2017 has been a banner year for new music. From fast-rising young talent proving their viral fame is no mistake, to legacy acts further cementing their place in music history, not a single week has passed without at least a handful of albums being release that are worthy of your time. In fact, there has been so much great music released in recent months that even our team has had a hard time keeping up. By the time we get through the records we have to cover for one reason or another there are four or five more we’re told we need to hear. It’s overwhelming, but in the best possible way.
In response to this (good) problem we have launched a new, weekly column highlighting five albums our team feels everyone should hear. These records will feature Substream regulars, as well as artists we hope to work with in the future. We know not everyone will enjoy every album we choose, and that is perfectly okay. All we ask is that you give these records a chance because the people behind them are passionate and talented musicians speaking their truth through art. They are innovators and originators who we believe are shaping the future of music for all artists. We support their efforts and we hope you will too.
So without further ado, here are the five new releases you need to hear this week:
Stray From The Path – Only Death is Real
Stray From The Path are one of, if not the most important rock band in America today. In a time when many artists are choosing to shy away from political commentary the men of Stray are ready to scream “nazi punks fuck off” with both fists raised in the air. Only Death Is Real finds the band bridging the gap between tales of personal struggles and concerns for the world at large with a sonic fury only they can produce. Think Rage Against The Machine for the new millennium, only way heavier.
TOP TRACK: “Plead The Fifth”
ODESZA – A Moment Apart
EDM has gone mainstream in recent years, but few performers have established the kind of massive cult following ODESZA has cultivated since forming in 2012. A Moment Apart is the dup’s third full-length album, and as far as we are concerned it’s also their best. The record opens with a bit of dialogue from the film Another Earth where a character describes a cosmonaut’s first trip into space. As he gets deeper into the depths of the great beyond the noise he hears turns to music, and soon he’s adrift in the symphonic beauty of the universe. Listening to A Moment Apart is a lot like that journey, offering a chance to get lost in an ocean of sound that helps to soothe the worries of the world.
TOP TRACK: “Across The Room” (featuring Leon Bridges)
The National – Sleep Well Beast
Indie darlings The National became a crossover success story earlier this year when “The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness” crawled into the top of the Billboard charts. Sleep Well Beast builds on the momentum of that single with a collection of deeply-moving songs you won’t be able to shake. There are topical themes at play, but the chaos of the world never takes away from the soulful songwriting that has always served as a cornerstone for the group. We can’t wait to hear these songs live, and we’d wager the band cannot wait to perform them. Pick this one up right away so you can sing along the next time The National comes to a city near you.
TOP TRACK: “I’ll Still Destroy You”
Kip Moore – SLOWHEART
In choosing Kip Moore for this week’s must hear records we knew a few longterm Substream readers might cry foul. Artists associated with the country music genre have not always been a part of our coverage, but Kip Moore is not your typical country act. In fact, it’s hard to call him country at all. His roots may stem from that genre, but over the years the pop and rock influences in his music have overtaken whatever traditional sound may have been present in his earliest works. The resulting sonic creation is something that crosses multiple genres, offering stories of life and love that speak to universal truths about existence we can all recognize. To skip SLOWHEART simply because someone told you it’s not cool to like country, or because you’ve always sworn the genre off, would be a huge mistake.
TOP TRACK: “The Bull”
Four Year Strong – Some Of You Will Like This, Some Of You Will Not
We have said this before and we will say it again: The world needs more acoustic records from traditionally electric acts. Four Year Strong has been one of the leaders in heavy pop-punk music for a decade at this point, and now for the first time ever they’re offering fans a chance to hear the softer side of their art. Some Of You Will Like This, Some Of You Will Not is a collection of reworked and original material performed with minimal, largely acoustic instrumentation. As fall sets in we can see ourselves turning to this record for morning accompaniment while we watch the leaves fall and sip on our morning coffee. We can also see many of you feeling inspired to record your own covers of these acoustic renditions. If that just happens to be you – please email us a link!
TOP TRACK: “We All Float Down Here””
If you would like to suggest an album for a future column, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org.