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Alternative & Indie - Released October 29, 2021 | Atlantic Records

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
It's been almost four full years since The War on Drugs graced us with their meticulously constructed Grammy Award-winning A Deeper Understanding in 2017. The subsequent tour, captured on 2020's Live Drugs was a victory lap that crystallized this group's electrifying performance prowess. Yet, it might be an understatement to say a lot has changed since then. An altering global string of events, frontman Adam Granduciel's newly-minted fatherhood, and an irrevocable shock to our relationship to live music. What's the journey of digesting change, and when do we amend? It's these very questions that provoke the resulting dynamism in this band's latest album I Don't Live Here Anymore—a cerebral, soul-slicing anthemic rock proclamation. With taut, sculpted hooks, and burly melodies, Granduciel has built an album exploring the ruffled and soothing energy of self-reflection. With previous releases featuring decadent serpentines of shoegaze guitar echos, and groovy up-tempo long-form jams, Granduciel melded the best of both these worlds into this new record. From the opening track, "Living Proof," folksy strumming and staccato piano jabs glide above Granduciel, who recounts the strife in realizing the paradoxical swirling of an altered relationship: "I know the path/ I know it's changing/ I know the pain." "I Don't Wanna Wait" grapples with predicting life's changing tides. A metronome-like drum machine marches underneath fluid phase-y guitar fuzz with Granduciel's voice, drenched and reminiscent of a shotty phone connection calling out, "I don't wanna wait/ When I'm running to you" before continuing: "Show a little faith/ When I'm running to you." The album finds a triumphant peak in the title track "I Don't Live Here Anymore" where propellent, stadium-sized arpeggios ring out over a rock-solid drum groove. Granduciel, backed by the enchanting harmonies of folk duo Lucius, proclaims his unrelenting desire to make things right notwithstanding everything that's displaced ("I'm gonna walk through every doorway/ I can't stop/ I need some time, I need control/ I wanna find out everything I need to know"). Built equally for the headphones and for the arenas, I Don't Live Here Anymore stirs a universal truism and does so in kick-ass rock stylings: wrestling with the shifting tides of life is a constant, and the effort we make in spite of change makes all the difference. With sturdy lyrical themes and righteous melodic euphoria, The War on Drugs have crafted an album for taking the first step forward, which, while complex, is undoubtedly worthwhile. © William Card/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 1, 2021 | Domino Recording Co

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Devotion was the most fascinating oddity of 2018. Tirzah, protégée of her childhood friend Mica Levi aka Micachu, who is also a producer on this début album, was bursting into life. She was a kind of tightrope walker slaloming sensuously between melancholic R&B, neo-trip hop, drugged-up soul, post-grime and experimental pop. Those drunken piano notes, those fuzzy loops, that thick bass, the shady squeaks, the door creaks and above all that disturbing and changing voice are all back on Colourgrade. And Micachu has come back too. But this second work is less soulful than the previous one, and it's even more avant-garde. Tirzah's brain remains an intriguing stylistic labyrinth in which one can get lost (Crepuscular Rays) but to which it is always good to surrender (Hive Mind). Maybe Tirzah has just invented a soul-blues for the 2020s. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released October 1, 2021 | Wikset Enterprise

