10 New Albums to Listen to Today

Featuring Regina Spektor, Soccer Mommy, Zola Jesus and more

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10 New Albums to Listen to Today

Fridays are a special day for Paste, thanks to the incredible music that we get to share with you. Like clockwork, we compile the week’s best, most exciting releases to accompany each batch of songs. Find something new to take into the weekend with you among these must-hear albums.

Automatic: Excess

Automatic know that the future is bleak, but they refuse to fly their white flag just yet. The band’s second album, Excess, confronts a dismal reality and powerfully pushes back against climate change and consumerism. Sympathizing with a generation that’s been left with “a word on its 11th hour,” the Los Angeles-based trio rip into the oppressive systems the world operates under and reminds people that “There could be a new beginning / It could be a better place.” The zapping synthesizers and glacial riffs tip-toe the line between the advent of electronic music in the ’70s and the ‘80s comedown phase when everything that used to be cool became corporate so companies could make a quick buck. Sounding the alarm, Automatic dive-bomb modern-day dystopia and don’t miss. —Samantha Sullivan

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CANDY: Heaven Is Here

Depending on what your sonic idea of heaven is, CANDY’s Heaven is Here might come as a surprise. Alongside an incredible crop of hardcore talent such as TURNSTILE, Code Orange and Vein.fm, CANDY don’t hold back. Their dark, brooding riffs are cut with invigorating melodies and thrashy drums. In line with a resurgence in nu-metal nostalgia, CANDY cleverly utilize electronic elements in ear-shattering ways, whether it be the high-pitched squeals on “World of Shit” or the KMFDM-esque stutters on “Transcend to Wet.” The band drive home the bleakness of fascism and greed that has become normalized, creating a soundtrack for the inevitable uprising. —Jade Gomez

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Day Wave: Pastlife

Pastlife is Los Angeles indie-rock singer/songwriter Jackson Phillips’ first new album as Day Wave in five years, but that’s not to say he hasn’t been busy. In the years since his 2017 full-length debut The Days We Had, Phillips has made use of his knack for insistent melodies and dreamy textures as a producer, teaming up with Hana Vu, Pete Yorn, Saba and more. His sophomore album finds Phillips maintaining that collaborative spirit, with features from KennyHoopla and Hazel English bookending its tracklist. Day Wave’s effortless dream-pop sound is also intact here, but Phillips stretches it in unexpected new directions, like on the intimate “Great Expectations,” the sweeping synths and strings of “Blue,” or when the rapid pace of “We Used to Be Young” pushes Day Wave out onto the dancefloor. Phillips’ gifts have been plain to hear from the jump, and on Pastlife, he continues to fulfill that promise. —Scott Russell

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Joan Shelley: Spur

It’s fitting that the first song Joan Shelley wrote for Spur—the Louisville, Kentucky, folk singer/songwriter’s follow-up to 2019’s Like the River Loves the Sea—was titled “When the Light Is Dying.” While 2022 plunges into darkness, Shelley’s songs emerge from a place of serenity she found amid the shadows of years past—while the pandemic raged outside, she married her partner and collaborator, Nathan Salsburg, and the two had a daughter. Written and recorded on a pair of Kentucky farms, Spur knows pain and peace alike, and finds Shelley attempting to, as Wendell Berry once wrote, “make a poem that does not disturb the silence from which it came.” Amid gleaming acoustic guitars, Shelley’s timeless vocals soothe without obscuring hard truths, her Spur a soundtrack to picking yourself up, dusting yourself off and moving forward the wiser for it. —Scott Russell

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Katie Bejsiuk: The Woman on the Moon

Katie Bejsiuk (fka Free Cake for Every Creature) is heart-touching on The Woman on the Moon, out today (June 24) on Double Double Whammy. Opting to use Bejsiuk, her father’s original surname (he changed it after he moved to America from Ukraine), she uses the past, present and future to inform the kaleidoscope of emotion she pours into the album. Her first release since Free Cake disbanded in 2019, her delicate voice flits over intimate acoustics to create an album that finds traces of the divine in things as seemingly mundane as candy cigarettes and holding hands at the drugstore. A blissfully gentle record, The Woman on the Moon sees Bejsiuk become a historian who fixates on the overlooked magic that makes you weak in the knees. Over cozy guitar strumming, she creates quiet moments that drip with intimacy and a soft, candle-lit glow. A vulnerable series of vignettes that delight in the fuzz of half-formed memories, The Woman on the Moon is the epitome of grace. —Samantha Sullivan

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Petrol Girls: Baby

Every few years, a punk record is unleashed into the world at such a fraught time. Each listen reveals more layers, prophesying events one by one. If Green Day’s American Idiot was the soundtrack to a world approaching war, Petrol Girls’ Baby stands tall and immovable in the face of reproductive rights being attacked. It’s a cruel twist of fate that this scathing, angry, catchy album arrives the day Roe v. Wade is overturned. Nonetheless, the U.K.’s Petrol Girls rest into an unshakable groove propelled by rage, guided by their scrappy punk foremothers. “I don’t want to be saved,” screams Ren Aldridge on “Preachers.” Guitars and drums roll and crash around her, foreshadowing a fragile world. However, each song stands tall, held up by the band’s fighting spirit and grit. Baby is a necessary record to take into the world with gritted teeth and warpaint. —Jade Gomez

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Regina Spektor: Home, before and after

