The 15 Albums You Should Be Listening To Right Now
If, like me, you’re always struggling for new music and find yourself going back to the same old artists/albums, you’ve come to the right place.
These are the albums we can’t stop listening to in the office, and we think you should check them out too – there should be something in there for everyone.
1. alt-J – RELAXER
Three years after the release of Grammy-nominated This Is All Yours, alt-J are back with a new album consisting of songs dating back to the band’s formative years at the University of Leeds. Six of the tracks on the album feature a 30-piece string section, which is an interesting move away from the signature indie style of the band’s early years. Perhaps not what most fans would have expected, it’s an erratic and messy album that still manages to hit the spot at certain moments.
2. Dua Lipa – Dua Lipa
With the smash-hit Be The One proceeding the release of the album, people were expecting big things from the British singer/songwriter’s debut album, and she hasn’t disappointed. A pop album typical of it’s time, Dua Lipa is a powerful and emotional project, exploring feelings of love, sex and self-empowerment. Lost In Your Light featuring Miguel is a particular favourite.
3. Halsey – Hopeless Fountain Kingdom
Most people may know Halsey from Chainsmoker’s 2016 hit Closer, but with Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, the 22 year-old singer is stepping into the limelight herself. The album’s lead single Now Or Never was met with positivity when it was released in April, peaking at number 26 on the Billboard Hot 100. It’s bold, dramatic, and at times, melancholy, and is a pretty enjoyable listen throughout.
4. Marika Hackman – I’m Not Your Man
Vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Marika Hackman’s sophomore album is a grungy, retro, boisterous throwback packed full of energy and killer guitar riffs. Her voice beautifully cuts through the tracks with a haunting realness and introspection and with I’m Not Your Man, Hackman proves she’s a force to be reckoned with. I highly recommend you check it out.
5. Kendrick Lamar – Damn
All hail King Kendrick. With his fourth studio album, Kendrick continues to cement his legacy on the path to becoming one of the greatest rappers of all-time. Less dense than To Pimp A Butterfly, and more similar in style to good kid, m.A.A.d city, Damn is littered with highlights from DNA, Humble and oddly, a song with U2 called XXX. With every album, the Compton-native continues to strengthen his grip on the rap game.
6. Moglii – Naboo EP
24 year-old German producer Moglii’s debut solo EP Naboo is a moody and pulsating listen that’ll slap you silly with its eclectic mix of influences and powerful, unforgiving synths. What’s left is a beautifully woven sonic tapestry that’ll take you on a journey of unexpected highs and lows that’s bound to leave you wanting more.
7. Jay Prince – Late Summers
The London based rapper/producer has teased the release of his latest mixtape for some time now, and finally Late Summers has arrived, and it couldn’t have come any sooner. The project includes the previously released Shakka-featured Mandem and includes 11 tracks in total, with features from the likes of Aminé and Fabienne. In Late Summers, Prince raps his ass off, proving that the UK has some serious talent right now, whilst the beats on it straight-up slap.
8. Dan Auerbach – Waiting On A Song
The Black Key’s Dan Auerbach has released his second solo album away from the band, describing it as a “love letter to Nashville.” More folky and simple than any of The Black Keys material, it’s no less enjoyable, having a more nostalgic feel to it that harks back to a much simpler and uncomplicated time. With Waiting On A Song, Auerbach demonstrates once again his masterful song-writing ability.
9. Bryson Tiller – True To Self
2015’s Trapsoul was a real break-out moment for American R&B singer Bryson Tiller, and two years later, we have his second project- True To Self, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. With nineteen tracks it’s a lengthy album, but it’s such a sexy and self-indulgent listen, with all sorts of 90’s swagger, that you can’t help but like it. With True To Self, Tiller once again proves he’s the king of that ‘late-night call your girl over’ music.
10. Benjamin Booker – Witness
Benjamin Booker is a seriously talented individual that exemplifies the term ‘musician.’ His music has been described as “a raw brand of blues/boogie/soul,” and “frenzied guitar-strumming and raw, soulful vocals that are hair-raising in intensity”, and with Witness, he provides all of that and more. The title song is raw, pounding and seriously enjoyable, and the album as a whole is quite simply a collection of quality songs that’ll make you feel great about yourself.
11. Kasabian – For Crying Out Loud
It’s testament to the Leicester band’s talent that almost 20 years after forming they are making some of the best music of their careers. Famous for their big set anthems and headlining prowess, Kasabian make another powerful statement with For Crying Out Loud. The first track, III Ray (The King) sets the tone for the rest of the album with its frenzied pace and roaring chorus, whilst single You’re In Love With A Psycho will be blasted out at many a festival this summer.
12. Lil Yachty – Teenage Emotions
Lil Yachty may be the most polarising man in hip-hop right now, as rap’s old school continues to bemoan the new wave of trap/rap artists. Love him or loathe him, the eccentric, Georgia native delivers a solid debut album, with the catchy hooks, staccato wordplay and boom-bap beats proving that Yachty is here to stay.
13. Gorillaz – Humanz
Former Blur frontman Damon Albarn returns with his virtual band for their first album since 2010’s Plastic Beach. There’s a whole host of features from the likes of Vince Staples, D.R.A.M, Rag’n’Bone Man, Pusha T, Grace Jones and Danny Brown,with Humanz seeing Gorillaz back to their unique and genre-bending best. The album’s overarching theme is the emotional aftermath of an unexpected world-changing event, and as expected, there are some absolute bangers on it.
14. Joey Badass – ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$
One of the most underrated hip-hop artists out there, Pro-Era leader, Joey Badass is finally getting the recognition he deserves. A supremely talented wordsmith, with arguably one of the most polished flows out there, Joey takes a more political approach with ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$ than any previous album. It’s not quite To Pimp A Butterfly – although it still makes a similar point – but has some seriously uplifting tracks that will provide you with the soundtrack to your summer.
15. Mac DeMarco – This Old Dog
The ever-popular Canadian singer/songwriter returns with his third full-length studio album, This Old Dog, proving that even old dogs can learn new tricks. Reflective and sentimental, the album serves as a romantic ode to his loved ones whilst at the same time pondering his own place in the world. For The First Time is a beautifully constructed track and the album is perfect for summer days lazing in the grass without a care in the world.
Know of any other albums we should be listening to right now? Let us know in the comments below!
Images via Virgin/Columbia/Sony Music/Interscope