RELEASE RADAR: April Showers Bring New Tracks, EPs, and Albums

New music from Kevin Abstract, The Flaming Lips, Lizzo, Sunn O))), Gus Dapperton and more!

April showers bring blossoms of good music, apparently.

Sandwiched between Coachella's two major weekends, this week felt like a good time to recuperate and take an inventory of everything that's been going on. Or maybe it's a welcome reprieve from the noise of Instagram during festival season. Either way, the good music hasn't stopped flowing, and there are plenty of new exciting releases from pop legends, emerging artists, and some newcomers who look like they're here to stay. Here's a look at a few singles, EPs, and LPs that came out this week.

Singles

1. SZA, The Weeknd, Travis Scott - "Power is Power"

A few weeks back, we mentioned that Games of Thrones was getting a new curated soundtrack titled "For the Throne" featuring some of the biggest musical acts out right now. On Thursday, SZA, Travis Scott, and The Weeknd dropped their original song, "Power is Power," the album's lead single and bonafide centerpiece. Abel kicks things off with his signature moody, cool-toned coos before SZA swirls into the mix and joins on the chorus until Travis Scott enters in the third part of the song, bringing his own autotuned heat. The power trio bring it home as all of their voices come together for the song's final chorus: "A knife in my heart/ It couldn't slow me down (Couldn't slow me down)/ 'Cause power is power ('Cause power is power)" Only time will tell if the final season of GoT can live up to its massive hype. But one thing is clear: "Power is Power" does not disappoint.

2. Kevin Morby - "OMG Rock N Roll"

Ahead of the release of his upcoming double album, Oh My God, Kevin Morby shares one more single entitled "OMG Rock N Roll." It's a song that starts off bluesy and playful, but halfway through the cheerful organs and chug-a-lug guitars come to a full stop as a solemn choir comes in, and their words mourn victims of gun violence. Morby explained in a press statement: "The song is meant to mirror a public tragedy with its hard pan to the choir almost two minutes in." Oh My God is out 4/26 on Dead Oceans.

3. Madonna - "Medellín" [ft. Maluma]

Madonna's forthcoming new album Madame X will be her first since 2015's Rebel Heart. Her newest song, "Medellín," features reggaeton singer Maluma and will appear as the first track on the new album. The new record is inspired by her time spent is Lisbon, and will be largely made up of Latin-inspired music.

4. The Flaming Lips - "All For the Life of the City"

For Record Store Day, The Flaming Lips put out 4,000 vinyl copies of their latest album King's Mouth. Now, the psych-rock duo are going to be doing a wide release of the concept album, due out July 19th via Warner Bros. This week they released a single from the LP called "All For the Life of the City." It's got a pretty quintessential Flaming Lips psychedelic soundscape where Wayne Coyne's scraggly vocals soar over layered instrumentals, unfurling into something that sounds colorful and bright.

5. Cold Showers - "Shine"

Los Angeles-based Cold Showers are gearing up to put out another album –– Motionless –– via Dais. Taking their familiar post-punk infused rock to new levels, their newest song "Shine" taps into the industrial elements of bands like New Order and melds it with '80s pop and goth influences. "Shine" is a textured, broody wash of new wave packaged into a shimmering 4 minute track. Along with putting out the new single, Cold Showers are also releasing accompanying visuals shot on 16mm. Watch and listen below. Motionless is out May 24th, 2019.

EPs

6. Kevin Abstract - Ghettobaby

Kevin Abstract is in the midst of releasing a solo album, and is putting it out piece-by-piece in several EPs. Last week, he dropped a 3-song EP titled ARIZONA baby, and this week he's sharing another project called Ghettobaby, which is made up of the three songs from the last one, plus three new tracks: "Corpus Christi," "Baby Boy," and "Mississippi." Abstract also released the video for "Baby Boy" earlier this week, featuring cameos from Youtubers Drew Phillips and Enja in the beginning. Watch below.

LPs

7. Lizzo - 'Cuz I Love You

2019 is Lizzo's year, and now her flawless third album and major label debut is officially here. In what many are calling the most anticipated release of the year, 'Cuz I Love You shows that the rapper, singer, dancer, actress, and flutist extraordinaire can do just about anything and everything, and pull it off well. The album's an 11/10.


8. Gus Dapperton - Where Polly People Go To Read

Gus Dapperton's debut LP, Where Polly People Go To Read, drops this week on AWAL. On it, the NYC-based singer, multi-instrumentalist, and producer reflects on a year of travel, self-expression, and relationships in his life. His sound combines drum machines, old-school 12-bit samples, piano and acoustic guitar alongside '80s style synths.

9. Sunn O))) - Life Metal

The droning, minimalist metal of experimental Sunn O))) returns on their newest LP, Life Metal, produced by Steve Albini. The entire album was recorded and mixed on tape, and features contributions from Hildur Guðnadóttir, Tim Midyett, and Anthony Pateras. You can stream the entire album on NPR.

10. Beyoncé - Homecoming

Queen Bey continues to reign supreme as she drops a 40-track album–– Homecoming––this week. Her latest offering is a collection of greatest hits, rarities, and even a track featuring her daughter, Blue Ivy. The album comes alongside Bey's new Netflix documentary by the same name.


Sara is a Brooklyn-based music and culture writer.


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