Lil Yachty to Miley Cyrus: What was new in music in May?
It's that time again, when we gather some of the best new releases from the last month and deliver them straight to your front door. While it's always near impossible to choose just a handful of new releases to spotlight, we want to give you a little bit of everything — from pop, rock, hip-hop, country, and more. So without further ado, take a look back at the Monthly Music Roundup for May.
The Afghan Whigs, In Spades
This '90s alt-rock mainstay is back In Spades with their second release since reuniting in 2012. "Bolstered again by the louche and ravaged voice of singer Greg Dulli," writes Pitchfork, "the latest from the indie rock icons is delightfully stuffed with romance and rancor."
Diana Krall, Turn Up the Quiet
The sultry-voiced GRAMMY winner takes it back to basics for Turn Up The Quiet as she revisits standards such as "L-O-V-E," "Blue Skies" and "Night And Day" with alternating backing bands. Produced by GRAMMY winner Tommy LiPuma prior to his passing this past March, AllMusic.com says of the album, "The end result is so elegant, it seems effortless."
Natalia Lafourcade, Musas
Like many of her acclaimed albums, GRAMMY winner Lafourcade's Musas "serves as a mini lesson in Latin American music." A combination of Latin American standards and songs written or co-written by Lafourcade, she told Remezcla the album represents "patience" and "humanity."
Mary Lambert, Bold
The "Same Love" GRAMMY nominee is back at it with her latest, the crowdfunded EP, Bold, which Bust describes as a mix of "emotionally deep and thought-provoking songs" and "fun feel-good jams." Bold is an open and honest ode to living a full life and includes a little dancing, a little poetry and even a duet with her mom.
Lil Yachty, Teenage Emotions
With guests such as Migos, YG, Kamaiyah, and GRAMMY winner Diplo, Lil Yachty is ramping up with Teenage Emotions. The 21-song album reflects an empowering, "be yourself" message. "Don't be afraid to do you, to be you," Lil Yachty said on Instagram Live. "If you have vitiligo or if you're gay or whatever it is, embrace yourself. Love yourself. Be happy, positive."
Rapper Logic has taken his game to the next level withn Everybody, on which he tackles everything from mental health to his biracial identity. The album has already charted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and XXLmag.com said it "further solidifies Logic['s] solid standing in hip-hop."
Paramore, After Laughter
Paramore's After Laughter is a "very of-the-moment" pop record that ditches the bubblegum but keeps the catchy hooks. Or, as Rolling Stone says, it's "a record that's so sunshine-bright it gives off a glare at times, rooted in fleet basslines and beats made for open-road drives and solo bedroom dance parties" that also has a bit of "cocked-eyebrow trepidation."
Perfume Genius, No Shape
Perfume Genius — aka Mike Hadreas — is back with his fourth studio album, No Shape. Produced by GRAMMY winner Blake Mills, the singer/songwriter continues his confessional brand of indie-pop in grand style. "These songs swoop and chatter like flocks of mad starlings, light up like religious paintings, … make the cosmos explode inside your ribs," Pitchfork writes. "No Shape rebukes tasteful minimalism and embraces beauty at its most transgressive."
Chris Stapleton, From A Room: Volume 1
His first album since winning the GRAMMY for Best Country Album for 2015's Traveller, From A Room: Volume 1 also embraces '70s-sounding outlaw country, including a cover of Willie Nelson's "Last Thing I Needed, First Thing This Morning." While the record only runs approximately 30 minutes, Variety said, "Country has been holding out for a hero so long, even a display of superpowers as modest as From A Room feels epic enough."
Rapper Wale's fifth studio album, Shine, covers a lot of musical ground across 14 tracks. There's dancehall with a Diplo co-produce, a Latin connection with a J Balvin feature and a revisit of the seminal, "Smile." While Complex calls the album "a new dad rap classic" in light of its devotion to Wale's daughter, it's not a bad thing — the "different flavors" the album evokes are cause for celebration.
Roger Waters, Is This The Life We Really Want?
The former bassist for Pink Floyd, Waters' latest album hearkens back to a 1970s sound. GRAMMY-winning producer Nigel Godrich was given unusually strong oversite of the album. The result is an album that reaches from politics to the personal in a Floydian-esque package of the best kind. Waters told Entertainment Weekly, "It's about the transcendental nature of love and, I suppose, how it can transform anger into compassion."
Zac Brown Band, Welcome Home
Appropriately titled, this LP takes Zac Brown Band back to their roots of a more traditional country sound, including "Roots" and "Family Table." AllMusic.com says, "The sound of Welcome Home is a warm, comfortable bath" that "is the very definition of music as comfort food." For those who appreciate this melodically inclined country band, it will definitely be a Welcome Home.
The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
A must-have for collectors, the 50th-anniversary super deluxe edition of the Beatles' classic 1967 album is packed with fabulous bonuses and extras. Aside from a new stereo mix of the album and track outtakes, the super deluxe set features 33 more recordings from the Sgt. Pepper sessions, unreleased mono mixes, surround-sound audio mixes, a documentary, and commemorative hardcover book.
With '90s nostalgia in full bloom, the 25th-anniversary deluxe edition of the Singles soundtrack is an alt-rock feast for the ears. The set features a remastered version of the original soundtrack, featuring Gen X classics by Alice In Chains, Mudhoney, Pearl Jam, and Chris Cornell, plus a bonus disc of previously unreleased songs and rarities, including songs heard in the film but not on the original soundtrack. Also included is a full EP from the late Cornell, featuring an early version of Soundgarden's GRAMMY-winning song "Spoonman."
Miley Cyrus, "Malibu"
Cyrus' "Malibu" does not come in like a wrecking ball. Quite the opposite, actually. A sweet love song that goes back to basics in its instrumentation, "Malibu" could be the soundtrack for your summer fling.
A move toward a more house-sound for Flume, "Hyperreal" features Australian singer Kučka. Her ethereal vocals compliment asymmetric synths and a darker backdrop with crunchy atmospherics.
Haim, "Want You Back"
A mid-tempo tune with the Haim sisters' signature vocals, "Want You Back" continues their brand of pop, this time with a love song. NPR adds that the track features "production that feels like several songs layered up and seeking maximum heart."
LCD Soundsystem, "Call The Police"/"American Dream"
Released as a "double A-side" to their upcoming comeback album, LCD Soundsystem evoke two separate moods with these two tracks. "American Dream" languishes with self-deprecating talk about love while "Call The Police" has instrumentals that, per Pitchfork, sound like "downed live wires …raring to go."