Ventura — Anderson .Paak
On the heels of last year’s Oxnard — the glistening, R&B flavored hip-hop record that brought us the instant dancefloor favorite “Tints (feat. Kendrick Lamar) — Anderson .Paak is set to release Ventura April 12 via Aftermath Entertainment. Since he releasing his breakout record Malibu in 2016, .Paak’s music has filled the musical gap between hip-hop heavyweights Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper with funk-infused hip-hop tracks loaded with conscious rhymes and infectious soul hooks. Its music rooted in a carefree-spirit while the lyrics touch on everything from party life to socio-political critique. On the latest Ventura single “King James,” .Paak delivers an airy jazz-pop ode to LeBron James that speaks on using privilege to give back and shed light on injustice. Catch him in Atlanta this summer at the Cadence Bank Amphitheater in Chastain Park June 7 with openers Noname and Thundercat.
Ready to Let Go — Cage the Elephant
Cage the Elephant have carved out a place for themselves as the 21st century’s singular true rock band with the anthemic rocker “Ain’t No Rest For the Wicked” and strikingly delicate “Cigarette Daydreams.” Now, nearly 10 years since their self-titled debut, the band is releasing their fifth record Social Cues April 19 via RCA Records. Premiering a more tightly-wound and darker sound compared to their usual rough around the edges style, singles “House of Glass” and “Ready To Let Go” showcase the band leaning into maturity without abandoning the unruly swagger they’re known for. It’s a miracle that the band is still together after ushering in a new wave of boisterous, stadium-worthy garage rock 10 years ago, and we can only guess where the story goes from here. Cage the Elephant will be headlining Shaky Knees May 4, but if you can’t afford the festival fare, they’ll be at the Oak Mountain Amphitheater in Birmingham, Alabama with Beck, Spoon, and Sunflower Bean Aug. 27.
Dogrel — Fontaines D.C.
Mark my words, Fontaines D.C. will be the breakout band of 2019. Currently riding the wave of a highly publicized set at Austin’s SXSW and supporting IDLES on tour, the Dublin post-punks will release their debut Dogrel April 12 via Partisan Records. Led by frontman Grain Chatten’s poetic deadpan and backed by a mechanical rhythmic grind, Fontaines D.C.’s output alludes to a sense of restlessness and discontent. Preliminary singles “Too Real” and “Big” showcase a definitive style of noisy punk-rock that shifts and turns with anxious guitar riffs while Chatten laments about his disillusionment over everyday life. “My childhood was small, but I’m gonna big,” declares Chatten on “Big” and damn it it’s hard not to agree with him.
Cuz I Love You — Lizzo
Lizzo needs no introduction. However, if you don’t know Lizzo, you’re doing yourself a disservice. So wise up and watch “Juice,” a celebration to self-love and body positivity via a spoof of 70s talk shows and infomercials. Her album Cuz I Love You is out April 19 on Atlantic Records. Are you still reading this? Watch the video, fool.
The Seduction of Kansas — Priests
Washington, D.C. post-punks Priests are the definitive band to deconstruct consumerism, apathy, and the absurdity of 21st century late-stage capitalism. On their sophomore album, The Seduction of Kansas out April 5 via Sister Polygon Records, the band adds a pop sheen to their fierce punk framework, bringing to mind Blondie in the process. The band’s always been direct and uncompromising, weaving together scorching guitar rock and blistering funk accented by singer Katie Alice Greer’s sardonic wit. On the title track of their upcoming album, Priests manage to create a pop song out of disingenuous corporate pandering while name dropping Applebees, Dorothy, and the Koch brothers in the process. Catch them in Atlanta this summer at the Drunken Unicorn near Ponce City Market June 17 with Knife Wife.