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 releases from Brittany Howard, Helado Negro, Little Simz, Madi Diaz, David Nance & Mowed Sound, Itasca, Pouty, Amiture, and Mk.Gee. 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.)
Brittany Howard: What Now [Island]
The title of Brittany Howard’s second solo album is double-edged, the Alabama Shakes frontperson said in press materials: “Everything seems to be getting more extreme and everyone keeps wondering, ‘What now? What’s next?’ By the same coin, the only constant on this record is you never know what’s going to happen next: Every song is its own aquarium, its own little miniature world built around whatever I was feeling and thinking at the time.” She introduced the Jaime follow-up with the title track, a “sharply detailed portrait of the singer-songwriter in conflicted contemplation,” as Allison Hussey wrote in her track review.
Helado Negro: Phasor [4AD]
Phasor, Helado Negro said in the short film accompanying its release, is “nine songs about the mountain, nine songs about the sky, nine songs about luck, nine songs about echo, nine songs about trouble, nine songs about loving.” Recorded in the artist born Roberto Carlos Lange’s new home of Asheville, North Carolina, the album draws inspiration from the rural landscape, the meditative minimalism of Pauline Oliveros, and the generative Sal-Mar synthesizer housed at University of Illinois, which Lange visited in 2019 for his 39th birthday. Videos for “Best for You and Me,” “I Just Want to Wake Up With You,” and “LFO (Lupe Finds Oliveros)” preceded the album.
Little Simz: Drop 7 EP [Forever Living Originals/AWAL]
Drop 7 follows Little Simz’s No Thank You, the brisk, Sault-adjacent 2022 album that the British rapper released a year after the Mercury Prize–winning Sometimes I Might Be Introvert. The darkly danceable new EP—part of the Age 101 series she launched in 2014—concentrates Detroit techno, dembow beats, and flickers of gauzy ambience into seven combustible rap capsules.
Madi Diaz: Weird Faith [Anti-]
Nashville singer-songwriter Madi Diaz fills Weird Faith, the follow-up to her 2021 breakout, History of a Feeling, with crystal-clear, diamond-sharp writing on the rewards, anxieties, and humiliations of romance, enlisting fellow Nashville breakaway Kacey Musgraves for the single “Don’t Do Me No Good.” The sometime Waxahatchee and Angel Olsen collaborator co-produced the record with Sam Cohen and Konrad Snyder, who also contributed drum programming, live drums, and percussion, alongside the Walkmen’s Matt Barrick.
David Nance & Mowed Sound: David Nance & Mowed Sound [Third Man]
The prolific Omaha singer-songwriter David Nance makes his debut for Third Man with David Nance & Mowed Sound, made with Omaha veterans including James Schroeder, Kevin Donahue, and Dereck Higgins. “The whole album is a big magic trick,” Nance said of the record’s blend of incantatory vocals, noisy undulations, and outré electronics, in press materials. “Most of these songs were written as country songs and then were perverted into different forms, but it sure as shit isn’t a country record.”
Itasca: Imitation of War [Paradise of Bachelors]
Kayla Cohen’s latest as Itasca quests out from her folk roots to a landscape of dusky dream-rock odysseys, led by lyrics that draw on personal and cultural mythologies and vocals that breach the other side. Wand’s Robbie Cody co-produced the record with the Los Angeles–based songwriter, conjuring sound worlds as vast and mystifying as ancient caves.
Pouty: Forgot About Me [Get Better]
Forgot About Me is Rachel Gagliardi’s debut LP as Pouty, but she has been around the power-pop block as one half of Slutever and a collaborator of Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner and, in Upset, members of Hole and Vivian Girls. A series of EPs, starting with 2016’s Take Me to Honey Island, preceded the new record, which channels themes of desire, self-sabotage, and aging into raucous, playful singalongs. Gagliardi recorded the album in Los Angeles and Philadelphia with the Superweaks’ Evan Bernard and Chris Baglivo.
Amiture: Mother Engine [Dots Per Inch]
Jack Whitescarver and Coco Goupil plunder trip-hop, British folk, and American blues for Amiture’s darkly pastoral grooves. They made Mother Engine, their debut as a duo, after relocating from Brooklyn to Kingston, New York, twining drum loops, warped roots riffs, and sinister vocals into a shimmering reflection of the American psyche.
Mk.Gee: Two Star & the Dream Police [R&R Digital]
After collaborating with Dijon and touring with Bon Iver and Boygenius, Mk.gee mints an impish, sometimes funky hybrid of R&B and folk on his debut album, Two Star & the Dream Police. Busy beats, ad-libbed yelps, and dimension-breaching guitar tones coalesce in the record’s digital netherworld, a beguiling statement of intent from the New Jersey singer-songwriter.