Every Friday, Attendee.com takes a look at some of the week’s best new albums from across the musical spectrum. Whether you need some tunes to unwind with after work or a hot track to play at a party … we’ve got you covered.

AJ Tracey — “AJ Tracey”

Despite charting at number three on UK’s pop charts, AJ Tracey’s debut LP is just starting to make waves on the other side of the pond. Tracey is a strong proponent of Grime, the UK hip-hop genre characterized by minimal production and lyrical barrages, and his self-titled is a guided tour of this subculture. The 25-year-old MC takes us down rough alleys, deteriorating public housing and working class dance halls. While upbeat, “AJ Tracey” has a feeling of dilapidation. “We sip nouveau or drink that straight Wray, The Kensington kids, we turned the sick way” spits the West London native.

Yves Jarvis — “The Same But By Different Means”

Each track on the latest Yves Jarvis is a highly curated vignette. Like a hitman, Jarvis selects his instrumentation based on the demands of a particular job. When he seeks to communicate longing, distorted organs flow through the speakers, reflective passages are stylized by lucid acoustic pickings and harmonicas echo sensations of folkish excitement. Jarvis is in many ways an R&B artist, but not in the contemporary sense. His compositions and melodies mirror Music from Big Pink and Bill Withers; though he is not someone who dwells in the past. The Same But By Different Means is the modern expression of the old soul.

William Basinski — “On Time Out of Time”

The 21st century composer is no longer limited to regal decor of the opera house and the verbose cannons of the orchestra pit. He can now tinker away in the darkness and solitude of the studio, using computers and tangled wiring to illuminate unnamed sensations of the soul. This is how William Basinski has carved out a career in ambient production, but he is still -in the classic sense- a composer. On his seminal “Disintegration Loops,” Basinski sought to encapsulate the existential dread and beauty he felt while witnessing the 9/11 terror attacks. Now, on his latest installation, he looks beyond the stars. “On Time Out of Time” is an odyssey into the heart of a black hole but instead of trying to capture the sound of something unfathomable, he creates the musical equivalent of galactic silence.

Aaron Abernathy — “Epilogue”

Prince is not dead. He was revived in the heart of the bayou and his conduit is Aaron Abernathy. Soul music doesn’t seem like it would compatible with prog rock guitars or glittery synthesizers, but Abernathy seamlessly blends these styles into a coherent work of musicality. Despite its visceral qualities, “Epilogue” is deeply spiritual. Abernathy’s voice takes flight like a crying drove, a secular sermon on the troubling nature of masculinity. His monologues yearn for forgiveness between fits of theatrical rock, Southern spirituals and angsty piano ballads. “Epilogue” is balanced record. A quality synthesis of water and oil, darkness and light, war and peace.

Living Hour — Softer Faces”

Contemporary “indie” and guitar-based pop has often fallen prey to the notion that simple instrumentation allows for a more clear expression of emotion. Acts like Frankie Cosmos, Soccer Mommy  and Mac DeMarco have all stressed a minimalist approach to their guitar work. Softer Faces” rejects this philosophy. While Living Hour still structures their work on a verse-chorus mindset, their tracks are allowed to breathe. Songs like “No Past” have 3 minute stretches of quiet simplicity, but eventually transcends the cocoon into fully released bouts of intimate rock music and country-folk. Frontwoman Sam Sarty’s voice is ethereal, but relatable, and her bands instrumental provide the perfect backdrop for her existential longing.


Vampire Weekend — Sunflower/Big Blue”

Ezra Koenig’s childish and quirky pop rock is back after an almost five-year hiatus. Unlike Vampire Weekend’s previous record, the frenzied “Modern Vampires of the City,” the band’s latest singles, “Sunflower” (feat. Steve Lacy) and “Big Blue,” are quaint and endearing. Koenig seems to have shifted away from channeling David Byrne and appears to be drawing influence from Paul McCartney’s “Ram” and Harry Nilsson’s “Nilsson Schmilsson.” Their next LP, which has the working title “FOTB” and will be a double album, does not have a release date, but should be out by this summer.

Lizzo — “Cuz I Love You”

Lizzo has been a brash, tongue-in-cheek and ballsy. Her latest track, “Cuz I Love You” is very much in the vein of Cee Lo Green’s “F**k You.” But instead of berating an ex-lover, Lizzo critiques herself for becoming so deeply infatuated with the man who scorned her. “Never been in love before, What the f**k are f**king feelings yo? Once upon a time, I was a ho, I don’t even wanna ho no mo’,” the Minneapolis native cries on a ballad that hopefully is a taste of things to come.

Nots-Half Painted House