Welcome to this week’s wrap up of new music that caught our ear. Enjoy!

Bon Iver, 22, A Million

Justin Vernon (aka Bon Iver) spent four years working on 22, A Million, and it sounds like it. The singer/songwriter’s ambitious third album is a meticulously crafted mélange of experimental pop and electronic music built from heavily processed vocals, looped rhythms and bass-encrusted programming. Soulful in their emotions yet downright alien in their structures, “10 d E A T h b R E a s T ⚄ ⚄” and “715 – Cr∑∑Ks” feel far more closely related to the post-everything R&B deconstructions of FKA Twigs than they do the indie-folk genre from which Vernon initially emerged. Though several songs, “00000 Million” and “29 #Strafford APTS” included, keep the focus on Vernon’s achingly vulnerable poetry, 22, A Million ultimately should be experienced as pure sound. After all, it’s a dense and cryptic entity that reveals its secrets only after listeners have lost themselves in its maze-like structures and gauzy atmospherics. –Justin Farrar

The Game: “Baby You”


The Game teams with Jason Derulo to show his softer side on his latest single, “Baby You.” With soulful vocals and ever-present bass lines, this gangsta love song boasts a ‘90s R&B vibe reminiscent of Jodeci’s “Love U For Life.” The third single from The Game’s upcoming 1992, he* *recently said the album will not feature any guests, which is something he’s never done before. And while the suspense builds for a release date, at least we have something to groove to in the meantime. — Jazmyn Pratt

No Panty: Westside Highway Story

Look past the awkward name, and you’ll find that No Panty is a supergroup featuring quick-witted Puerto Rican rappers Joell Ortiz from Slaughterhouse, Bodega Bamz and Nitty Scott. Their Westside Highway Story depicts a day of antics in summertime New York City, like flipping braggadocio on street corners on “Iceys on Deck,” chasing girls on “Hola,” and breaking hearts on “Spanish Fly.” Producer Salaam Remi (best known for his work with Nas and Amy Winehouse) crafts bubbly beats with shades of soul, Fania-styled salsa and disco. The result is a breezy and fun Latin rap escapade. –Mosi Reeves

Drive-By Truckers, American Band


The flag hoisted to half-mast that adorns the cover says it all: American Band is a tough, unflinching and, at times, harrowing look at the turbulent political climate of the United States in 2016. Using their trademark mix of muscular Southern rock and Muscle Shoals-bred soul for a backdrop, the band rails against Southerners who still cling to the Confederate flag (“Surrender Under Protest”), voices its support for Black Lives Matter (“What It Means”) and meditates upon the tragedy of mass shootings (“Guns if Umpqua”). One of the great gifts the band’s chief songwriters, Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, each possess is an ability to be equally topical and universal in their messages. It means that this powerful music will resonate long after the troubled era that birthed it has faded into the past. — Justin Farrar

2 Chainz: “Big Amount”

Karate Kid meets trap house in 2 Chainz’ new single “Big Amount.” Fellow heavy hitter Drake joins to lay down a verse, and together they deliver effortless rhymes about money and wealth over a Chinese flute, piano and, of course, 808s. “Big Amount” is not the typical club banger you’re used to from this dynamic duo, but it will still have your speaker knocking and your head bobbing. — Jazmyn Pratt

Tycho: Epoch


Epoch’s epic mastery spans electronic, synthesis-driven underpinnings with melodic instrumentation. The band, consisting of Scott Hansen, along with band members Zac Brown on bass and guitar and Rory O’Connor on drums, slayed the music world with the recent Awake. The group has put forth an evolved follow-up with Epoch. The lead track moves through warm waves of synth offset by percussive strains. The band describes the album as both a departure and an evolution from their previous offerings and claim to have honed the sonic aesthetic of Dive “while drawing on the kinetic energy of Awake,” but explore darker themes and new musical territory. And Epoch feels more insular, emotive and meandering than previous releases yet it certainly is an evolution. — Sara Jayne Crow

Apollo Brown and Skyzoo: The Easy Truth

On The Easy Truth, Skyzoo lyrically explores his Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, home with a classic feel. He (as well as guests Conway and Westside Gunn) brags that he rhymes like the legendary graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat on “Basquiat on the Draw,” and he pays homage to ‘90s underground DJs Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito with “On the Stretch and Bobbito Show.” Producer Apollo Brown complements him with lush boom bap loops that sound like a post-millennial update of Pete Rock’s iconic work. For this duo, making lovely hip-hop is a bigger priority than the ephemeral riches of “A Couple Dollars” and “Jordans & a Gold Chain.” –Mosi Reeves

The Mowgli’s, Where’d Your Weekend Go?


On their fourth full-length, The Mowgli’s largely sever ties with their indie-folk roots and instead embrace hook-laden radio pop. Bringing in producer Mike Green (All Time Low, Paramore), the Los Angeles collective turn in a set that’s as bubbly as it is meticulously crafted. “Bad Thing” is a funky sing-along layered with tropical-flavored guitar licks and shimmering harmonies that fall somewhere between Grouplove and Glee. “Freakin’ Me Out” is cut from a similar cloth, though this time around the group inject punchy, power pop keys and a backbeat that pounces like a kitten high on catnip. One of the album’s few folk-centric moments, “Arms & Legs” is a touching ballad that serves as a brief bit of respite from the band’s big time pop moves. –Justin Farrar

Suicidal Tendencies, World Gone Mad

A third of a century since a novelty number battling accusations of insanity made them famous, and now equipped with a new rhythm section from Latin America, these longtime skate-metal punks still barrel through mosh pits like bulls in a china shop. “Clap Like Ozzy” and “Living for Life” switch between hop-scotch hardcore and gravity-free Sabbath-fan dog paddling. “Get Your Fight On!” starts out vaguely trippy then works in Ozzy-esque sea-lion bleating. By the last couple songs, tempos slow to semi-psychedelic post-grunge, but throughout the album Mike Muir flips the bird at a world more deserving of being institutionalized than he ever was. –Chuck Eddy

Bibi Bourelly: “Ballin’”


On “Ballin’,” Bibi Bourelly talks about her humble beginnings. She lived a life most young adults can relate to —  a crappy car that breaks down, asking her mother for $20, and her landlord hating her — but at the end of the day, she makes ends meet and she’s still ballin’. You may be familiar with Bourelly, as she has written a number of songs for Rihanna, including  “Bitch Better Have My Money” and “Higher.” She’s also worked with Lil Wayne on “Without You” and Nas and Usher on “Chains.” With “Ballin’,” she’s ready to show the world the girl behind the lyrics deserves a place in the spotlight. — Jazmyn Pratt

Machinedrum: Human Energy

Machinedrum (Travis Stewart) has consistently evolved through genres and eras. He began as something of a raw, IDM-leaning minimal techno producer, morphed into a glitch maestro and is now abandoning his raw, rough and minimal style for a melodic and poppy R&B melding of cross-genre experimentation. Human Energy highlight “Morphogene” features sterling vocals by Ruckazoid and traverses glitch underpinnings with instrumentation and complex layers of sound that hang together well. Throughout “Angel Speak,” tasteful and restrained samples offset the tension and release, which build to breaks reminiscent of lesser EDM artists who probably have never heard of Machinedrum. Human Energy further establishes that Stewart has remained seminal through over a decade of production and evolution in electronic music. — Sara Jayne Crow

Bob Weir, Blue Mountain


Don’t be surprised if Blue Mountain winds up going down as Bob Weir’s finest solo effort (even better than 1972’s Ace). Wisely teaming up with a cadre of indie-folk heavyweights, including singer/songwriter Josh Ritter and The National, The Grateful Dead icon crafts a moody, reverb-stained collection of stoner cowboy anthems and West Coast folk-rock full of ghostly pedal steel and achingly spare blues licks. “Gonesville” is a dusky, Mexicali shuffle over which Weir and his Elvis Presley-inspired hiccup play the role of weathered hippie wanderer. The album closes out with the fitting “One More River to Cross,” a profoundly atmospheric meditation on life lived and what’s in store on the other side. — Justin Farrar

Opeth, Sorceress

Stockholm’s reformed death-metallers delve even further here into the pastoral forest of florid folk-prog. In love with nature and the occult — titles include “The Wilde Flowers,” “Will of the Wisp” and “Chrysalis” — they stretch one song past eight minutes, another past seven, another past six, and five more past five. The first two tracks each make a slight return later on, and “Sorceress” and “Era” swing their stuttering time changes like King Crimson or Jethro Tull on a funk bender. “The Seventh Sojourn” is a Mediterranean-flavored instrumental; “Strange Brew” has a Kraut rock-ish midsection. And much of the rest is just plain gorgeous. –Chuck Eddy

Blonde Redhead, Masculin Féminin

Put together by the The Numero Group, Masculin Féminin collects the mid ’90s recordings (official and previously unreleased) of Blonde Redhead. As the box set demonstrates, they were one of avant-rock’s more deliciously mercurial entities. Emerging at a time when most underground band’s opted for pummeling noise, the quartet instead built their music from moody, atmospheric dissonance and shoegaze-inspired haze that are punctured by sudden bursts of post-hardcore screech ‘n’ shriek. Of particular interest is the live material. Blonde Redhead had a reputation for mesmerizingly intense performances, and the cuts “(I Am Taking Out My Eurotrash) I Still Get Rocks Off” and “Peir Paolo,” both recorded at Los Angeles’ KCRW, certainly deliver on that front. — Justin Farrar