10 New Albums to Stream Today

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10 New Albums to Stream Today

Another Friday, another freshly baked batch of new music. This week we’re eyeing releases by two former-frontwomen-gone-solo, a few of Americana’s and folk’s busiest musicians and, of course, the new album from the one and only Bruce Springsteen. There are also some newcomers on the docket, including Oakland’s groovy pop ambassadors Meernaa and Atlanta’s fresh-yet-sophisticated Mattiel. Even if you’re just in it for The Boss, give one of these underdogs a listen. Read on to hear all Paste’s picks for Friday, June 14.

1. Bad Books, III

Bad Books is so much more than a Manchester Orchestra side project. In May, the band played one of their first shows following a seven-year hiatus at Shaky Knees festival in Atlanta, their hometown, and you got the sense their fans had been waiting a long time for this. Manchester Orchestra’s Andy Hull is also at the helm of Bad Books, and joined by fellow MO member Robert McDowell and Kevin Devine, their third, chronologically titled album III finds them taking a softer approach. “I Love You, I’m Sorry, Please Help Me, Thank You” isn’t as upbeat as songs like “Forest Whitaker,” but it has just as much heart. —Ellen Johnson

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2. Bill Callahan, Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest

We’ve already heard two-thirds of Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest—Bill Callahan took a zig-zag route with this album, releasing two hauls of six and five songs each, respectively, last month. That preview doesn’t make this release day any less anticipated, though: Callahan is as insightful and sly as ever on this new collection, one his devoted fans will surely adore. —Ellen Johnson

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3. Bruce Springsteen, Western Stars

That Bruce Springsteen remains willing to try new things on his 19th album, on the cusp of turning 70, is a testament to his imagination. Few musicians at his age, or his level of success, work as hard to challenge themselves while staying so connected to the musical vision they’ve been pursuing all along. Between 1975-84, he made Born to Run, Darkness on the Edge of Town, The River, Nebraska and Born in the U.S.A.—five outright classics. Though Western Stars doesn’t rise quite to that level—it’s an impossibly high standard—Springsteen’s latest entry in such a storied catalog more than holds its own. —Eric R. Danton

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4. Calexico and Iron & Wine, Years to Burn

The title of Calexico and Iron & Wine’s new album, Years to Burn, feels like a cheeky acknowledgment of the decade and change that have elapsed since they first worked together on the 2005 EP In the Reins. Back then, Sam Beam wrote and recorded somber folk songs from the safety of his bedroom. But Years to Burn sees Beam and Burns and their cohorts—John Convertino, Rob Burger, Paul Neihaus, Jacob Valenzuela, and Sebastian Steinberg—making new music after 14 years spent furthering their signatures and identities. Years to Burn proves that the time spent waiting on a second collaboration was worth it, but more meaningfully the album feels like the product of a cohesive unit rather than a tag team. —Andy Crump

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5. Jamestown Revival, San Isabel

Jamestown Revival are some of the most consistent folks on the Americana circuit. They’ve been releasing music since their 2014 debut album Utah, and now the pair made up of Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance are back with a batch of 10 new songs on San Isabel. The album also features a cover of The Mama & The Papas’ “California Dreamin’.” The record is abundant with imagery—one minute they’re evoking the expansive west on “Round Prairie Road” and “Mountain Preamble” and the next they’re crooning a thoughtful ballad on “This Too Shall Pass.” —Ellen Johnson

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6. Julia Shapiro, Perfect Vision

Perfection itself is overrated and unattainable, a concept that exists in our heads to make us feel guilty that we don’t get enough sleep or read enough classic novels or spend enough time with friends. Even if flawlessness weren’t impossible to begin with, the pursuit of it is inevitably destined for disappointment rather than fulfillment. It was this path Julia Shapiro—the frontwoman for sad rock outfit Chastity Belt—found herself straying from just before crafting her debut solo effort Perfect Version for Hardly Art. She had gone through a serious breakup, was struggling with health issues and found the prospect of performing again unthinkable. Asking herself those intimate and uncomfortable questions, Shapiro created perhaps her most introspective work to date, rivaling the brooding Chastity Belt LP I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone. —Clare Martin

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7. Kate Tempest, The Book of Traps and Lessons

“I hope that people feel connected,” Kate Tempest said of her new album. Her wish is likely to come true—The Books of Traps and Lessons is deeply human, a tumbling collection of spoken-word subtleties and sung triumphs. The British artist doesn’t confine herself to one craft: She’s a rapper, a novelist and a playwright. Her third studio album feels like the realization of all her various and different sides. —Ellen Johnson

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8. Katie Toupin, Magnetic Moves

It’s not that Katie Toupin was wasted on Houndmouth, the Americana band she co-founded earlier this decade. But the group’s roots-rock sound, built around manufactured down-home nostalgia, was definitely limiting for a musician who took opera-singing lessons and studied songcraft to teach herself what works and why. Freed from the gingham-checked constraints of Houndmouth, Toupin displays more range and greater depth on her solo debut, Magnetic Moves, released just over three years after she left her previous band. —Eric R. Danton

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9. Mattiel, Satis Factory

Mattiel Brown (who records as Mattiel) may still be a relative newcomer with just two albums to her name, but her gruff, throaty vocals suggest a singer/songwriter who’s been through some things and lived to tell the tale. On her second album Satis Factory, Atlanta’s Mattiel has the alluring sophistication of a classic pop crooner and the stomp of an old time rock ‘n’ roller. —Lizzie Manno

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10. Meernaa, Heart Hunger

Oakland-based Meernaa have been creating sway-worthy songs for several years now, but they’re only just releasing their debut album on Native Cat Recordings. The band, made up of vocalist Carly Bond, bassist Doug Stuart, drummer/percussionist Andrew Maguire and Rob Shelton on keys, have attracted tags like dream-pop and R&B, but their sound is much more fluid than that. “Thinking Of You,” carried by Bond’s sturdy soprano, slowly sinks into a subtle groove similar to that of a slinking Toro y Moi track, where some of their earlier singles, like “Good Luck,” might stray towards a slick neo-soul reminiscent of Benjamin Booker. But Bond’s soulful voice can be heard on all of their songs. —Ellen Johnson

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