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6 albums you need to hear this week

With music from Galen & Paul, Lewis Capaldi, Summer Walker 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 Lewis Capaldi, Kesha, Galen & Paul, Sleep Token, Summer Walker and Shy Martin.

Lewis Capaldi – Broken by Desire to Be Heavenly Sent

It seems illogical for Lewis Capaldi to crave divinity, given that it’s his everyman charm that helped make him one of the world’s biggest, and least likely, pop stars. And whilst the title of this long-awaited sophomore album suggests that the affable Scotsman might have succumbed to egomania, the record itself is very much in the image of his similarly-loftily-titled debut, Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent; expect soaring balladry, emotive confessionals and the kind of anthemic fare that will stand him in good stead for a summer of festival headline slots.

Listen on: Spotify | ‎Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

Kesha – Gag Order

For long-time followers of Kesha, this fifth album will evoke a peculiar blend of emotions. There will be hesitancy, given that it is the final release of a five-record deal signed with Dr. Luke, the producer she accused of abuse in 2016 and who’s spectre has loomed over her career ever since; although he is no longer involved with the label in question, he still stands to profit from Gag Order. There will be relief, too, that in fulfilling the contract, the Los Angeles native can finally put the darkness of the last few years behind her. And, most crucially, there will be joy at this delightfully weird pop smorgasbord, as she ventures into experimental electronic territory with real verve.

Listen on: Spotify | Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

Galen & Paul – Can We Do Tomorrow Another Day?

As a key member of The Clash, a visual artist in his own right and a long-standing contributor to Gorillaz, Paul Simonon likely does not have too many dreams remaining unfulfilled, and he can tick another off the list with the release of a record that realises his aspiration of making a pop album that plays like a paean to his enduring love of world music. In the mercurial Galen Ayers, he has secured a compelling foil for his sonic wanderlust, on an album that nods to a host of different European musical cultures and features contributions from Damon Albarn and production by Tony Visconti.

Listen on: Spotify | ‎Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

Sleep Token – Take Me Back to Eden

As they’ve solidified their influence over the alternative metal scene, the question of who Sleep Token are has given away to the more pertinent discussion of whether or not it really matters. The anonymous masked collective have carved out a dedicated cult fanbase with their singular sound, which takes modern pop sensibilities and imbues them with punishing loudness, like if James Blake had grown up reading Kerrang! or if Chino Moreno was ever allowed to get away with letting his indie rock proclivities define Deftones. Take Me Back to Eden offers up more punishing anthems, as the group, led by a frontman known only as Vessel, continue to upend the established metal order.

Listen on: Spotify | ‎Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

Summer Walker – Clear 2: Soft Life

One of R&B’s most beguiling propositions, Summer Walker continues this series of stripped-back EPs with a thoughtful release that features guest turns by Childish Gambino and J. Cole and production from the likes of Solange and Steve Lacy. Being able to call in two of the most respected rappers in the game is testament to the kind of stock Walker is now held in after 2021’s terrific neo-soul odyssey Still Over It, but the real star here is the singer herself, on laid-back and playful form as she offers up intelligent modern pop that is stripped-back and emotionally forthright.

Listen on: Spotify | ‎Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music

Shy Martin – late night thoughts

Sweden has a rich recent tradition of pop brilliance and this latest release from Shy Martin suggests she may be the latest to pick up the baton proudly carried by the likes of Robyn, Lykke Li and Tove Lo. As the title suggests, late night thoughts is an intimate, ruminative affair, with Martin reflecting on mental health struggles and the pursuit of happiness over warm, lo-fi instrumentals. Across seven tracks and in under 20 minutes, she demonstrates huge promise.

Listen on: Spotify | ‎Apple Music | TIDAL | Amazon Music