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10 Albums to Stream: Future Islands, Liars, the Hold Steady, and More

future islands, singles, stream

Future Islands, Liars, the Hold Steady, and Tokyo Police Club all have new albums on the way and guess what? They’re all streaming online right now. Find links to those LPs and more (including a star-studded tribute to ’80s-era Bob Dylan) below.

1) Future Islands, Singles.Singles is extremely catchy, well-constructed classic pop: winsome and simple melodies, yearning lyrics, bass lines that will never die. It is also dark and desperate and serious in a way that feels fairly rare these days. There is no ironic withdrawal, no equivocation to avoid abuse, just pure commitment.” (via NPR)

2) Liars, Mess. “The new album embraces the type of electro-pop that underpins the catalog of the band’s parent label, Mute [but] when Angus Andrew screws his voice down on opener ‘Mask Maker’ to croak ‘Take my pants off / use my socks / smell my socks / eat my face off,’ he sounds less like Dave Gahan or Andy Bell and more like Gibby Haynes of Butthole Surfers. While known for their psychotic take on psychedelic rock, the Butthole Surfers also delivered stylistic U-turns of their own in the ’80s and ’90s, delivering skewered takes on Europop and electronic music. So Liars are at once paying homage to their forebearers and moving forward. There’s been an underlying sonic mischieviousness in Liars’ music over the last decade, and on Mess, the band finally foregrounds it.” (via NPR)

3) The Hold Steady, Teeth Dreams. “Lead single ‘I Hope This Whole Thing Didn’t Frighten You’ definitely files in the ‘big rock’ category, with its studio-polished guitar licks and radio-ready heft. Frontman Craig Finn’s still speak-singing about characters who hang out ‘down by the river,’ ‘wear bulletproof vests,’ and ‘always got something to prove,’ but his parables sound better suited for a stadium stage, not the dive bar jukebox.” — SPIN (via iTunes)

4) Kevin Gates, By Any Means. “After picking up the mic back in 2007, Baton Rouge rapper Kevin Gates finally broke through last year with the one-two punch of The Luca Brasi Story and Stranger Than Fiction mixtapes. [Now], he returns with his latest project, By Any Means. The 16-track effort features appearances from 2 Chainz (‘Bet I’m On It’), Rico Love, Doe B (‘Amnesia’), and Plies, alongside production from Jim Jonsin, The Runners, Yung Carter (‘Get Up On My Level’), and The Honorable C-Note.” — Consequence of Sound (via DatPiff)

5) Various Artists, Bob Dylan in the 80s: Volume One. “Bob Dylan’s ’80s output will get its due on an upcoming compilation, the fittingly named Bob Dylan in the 80s: Volume One. Out March 25 via ATO, the 17-track set celebrates the most ‘uneven’ era of Dylan’s career with a slew of star-studded covers: Deer Tick, Craig Finn, Blitzen Trapper, Lucius, and Elvis Perkins are all on the album, as is the oddball duo of Gene Ween and Slash.” — SPIN (via CBC)

6) Tony Molina, Dissed and Dismissed. “Tony Molina’s debut solo album came out around this time last year, but it’s already getting the reissue treatment. On March 25, Slumberland Records will release Dissed and Dismissed in cassette, digital, and vinyl formats to supplement its sold-out initial pressing. The filler-averse LP burns through 12 tracks of power-pop brilliance in 12 thrilling minutes. (It’s telling that Dissed and Dismissed features a Guided By Voices cover.)”— SPIN (via Pitchfork)

7) The Range, Panasonic EP. Producer James Hinton, a.k.a. the Range, on when and where it’s most appropriate to listen to his music: “It’s really, really important to me that people can like it anywhere. Obviously, I make music alone in my room, so it’s important that people are able to embrace it there, but some songs that build more are better played in the club, whereas a lot of the intricacy and work that I put in is better heard on headphones.” — Pitchfork (via Pitchfork)

8) Tokyo Police Club Forcefield. “Here’s what [vocalist/bassist] Monks said about the new album in a statement: ‘Since writing started for Forcefield in mid-2011 there have been so many trends and every kind of ‘wave.’ We saw them all come and disappear or change into something broader. It left us wanting to make something that would last.'” — Pitchfork (via the New York Times)

9) Starwalker, Losers Can Win EP. “Starwalker combines the synth-pop skills of Air’s ‘Sexy Boy,’ Jean-Benoît Dunckel, and Icelandic composer/producer Barði Jóhannsson (Bang Gang, Lady & Bird), both of whom have a history of scoring well-received films and crafting alluring tunes. Nearly 23 minutes of electronic excellence, Losers Can Win opens with a motivational title track carried by Dunckel’s sultry-as-a-slinky-gown vocals, and ends with a Bloodgroup remix of the previously heard ‘Bad Weather.'” (via SPIN)

10) Washer, Bighead EP. “Washer are a Brooklyn duo that caught our attention last month with the song ‘Fleas.’ That was just one song off their upcoming debut EP, Bighead, which finds the band working with a lot of different sounds, from the stripped-down punk of ‘Lady Limp’ to the melodic yearning of ‘Miles Of Sleep.’ The nicest surprise comes from ‘Bass 1,’ which gives us a new understanding ofthe band’s nameonce it hits the Slint-influenced middle section, before giving way to a bottom-heavy distorted climax.” (via Stereogum)