The Velvet Underground and Nico

The end of another month brings another strong batch of new albums. I’ll Be Your Mirror is a full-length cover of the Velvet Underground’s iconic 1967 debut, featuring inspired contributions from Kurt Vile, Courtney Barnett, Iggy Pop, and more. Virtuoso guitarist Billy Strings shows off his fanciest fretwork on his fifth album, Renewal. Esperanza Spalding‘s Songwrights Apothecary Lab collects highlights from her ongoing series of interactive creative workshops. Taking cues from a wide array of celebrated films, Sufjan Stevens and Angelo De Augustine embody some unconventional characters on A Beginner’s Mind.

Aided by members of Yo La Tengo, Sweet Spirit, and Telekinesis, Superchunk’s Mac McCaughan makes a solid solo outing on The Sound of Yourself. Gospel music and funk might sound like an odd pairing, but Numero Group’s I Shall Wear a Crown compiles Pastor T.L. Barrett and the Youth for Christ Choir‘s most essential recordings. The Ophelia‘s third album, Crocus, features nuanced, ear-catching arrangements (and a cameo from Julien Baker). After a brief hiatus, Toronto’s Absolutely Free return with the glossy and glitchy Aftertouch. PRESS PLAY on these new releases (and more) below…

Various Artists – I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to The Velvet Underground & Nico
WE LOVE: Kurt Vile & the Violators – “Run Run Run” Courtney Barnett – “I’ll Be Your Mirror” Michael Stipe – “Sunday Morning”

Billy StringsRenewal
WE LOVE: “Fire Line” “In the Morning Light”

Esperanza SpaldingSongwrights Apothecary Lab
WE LOVE: “Formwela 4 (feat. Corey King) “Formwela 10”

Sufjan Stevens and Angelo De AugustineA Beginner’s Mind
WE LOVE: “Back to Oz” “Cimmerian Shade”

Mac McCaughanThe Sound of Yourself
WE LOVE: “Circling Around” “Burn a Fax”

Pastor T.L. Barrett and the Youth for Christ Choir I Shall Wear a Crown
WE LOVE: “In the Old Time Way” “Like a Ship (Without a Sail)”

The OpheliasCrocus
WE LOVE: “Neil Young on High (feat. Julian Baker) “The Twilight Zone”

Absolutely FreeAftertouch
WE LOVE: “How to Paint Clouds” “Interface”

Ada Leaone hand on the steering wheel the other sewing a garden, Alessia CaraIn the Meantime, Anna B SavageThese Dreams EP, Christopher Paul StellingForgiving it All, Cold War KidsNew Age Norms 3, Donald FagenThe Nightfly Live!, Erin McKeownKiss Off Kiss, Japanese BreakfastSable (Original Video Game Soundtrack), Jesse MalinSad and Beautiful World, Joey DeFrancescoMore Music, Johnny CashAt the Carousel Ballroom, April 24th, 1968, Macie StewartMouth Full of Glass, matt pond PAThe State of Gold, Natalie ImbrugliaFirebird, Public Service BroadcastingBright Magic, SOJA Beauty in the Silence, Steely DanNortheast Corridor: Steely Dan Live!, The ShivasFeels So Good // Feels So Bad, The SpecialsProtest Songs – 1924-2012, Third Eye Blind Our Bande Apart, Various Artists – Join the Ritual, William ShatnerBILL