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 10, 2021 | Sub Pop Records

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
There has never been a better metaphor for Low's music than the way singer/co-founder/guitarist Alan Sparhawk recently defined distortion: "sending too much signal into something and then seeing what it does with it. Circuits, when [they] sense too much information, they start shaping the sound and kind of crushing down, that's what distortion is." On the Minnesota band's 13th album, the prevalent distortion sometimes feels less about listening to music and more like an out-of-body experience. (Don't be alarmed: Your speakers are not fuzzing out.) It's there in the glitchy pulse and churning storm of "I Can Wait," and in the vertigo-inducing feedback loop of "Hey." But it's also tempered with that most magical element of Low: the harmonies between Sparhawk and his longtime partner in music and life, Mimi Parker. They're up there with Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons or Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. On "All Night," the music is warped as if melted in the sun but the harmonies remain as ethereal as ever. The couple pull off a terrific trick during the stark grandeur of opener "White Horses," where Sparhwak starts a line, Parker joins in, then he drops out while she sustains. It's spine-chillingly beautiful, even as the background ticking intensifies—like in a movie before a bomb goes off—for a minute and a half. (For the first few songs, such noises bleed from one song to the next, almost like it's one continuous thought.) Low's lyrics can sometimes be obtuse, but dreamy "Don't Walk Away" is so intimate it's almost unbearable. Sparhawk starts off like a '50s crooner (the Platters come to mind), then Parker prettily joins in: "I have slept beside you now/ For what seems a thousand years … Don't walk away/ I can not take any more/ Won this game/ I can not play any more." All the while, there's an indeterminable background whisper, like midnight pillow talk. (Take that song with the lyrics of "White Horses"—"The consequences of leaving/ Would be more cold if I should stay/ Though it's impossible to say, I know/ Still, white horses take us home"—and a story starts to come into focus.) The couple also each have stunning solo turns. "More" comes on in a fury, and Parker stands determined and femme in the face of fearsome guitar storm: "I gave more than what I should've lost/ I paid more than what it would've cost … la la la la ..." Meanwhile, Sparhawk's voice shoots like a beacon of light, so clear and unclouded, on "Days Like These," before the super-cloudy fuzz kicks in; the result is like some gorgeous, twisted hymn. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz
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Electronic - Released September 3, 2021 | Warp Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 25, 2021 | Secretly Canadian

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Faye Webster's songs are like the musical equivalent of a drizzly morning when you know the sun is on its way—beautiful, sleepy in an appealingly decadent way, and full of promise. "Better Distractions," the gently percolating opening track from the singer-songwriter's fourth album, is a little jazzy, a little country, a little folky, flirting with the melody of "Something Stupid" while Webster comes on like a melting-butter version of Rickie Lee Jones. No wonder Barack Obama chose it as one of his favorite songs of 2020. "Sometimes" washes over you like a warm bath, while "A Stranger" employs sweeping romantic strings borrowed from an old movie—then adds deep pauses between drum beats to both heighten the drama and force the listener into a state of relaxation. The slip-sliding guitar of "Kind Of" has a similar magic effect, but the slightly off-kilter drum beat keeps you engaged and on your feet. "It feels kind of tucked away," Webster sings again and again, which is a pretty apt description of the song itself. Weirdly, "Kind Of" also suggests Webster could write a killer ballad for Gwen Stefani, as does "In a Good Way," its flamenco-flirting guitar smartly bouncing off her vocal melody. "Both All the Time"—"There's a difference between lonely and lonesome/ but I'm both all the time"—uses a plodding bass to underscore a sense of delicious wallowing, then adds triangle to interrupt her dark reverie, like the return of a typewriter putting a definitive punctuation on a thought. (It also lives up to the album title.) With its lazy sax, "A Dream with a Baseball Player" is a light and sexy take on girl-group shoop-shoop. "Overslept" finds Webster matched for low-key loveliness by Japanese singer-songwriter mei ehara. And "Cheers" is positively strident for the extremely low-key (if sometimes anxious-sounding) Webster, its slinky guitar bobbing atop a caffeinated rhythm, like a Courtney Barnett outtake. Good stuff. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released June 25, 2021 | Columbia

