These days everyone is saying “Barbie this” and “Oppenheimer that,” but no one is saying “tracklist this” and “digipak that.” UK titans Blur follow their 2015 comeback with another comeback; LP9 The Ballad of Darren is, according to singer Damon Albarn, the band’s first ‘legit’ album since 1999’s 13. Working with a list of collaborators including Dave Matthews and Old Crow Medicine Show’s Ketch Secor, Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway‘s City of Gold is a road trip-ready sequel to last year’s Crooked Tree. On his self-titled third album as Cut Worms, singer-guitarist Max Clarke hones his Americana-tinged jangle pop around stories of love and unsolved mysteries.
Recorded in upstate New York during a raging blizzard, NY/Philly quartet Strange Ranger offer lo-fi outsider soul on their fourth album, Pure Music. Revisiting the sonic textures of her late ’90s debut (and the life lessons she’s learned since), Lori McKenna channels a career’s worth of inspiration into her 12th LP, 1988. Coinciding with the 54th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission (and what would have been the artist’s 99th birthday), the restored Journey to the Moon and Beyond features a restoration of Mort Garson‘s soundtrack accompaniment to the moon landing’s live broadcast. And yeah, Barbie: the Album is out with fantastic plastic contributions from Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, Nicki Minaj and more.
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