30-Second Album Reviews

Brockhampton, Japanese Breakfast, Greta Van Fleet, Art D’Ecco, Allison Russell, Rag’n’Bone Man and more.

Jubilee album cover

Japanese Breakfast


Genre: Art pop
Sound: Dreamy, ethereal vocals over layered synths and atmospheric instrumentation
If you like: Snail Mail, Soccer Mommy, Alvvays
Why you should listen: Sophisticated production and a more mature, understated sound make Japanese Breakfast’s 80s-inspired album a must-listen.
Best track: Posing in Bondage


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SKA DREAM album cover

Jeff Rosenstock


Genre: Ska
Sound: Bouncy, shouty and danceable, this album checks every classic ska box
If you like: The Interrupters, Joyce Manor, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Why you should listen: Jeff Rosenstock’s ska tribute album is definitely a bit of a meme, but his signature screamy angst and undeniable musical talent make it genuinely great.
Best track: ***SKA


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Girl in Red album cover

Girl in Red

If I Could Make It Go Quiet

Genre: Indie pop
Sound: Distorted, fuzzy angstpop
If you like: King Princess, Mxmtoon, Chloe Moriondo
Why you should listen: Girl in red is one of the most visible queer femme artists in the industry right now, and her new album may be her best work yet.
Best track: You Stupid Bitch


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This is Where We Fall album cover


This Is Where We Fall

Genre: Art pop, country
Sound: An artistic, world-building soundtrack that’s provocative even without the accompanying graphic novel
If you like: Johnny Cash, Phoebe Bridgers, Tom Waits
Why you should listen: This is Mitski’s first soundtrack, and the art-pop songstress’s talents are put to work building a moody, country-inspired track list unlike anything she’s done before.
Best track: The Baddy Man


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The Battle at Garden’s Gate album cover

Greta Van Fleet

The Battle at Garden’s Gate

Genre: Rock
Sound: Bluesy guitar riffs and wailing vocals make for modern- day rock classics
If you like: Led Zeppelin, The Glorious Sons, Crown Lands
Why you should listen: Greta Van Fleet are often compared to Led Zeppelin, and for good reason: their latest album pays homage to their great rock predecessors without being derivative.
Best track: Tears of Rain


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Revelations album cover

Sufjan Stevens


Genre: Alternative
Sound: Experimental, melancholy ambient noise with biblical undertones
If you like: Aphex Twin, Beach House, The Antlers
Why you should listen: Revelations is the third installment of Stevens’ most ambitious project yet: a sprawling five-part album mourning the death of his father. While this album is far more experimental than anything he’s released before, it’s evocative, emotional and a must-listen for fans of his work.
Best track: Revelation X


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Scaled and Icy album cover

Twenty One Pilots

Scaled and Icy

Genre: Alternative
Sound: An upbeat revamp of their well-known, eclectic altpop sound
If you like: Neon Trees, Grouplove, Panic! at the Disco
Why you should listen: The Columbus, Ohio duo got famous off of their angsty, suicidal lyrics and unique combination of rap and alt-pop, but the band is back with a completely new (and surprisingly upbeat) 80s-inspired sound.
Best track: Shy Away


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Share the Love album cover

Greg Keelor

Share the Love

Genre: Folk
Sound: Stripped-back, melancholy tunes played with a rustic live band
If you like: Blue Rodeo, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan
Why you should listen: Inspired by a year of loss, sadness and rebirth, Keelor’s raw, authentic album is classic Canadian folk.
Best track: White Dove


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California Soil album cover

London Grammar

California Soil

Genre: Indie pop
Sound: Reverberating guitars and moody synths paired with soaring, breathy vocals and the occasional string section
If you like: The xx, Florence + the Machine, Wolf Alice
Why you should listen: London Grammar’s long-awaited return builds on their signature melancholy sound with more introspective lyrics and deeper atmospheric instrumentation that pairs perfectly with a relaxed evening at home.
Best track: How Does It Feel


