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BUSTies, there is no doubt your summer has been filled with some sick jams, but we have compiled this list of stellar songs to add to your playlists because it's practically our job to know the hot new albums. Here we have some great artist such as The Julie Ruin, Tegan and Sara, The Kills, Corinne Bailey Rae, Anohni, and many more! Give it a good listen, while catching some rays and swimming your heart out.  

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The Julie Ruin
Hit Reset
Hardly Art
Rating: 5/5

For the first time in 3 years, punk rock feminist icon Kathleen Hanna has released a new album with The Julie Ruin, and it’s everything we could have hoped for (and more). The album, Hit Reset, is arguably Hanna’s most commanding and confrontational piece of work since her Bikini Kill days in the 1990s. The lyricism manages to seamlessly blend the personal (like many of the tracks on The Julie Ruin’s first album, Run Fast) with the shamelessly political and provocative (reminiscent of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre). Within the first few lines of the title track, Hanna describes vividly disturbing memories of growing up with an abusive father, “slept with the lights on, on the floor, behind a chair that blocked the door,” and, in classic Kathleen Hanna style defiance, dropkicks them to hell while maintaining a throbbing, momentous beat. The dancey pop vibes are carried out through the majority of the album, clashing harmoniously with the singer’s raging wails in whopping, strut-worthy tracks like “I Decide,” and “I’m Done.” But of course, any work of art by Kathleen Hanna is not complete without a touch of sarcasm. For a healthy dosage of witty snark, check out “Planet You,” and, my personal favorite, “Mr. So and So,” a song which rips apart the stereotypical “male feminist” who sports a Sleater-Kinney tee and shows off a “girl band’s” autograph to his women’s studies class, inarguably jumping on the female empowerment bandwagon for his own egotistical gain. The album’s conclusion, “Calverton,” is a stark contrast to the heavy instrumentation that makes up the rest of the album, and is, instead, a soft and vulnerable ballad which Hanna wrote as a thank you to her mother. Needless to say, for every BUSTie who wants to revive their rampant Riot Grrrl spirit, Hit Reset is a must-listen.
- Gabrielle Diekhoff

Read our interview with Kathleen Hanna to see what she says about her band and new music!

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The Kills 
Ash & Ice 
(Domino Recording Co.)
Rating: 5/5

On Ash & Ice, the Kills’ fifth album, the garage rock duo returns to their signature, minimalist sound, but with a slower, looser twist. On the album’s first single, “Doing it to Death,” the band laments their reckless living over an electronic drum beat. “Hum For Your Buzz” explores a slower, more blues-influenced sound, and on the ballad “That Love,” singer Alison Mosshart brings to mind an edgier Carole King. While much of this terrain was explored on previous albums, Ash & Ice shows the Kills growing and beginning to veer into new directions, with success—nearly every track offers something to like. -Adrienne Urbanski

Julianna Barwick

Julianna Barwick
Will
(Dead Oceans)
Rating 4/5

Brooklyn-based experimental artist Julianna Barwick’s third full-length album, Will, is not your typical summer fun record, but it’s a beautiful one. Known for creating ambient pieces built around layered loops of her own voice, Barwick makes songs that are more sound art than recognizable melodies. Will plays with the tension between the organic and the digital; Barwick’s church-choir-inspired vocals couldn’t be sculpted without the help of her trusty loop machine. Synths take the forefront in songs like “Nebula” and album closer “See, Know,” reminding the audience that Barwick’s heavenly, nostalgic vocals are firmly grounded in 2016. -Liz Galvao

Bat For Lashes
Bat For Lashes 
The Bride
(Parlophone/Warner Bros.)
Rating: 4/5

English singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Natasha Khan once again brings dreamy brilliance to Bat For Lashes. Khan’s fourth studio album, The Bride, was inspired by a short film she made, titled I Do. This concept album follows a bride as she learns to grieve for her dead fiancé, a story Khan collaborated on over the course of two years. The light and airy “I Do” sets the stage for the tragic tale to unfold with atmospheric melodies. “Sunday Love” is an upbeat, heavily electronic track, while “I Will Love Again” ends the story on a hopeful note. -Lara Streye

Case Lang Veirs 

Case/Lang/Veirs
case/lang/veirs
(Anti-)
Rating: 4/5

Neko Case, k.d. lang, and Laura Veirs teaming up for a collaborative album is so perfect, it’s hard to believe it’s real, and not fan fiction written by a folk/alt-country megafan. The supergroup’s self-titled debut album is comprised of the same elements that make each individual artist’s work so enthralling—deeply felt lyrics, beautiful melodies, and flawless vocals—but comes with the (huge) added bonus of getting to hear them sing in harmony. Standout tracks include “Delirium,” a string-laden tune anchored by Case’s unmistakable voice, and “Song for Judee,” a heartbreaking ballad dedicated to late folk singer Judee Sill. -Eliza C. Thompson

