In the age of streaming, it’s never been easier to listen to new music — but with over 60,000 new songs added to Spotify every day, it’s also never been harder to know what to put on. Every week, the team at Rolling Stone UK will run down some of the best new releases that have been added to streaming services.
Blackpink, Born Pink
The world’s biggest K-pop girl group are back with Born Pink, the follow-up to their 2020 debut The Album. A more uptempo affair that plays with rock, pop and hip-hop, Born Pink is a record that’s bound to appeal to an even broader audience. Blackpink make several nods to bossing it as both pop stars and rock stars (‘Shut Down’, ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah’) and it’s on these turbo-charged tracks where they shine best.
David Bowie, Moonage Daydream
Brett Morgen’s new Bowie film, Moonage Daydream, a daring blend of documentary and concert footage, is a psychedelic triumph well worthy of the Starman’s legacy. It arrives in the UK on selected IMAX screens on Friday (September 16), before a wider release a week later, and the accompanying soundtrack looks essential for Bowie purists; among the treasure contained within are new, film-specific remixes of classics like ‘Modern Love’, a rare 1973 medley of ‘The Jean Genie’ and The Beatles’ ‘Love Me Do’ that features Jeff Beck on guitar, and a previously unreleased live version of ‘Rock n’ Roll with Me’ from 1974.
Death Cab for Cutie, Asphalt Meadows
This tenth full-length from the indie rock stalwarts sees them truly stretch their wings for the first time since the departure of Chris Walls after 2015’s Kintsugi; where their last album, the 2018 LP Thank You for Today, largely represented a songwriting holding pattern for frontman Ben Gibbard, here there are risks taken, with producer John Congleton inspiring a move towards crunching guitars on opening one-two ‘I Don’t Know How I Survive’ and ‘Roman Candles’. Elsewhere, Gibbard pivots to spoken word on ‘Foxglove Through the Clearcut’, while his lyricism is inspired by anxieties set in motion by the pandemic.
LYZZA’s new mixtape expresses the Amsterdam-based, Brazilian-born producer and vocalist’s experiences as a Black woman within the music industry. Mixing English, Spanish and Portuguese lyrics, its tracks span avant-garde electronica, alt-pop and reggaeton, with features from Zambian-Canadian hardcore rapper Backxwash and Spanish trap artist La Zowi. The mixtape’s title comes from LYZZA’s unlikely affinity with the mosquito, with the artist commenting “I identify with the disruptive and intrusive nature of a mosquito”.
Marcus Mumford, Marcus Mumford
The Mumford & Sons singer and guitarist has released a record that, owing to its deeply personal and difficult subject matter, could only ever be a solo album. Bruising ballad ‘Cannibal’ hears the singer-songwriter reference the sexual abuse he suffered as a child, while the skeletal ‘Prior Warning’ hears him recall hitting rock-bottom, a time in which he self-medicated with booze and food. A moving listen.
Mura Masa, Demon Time
Alex Crossan (aka Mura Masa) re-ups with a fresh cast of collaborators for his third effort Demon Time, which is both an exercise in Noughties nostalgia and future-facing pop. Shygirl, Lil Uzi Vert, Slowthai and PinkPantheress are just some of the exciting names on an eclectic record that spans UK garage (‘Bbycakes’, ‘E-motions’), deep house (‘Hollaback Bitch’), Afrobeats (‘Blessing Me’), hyperpop (‘Slomo’) and much more.
Noah Cyrus, The Hardest Part
Cyrus’ new album unites her pop sensibilities with her country roots for a debut that best showcases her poetic lyricism. Themes of addiction, heartbreak and broken politics are just a few explored on an arresting collection of songs. On ‘I Just Want A Lover’, Cyrus lays bare beautifully her desire for a healthy, romantic relationship: “I just want a lover who’s in love with me / Not another liar making love to me.”
Returning with their first record since 2018’s The Blue Hour, the Britpop survivors appear hellbent on making a raw rock affair that doesn’t sand off any of the sharp edges. Recent rave reviews of two intimate secret shows in London and Manchester, where they played the album in full, suggest they’ve pulled off what frontman Brett Anderson was aiming for when he talked about Autofiction being “our punk record. No whistles and bells. Just the five of us in a room with all the glitches and fuck-ups revealed; the band themselves exposed in all their primal mess.”
Rina Sawayama, Hold the Girl
Rina Sawayama returns with her second album Hold the Girl. At once bigger yet more intimate than her debut, the album was inspired by the idea of ‘re-parenting’ herself and other revelations about childhood and her own relationship to herself discovered through therapy, mixing Sawayama’s direct and personal storytelling with arena-primed hooks. Along the way she works with long-term collaborators Clarence Clarity and Lauren Aquilina alongside pop production heavyweights Paul Epworth (Adele, Florence & theMachine), Stuart Price (Dua Lipa, The Killers, Madonna) and Marcus Andersson (Demi Lovato).