Skip to main content

Home Music Music Lists

7 albums you need to hear this week

With music from PJ Harvey, Taylor Swift, ANOHNI and the Johnsons 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 ANOHNI and the Johnsons, Gabriels, Dominic Fike, PJ Harvey, Taylor Swift and Nicky Wire.

ANOHNI and the Johnsons – My Back Was a Bridge for You to Cross

The first record that ANOHNI has made with her band, The Johnsons, in 13 years, My Back Was a Bridge for You to Cross, sets its stall out on the cover, which features a photograph of Marsha P. Johnson, the revolutionary New York trans activist perhaps best remembered for having thrown the first brick at Stonewall in 1969. As the choice of artwork might suggest, My Back Was a Bridge for You to Cross is a beautifully woven table of trans survival, one deeply mindful of the world around it, with prejudice, violence and the state of the environment all worked into the album’s thematic tapestry. Musically, this might be ANOHNI’s most ambitious work yet, eschewing the experimental pop of event releases in order to venture further into psychedelia and, crucially, soul. A masterwork.

Listen on: Spotify ‎Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

Gabriels – Angels & Queens – Part II

Fresh from a triumphant Glastonbury turn and on the heels of what has been a formative year or so for the band, only now does its feel as if Gabriels are making their first real statement. This record serves as the second and final instalment of their Angels & Queens suite, although given it runs six tracks and over twenty minutes longer than Part I, we’re perhaps to surmise that that album was the appetiser and this is the main event. Gabriels trade primarily in a particularly poppy brand of neo-soul but prove, here, that they have range, incorporating disco on the title track and bringing a moody blues feel to the slow-burning ‘Taboo’. Anchoring the whole thing is, of course, vocalist Jacob Lusk’s sensational voice, which proves versatile as he flits between falsetto and baritone. No wonder Elton John wanted Lusk alongside him on the Pyramid Stage.

Listen on: Spotify ‎Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

Dominic Fike – Sunburn

This second album from Dominic Fike has been described by the man himself as a journey through “heartbreak and regret, addiction, sex, and jealousy”, which seems fitting, given he’ll be reaching a whole new audience on the back of his appearances in the second season of HBO’s Euphoria, a show which could be described in the precise same terms as Fike has summed up Sunburn. It’s a suitably woozy listen, as Fike swerves his way through a grab-bag of different influences, resulting in peculiar, off-kilter earworms like ‘Mama’s Boy’ sitting alongside the sun-kissed R&B of ‘Dancing in the Courthouse’ and ‘Mona Lisa’.

Listen on: Spotify ‎Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

PJ Harvey – I Inside the Old Year Dying

Two years ago, after a years-long and thoroughly characteristic period of radio silence, PJ Harvey resurfaced when she took part in Glastonbury Festival’s ‘Live at Worthy Farm’ livestream, reading original poetry as she wandered through woodland close to the event’s Somerset base. Little did we know then that she was giving us a clue as to where she was going next; last year, she released her first poetry collection, Orlam, and now, she’s set twelve selections from it to music, the result being I Inside the Old Year Dying. It is an eerie, unsettling listen, spiritually close to White Chalk and Let England Shake while sonically standing alone in Harvey’s catalogue, sparse, atmospheric, slightly rough around the edges. Take it on a walk through the woods at night.

Listen on: Spotify ‎Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

Taylor Swift – Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)

What better way to psychologically prepare yourself for the carnage of next week’s Eras Tour pre-sales than to remind yourself what you’ll be missing out on if you don’t get tickets? Taylor Swift continues her crusade to spiritually reclaim her past work from the evil clutches of Scooter Braun with another in a series of thoughtfully conceptualised and stylishly executed re-records, this one of her third studio album, 2010’s Speak Now. As she nostalgically revisits a slew of songs that she wrote in her late teens, she’s now able to interface directly with her lyrical influences at the time, which perhaps surprisingly for a country-tinged album, were rooted in pop-punk. Fall Out Boy make an appearance on new ‘vault’ track ‘Electric Touch’, while her old friend Hayley Williams of Paramore is on hand to chip in on ‘Castles Crumbling’. Perhaps the pair will dust that one off in the UK next summer.

Listen on: Spotify ‎Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

Nicky Wire – Intimism

In the midst of a summer of festivals where Manic Street Preachers have seemed happy to reel off the hits, bassist Nicky Wire has surprise released a new solo album, as if to prove that the creative flame is very much still burning. Intimism is perhaps not a record Manics fans could have pictured him making during his days as a punk firebrand in the 1990s; he describes it as “jazz-meets-C86”, and certainly the latter influence is palpable throughout, with a pleasantly poppy onus on undulating melodies and breezy guitars. It is lyrically reflective and frequently touching, particularly on the handsome ‘White Musk’, a paean to Wire’s mother. In 2021, he confirmed that Intimism was finished but said he wasn’t sure what he’d do with it. “I might throw it in a fucking pond,” he told NME. “I might burn it.” Be glad he didn’t.

Listen on: Spotify ‎Apple Music | Bandcamp | Amazon Music

MISOGI – Escape Artist

On his debut album, genre-hopping producer and artist MISOGI goes far in proving why he’s been the go-to guy for artists such as 100 gecs, Master Peace and AJ Tracey.

An eclectic bunch of collaborators sure, and here is an album that reflects that. There’s subtle touches of dream pop, glitchy production and mind-bending soundscapes to be found here.

It’s almost a coping mechanism for living the same day over and over – the suburban lifestyle,” he said of modern technology and its influence on his sound.

The influence is clear – here is an album that eschews reality to create a soundtrack for the escapism from reality that technology can provide.

Listen on: Spotify ‎Apple Music | Bandcamp | Amazon Music

ICYMI: Do Nothing – ‘Snake Sideways’

It would be all too easy to lump Do Nothing in with the tide of excellent post-punk bands who have ridden a rightful wave of popularity in recent years (IDLES, Yard Act, Fontaines D.C, the list goes on).

But while they are worthy of joining that revered bracket, Snake Sideways proves they’re so much more than that one catch-all descriptor. The emotion of early stand-out ‘Happy Feet’ evokes the euphoric highs of noughties NYC indie, while ‘Moving Target’ is a beautifully restrained effort that shows they’re capable of ballad-lite moments too.

Ironically they’re doing a pretty bad job at living up to their name, here’s a band that’s actually doing a hell of a lot. Long may that continue.

Listen on: Spotify ‎Apple Music | Bandcamp | Amazon Music