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Not two seconds into his sixth LP, CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST, Tyler, the Creator boldly stakes his claim with rap: ""Y'all ready?" booms the voice of DJ Drama, before the iconic "GANGSTA GRIZZILZ" tag jolts the album to life. Hosted by the legendary master-of-ceremonies, Tyler's latest LP imprints all the lessons of the last 8 years onto the raw rap talent of the Wolf era, combining visceral verses with expansive layers of production. Working with the likes of Westside Gunn and Freddie Gibbs has revitalised the outright fun of T's verses -- "AARGH, YOU LOOK MALNOURISHED" - as well as bringing the vivid storytelling of the former contrarian into subjects of vast personal import. It proves a sharp left turn after the progressive pop of 2019's IGOR -- but one that is realised with an unrelenting passion. Tyler's work has always been a patchwork of ever-increasing palettes, and CMIYGL is his most complex to date. Recurring tricks are masterfully melded into new templates: "RUNITUP!" continues the build-and-burst of "See You Again," "RISE!" folds IGOR's layered vocal textures into new visions, and "LEMONHEAD" channels Cherry Bomb for what sounds like an unironic take on Pink Guy's "Club Banger 3000." Yet it's equally clear that Tyler is continuing to expand with the sounds of his collaborators -- an intergalactic warble colours Uzi’s “JUGGERNAUT” tour-de-force, while yacht-rap lessons from The Alchemist make for a spectacle on “HOT WIND BLOWS” and “SIR BAUDELAIRE.” These new strides find a potent home among Tyler’s powerful-yet-familiar production toolkit; “I been switchin' gears since Tracee Ellis Ross was UPN” he raps on digital-only closer “SAFARI,” its soundscape playing out like a collage of each of his technicolour eras. As with every Tyler record, there’s a plethora of breadcrumbs to follow. The album’s central thread proffers a compelling forbidden-desire narrative, while the scratchy vocals akin to a much-referenced Wolf Haley are enough to make anyone drag their donut-print back out the wardrobe. In the minutiae, CMIYGL is equally abundant: "SWEET" is the full version of the interlude at the end of 2017's "I Ain't Got Time," while the Gravediggaz sample on "LUMBERJACK" is a sly wink to a tweet from the Bastard era. That’s saying nothing of the cryptic “Tyler Baudelaire”; fans of Charles Baudelaire may find the poet’s resonance in “WILSHIRE” and the album’s stretching, international escapism, though concrete answers remain shrouded. In a 2011 conversation with Nas, Tyler played every part the fan: "Nazareth Savage," the rapper exclaims, recalling his favourite sample from the Brooklyn legend, "that s*** is, like, legit as f***." Ten years on, Tyler finds himself recreating the beat for his own dizzying "MANIFESTO." It proves not only an acknowledgement of his icon, but an apt parallel for CMIYGL's daring return to rap: not only does Tyler possess every ounce of the talent to square up with rap's greats, he now has confidence enough to do so. © David Crone /TiVo
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Rock - Released May 21, 2021 | Matador

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Rooted in the same issues that once inspired the American blues it's modeled on—poverty, corruption, conflict—West Africa's desert blues boom still has much to say, eloquently weighing in on both public disputes and personal struggles caused by assouf, which in the Tamashek language means loss, longing, homesickness, or "the pain that is not physical." By adding grooves and most importantly, the electric guitar, this maturing genre—percolating since the 1980s—from bands like Tinariwen, Imarhan, and Bombino, has made West Africa a source of fresh inspiration for electric blues rock and psychedelia (two forms of Western music in dire need of new energies). Mdou Moctar, (aka Mahamadou Souleymane)—deemed the "Hendrix of the Sahara,"—has become the latest performer to make the leap to Europe and the US. After a live album for Jack White's Third Man records in 2019, this studio album is a crucial step up in his rapidly rising career. A remarkable collage of sound considering there are only four musicians, Afrique Victime has both ballads and upbeat numbers, all of it rhythmically vital and improvised around a core groove. The left-handed guitarist is supported throughout by his band of rhythm guitarist Ahmoudou Madassane (a star in his own right who has collaborated with Moctar since 2018), drummer Souleymane Ibrahim and American bassist/road manager Mikey Coltun who also produced this album which Matador is modestly calling, "Van Halen meets Black Flag meets Black Uhuru." Recorded while the band was on the road in Amsterdam and the US, the overall sound is reasonably clear and well-balanced and was mixed to give the band equal prominence to Moctar's guitar and singing. Nowhere near the equal of his guitarwork, his vocals in Tamashek are often doubled and tripled to make them sound like a chorus. After setting the scene with the buzz of insects, a crowing rooster, and footsteps in gravel, opener "Chismiten" has Moctar singing, "To become a better person, you need to stop being so jealous and insecure," before ripping into a razor-edged electric guitar solo that's swirled with reverb and a slightly distorted tone. Muscular and original, this stirring statement leaves no doubt that this self-professed Eddie Van Halen fan has the requisite ideas and confidence to be a guitar hero. Despite the album's title and the political bent of much of the music from this region, the songs on Afrique Victime are for the most part love songs. In the enchanting chords of the album's most fully realized tune "Tala Tannam" he sings, "I adore your eyes and body shape." In the acoustic guitar and hand claps-led "Ya Habibti" his "heart beats fast when I think of you." And while the humor may be unintentional—the product of a less than elegant Tamashek-to-English translation—the closer "Bismilahi Atagah," finds our hero weary from the battle of the sexes, declaring, "Love has become a painful boil in my life/ More painful than the sword of my enemy." A star on the rise, a guitar hero gently weeping. © Robert Baird/Qobuz
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released May 21, 2021 | Griselda Records

