ is another earworm with a little more bite. “Can’t lie, deep down, I know the UK scene needs Hus back,” the rapper tweeted back in 2021, and the landscape looks a lot brighter today with the release of Beautiful and Brutal Yard.

Listen on: Spotify Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

Mahalia – IRL

On new album IRL, Mahalia drops the facade of strength that was put up on 2019’s Love And Compromise and presents a more honest, true-to-life vision. “It’s almost like a love letter to myself whilst being a warning to others,” Mahalia said of the single ‘Terms And Conditions’, and it’s a statement that feels applicable to the whole album, as she added: “It’s all about setting boundaries and deciding what things I would no longer compromise on.” Elsewhere on the album, she looks back to her ’00s roots with help from Jojo on ‘Cheat’, and teams up with Kojey Radical on ‘Candy Rain’. IRL feels a suitable title for the new LP – this feels like an introduction to the real Mahalia.

Listen on: Spotify Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

Rita Ora – You & I

Since the release of her second album Phoenix in 2018, Rita Ora has become an acting star, joined judging panels for talent shows and beyond, so much so that it’s questionable whether music can be considered her main profession in 2023. On You & I, she makes a case that it is on an album that takes a step backwards from pop hitmaking, instead heading towards a more diaristic, intimate approach. Telling “the story I wrote whilst I was getting married” to film director Taika Waititi, the album is packed with ballads and a rose-tinted viewpoint, repositioning Ora as a sensitive and thoughtful songwriter.

Listen on: Spotify Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

Bimini – When The Party Ends

Since their musical introduction with their verse in Drag Race track ‘UK Hun?’ in 2021, Bimini has become one of the UK’s freshest new transgressive pop stars. With one foot in the rock world and another aiming for bubblegum pop, they’re developing a reputation as a musical chameleon with no thought or care for traditional boundaries. Another left turn comes on ‘When The Party Ends’, the title track of their new EP, which dials things down and presents a more thoughtful viewpoint. “The thudding beat and the deep bass, mixed with my heart spilling out over a house beat, makes this song so special to me,” they said of the track, adding: “It’s filled with raw emotion, ex-lovers and crying on the dance floor vibes.”

Listen on: Spotify Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

Being Dead – When Horses Would Run

The Bandcamp page for Being Dead reads: “Falcon Bitch and Gumball are best friends. The Texas-based multi-instrumentalists love to make up elaborate tales of their first meeting: as chimney sweeps in the mid-1700s, as shoemakers in Middle England, as competing acrobats in a traveling circus.” This humour overflows into their new album When Horses Would Run, a kaleidoscopic triumph of psych rock, tropical pop and beyond. Through it, they muse on the overarching topic of good vs. evil, looking to their religious upbringings for answers, but never let these weighty topics get in the way of them having a damn good time in the process.

Listen on: Spotify Apple MusicAmazon Music

Lauren Spencer Smith – Mirror

Lauren Spencer Smith’s new album Mirror is, she says, named after “the one thing in my life that’s seen me in every emotion”. The album, which has been in the works for a number of years, tracks Smith’s musical evolution but also a personal journey through break-ups, self-discovery and beyond. Smith transmits this sense of forward momentum and change via open-hearted balladry with an ear for melody. Her new video for album standout ‘That Part’ captures real couples at different points in their relationships, and Smith’s music also has a knack for picking you up and dropping you right in the middle of the journey she sings of.

Listen on: Spotify Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music