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Renée Reed album cover

Art D'ecco

Renée Reed

Genre: Alternative
Sound: Danceable, retro tracks that sound straight out of the 70s but pack a modern punch
If you like: David Bowie, T. Rex, Brian Eno
Why you should listen: Art d’Ecco is a musical and aesthetic chameleon who uses a flamboyant persona and a variety of 70s influences to send messages about pop culture, consumerism and technology.
Best track: TV God


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Some Days album cover


Some Days

Genre: Indie pop
Sound: Lo-fi vocals and jazzy chords create a happy-go-lucky sonic disposition
If you like: Mac DeMarco, Blood Orange, Toro y Moi
Why you should listen: Originally recorded in 2015 when he was learning to make music on a borrowed MacBook, the DIY divots in this debut are still audible—but charming. Channeling heartbreak into warm, sunny tracks, it’s a feel-good, easy listen.
Best track: Some Days


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I Hate Spring EP album cover

Charlie Houston

I Hate Spring EP

Genre: Pop
Sound: Funky chords punctuate cool and breezy vocals ruminating about distant lovers
If you like: Clairo, Charlotte Day Wilson, beabadoobee
Why you should listen: This downtempo debut from the 20-year-old Toronto artist explores first kisses, dark days and sexuality with hooks so light and catchy that listening feels like getting lost in a daydream.
Best track: Things


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Life by Misadventure album cover

Rag'n'Bone Man

Life by Misadventure

Genre: Roots rock
Sound: Ground-shaking vocals and strings imbued with Southern blues sensibilities intensified by cinematic drums and keys crescendos
If you like: Jacob Banks, Matt Anderson, Alabama Shakes
Why you should listen: A tough-looking man with face tattoos, Rag’n’Bone Man bares his soul flawlessly on this powerful sophomore release. His beautiful baritone and collaboration with P!nk will send shivers.
Best track: Talking to Myself


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Set The Fire album cover


Set The Fire

Genre: Alt Rock
Sound: Staticky lead guitar, vocals forged with retro swagger create sound that swings between tender, rebellious
If you like: The Beaches, Lana Del Rey, Zella Day
Why you should listen: Vancouver’s JUNO-nominated rocker croons with noir pinup vibe, her raspy bite reinforced by her badass female musicians. Influenced by 60s legends like Nancy Sinatra, Kandle adds none-of-your-bullshit attitude to glamour of old school romantics.
Best track: Honey Trap


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Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine album cover


Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine

Genre: Hip hop/Rap
Sound: Throbbing bass, melodic backtracks set scene for boisterous, confessional verses
If you like: Travis Scott, Odd Future, Aminé
Why you should listen: Announced as their second last album, the rap group gets real about personal struggles while finessing their beats to be the best yet—ensuring they go out with a sonic bang.
Best track: Don’t Shoot Up the Party


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The Fellowship album cover

Joseph Shabason

The Fellowship

Genre: New Age/Jazz
Sound: Fluctuates between tranquil and anxious maze-like compositions built by woodwind instruments, synths, horns, percussion, guitar and so much more
If you like: Destroyer, Harold Budd, Beverly Glenn-Copeland
Why you should listen: The saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist and all-star collaborator takes listeners on a vivid familial journey that soothes and hypnotizes.
Best track: 15-19


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Outside Child album cover

Allison Russell

Outside Child

Genre: Folk/Rock
Sound: Dreamy and soulful folk-rock arrangements with resonant vocals
If you like: Valerie June, Nathaniel Rateliff, Rhiannon Giddens
Why you should listen: Outside Child is a mournful, celebratory and powerful record, and Allison Russell (Our Native Daughters and Birds of Chicago) is wholly captivating.
Best track: Nightflyer


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Blue Blue Blue album cover

Cat Clyde & Jeremie Albino

Blue Blue Blue

Genre: Blues/Folk
Sound: Dusky blues and twangy folk passionately delivered by a duo with great chemistry
If you like: Shovels & Rope, Shakey Graves, Lead Belly
Why you should listen: Two of Canada’s finest folk artists join forces and make a charming album of original tunes and familiar favourites, including songs by Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie.
Best track: Been Worryin’


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