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
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World - Released April 23, 2021 | New Amsterdam

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Arooj Aftab is a young prodigy of Pakistani origin who has lived in Brooklyn since she was 18. This is the second album from this singer-songwriter (and what a singer!). Six years after Bird Under Water, her music is taking wing again and soaring even higher with Vulture Prince. She had hoped that this release would be filled with light and joy: but a family bereavement got in the way.  Her younger brother and a journalist friend both passed away as she was writing this album. The young woman set out to find a connection to life after death and to pay tribute to them. The album is dedicated to her brother Maher and the track Saans Lo is based on a poem by her friend Annie Ali Khan, with whom she had long been planning to collaborate. Arooj Aftab draws strength and originality from the blend of her mixed heritage. Her singing voice is inspired by the Indo-Persian traditions of earthly and divine love songs, by the ghazal form, and by Sufi poetry. Last Night is based on a poem by the founder of the whirling dervishes Jalâl ad-Din Rûmî, while Mohabbat is written around verses by Urdu poet Hafeez Hoshiarpuri. Musically, Arooj Aftab borrows deftly from jazz and mystical electronic music, which provides a perfect foil for her heavenly singing. Track after track, the music's radiance offers comfort and pure, deep euphoria. © Benjamin MiNiMuM/Qobuz
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Metal - Released April 16, 2021 | Sargent House

