Keeping up with new music can be exhausting, even impossible. From the weekly album releases to standalone singles dropping on a daily basis, the amount of music is so vast it’s easy for something to slip through the cracks. Even following along with the Uproxx recommendations on daily basis can be a lot to ask, so every Monday we’re offering up this rundown of the best music released in the last week.
This week Meek Mill and Future both dropped surprise releases, Justin Timberlake offered up another new song, and Years & Years debuted their highly anticipated sophomore album. Yeah, it was a pretty good week for music. Check out the highlights below.
Future — Beastmode 2
Future releases a lot of music. Heck, he literally just released a two-volume soundtrack to Superfly a few weeks back. But Beastmode 2 is something different. Quick reactions to the set are saying that both Future and his producer Zaytoven are at the top of their game. Coming hot on the heels of high profile rap releases from some of the biggest names in the game, Future side-steps hype in favor of a focused and inspired collection. It might not get him as many headlines, but it might make for a longer-lasting conversation.
Meek Mill — Legends Of Summer
One of the greatest musical tragedies of these times is the fact that Meek Mill is more talked about as a face of injustice than for his music. But now that Meek Mill is free, Meek Mill the musician has a chance to take center stage. His surprise EP features just four songs but also manages to squeeze in appearances from Jeremih, Miguel, and Swizz Beatz.
Years & Years – Palo Santo
London’s Years & Years might be one of the most successful examples of algorithm pop, but on their second career album, they are looking to blast outside the streaming and festival world. At its center is frontman Olly Alexander, one of the most original and captivating performers to emerge in recent memory. With him as the face of the project, its hard to imagine them not finding even more fans for this second round.
Con Brio – Explorer
San Francisco soul-rock band Con Brio has been impressing over the past several years on the festival circuit, but on their new album Explorer, they’ll try to capture that success on wax. Their sophomore album promises to be a political work, directly affected by the election that occurred during its creation. But it also promises to be a continuation of the amped-up funk and R&B that the group has become known for.
Avey Tare — Essence of Eucalyptus EP
The rise of Animal Collective as one of the most critically adored indie outfits of the late-aughts has been followed by the four-piece finding a level of popularity that more suits their left-of-the-dial aesthetic. But even as the venues have shrunk down, the music released by Avey Tare, Panda Bear, Deakin, and Geologist has remained essential. Even this surprise remix EP, in which the other AnCo members give new interpretations of music from Avey’s recent solo album, should find a place in the rotation with the Animal Collective faithful and more casual fans alike.
Toro Y Moi and Rome Fortune — Toro Y Rome Vol. 1
Toro Y Moi’s breakthrough as a chillwave trendsetter feels like it happened decades ago, as the artist has spent the last several years exploring varying sounds that are harder to peg down. Further showing Toro’s playfulness and willingness to collaborate is this new joint EP with Philly rapper Rome Fortune. As Rome described it when it was released on Independence Day as a surprise album, “5 brand spankin new tracks 4 ya cookout.”
Christine And The Queens — “Doesn’t Matter”
One of France’s most exciting rising artists is doubling down for her sophomore release. Chris will see both English and French language versions, and appropriately, new single “Doesn’t Matter” sounds great in both languages. Everything about Christine And The Queens feels especially relevant in 2018, from the way the project challenges traditional gender and power dynamics to the home-spun pop production.
Justin Timberlake — “Soulmate”
“Summer starts now,” says Justin Timberlake at the beginning of the pulsing dance track “Soulmate.” It’s a pleasant diversion and could be enough to wash the taste of the poorly received Man Of The Woods out of many’s mouths. But at its best, it is a reminder that Timberlake is best when you don’t have to think about him too hard when he just lets his silky smooth voice and hooks take the reigns.
Lil Yachty — “Who Want The Smoke?” ft Cardi B and Offset
I was listening to hip-hop radio the other day and literally half of the tunes I heard over the course of 20 minutes featured Cardi B. That’s not a bad thing, and Lil Yachty surely knew that when he was recruiting for features on his new single, “Who Want The Smoke?” Getting Mr. Cardi on the track, too, is only icing on the cake.