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20 Albums You Can Hear Now: Pearl Jam, Fall Out Boy, Cass McCombs, Dismemberment Plan, More

pearl jam, lightning bolt, stream
(Credit: Brian Guido)

Clear your schedule: We’ve collected streams of brand new albums by Pearl Jam, Cass McCombs, the Dismemberment Plan, the Head and the Heart, Tim Hecker, Pelican, and many more. Scroll down, plug in, and enjoy. 

1) Pearl Jam, Lightning Bolt. “Pearl Jam’s Lightning Bolt has struck a week early. The grunge icons’ 10th album isn’t officially out until October 15, but fans can hear the entire LP right now… Eddie Vedder and co. previously shared two tracks from the follow-up to 2009’s Backspacer: furious lead single ‘Mind Your Manners’ and soothing second taste ‘Sirens.’ (If you count ‘Sleeping By Myself,’ which originally appeared on Vedder’s 2011 solo record Ukulele Songs, then technically PJ have already previewed three of the effort’s 12 songs.) Produced by longtime collaborator Brendan O’Brien (Rage Against the Machine, Stone Temple Pilots, Korn), Lightning Bolt brings with it a flurry of stormy imagery.” — SPIN (via iTunes)

2) Cass McCombs, Big Wheel and Others.Big Wheel and Others is [Cass] McCombs’ latest collection of metaphysical mumbo-jumbo, and almost definitely his best… ‘Brighter’ features the dearly departed actress Karen Black, who lost a battle with cancer earlier this year and to whom McCombs dedicates this album. ‘There Can Be Only One’ is all bongos and bass, and might just be played at a wedding someday. ‘Morning Star’ boasts Phish’s Mike Gordon on bass, which is kind of hilarious, and every time Kevin Bouley’s saxophone makes an appearance, an angel gets its wings.” (via NPR)

3) Tim Hecker, Virgins. “Over the course of 15 years, Tim Hecker’s experimental electronic compositions have intensified like oceans… But with Virgins, Hecker may have reached his point of no return, a piece of such force and clarity that even the indifferent should tape up the windows. From the opening seconds of ‘Prism,’ Hecker heralds a change. His layered drones, incidental percussion and piano motifs, long submerged in deep chasms of noise, echo and static, are now exposed and glinting. ‘Prism’ hurtles inexorably upward, piercing and shattering through sound barriers before the rest of the album bursts into fragments, then dust, then mist, almost as if Hecker himself is exploding from the murky beneath.” (via NPR)

4) The Dismemberment Plan, Uncanney Valley. “On Uncanney Valley, its first album since 2001, the Dismemberment Plan sounds loose and liberated — like a band with its legacy secured, happy just to be there. It’s a fitting way for the hard-to-define, intermittently funky D.C. rock group to make a comeback… Throughout the album, Morrison remains a wryly funny, deadpan-candid craftsman where words are concerned, while the band backs him with alternately loose and jittery arrangements. Still, even in spastic goofs like ‘White Collar White Trash’ — in which Morrison lists off some of D.C.’s least-funky Virginia suburbs — the singer sneaks in smart revelations, while ‘Invisible’ examines loneliness and ‘Daddy Was a Real Good Dancer’ houses some thoughtful commentary on parental sacrifice.” (via NPR)

5) Cults, Static. “For Cults’ Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion, reinvigorating ’60s-style girl-group pop means embracing both light and darkness; it’s about deceptive sweetness and a haunting quality that makes the songs linger after they’re gone. Like Cults’ self-titled 2011 debut, the duo’s new album Static… keeps its sound rooted in a kind of plaintive shimmer — Follin remains approachable even as her words tap into the mystery and desolation wired into many of the arrangements.” (via NPR)

6) Various Artists, Zang Tuum Tumb. “[The] monster retrospective Zang Tuum Tumb: The Organization of Pop — Music From the First 30 Years of ZTT Records [is] an expansive, double-disc collection featuring [Frankie Goes to Hollywood], Art of Noise, Grace Jones, Shane MacGowan and Sinead O’Connor, Lisa Stansfield, Adamski, and even ‘Sex Bomb’ crooner Tom Jones. Via acid-house duo 808 State, we even get cameos from Rakim, not to mention Paul’s Boutique beatsmiths the Dust Brothers.” (via SPIN)

