The 10 Albums We're Most Excited About in April

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The 10 Albums We're Most Excited About in April

It may be April Fool’s Day, but the upcoming month’s release schedule is no laughing matter (except in the case of L.A. band Wand, who are actually releasing an album called Laughing Matter). The list of records we’re excitedly anticipating is otherwise stacked: a new album from Glen Hansard, a sweeping masterwork from Weyes Blood and the highly anticipated new record from Lizzo, plus the returns of Josh Ritter, The Mountain Goats and Kevin Morby, all in the same month! They might need to reschedule Easter—we’re not sure if there’s enough time. Hunt down some jellybeans and read about the albums we’re most excited to hear in April, listed below by release date. And keep an eye out for separate coverage pertaining to releases arriving on Record Store Day, happening April 13.

April 5

Priests: The Seduction of Kansas

One of our top acts at this year’s SXSW, Washington D.C.’s Priests are making socially conscious music that’s nothing short of essential. We need bands like Priests right now, who question the American establishment from a well-read and pointed perspective, in tightly wrapped rock songs that both sear and satisfy. Led by herculean singer Katie Alice Greer, The Seduction of Kansas arrives on the band’s own Sister Polygon Records label (and is produced by John Congleton, no less). The title track “The Seduction of Kansas,” as well as second single, “Good Time Charlie,” sound incredibly different from each other, but much like on their debut LP, Nothing Feels Natural, Priests is a band that always keeps you guessing. It’s much appreciated. —Adrian Spinelli

Weyes Blood: Titanic Rising

Sometimes you throw a new record on, expect it to serve as background music while you cook or do chores around your apartment, and then it completely blindsides you, rendering you unable to do anything else except simply listen. Enter Weyes Blood’s new record, Titanic Rising, her fourth album to date and her first for Sub Pop, a magical album that emotionally grips you to the point of inaction, forcing you to intently pay total attention to every word, every string flourish, every whisper and every bizarre dark synth sound. Produced by Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado (Whitney, Father John Misty, Lemon Twigs), this is Weyes Blood’s finest moment, a release simultaneously so powerful and so delicate that it doubly serves as a call to arms and a soundtrack to cry to. Those rare albums when you’re keenly aware of its greatness before even making it to the last track? This is undoubtedly one of those. Look out for Titanic Rising to enter the album of the year conversation quickly, perhaps even forcing its way onto those best of the decade lists we’re all starting to compile. —Steven Edelstone

More notable April 5 releases: Control Top: Covert Contracts, The Drums: Brutalism, Lady Lamb: Even in the Tremor, Molly Tuttle: When You’re Ready, PUP: Morbid Stuff, Rozi Plain (of This is the Kit): What A Boost, Sara Bareilles: Amidst The Chaos, Tyler Ramsey (of Band of Horses): For The Morning

April 12

Fontaines D.C.: Dogrel

Dublin rock five-piece have garnered a lot of buzz ahead of their debut album Dogrel. They made a big splash at SXSW last month (Paste named them one of the standouts of the festival), recorded a KEXP session in 2018 and are set to tour the states with Idles later this year. Though they’ve been lumped into the latest British post-punk wave led by Shame and Idles, Fontaines D.C. offer something entirely different. With tunes that span garage rock, surf and post-punk, frontman Grian Chatten spouts literary musings in a distinctly dry, Irish speak-sing. He paints a picture of Dublin that goes far beyond the rain, cobblestone streets and pubs filled with drunkards on every corner. With inspiration from James Joyce, the Beats and Yeats, Chatten bemoans the downfall of culture, which brought life to major cities and their inhabitants, as well as the modern loss of romance and authenticity. Tunes like “Chequeless Reckless” and “Big” have a biting sense of humor and the steadfast courage of a band with nothing to lose and a lot to say. —Lizzie Manno

Glen Hansard: This Wild Willing

Irish singer/songwriter and former Frames frontman Glen Hansard is set to release his fourth solo album This Wild Willing—a record rooted in experimentation, improvisation and spontaneous collaboration. Recorded at Black Box studios in Paris, Hansard utilized the support and influence of classically trained musicians—the Khoshravesh brothers and Dublin-based electronica artists Deasy and Dunk Murphy. Hansard explained of the unusual process for his latest album, “I invited all of these people in kind of a vulnerable way. I said, ‘Just come and join me.’ I had these scraps, I had these thoughts, I had these lines, these threads. I didn’t have anything built. I knew if I had the right people beside me, I would be propelled somehow. Really operating on this idea that beauty exists outside of comfort.” Watch Glen Hansard’s recent Paste Studio session below, which includes a hair-raising performance of the understated “I’ll Be You, Be Me” and a moving rendition of the acoustic folk tune “Fool’s Game” alongside other new album cuts. —Lizzie Manno

More notable April 12 releases: Anderson .Paak: Ventura, Damien Jurado: In the Shape of a Storm, John Paul White: The Hurting Kind, Norah Jones: Begin Again, Shovels & Rope: By Blood