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Since emerging in 2009, the Armed have released three innovative and often impenetrable albums that show little interest in adhering to the traditional punk rock idiom. The band's recalcitrant nature -- outlandish stunts, performance art pieces, and general media misdirection -- has kept them in the headlines, but they have yet to cast a line into the mainstream. True to form, Ultrapop sees the anonymous and anachronistic Detroit-based collective deliver a dizzying 12-song set that pairs glitchy and discordant soundscapes and adenoid-tearing vocals with melodies that run the gamut from apocalyptic to downright majestic. Commencing with the lush title cut, which falls somewhere between the nightmarish AI-metal of Poppy, the narcotic dream pop of Mercury Rev, and the genre-less outflow of the group's closest stylistic contemporary, Fucked Up, Ultrapop gets down to business with haste. The band cycles through genres like they're being chased by death itself, leaving in their wake a street strewn with the remnants of noise-rock, hardcore, garage punk, electronicore, pop, and post-punk. The kinetic "All Futures" and "Masunaga Vapors" mirror the unpredictable urban punk emissions of Scotland's Young Fathers, while the knotty "Big Shell" and "Real Folk Blues" evoke the socio-political art-punk of Crass. That being said, those comparisons are merely touchstones, as the Armed's particular brand of maximalist experimental pop feels vital and rooted in the current zeitgeist. Aptly named, Ultrapop administers a constant barrage of sonic information that shows no delineation between discomfort, reassurance, pain, or pleasure. © James Christopher Monger /TiVo
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Jazz - Released April 9, 2021 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Although it stems from a work that Iyer originally crafted back in 2011, one could hardly imagine a better title for a 2021 album release than Uneasy. As the world wobbles onto its post-pandemic footing and the United States begins to take stock of the social and political toll from years of continued divisiveness, any optimism or forward motion one may feel is almost always tempered by the reality of that which came before. That anger and frustration with the past and the resultant realism about the future is at the core of the pianist's first trio album for ECM since 2015's Break Stuff. Like that outing, Uneasy relies on tight, confident interplay between three highly skilled and unique musicians, but this lineup is all new, featuring double-bassist Linda May Han Oh and drummer Tyshawn Sorey. Iyer's skills as a player, composer, and collaborator have since grown considerably and Uneasy is an excellent showcase for all of them. "Children of Flint" and "Combat Breathing" are stunning compositions, focusing on the human costs of political negligence and malfeasance, forces that have unmistakably driven the uneasiness behind the album's title. "Children of Flint" is the more rigorous of the two, opening the album in a dramatically unfolding manner, but "Combat Breathing" definitely holds its own, finding a sturdy groove that's fueled by fire—not funk—and culminating in a cluster of sonics that evaporates into the ether like so much tear gas. The interplay between the three players is remarkable throughout, most notably on the dramatic "Entrustment," which relies on telepathic communication between the rhythm section and Iyer's piano; likewise, "Retrofit"—a piece written for sextet and appropriately complex—gets handled deftly by these three, giving each plenty of opportunity to shine. Of course, it's Iyer's piano work that holds down the entire affair, and as he wends through the dense, melodic "Touba," he manages to evoke Coltrane's spiritual-era changes, but with a more pensive vibe, while on the solo piece "Augury," his playing is both insistent and introspective. On Uneasy, Iyer continues his unique balancing act of presenting complex and demanding compositional ideas in a framework that's welcoming and accessible, with players who see eye-to-eye and can help execute that vision in a way that's imaginative and invigorating. © Jason Ferguson/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 2, 2021 | 4AD

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Few bands from the post punk revival that began in the 2010s are led by women. Florence Shaw is redressing the balance with brilliance. The Londoner who heads up Dry Cleaning has above all a uniquely serious, warm and rather sensual voice that balances perfectly against the roughness of the abrasive, dark rock'n'roll played by guitarist Tom Dowse, bassist Lewis Maynard and drummer Nick Buxton. This singing sometimes borders on spoken-word (Grace Jones, Annette Peacock or a female Baxter Dury come to mind). This voice plays hide-and-seek with a soundtrack that refers to the classics (Joy Division, Magazine, Gang of Four, Feelies, Wire) without ever going overboard. This all dresses up a collection of collages à la William Burroughs, in the famous and rather extreme cut-up style, which inspires as much love as hate... At the console, we have John Parrish, PJ Harvey's faithful accomplice. He has tailored an impeccable sonic suit for New Long Leg: one that's full of heady compositions. These compositions stand out from those of their colleagues like Shame, Fontaines D.C., Girl Band, Idles and Murder Capital. This is real original Dry Cleaning material. It's one to discover urgently. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 26, 2021 | Smalltown Supersound

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Jenny Hval is an experimental artist who knows no limits. Take, for example, her album Blood Bitch (2016) on which the Norwegian used her electro-speckled pop and her vaporous, chloroformed, dreamlike vocals to talk of nothing but blood! Menstruation and vampirism fed this disturbing new wave-influenced sixth album... Written as a duet with her compatriot Håvard Volden with whom she has been working regularly since 2008, Lost Girls is another story altogether. This duo's trip is all about the desire for freedom. It is a kind of total improvisation and mixes electro, new age influences, spoken word, a mille-feuille of percussion, drone sounds, and more. Menneskekollektivet makes it look like a live performance even though it was recorded in the studio, at Øra Studios in Trondheim, Norway. In this 45-minute stream, Hval and Volden slalom between club, ambient, krautrock and avant-garde, paying little heed to the boundaries between them. It's a fluidity that imbues this album with real poetry and makes it quite captivating. We are often reminded of the works of contemporary American composer Robert Ashley, or a dance version of his works. Laurie Anderson has also left a mark on these Lost Girls, who have produced the most fascinating discographic oddity of the moment. ©Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released February 5, 2021 | Fat Possum

