5 albums you need to listen to this week
There isn't always a connective tissue between the new releases we'll highlight in a given week, but sometimes you just luck into it at the last second. On very short notice, the first New Music Friday of March brings two albums from hip-hop stars embroiled in label conflicts, two of the more exciting recent indie rock debuts, and another album from a boundary-pushing art pop collective. Here are just five records worth checking out in another especially busy week for new releases and everything else:
Lil Uzi Vert — Eternal Atake
After a tumultuous few years with his label and a short-lived retirement, Lil Uzi Vert finally released the Luv Is Rage 2 follow-up. Eternal Atake has certainly been in the works for a while, with Uzi announcing it was finished by the end of 2018. Things materialized quickly in the past week, when he shared it was two weeks out on Instagram, and then launched a fan-led poll to pick the album art. He released the full tracklist late last night, but the release today was still effectively a surprise. Two recent singles, "That Way" and "Futsal Shuffle 2020" are here as bonus tracks, but otherwise it's 16 new ones from Uzi.
Megan Thee Stallion — Suga
Megan Thee Stallion’s been contending with a bitter legal battle of her own, feuding with former MLB star and label head Carl Crawford. Crawford has since disputed her account, claiming that he cut her a $50,000 check upon signing with 300. "Nothing is true that she said. Me being greedy and taking money from her, that's crazy," he said. Nevertheless, she won a temporary restraining order to get Suga released today, and it’s here as promised. It includes the previously released “B.I.T.C.H.” and eight other new tracks, with features from Gunna and Kehlani.
Snarls — Burst
On Burst, one of the most invigorating debut indie rock albums in recent memory, this Columbus, Ohio four-piece fully announce themselves. Snarls channel all of emo's youthful longing, irresistible power pop hooks, and overlapping shoegaze guitar lines. Opener "Walk in the Woods" is probably the best way in here, with vocalist Chlo White's full-throated peaks on display by the song's towering climax. The potential feels limitless.
U.S. Girls — Heavy Light
Meg Remy's Toronto-based art pop collective has covered so much territory in their first six records and roped in countless studio collaborators, it's tough to imagine the scale expanding. And yet, she recorded Heavy Light live with a lineup of 20 musicians. Always refracting familiar elements of pop history into something entirely new, the new record has an even more vibrant live-wire energy. The spontaneity of early singles "Overtime" and "4 American Dollars" was just a preview.
Disq — Collector
Saddle Creek, the venerable Omaha label best known for its folk and emo hallmarks, has a new act that colors a bit outside those parameters. Disq brings snappy, perceptive post-punk that plays loose with its distance from chaos. Collector is a sharp, sometimes nihilistic set of tracks that don't feel too beholden to any of their disaffected indie rock forefathers.