Lydia Loveless - 'Somewhere Else' (Bloodshot)
At 23 years young, Lydia Loveless is already primed to steal the hearts of rock purists everywhere. She could do it with her incredible voice alone, but it's through the exquisite, energetic combination of country and punk on 'Somewhere Else' that we hear Loveless' family-farm upbringing in small-town Ohio nestled up against her rebellious teenage years, a pairing that saw an uncomfortable collision last year when Lydia fired her drummer, a.k.a. her dad. Yep, this is music for the rare-but-there cleavage between tradition and angst, twang and sang, Neko Case as read by Bukowski. 'Somewhere Else,' her third album, is out on Bloodshot.
Com Truise - 'Wave 1' EP (Ghostly International)
The Com Truise spoonerism is ridiculous, but maybe not as ridiculous as the concept behind it. On 'Wave 1,' Seth Haley's first release since his 'In Decay' LP from 2012, the story of this beloved synthetic/robotic astronaut goes on, this time occurring in the newly discovered Wave 1 galaxy. This intergalactic sci-fi tale is given a new dimension by guest vocals from Joel Ford (Airbird, Ford & Lopatin), who makes an appearance on 2013 Red Bull Sould Select headliner Com Truise's most melodic track to date. Look for 'Wave 1' on Haley's long-time home of Ghostly International.
Angel Olsen - 'Burn Your Fire for No Witness' (Jagjaguwar)
If you've had a year of "heartbreak, travel, and transformation," then Angel Olsen's 'Burn Your Fire for No Witness' may be the album for you. Hell, if you've had a year of love, isolation, and stability, this album still might be for you. 'Burn Your Fire,' which follows Olsen's 'Strange Cacti' EP and 'Half Way Home' LP, explores what appears to have been a tumultuous year for the St. Louis-born artist, but it's written in a manner that's both open and inviting. And with drummer Josh Jaeger, bass player Stewart Bronaugh, and producer John Congleton thickening up the sound, things are looking, if not more-fulfilling, then at least fuller -- which is certainly better than lacking. Parting ways with the always fantastic Bathetic Records, Olsen's sending this Jagjaguwar's way.
Lil Herb - 'Welcome To Fazoland: The Motion Picture' [mixtape]
It's been almost two centuries in waiting, but Red Bull Sound Select artist Lil Herb is finally releasing his much-anticipated debut, 'Welcome To Fazoland: The Motion Picture.' The mixtape comes out this week to commemorate the birthday of his late bud Fazo, who died in an alleged gang-related shooting at 18. Here, the up-and-coming rapper spits heavily about his hometown of Chicago. "I want people to hear where I'm coming from," Lil Herb told us in a recent interview. "It's not just music -- it tells a story, about where I'm from and what I've been through. There's messages on my tape, so people can get to know who I am." Bibby, King Louie, and Lil Reese make appearances here and there, but this one's pretty much all Lil Herb, as it should be.
Sun Araw - 'B E L O M A N C I E' (Sun Ark)
Listening to Sun Araw is listening to a process. And on 'B E L O M A N C I E,' transportation is the key metaphor here. But while a process can imply an absence of destination, Sun Araw's seventh full-length uses process to intentionally bring us to new places -- or, as they put it, to "specific chambers." Cameron Stallones's project has been one of the experimental underground's most consistent, challenging, and singular acts out there, and 'B E L O M A N C I E' continues this upward trajectory, taking us not only out of ourselves, but out of our environment in the process.
The Jezabels - 'The Brink' (Play It Again Sam)
Sydney rock quartet The Jezabels are hitting hard with their new album, 'The Brink.' The 10-track LP follows their 2012 debut, 'Prisoner,' only this time Hayley Mary said her lyrics here are more "personal." In keeping with this new-found intimacy, Mary recently revealed to RedBull.com/Music six tracks that have "made her," and the list includes artists as diverse as Daft Punk, Underworld, and Silly Wizard. Check out the list, check out the band, and check out their video for 'Look of Love' below.
NO - 'El Prado' (Arts & Crafts)
Everyone loves drama, right? With 'El Prado,' Red Bull Sound Select artist NO has created quite the dramatic album. Throughout its 13 tracks, the Los Angeles sextet widen the scope, swell up the crescendos, and expand the expanse, churning out one hello of a debut in the process. And if you like your cinema with ample amounts of despair and just a dash of hope, then you should hunch-your-shoulders on down to Arts & Crafts and let this one overtake you.
Phantogram - 'Voices' (Republic/Universal)
Going on their seventh year as a band, electro-rock duo Phantogram (Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter) have clearly favored the EP format, having released four since 2009. That year is also when they released their first and thus far only full-length statement, 'Eyelid Movies.' But now, finally, Phantogram fans are being blessed with their second album, 'Voices,' an 11-song package that expands upon their "street beat, psych pop" sound with support from producer John Hill (M.I.A., Santigold) and their new major label home, Republic/Universal.