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Categorized as a "folk artist" since her 2009 album debut, Tamara Lindeman—frontwoman of the otherwise ever-changing band that is The Weather Station—defies pigeonholing with her fifth effort: a sensual, lavish collection of songs that borrows from modern jazz, electronica and straight-up dance music. With its steady rock beat, bubbling melody and low-key dynamics, the terrific new track "Tried to Tell You" could be an Arcade Fire song. It all suits Lindeman's voice, a shape-shifting thing of dark beauty that begs Joni Mitchell comparisons but also easily travels from Kate Bush flutters to Annie Lennox heft. Things get appealingly enigmatic and weird right from opener "Robber," with its high-hat hiss, sharply punctuated strings, and moody sax and piano. Lindeman sounds like she's breathing the lyrics more than singing them: "I never believed in the robber. I never saw nobody climb over my fence; no black bag, no gloved hand." It's delightfully open to interpretation (a lover who stole self-esteem? a psychic vampire? a literal thief?), but Lindeman has also said that it was inspired by earth-harming actions of Exxon Mobil. Indeed, she's revealed that much of the album was written during a winter obsession over the apocalyptic nature of climate change, That said, it's not easy to parse when the lyrical malaise is about that or some other bruise. "You lay in bed...every other part of you hurt...loss is loss," Lindeman intones on "Loss," a song that musically evokes the hum of traffic on the move. "Dim the lights and draw the curtains; this is the end of love," she sings like some Byronic hero on the stark-to-lush "Trust." Even the album title, Ignorance, begins to feel like self-damnation. Hell, maybe it's enough to take a lyric like "you know it just kills me when I see some bird fly. It just kills me, and I don’t know why"—from the throbbing "Parking Lot"—at face value. By the end, as the emotions (both lyrical and musical) have simmered for 40 minutes but never quite boiled over, you might need a constitutional, or at least some caffeine, to shake it loose from your thoughts. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz
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R&B - Released January 8, 2021 | RCA Records Label

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Reality Show was a major milestone in Jazmine Sullivan's career. With this third album, released in 2015, the Philadelphia singer was gaining in stature, in her singing and deepening her relationship with melody and groove. The grace of her old-school R&B mingled with some rather elaborate lyrics. Five years later, and after some impeccable features for artists like GoldLink (Meditation with Kaytranada), Frank Ocean (Solo and four tracks on Endless), Kindness (Hard to Believe), Mali Music (Loved By You), Niia (Sideline) and Robert Glasper (You're My Everything on Black Radio 2), Sullivan gives us even more swagger with Heaux Tales, a viscerally committed work that talks unsentimentally about money. “Heaux Tales is about my observation of today’s women standing in their power and owning who they are.  No longer is male patriarchy dictating what it means to be a ‘good girl.’  The truth is, women of all ages have been called a ‘heaux’ at some point in life, whether deserved or not, by some man trying to put us in our place; a place designed to keep us under control, out of the way and usually beneath them. Women are over feeling ashamed about the decision we have made, or chose to make, in regards to our bodies. We are multi-faceted and shouldn’t be defined by any one thing.  We all have a journey to make and it’s our choice alone how we get there.” These sentiments are set impeccably to music, as on the sure-fire hit Girl Like Me which closes the album, a demented duet with the Californian Gabriella Wilson a.k.a. H.E.R, a classy love story with deception at its heart. Two other guest appearances enrich Heaux Tales (Anderson .Paak on Pricetags and Ari Lennox on On It). Her spot-on voice is hoarse with a naked soul timbre (Lauryn Hill/Brandy) and she sometimes takes a playful run at Kendrick Lamar's flow (Put It Down) or flirts with gospel (Bodies, Lost One). Above all, Jazmine Sullivan is not content to throw together a feminist hotchpotch to catch the pulse of the moment. This is her fourth full album. A beautiful and deep work that will stand the test of time. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released December 25, 2020 | AWGE - Interscope Records