7) Fall Out Boy, Pax Am Days EP. “Fall Out Boy have finally shared the fruits of their love affair with Ryan Adams. Back in July, bassist Pete Wentz confirmed that the emo-pop all-stars had recorded some new material with the former Whiskeytown singer at his Pax-Am Studio in Los Angeles. Now, KROQ is streaming the aptly named Pax Am Days, an eight-track EP produced by Adams that acts as a scuzzy love letter to the ’80s and ’90s punk that FOB grew up worshipping.” — SPIN (via KROQ)

8) The Head and the Heart, Let’s Be Still. “The Head and the Heart broke through in 2011 with their self-titled debut album, an emotive indie-folk effort. Now they’ve taken a more eclectic and colorful approach for their follow-up record, Let’s Be Still, out October 15 on Sub Pop. From the lush chamber-pop of ‘Homecoming Heroes’ to the groovy ‘Summertime’ and the roots-rocking ‘Shake,’ the album is the work of a more well-rounded ensemble.” (via Rolling Stone)

9) Diplo, Revolution EP.Revolution is Diplo’s follow up to the meme-defining Express Yourself EP. Teaming up with an all new cast of friends including Mike Posner, RiFF RAFF, Travis Porter, Action Bronson and many more, Diplo has produced one of the most cutting-edge dance EPs in recent memory.” (via SoundCloud)

10) Dean Wareham, Emancipated Hearts. “After spending most of his career as pilot for Galaxie 500 and Luna, Dean Wareham is finally flying solo with Emancipated Hearts, a mini-album minted under his own name… Some of the touchstones cited in the making of Emancipated Hearts: German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s 1969 film Love Is Colder Than Death, George Orwell’s 1984, ’60s psychedelic-folk unit the Incredible String Band (see: the closing track, a cover of ISB’s “Air”), and American playwright and poet Nick Flynn. Around those influences, Wareham has built a song suite that firmly plants the languid stargazing of Galaxie 500 in the countryside.” (via SPIN)

11) La Luz, It’s Alive. “[La Luz] are prepping the release of their proper full-length debut. On October 15, Hardly Art will release It’s Alive, an 11-track offering filled with surf-rock riffs, impeccable four-part harmonies, and kinda-creepy organ work that underlines the ghostly longing inside the LP’s heart. La Luz have already shared opener ‘Sure as Spring’ (taken from this year’s Damp Face EP), centerpiece ‘Big Big Blood’… and the misleadingly labeled ‘Pink Slime’… Now they’ve made the entire effort available for streaming.” (via SPIN)

12) Grails, Black Tar Prophecies Vols. 4, 5 & 6. “Fittingly, Black Tar Prophecies Vols. 4, 5 & 6 kicks off with a warped version of ‘Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen’ that sounds drenched in the set’s titular muck. Portland’s Grails have been churning out deeply bent instrumental rock for over a decade now, and even within that generally far-out rubric, they’ve saved a special place for their rangiest ideas: the Black Tar Prophecies series… The aforementioned opener is dubbed ‘I Want a New Drug,’ and it soon bleeds into the glorious guitar figures of ‘Self-Hypnosis,’ a song that seems ever-expanding into a broader psych-folk kaleidoscope. Still, only a song later, we hear the broken beats and fucked loops of ‘Invitation to Ruin.'” (via SPIN)

13) Dream Shake, Dream Shake. “Dream Shake’s self-titled debut album comes with an unusual twist. While the nine-song track list may ostensibly look like a rogue’s gallery of main man James Nee’s sexual conquests, that’s not true — not entirely. The conspicuous presence of the name ‘Buffy’ may serve to tip listeners off to the fact that our host’s inspiration comes from the ladies he’s known through his television over the years, taking inspiration from a certain vampire slayer to be sure, but also Degrassi Junior High, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and others… Still, the project is neither hokey nor jokey. With instrumental assistance form his pal Elliott (last name not provided), Nee churns out catchy, gauzy, slightly punked dream-pop that’s worthy of some IRL swoon.” (via SPIN)