April 19

Lizzo: Cuz I Love You

A Star Is Born is a very fine movie that caused a lot of hullabaloo last year in which Bradley Cooper lowers his voice 784 octaves and Lady Gaga plays herself. A star being born, however, is what I witnessed on March 14, 2019, at Stubb’s Amphitheater in Austin, Texas, when Lizzo gave the performance of a lifetime and ascended to her rightful place as pop goddess—or, as she refers to herself, America’s Next Bop Star. Her most recent singles, the sexy earworm “Juice” and the dynamite “Cuz I Love You,” were enough to get us hyped up about her new album, but her performance at South By Southwest took us all to church and left us praising her on our knees. Lizzo, who seems all but destined for superstardom at this point, is unapologetically confident, preaching self-love and acceptance whenever and wherever she can. Your 2019 is guaranteed to be better if Lizzo is a part of it. —Ellen Johnson

Wand: Laughing Matter

Following their 2017 LP Plum and 2018 EP Perfume, Wand find themselves traversing through the calm, majestic void and climbing vast, at times treacherous and volatile, melodic peaks on their new album Laughing Matter. “Walkie Talkie” is exactly the kind of song that makes this California-based five-piece so uniquely euphoric with its prepossessing, prog-tinged pop sheen, a swelling chorus and a rapturous interlude. “High Planes Drifter,” on the other hand, is a slower acoustic number marked by Cory Hanson’s transfixing vocal presence and an unconventional percussive pitter patter. Laughing Matter bridges the gap between the epic, alluring soundscapes of their more recent material with their winding, grimier psych origins. If you enjoy exquisite music that tickles the soul, possesses a mercurial sense of melody and makes keyboards and guitars feel more like emotional vessels than instruments, Wand are your band. —Lizzie Manno

More notable April 19 releases: Cage the Elephant: Social Cues, Daniel Norgren: Wooh Dang, Diane Coffee: Internet Arms, Field Medic: Fade Into the Dawn, Jade Bird: Jade Bird, The Tallest Man on Earth: Fever Dream

April 26

Aldous Harding: Designer

In early 2017, New Zealand native Aldous Harding put out one of the year’s best under-the-radar releases in her second album, Party. It showcased hands down one of the finest, most tender voices in folk, and if you haven’t heard it yet, “Imagining My Man” belongs in your ears immediately. On April 26, Harding comes out with Designer on 4AD Records, and lead single “The Barrel,” with its wood nymph strings and morning-riser of a clarinet, is a downright delight. Watch the video below that showcases Harding’s whimsy, charm and spectacular voice. —Adrian Spinelli

Josh Ritter: Fever Breaks

When two of the best songwriters alive get together to make an album, you can bet your record collection we’re all in. Josh Ritter’s forthcoming Fever Breaks was produced by Jason Isbell and features members of the 400 Unit throughout, including Amanda Shires and her always-illustrious fiddle. The celebrated lyricist teaming up with Isbell and co. sounds too good to be true, but it’s in fact reality and from what we’ve heard so far, Fever Breaks is sure to be as stunning as anything in Ritter’s acclaimed catalogue. His wizened introspective lyrics paired with the strong southern rock of the 400 Unit is a match made in heaven—er, Nashville. —Ellen Johnson

Kevin Morby: Oh My God

Kevin Morby is set to release Oh My God, a double album described in a press release as “a grandiose director’s cut of his biggest statement to date, epic in scope as well as sound.” Due April 26 on Dead Oceans, the City Music follow-up’s first single is “No Halo.” From a conceptual standpoint, Morby’s fifth solo album aims awfully high indeed: Oh My God, the singer-songwriter’s first full-fledged concept album, is his definitive attempt to reckon with religion. “If Singing Saw was Kevin’s L.A. record, and City Music was his ode to New York City, then Oh My God lives in the sky, above the weather, both nowhere and everywhere at once,” the announcement explains. The double album takes its name from Morby’s own 2016 single “Beautiful Strangers,” which features multiple uses of “oh my god,” inspiring him to spin up an entire album based on the phrase. “This one feels full circle, my most realized record yet,” Morby says. “It’s a cohesive piece; all the songs fit under the umbrella of this religious theme.” —Scott Russell

The Mountain Goats: In League With Dragons

Due out April 26 on Merge Records, In League With Dragons “surges with wild tales of revenge and redemption, heroes at a crossroads and great figures in decline” over its dozen new, John Darnielle-penned tracks, which “luxuriate in a wide swath of sounds, from shades of the ‘80s Athens scene to swathes of outlaw country and a few motorik meditations,” per a press release. “Younger” is telling evidence of the album’s eclectic genre-hopping, foregrounding the guitars that 2017’s Goths eschewed entirely and ending with a sax solo, of all things. The Mountain Goats frontman opined on the band’s latest in a characteristically sprawling statement, describing its rock opera-meets-high fantasy style as “dragon noir.” —Scott Russell

More notable April 26 releases: Catfish and the Bottlemen: The Balance, The Cranberries: In The End, Foxygen: Seeing Other People, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: Fishing For Fishies, Local Natives: Violet Street, Marissa Nadler and Stephen Brodsky: Drone Flower, SOAK: Grim Town

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