9 Albums Out This Week You Should Listen to Now

Music

9 New Albums You Should Listen to Now: Sudan Archives, Jockstrap, and More

Also stream new releases from Ari Lennox, Oliver Sim, the Afghan Whigs, Built to Spill, Santigold, Preoccupations, and Badge Époque Ensemble

Sudan Archives

Sudan Archives, photo by Ally Green

With so much good music being released all the time, it can be hard to determine what to listen to first. Every week, Pitchfork offers a run-down of significant new releases available on streaming services. This week’s batch includes new albums from Sudan Archives, Jockstrap, Ari Lennox, Oliver Sim, the Afghan Whigs, Built to Spill, Santigold, Preoccupations, and Marlon Williams. Subscribe to Pitchfork’s New Music Friday newsletter to get our recommendations in your inbox every week. (All releases featured here are independently selected by our editors. When you buy something through our affiliate links, however, Pitchfork earns an affiliate commission.)

Sudan Archives: Natural Brown Prom Queen [Stones Throw]

Natural Brown Prom Queen is the second full-length from Brittney Parks, who issued her first LP as Sudan Archives in late 2019. Still building from a foundation of synths and violin, Parks dives further into beguiling loops, memorable pop hooks, and rich electronic textures. She has said that the album is about cultivating a sense of home, nodding to both her past and present in Ohio and Los Angeles. It was led by singles including “Home Maker” and “Selfish Soul.” Revisit Pitchfork’s Rising 2017 feature “Sudan Archives: She’s Different.”

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Jockstrap: I Love You Jennifer B [Rough Trade]

I Love You Jennifer B is the long-awaited debut from U.K. experimental pop duo Jockstrap. Georgia Ellery and Taylor Skye—who met as students at London’s Guildhall School of Music & Drama—enlisted an 18-piece orchestra for their new album, which flits between gnarly electronica and baroque pop. Highlights include the summery “Glasgow,” the theatrical “Concrete Over Water,” and punishing EDM closer “50/50.” I Love You Jennifer B follows a pair of EPs from Jockstrap, such as 2018’s Love Is the Key to the City and 2020’s Wicked City, as well as handful of remix records. Read Pitchfork’s Rising interview “Meet Jockstrap, an Uncanny Electro-Pop Duo From the Retro Future.”

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Ari Lennox: Age/Sex/Location [Dreamville/Interscope]

Ari Lennox previewed her second album Age/Sex/Location with an EP called Away Message in late August. It included the Summer Walker duet “Queen Space,” which appears on the new LP with last year’s “Pressure” and the sensual single “Hoodie.” Lucky Daye and Chloë Bailey also join Lennox on the follow-up to 2019’s Shea Butter Baby.

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Oliver Sim: Hideous Bastard [Young]

The xx’s Oliver Sim teed up his debut solo album with “Romance With a Memory” and “Fruit,” before sharing the album news with “Hideous.” The Hideous Bastard announcement came with a statement from Sim about living with HIV since age 17. “I haven’t written the record to dwell, but rather to free myself of some of the shame and fear that I’ve felt for a long time,” he wrote. Jamie xx produced the new project. 

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The Afghan Whigs: How Do You Burn? [Royal Cream/BMG]

The Afghan Whigs have returned with their first LP since 2017. How Do You Burn? was recorded in 2021 and features the voice of the late Screaming Trees singer Mark Lanegan. “It was Mark who named the album,” Afghan Whigs frontman Greg Dulli said in a press release. The 10-track follow-up to In Spades also features contributions from Susan Marshall, Van Hunt, and Marcy Mays. In February, the band shared album opener “I’ll Make You See God,” which was their first track in five years. 

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Built to Spill: When the Wind Forgets Your Name [Sub Pop]

Last fall, indie mainstays Built to Spill signed with Sub Pop records 30 years after forming in Boise, Idaho. Now, they’ve released their debut for the label, When the Wind Forgets Your Name. The new LP was recorded with members of the Brazilian band Oruã, as well as the current Built to Spill lineup of Doug Martsch, Melanie Radford, and Teresa Esguerra. The band shared lead single “Gonna Lose” back in April, along with a music video directed by Jordan Minkoff. When the Wind Forgets Your Name follows 2015’s Untethered Moon as well as the 2020 covers record Built to Spill Plays the Songs of Daniel Johnston.

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Santigold: Spirituals [Little Jerk]

Four years after dropping the surprise dancehall mixtape I Don’t Want: The Gold Fire Sessions, Santigold is back with the new studio album Spirituals. Rostam, Boys Noize, and Nick Zinner all join her on the project, along with Ryan Olson, Sbtrkt, and Dre Skull. She said she wanted to capture the energy of “the future sound of punk rock” on the single “High Priestess,” and she shared “Ain’t Ready” with the announcement of Spirituals in June. Santigold described the record as “a way back to myself after being stuck in survival mode.”

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Preoccupations: Arrangements [self-released]

Arrangements is the first full-length from Canadian post-punk band Preoccupations since their 2018 LP New Material. “The lyrics are pretty conspicuous and self-explanatory on this one, but it’s basically about the world blowing up and no one giving a shit,” vocalist and songwriter Matthew Flegel said of the album in a press release. Preoccupations shared “Ricochet” with the LP announcement, followed by “Death of Melody” and “Slowly.” The band will kick off a tour behind Arrangements next month.

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Badge Époque Ensemble: Clouds of Joy [Telephone Explosion]

After the vintage pop explorations of 2020’s Self Help, Toronto’s Badge Époque Ensemble return with a trove of unusual, free-flowing pieces on Clouds of Joy. It’s intoxicatingly groovy stuff, layered with saxophones, flute, keys, guitar, and an array of percussion. “Zodiac” radiates fuzzy, funk-flecked warmth, while “All Same 2 Each, Each Same 2 All” closes the album with a disarmingly sweet and jazzy twist. Between Self Help and Clouds of Joy, the group issued Future Past Present, a collection of instrumentals and other alternate takes of previously released material.

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