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6 albums you need to hear this week

With music from The Chemical Brothers, Olivia Rodrigo, James Blake 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 The Chemical Brothers, Olivia Rodrigo, James Blake, Yussef Dayes, Coach Party and Laufey.

The Chemical Brothers – For That Beautiful Feeling

This album makes it ten for The Chemical Brothers, and marks them out not just as a success story of survival but as one of the UK’s most relentlessly consistent acts. As signalled previously by their last full-length, 2019’s No Geography, they no longer se especially interested in the kind of mainstream crossover success they enjoyed in the nineties, and whilst there’s no obvious candidate for a hit single on For That Beautiful Feeling, there is no shortage of typical infectious electronica here, from the epic soundscapes of ‘No Reason’ and ‘Goodbye’ to the thumping ‘Feels Like I Am Dreaming’. Guest turns include Beck and Halo Maud.

Listen on: Spotify Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

Olivia Rodrigo – GUTS

Any suggestion that Olivia Rodrigo might have to reckon with the concept of the difficult second album appears to have been dispelled by the early singles from GUTS, with the likes of ‘vampire’ and ‘bad idea right?’ Conforming not just that her penchant for maddeningly catchy melody remains intact but that she continues to conduct herself with a knowing playfulness too. Expect more of that on the record proper, on which she’ll reckon with navigating fame, growing up in public, and the state of the world around her. She is still only 20.

Listen on: Spotify Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

James Blake – Playing Robots Into Heaven

“1,000,000 likes and I’ll drop a new album tomorrow,” said James Blake on X this morning (September 7). Playing Robots Into Heaven will be available regardless of whether he hits that lofty goal, his sixth album in twelve years, and stylistically a return to the kind of electronic output that first introduced him to us over a decade ago. This will be his first album to entirely forgo guest appearances, meaning this is pure, uncut Blake, with lead single ‘Big Hammer’ having already given us a taste of what to expect; if that track is representative of the album as a whole, then the London-born Los Angeles native will be serving up trap beats and sampled dancehall vocals.

Listen on: Spotify Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

Yussef Dayes – Black Classical Music

There is sometimes the sense, with debut albums, that the artist has tried to squeeze in every conceivable idea, partly because it’s a reflection of their life’s work to date, and partly because of a fear they might never get to make another one. There is something of that to Black Classical Music, although it’s certainly no bad thing; across the epic sprawl of 19 songs, Yussuf Dayes marks himself out as one of British jazz’s most exhilaratingly ambitious voices, as he explores a host of musical avenues in autobiographical fashion, with the virtuosity and sheer energy of his band holding everything together.

Listen on: Spotify Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

Coach Party – Killjoy

After announcing themselves on the festival circuit and with some high-profile support slots over the course of this summer, this Isle of Wight outfit are putting their best foot forward with Killjoy, a remarkably polished debut album that has a broad remit in terms of both sound, where it runs the alt-rock gamut from snarling punk to more melodic material, and themes, with singer and bassist Jess Eastwood railing against misogyny one minute and having existential crises the next. It’s an impressive opening gambit.

Listen on: Spotify Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

Laufey – Bewitched

It’s only been a year since Laufey Jónsdóttir put out her disarmingly accomplished debut album, Everything I Know About Love, a record that elegantly intertwined her grounding in classical training with a modern approach to pop songwriting, resulting in handsome soundscapes and a sonic aesthetic that matched the deep feelings that the songs delved into. There is no reinvention of that wheel on Bewitched, but there is plenty of evidence that Everything I Know About Love was no one-off, as she imbues her sound with jazzy inflections and laments the intricacies of her love life.

Listen on: Spotify Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

ICYMI – Hannah Georgas, I’d Be Lying if I Said I Didn’t Care 

From time to time, we like to share albums that we didn’t highlight on the week of release, but very much deserve your attention nonetheless. The latest from Hannah Georgas is exactly that. On her latest album, the Canadian indie star dishes out down-tempo guitar music that proves to be a perfect bed for her impressively earnest songwriting. There’s moments of loss and the confusion of trying to start afresh on the heart-rendering ‘Scratch’, while on the flip side ‘This Too Shall Pass’ is a gorgeous paean to the power of human endurance.

Listen on: Spotify ‎Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music