Best New Releases, May 24: Vince Staples, Machinedrum, and more

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Vince Staples

We took a much-needed day off last Friday from Best New Releases (apologies to those who put out new music last Friday that we didn’t get around to covering—it’s a lot to keep up with!). But this week we’re back with nine new must-hear albums (two of which are archival, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hear them). A just-announced return of a hip-hop MVP, a stunning jazz collaboration, plus our Album of the Week. Queue up this week’s best new releases.

Blurbs by Jeff Terich (JT) and Mia Euceda (ME).

Note: When you buy something through our affiliate links, Treble receives a commission. All albums we cover are chosen by our editors and contributors.

Vince Staples new album Dark Times
Def Jam

Vince Staples – Dark Times

Vince Staples only this week announced the release of his new album Dark Times, and it arrives with almost no pre-release information or promotion. But it’s Vince Staples, after all, and his consistent standard of quality, paired with a tendency to switch up his approach with each release, makes each one well worth exploring. Dark Times leans heavy on his grim storytelling as usual, but there’s a soulfulness about it that makes it a rich listening experience, underscoring warmly melodic loops with elements of gospel as Staples balances introspection with observations on the casual cruelty of society. We’ll have more on this one soon. – JT

Listen at Spotify

Machinedrum 3For82 review
Ninja Tune

Machinedrum – 3FOR82

Machinedrum’s new album 3FOR82 is our Album of the Week, a nod to sounds of the past as well as past versions of ourselves, with producer Travis Stewart and his collaborators each channeling themselves as if communicating with their younger selves. In our review we said, “3FOR82 ends up mimicking a killer mixtape, showcasing skilled young artists who run with Machinedrum’s experienced soundtracks to describe an existence maybe not kinder or gentler, but at a minimum more self-affirming.” – JT

Listen at Bandcamp
Buy at Rough Trade (vinyl)

best new releases - La Luz
Sub Pop

La Luz – News of the Universe

La Luz have made an interesting evolution over the course of their career, starting off as a more conventional surf-rock band before embracing psychedelia and showcasing more richly detailed and spacious arrangements. Three years after their 2021 self-titled album and a solo album from Shana Cleveland, the group continues to dive deeper into that heady swirl of psych—with even more fuzz this time around. While News of the Universe contains much of La Luz’s signature sounds (gorgeous vocal harmonies, swirls of jangly guitar), the production feels even richer and more layered this time around, making a good thing feel even richer and more complex. – JT

Listen at Bandcamp
Buy at Amazon (vinyl)

best new releases - Carlos Nino

Carlos Niño & Friends – Placenta

The prolific jazz percussionist’s latest is an ode to the spiritualism of birth, released after the first “solar return” of Moss, his second child (heard alongside their mother Annalise on one track). Ñino creates a stream of tranquility and enigma with sparse chimes, deep entrancing synths and incoherent breathy, chittering vocals, capturing the beauty (and uncertainty!) of welcoming new life. André 3000, also chimes in with a bright, curious Quetzalcoatl flute on “Birthworkers Magic, and how we get hear . . .” following Niño’s production on the seemingly-leftfield ambient project New Blue Sun. The soundscapes are open, flowy and sometimes mysterious, making it feel as if I was floating around in that chamber again. – ME

Listen at Bandcamp
Buy at Amazon (vinyl)

best new releases - young jesus
Saddle Creek

Young Jesus – The Fool

John Rossiter returns two years after the release of Shepherd Head with a new album produced by experimental music veteran Shahzad Ismaily. By and large it continues where that album left off, pairing heroic heartland rock-sized anthems with atmospheric arrangements and subtle electronic flourishes. It’s big hearted and powerful, accessible yet with some expectedly otherworldly elements. We’ll have more on this one soon.

Listen at Bandcamp
Buy at Amazon (vinyl)

best new releases - Aluminum

Aluminum – Fully Beat

We recently premiered “Everything” from Bay Area shoegazers Aluminum, and if that song caught your attention, then you definitely need to hear the rest of their debut, Fully Beat. The group draws as much from Lush’s dream-pop bliss and Chapterhouse’s acid-house groove as they do Swervedriver’s more abrasive, hard-charging guitar sound, and it comes together in an eclectic but extremely fun to listen to set of pedalboard-powered indie rock. As with the best shoegaze, it’s not so much the effects but what they do with them, delivering melodies and grooves that stand on their own, even when washed in coats of blissful sound. – JT

Listen at Bandcamp
Buy at Amazon (vinyl)

Drag City

Bill MacKay – Locust Land

Guitarist Bill MacKay has collaborated with a long list of artists in recent years, including Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Bill Callahan and Ryley Walker as well as appearing on the excellent new album from Ibelisse Guardia Ferragutti and Frank Rosaly, MESTIZX. On his new solo album, Mackay showcases his own unique blend of low-key folk songwriting with no shortage of gorgeously mesmerizing guitar work. His playing occupies an interesting cross section of American primitivism, country/folk, psychedelia and surf, and while his voice is no doubt a pleasant and soothing instrument unto itself, it’s what he does with his guitar that’s the star of the show here. – JT

Listen at Bandcamp
Buy at Amazon (vinyl)

Drag City

Gastr del Sol – We Have Dozens of Titles

Gastr del Sol’s David Grubbs and Jim O’Rourke parted ways over 25 years ago, after releasing some of the most influential post-rock albums of all time. But on their first release in decades, the group mines the archives and unearths rare material from their brief time together, including live recordings, compilation tracks and other non-album songs. We Have Dozens of Titles—which amusingly enough features a dozen titles exactly—is a reminder of the innovation and grace with which the duo crafted their music, rife with unconventional beauty, stark and patient arrangements, and songs that both now and at the time sounded virtually unlike anything else. – JT

Listen at Bandcamp
Buy at Amazon (vinyl)

Brian Eno Holger Czukay J Peter Schwalm

Brian Eno, Holger Czukay & J. Peter Schwalm – Sushi. Roti. Reibekuchen

Brian Eno’s live performances over the years have been limited enough that each one is essentially unlike the others, and this set—recorded in 1998—finds the ambient architect collaborating with Can’s Holger Czukay and electronic artist J. Peter Schwalm on a series of largely improvised and lengthy pieces that take shape from the ether, congealing into off-kilter breakbeat exercises, oddball grooves and sampladelic dub. Not unlike recent entries in the Can live archive, Sushi. Roti. Reibekuchen is more about the overall experience than playing any recognizable individual standouts—a real-time exploration of sonic wilderness. – JT

Listen at Spotify
Buy at Amazon (vinyl)

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