14) Red Fang, Whales and Leeches. “Hard-rock heavyweights Red Fang are poised to return on October 15 with Whales and Leeches, the Portland crushers’ third album and follow-up to 2011’s Murder the Mountains. In advance of the upcoming platter, the men of Red Fang — Bryan Giles (guitar/vocals), Aaron Beam (bass/vocals), David Sullivan (guitar), and John Sherman (drums) — have fired off new single ‘Blood Like Cream,’ a gruff, flesh-hungry challenge to Queens of the Stone Age’s throne.” — SPIN (via Pitchfork)

15) Pelican, Forever Becoming. “Confronted with the abrupt departure of founding member Laurent Schroeder-Lebec after 10 years with [Pelican], the resulting trio was forced not only to restructure their sound, but just about everything else… The upheaval and confusion of the band’s relaunch is reflected in the album’s sound. ‘The majority of the record is a lot darker, depressive, and angry,’ [Pelican guitarist Trevor de Brauw] says. ‘It was a nervous headspace, but also really exciting. It was like starting a new relationship — those nerves when you’re just beginning something.'” — SPIN (via Pitchfork)

16) The Men, Campfire Songs EP. “The Men’s streak of releasing an album a year may or may not continue in 2014, but the Brooklyn garage quintet is making sure their hungry fans are properly satiated for the time being. This October, the band will release the Campfire Songs EP, a five-song set recorded — you guessed it — around an actual campfire. The outdoor sessions took place while the Men were recording their excellent 2013 album New Moon at an upstate New York cabin and feature two new songs — ‘Patience’ and ‘Turn Your Tracks’ — as well remakes of ‘The Seeds,’ ‘I Saw Her Face,’ and ‘Water Babies.'” — SPIN (via Pitchfork)

17) THEESatisfaction, and that’s your time EP. “The expansive Seattle art-rap duo THEESatisfaction tend to stay a lot busier than their friends and frequent collaborators Shabazz Palaces, who still haven’t offered any indication as to if or when they’ll follow up Black Up . THEESatisfaction just posted a new EP called and that’s your time on their Bandcamp page. The eight short songs have titles like ‘Morrison Hurston Butler Hooks’ and ‘Seattle’s Restraining Order Against The Sun,’ both of which should offer you some idea of what you’ll find here.” — Stereogum (via BandCamp)

18) The Avett Brothers, Magpie and the Dandelion. “Seth and Scott Avett aren’t content to merely play gorgeous roots music; to just lay some lovely harmonies over banjos and strings. Performing as the Avett Brothers — with bassist Bob Crawford, cellist Joe Kwon and others — they craft alternately stompy and swoony music that’s rooted in a desire for self-improvement… As with The Carpenter (also produced by Rick Rubin, and released a mere 13 months ago), Magpie and the Dandelion largely eschews the raw, jittery energy that so often infuses the Avett Brothers’ early work. Instead, it’s a solemn, ballad-driven album — less mortality-minded than its predecessor, but still seeking poignancy and meaning in lives lived messily.” (via NPR)

19) SWiiiM, Cellophane Castle. “Danny Fujikawa has been dealing in some heavy, emotive beats lately under the operating handle, SWiiiM, rolling with the Lightwave Records crew. The uphill running of romantic affairs are expressed from the ex-Chief artist through contemporary dance music conventions produced like cannons firing at unpredictable times, and at unpredictable ranges… And like anyone that understands the up and down wave-like structure of all proper electronically involved music, SWiiiM takes it off the deep end with plenty of feeling on ‘Moon Outshines The Sun.’ ‘Nowhere To Go’ gets the high beams going and moods coasting, while ‘Science Girl’ sends the chemistry spinning toward the recess memories outside the classroom.” (via Impose Magazine)

20) Squadda B, I Smoke Because I Don’t Care About Death 2. ” Unlike the first [I Smoke Because I Don’t Care About Death], the follow-up released today was exclusively and capably produced by the Oakland rapper himself. Highlights are the goofy ‘Whoa Woa Woa Woaaa,’ which dallies in a ’50s doo-wop and rises like steam from a kettle, the weirdly delivered ‘Ball For You/Pretty Please’ and super-weirdly executed piano track ‘Strapped Or Die (Why)’ — Squadda sounds freshest when his template is basically shapeless.” — Fader (via BandCamp)