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.

Jenny Lewis — On The Line”

Is it possible to make a “classic” rock album in 2019? It’s hard to say, but Jenny Lewis makes a strong case in favor of the notion. “On The Line” is one of Lewis’s most exploratory and vulnerable records, which is impressive considering how long she’s has been in the game. Instrumentally, the album is your standard guitar rock compositions, but lyrically Lewis explores everything from her child acting traumas to the struggles of her late mother’s opioid addiction. Yet despite such jarring topics, there’s nostalgic optimism in these songs. “Hollywood Lawn” feels like a postmodern pastiche of a Carole King song. “Red Bull & Hennessy” finds Lewis unleashing her inner Stevie Nicks, fuzzed and roaring guitars straddling just behind her. While the whole world spins into chaos, “On The Line” looks inward and accepts itself for all its triumphs and turbulence.

To catch her live in a city near you, check out tickets here

iTunes

La Dispute — Panorama

Midwestern emo/post-hardcore often feels stuck in the turn of the century. Look no further than American Football’s “revival” or Mineral’s comeback single. Great bands rehashing the same sounds to little avail. Conversely, Michigan’s La Dispute has been tinkering. “Panoramais adventurous, aggressive and aggrieved. Frontman Jordan Dreyer’s poetic rants are spaced out between ambient creaks and popping post-rock grit. “Panoramais relentless in its pursuit of breathing room, allowing its songs to air themselves out.  However, there are still songs that harken back to the anthemic nature of Midwest Emo, like on “VIEW FROM OUR BEDROOM WINDOW” or “FOOTSTEPS AT THE POND,” where Dreyer’s howls are matched by soaring, existential licks and angst-riddled power chords.  

To catch La Dispute live click here for tickets.

iTunes

Andrew Bird — My Finest Work Yet”

This isn’t Andrew Bird’s finest work yet, but it’s a strong and meaningful record by one of ‘indie’ folks pioneers. It wasn’t too long ago that Bird was a critical darling and commercial success, but as of late his reach remains niche. “My Finest Work Yet finds Bird returning to his jazzy and elegant form after more minimalist albums like 2016’s “Are You Serious.” “Olympians” brings the listener back to the simpler times, a time during the early 2000s where “indie” music was baroque and not concerned about being featured in an iPod commercial. Bird’s strength has always been his ability to channel his old soul into modern pop and jazz stylings like on “Proxy War,” a dance room bop characterized by Bird’s Wainwrightesque coos. While “My Finest Work Yet” by no means innovative, but it’s warm, well written, and gorgeously composed.

To catch Andrew Bird live, check out tickets here

iTunes

Laurel Halo — “DJ-Kicks

To proclaim that “DJ-Kicksis a return to Laurel Halo’s house roots is to imply she had a set style in the first place. Halo has always been exploratory, using every possible sonic texture at her disposal to invoke an array of misnomer feelings. She’s like a child who is fingerpainting; she mixes and mashes every conceivable color in search of unnamed and undefined hues. However, unlike 2018’s Cageian “Raw Silk Uncut Wood” or 2017’s impressionistic “Dust,” Halo’s most recent release is straight to the point, no holds barred experimental dance music. Unidentifiable sounds and echos mingle in the air, while subtle and quaint beats pitter-patter in the background. Other times, Halo goes for more direct sounds, like on her mix of Ikonika’s “Bodies,” where a vivacious and wormish bass seizes on the dance floor. All the while, synthesizer cackles. “DJ-Kicks isn’t “simplistic” by Halo’s standards, it’s also quite literal. It feels like a personal dance club in your room, lights and bodies appearing like shadows on the wall. Any burgeoning house aficionado should give this mix a listen.

iTunes

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah — Ancestral Recall”

It’s a crime that Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah and Kendrick Lamar haven’t collaborated. Throughout “Ancestral Recall,” I kept expecting to hear Lamar’s solemn and voracious flows creep out of the mix. This record feels like a rap album. No matter, acclaimed poet and activist Saul Williams’s sing-talk over the triumphant brass and afro-beat percussion. Scott’s latest record is a sprawling and exploratory piece of jazz. Pop, hip-hop, ambient, funk and soul are mixed into the pot like a sonic gumbo. J Dilla is referenced by name on “Forever Girl,” Fela Kuti is implicitly entwined within the composition, and the spirit of the record is just as much philosophically aligned with Frank Ocean as it is Miles Davis. “Ancestral Recall” is too complex and historical for a casual listen. It’s a piece of text that must be engaged with.

iTunes

Anticipations

Kevin Morby — “Nothing Sacred/All Things Wild”

“Prolific” and “eclectic” are words that often get beaten to death in music criticism, but for artists like Kevin Morby, it’s hard to describe his career without such phrasing. Morby made his name with the psych-rock band Woods, made two garage rock albums with The Babies, and will be releasing his fifth solo album this April. “Nothing Sacred/All Things Wild”  follows the same script Morby’s earlier solo work, which is to say, embarrasses the multiplicity of Americana. Such a vague descriptor, I know, but Morby’s latest single relies just as much on his Dylan and Reed style vocal deliveries as he does the gospel choir behind him. Or the thick baritone sax. And the beat-poet conga drums. It’s a midcentury style of music that doesn’t feel derivative.

“Oh My God” will be out April 26, 2019, via Dead Oceans.

To check out Kevin Morby live, click here for tickets

iTunes

Sky Ferreira — Downhill Lullaby”

Sky Ferreira might be the most reluctant pop star since Kurt Cobain. Following some legal mishaps, misguided album release dates and record label disputes, the highly awaited single of her sophomore LP is here. “Night Time, My Time,” Ferreira’s only full-length record to date, desperately needed a followup. However, Ferreira remained in hiding, only popping up from time to time over the past few years. She made a song for theBaby Driver” soundtrack and leaked a cover of a Til’ Tuesday song. Last year, she cameoed on the latest Iceage and The Jesus and Mary Chain records. Other than that, “Downhill Lullaby” is her first independent release in six years. It definitely lives up to the hype, ominous violin chords harping over Ferreira’s dreary and apathetic vocals. It feels like a soundtrack to a David Lynch movie that doesn’t exist. It’s fitting. Ferreira has always styled herself as a post-punk pop star and she doesn’t disappoint.

Masochism does not have a release date.

iTunes