Twee is back, in case you hadn’t heard. Articles like this one commemorating the return of the late-2000s/early-2010s hipster subculture are more likely referring to the era’s fashion (think Zooey Deschanel bangs and lots of plaid), but if Regina Spektor’s new album is any indication, then the music of the twee era may be in for a renaissance, too. Spektor’s latest is laced with whimsical indie-pop stylings that wouldn’t sound out of place on the records of twee artists like Belle and Sebastian, Feist or Spektor herself. But where What We Saw from the Cheap Seats (Spektor’s 2012 offering) was pink and sticky-sweet, Home, before and after, her long-awaited eighth studio album, is a more sophisticated delicacy, perhaps something creamy dusted with espresso. It’s Spektor at both her most serious and her most adventurous. —Ellen Johnson

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Soccer Mommy: Sometimes, Forever

Since her debut album Clean made waves in 2018, it’s been clear that Soccer Mommy’s Sophie Allison is an unstoppable creative force. Though little about that record sounds groundbreaking now, it wound up influencing legions of other young songwriters to try their hand at this specific kind of isolated, effusive indie rock. Soccer Mommy’s ascent also made it apparent that Allison’s aims were much higher. The more fleshed-out color theory saw Soccer Mommy’s music leaning more into Third Eye Blind-adjacent pop-rock but still forging its own path, often side-stepping common structures, like on the seven-minute-long “yellow is the color of her eyes.” In their recent live shows, Allison and her band have been blowing up their old songs, transforming each into something fuller, more distorted, and completely new. This more shoegaze-inspired sound is prominent on their third studio album, Sometimes, Forever. The most apparent change Soccer Mommy have made this time around is their enlisting of Daniel Lopatin as producer. Lopatin’s experimental electronic project, Oneohtrix Point Never, seems far enough removed that when this news broke, it inspired a lot of questions about what on Earth this record would sound like. Fortunately, Lopatin’s influence is positive, and Sometimes, Forever is endlessly more interesting because of his and Allison’s interplay. The album is a refreshing departure from the band’s prior work as Lopatin helps to twist their sound into new, more mangled shapes. —Eric Bennett

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Young Guv: GUV IV

On GUV IV, Ben Cook’s songs feel fuller and more fleshed out, which seems like it could be a byproduct of the album’s unique songwriting process. In the spring of 2020, after the COVID-19 pandemic halted Young Guv’s tour in Texas, Cook and his bandmates decamped to Taos, New Mexico, where they lived in a solar-powered adobe structure built with recycled bottles and tires. There, they spent the next nine months piecing the album together between swims in the Rio Grande, soaking in the area’s mystic vibes and rediscovering what matters most as the world went through an unprecedented time of uncertainty. As a result, perhaps, GUV IV boasts a broader palette of sounds than its predecessors. Lilting steel guitar lends a twangy feel to a handful of songs, most notably the dream-pop/honky-tonk hybrid “Change Your Mind” and “Maybe I Should Luv Somebody Else,” which is basically a straightforward but shimmering country song. Meanwhile, the album’s home stretch hearkens back to the 1980s, with two head-over-heels love songs—“Helium” and “Nervous Around U”—that offer a taut, sharply cornered take on new wave, and another (“No Where At All”) that recalls the first wave of lush, dreamy indie-pop. In every case, Cook’s irrepressible melodies shine through. —Ben Salmon

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Zola Jesus: Arkhon

On Arkhon, the Slavic-American art-pop musician Nika Roza Danilova, aka Zola Jesus, stares into the great unknown and finds resolve. Her sixth album (and first in five years) feels primed for this era: Its blackened gloss and booming drums evoke power amid turbulence, as do her ever-sweeping vocals—which mix operatic primality with pop heft—and her lyrics about continuing onward as everything around you crumbles. On some songs, unexpected tempo shifts—which are new for Danilova—reflect the sudden return of that existential dread you’ve been trying to suppress. Doom looms overhead throughout Arkhon, but instead of giving into the pressure, Danilova walks through the fires of uncertainty and emerges a more balanced person. Her music finds more grounding in tandem: Her most organic-sounding drums to date give these songs some breathing room as compared to the crushing darkness of 2017’s Okovi. The result is her vastest music yet, a cavernous sort of middle ground among orchestral, Gothic, pop, opera and industrial music that feels apt for barreling through obstacles both global and personal. —Max Freedman

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And don’t forget to check out … Alexisonfire: Otherness, Art d’Ecco: After The Head Rush, The Brian Jonestown Massacre: Fire Doesn’t Grow On Trees, Caamp: Lavender Days, Coheed and Cambria: Vaxis – Act II, Colleen Dow: Inside Voices EP, Conan Gray: Superache, Damien Jurado: Reggae Film Star, dba James: Check “Yes“ to Connect EP, Giveon: Give or Take, G. Love: Philadelphia Mississippi, Goose: Dripfield, Graywave: Rebirth,Half Waif: Portraits EP, Hollie Cook: Happy Hour, Jack Johnson: Meet The Moonlight, Juicy J & Pi’erre Bourne: Space Age Pimpin’, Katie Alice Greer: Barbarism, Lupe Fiasco: Drill Music In Zion, Martin Courtney: Magic Sign, MUNA: MUNA, Noah Reid: Adjustments, Porcupine Tree: CLOSURE/CONTINUATION, The Tragically Hip: Live at the Roxy, Tim Heidecker: High School, Wire: Not About To Die