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
For Playboi Carti, red means many things: the colour of the Bloods, the gang with which he is affiliated; the colour of the lean that gives him inspiration; and of blood, because on Whole Lotta Red, his second album, The Atlanta rapper turns into a vampire. This effort, which appeared in the twilight of 2020, just when it was least expected, could wake the dead with its great billows of saturated trap and penetrating bass, and it closed out the year beautifully. All the Atlanta sound is here, condensed into twenty-four tracks, from codeine odes such as Sky or Teen X (featuring the ubiquitous Future), to cries of wild monsters, sometimes so deafening that you might imagine yourself in hell, like on King Vamp, F1lthy, or the unstoppable No Sl33p. "When I go to sleep I dream about murder", he intones on this last, as if to remind us that monsters not only populate this album, but also the streets Playboi Carti ran during his adolescence. As executive producer of the album, we find Kanye West, also a guest on the track Go2DaMoon, which introduces an absolutely monstrous banger called Stop Breathing. Whole Lotta Red is a masterclass in contrasts. Because despite the unity of the productions based on the TR-808, Playboi Carti masters everything: the slow groove of New N3on (a huge favourite from producer Maaly Raw), the bass that drives the crazy Punk Monk, the most melodic productions from beatmaker Art Dealer, or the sensitivity of F33l Lik3 Dyin, which closes this fantastic album. So the rumors were true: Atlanta is indeed home to the one and only vampire of rap. © Brice Miclet/Qobuz
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Pop - Released November 12, 2020 | Golden Child Entertainment Ltd

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 23, 2020 | 4AD

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Pitchfork: Best New Music
Before Big Thief became indie-folk-rock fans’ favourite band, their singer Adrianne Lenker released three solo albums: Stages of the Sun (2006), Hours Were the Birds (2014) and Abysskiss (2018). This time around, the folk fairy does even more with even less. Alone with her acoustic guitar, she recorded this double album (available separately under the simple titles Songs and Instrumentals) in a cabin in the Berkshires in Massachusetts. You can hear the wood crackling. Birds and insects as well. And even her fingers sliding around on her strings. With every second, the real world slips away a little more. And her fragile voice is like a magnet that pulls you into every melody... She explores classic themes like loneliness, break-up and regret with a hypnotising, stripped-back sound that brings the likes of Vashti Bunyan, Judee Sill, Elliott Smith and Joni Mitchell (obvious influences for the Big Thief singer). Adrianne Lenker often uses repetition, like on the moving song Come where you can hear the rain outside. Sometimes, it’s space that she focuses on (My Angel). Each song is soft and intimate. The two long instrumental pieces (21 and 16 minutes) that make up the second part require more attention but prove to be totally in line with the songs on the first record. You’re left stunned by just how refined both albums are. A sublime work that will easily stand the test of time. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 23, 2020 | 4AD

Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Pitchfork: Best New Music
Before Big Thief became indie-folk-rock fans’ favourite band, their singer Adrianne Lenker released three solo albums: Stages of the Sun (2006), Hours Were the Birds (2014) and Abysskiss (2018). This time around, the folk fairy does even more with even less. Alone with her acoustic guitar, she recorded this double album (available separately under the simple titles Songs and Instrumentals) in a cabin in the Berkshires in Massachusetts. You can hear the wood crackling. Birds and insects as well. And even her fingers sliding around on her strings. With every second, the real world slips away a little more. And her fragile voice is like a magnet that pulls you into every melody... She explores classic themes like loneliness, break-up and regret with a hypnotising, stripped-back sound that brings the likes of Vashti Bunyan, Judee Sill, Elliott Smith and Joni Mitchell (obvious influences for the Big Thief singer). Adrianne Lenker often uses repetition, like on the moving song Come where you can hear the rain outside. Sometimes, it’s space that she focuses on (My Angel). Each song is soft and intimate. The two long instrumental pieces (21 and 16 minutes) that make up the second part require more attention but prove to be totally in line with the songs on the first record. You’re left stunned by just how refined both albums are. A sublime work that will easily stand the test of time. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz