Ah, friends, it is the first full week in April and the second new Music Friday in the month! Last week delivered new albums by Weezer and Lukas Graham. This week, a beloved alternative folk band, an eclectic veteran musician, and a blue-eyed soul standout are among musicians dropping new albums. Is there a surefire hit in the bunch? Eh, but there’s a little something for everybody to check out this week, even if it’s not necessarily ‘the second coming.’
1) The Lumineers, Cleopatra (Dualtone Music)
Folk darlings The Lumineers – known for hit “Ho Hey” – return with their sophomore album, Cleopatra. Cleopatra arrives four years after the band’s self-titled debut. Running 15 tracks in its deluxe version, three songs were issued ahead of the album: Single “Ophelia,” “Cleopatra,” and “Angela.”
2) Ben Harper The Innocent Criminals, Call It What It Is (Concord Music Group)
Ben Harper is unquestionably versatile; he’s the epitome of the restless musician. Call It What It Is serves as Harper’s latest musical adventure, alongside The Innocent Criminals this outing. Call It What It Is runs 11 tracks deep, with three songs arriving prior to its release: “Call It What It Is,” “Shine,” and “Pink Balloon.” The most interesting song title from the new album – definitely opener, “When Sex Was Dirty.”
3) Mayer Hawthorne, Man About Town (Vagrant)
Blue-eyed/retro-soul singer Mayer Hawthorne returns with his fourth studio album, Man About Town. Hawthorne’s previous outing, Where Does This Door Go debuted at no. 30 on the Billboard 200. 10 tracks deep, “Cosmic Love” and “Love Like That” were among songs arriving prior to Man About Town.
4) Deftones, Gore (Reprise)
Veteran metal band Deftones releases its first album in nearly four years with Gore. Gore follows fall 2012 effort Koi No Yokan, which just missed the top 10 of the Billboard 200. 11 tracks deep, “Prayers/Triangles” and “Doomed User” arrived ahead of the album.
5) Skizzy Mars, Alone Together (Penthouse Music)
Alternative hip-hop artist Skizzy Mars drops his full-length album Alone Together following 2015’s seven-track EP The Red Balloon Project. Alone Together runs 12 tracks deep, with “Crash” (featuring Pell), “Alcoholics,” and “Comb” among songs released prior to the album. Among guests on Alone Together besides the aforementioned Pell are Chose and Jaymes Young…not exactly household names.
6) Lights, Midnight Machines (Warner Bros)
Canadian pop singer/songwriter Lights returns with Midnight Machines, the follow-up to 2014 effort Little Machines…well sort of. Little Machines was a full-length studio album, while Midnight Machines is an acoustic EP running just 8 tracks deep and borrowing songs from Little Machines. Single “Meteorites” arrived prior to Midnight Machines.
7) Before You Exit, All The Lights – EP (RCA)
Floridian pop band Before You Exit releases its first major label EP All The Lights. All The Lights follows up previous 2013 EP, I Like That. Two songs from the six-track EP arrived prior to the release of the EP: “Model” and “When I’m Gone.”
8) MAX, Hell’s Kitchen Angel (DCD2/Crush Music)
Pop artist MAX releases his debut album, Hell’s Kitchen Angel. Tightly constructed at just 10 tracks, the highlight of Hell’s Kitchen Angel is undoubtedly single “Gibberish” featuring Hoodie Allen. In addition to the availability of “Gibberish” ahead of the album, three other songs also arrived pre-release: “Wrong” featuring Lil Uzi Vert, “Holla” and “Lights Down Low.” Besides Hoodie Allen and Lil Uzi Vert, Sirah (of Skrillex fame) also guests on the album.
Also Released: Frightened Rabbit, Painting of a Panic Attack (Atlantic UK); Gallant, Ology (Mind of a Genius); Hayes Carll, Lovers and Leavers (Hwy 87); Krizz Kaliko, Go (Strange Music); M83, Junk (M83 Recording/Mute); Zakk Wylde, Book Of Shadows II (Entertainment One)