Elysian Fields

Elysian Fields
Ghosts of No
(Vicious Circle/Ojet)
Rating: 4/5

Brooklyn art-rockers Elysian Fields return with their 10th studio album, a journey into magic, nature, and poignant moments from singer Jennifer Charles’ childhood. With Ghosts of No, Elysian Fields are just as sultry, sullen, and dark as ever, bringing the musicianship and love of experimentation to this collection of songs that won them a cult following in the ’90s. Charles’ smoky croon adds to the jazzy feel of the album, especially on the improvisation-heavy “Cost of Your Soul,” and noir-ish “Misunderstood.” Pensive, penetrating, and personal, Ghosts of No is music for music nerds, sure to tickle your brain. -Liz Galvao

Margaret Glaspy

Margaret Glapsy 
Emotions and Math
(ATO)
Rating: 5/5

This will be a big year for Margaret Glaspy. The N.Y.C.-based singer/songwriter has earned comparisons to Courtney Barnett, and her debut album, Emotions and Math, deserves to be 2016’s breakout rock hit. Whether combining poppy melodies with guttural, angsty vocals (“You And I”), pouring her heart out in minimalistic ballads (“Somebody to Anybody”), or stretching her vocal range pleading with a lover to stay (“Love Like This”), Glaspy’s dynamic songwriting makes relationship dysfunction sound damn good. Glaspy draws inspiration from Elliott Smith and Joni Mitchell, and the influence is evident: like these two, singular artists, Glaspy spins heartbreak into gold. –Liz Galvao

Kristin Kontrol


Kristin Kontrol 
X-Communicate 
(Sub Pop)
Rating: 5/5

Kristin Kontrol’s first album is a comet—powerful, bright, and trailing glitter as it goes. X-Communicate mashes up synth-pop, Krautrock, and R&B into 10 tight songs, using keyboards and guitars to create a melodic barrage around Kristin Welchez’s (of Dum Dum Girls fame) angelic ’80s-pop-star voice. The result is a smashingly fun debut album that will leave you hungry for more. “Show Me” lays the foundation for the album’s big pop sound, “(Don’t) Wannabe” and “Skin Shed” are anthems in the making, and by the time closer “Smoke Rings” comes on, you’ll be exhausted from dancing. –Whitney Dwire

igemini

Lets Eat Grandma 
I, Gemini 
(Transgressive)
Rating: 4/5

Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth of Let’s Eat Grandma kick things off on their debut album with the witchy “Deep Six Textbook,” a haunting, echoing lullaby featuring a twinkling glockenspiel solo. I, Gemini is certainly an acquired taste, but those seeking to escape their everyday music will happily follow these two into a sea of captivating beats. “Chocolate Sludge Cake” is sweet and inviting at first, with gentle flute, then transforms into a maze of creepy, erratic beats and taunting howls. “Rapunzel,” led by a spellbinding piano melody, reveals two angsty ladies with powerful pipes, pleading to escape from a fairy tale. –Stephanie Nolasco

Little Scream

Little Scream
Cult Following
(Merge)
Rating: 5/5

Little Scream (aka Laurel Sprengelmeyer) returns with Cult Following, a self-assured record that reveals an artist unafraid to experiment, swimming between genres, but never drowning in them. Friends the National, Sharon Van Etten, and Sufjan Stevens all guest here, but it’s Sprengelmeyer’s execution that makes Cult Following stand out. Flitting between the perfect pre-party funk of “Love as a Weapon,” the skillfully structured hums of “Dark Dance,” and the synth-fueled horror-soundtrack interludes on the confessional “The Kissing,” it won’t be long before Little Scream gains a mass following, in addition to a Cult one. –Sammy Maine

Mitski
MITSKI
Puberty 2
(Dead Oceans)
Rating: 5/5

Mitski’s Puberty 2 is an emotional, indie-rock ride of a record; a glorious follow-up to 2014’s Bury Me at Makeout Creek. It’s as beautiful as it is gritty and raw, in both its garage sound and Mitski’s vulnerable, bare-it-all lyrics. The record’s first track, “Happy,” sets the tone with lyrics like, “He laid me down and I felt happy come inside of me,” over electronic drum machines, fuzzed-out guitar, and loud sax. “I Bet On Losing Dogs” is a middle-of-the-album tearjerker that will resonate with many. Puberty 2 is an album for those of us who are romantically clumsy and have grown to be OK with that. –Emilie Von Unwerth 


Corinne Bailey Rae
Corinne Bailey Rae
The Heart Speaks in Whispers
(Virgin)
Rating: 4/5

Corinne Bailey Rae’s third studio album, The Heart Speaks in Whispers, has accents of the British singer/songwriter’s previous work but represents a new day. Album opener “The Skies Will Break” is an ode to falling in love, while “Do You Ever Think Of Me?” contemplates romance in a whole different way. Other tracks, like the smooth “Been to the Moon,” and the breezy “Green Aphrodisiac,” showcase how the siren has evolved. “Walk On” edges on Erykah Badu territory, but is still a beautiful ride. For Corinne Bailey Rae, the heart may speak in whispers, but this project screams hit-potential. –Kathy Iandoli 

anohni01c2 by alice omalley

Anohi
Hopelesness
(Secretly Canadian/Rough Trade)
Rating: 5/5

What is the point of art in the era of drone warfare and climate change? Hopelessness, the first release by the former lead singer of Antony & the Johnsons under her new name, Anohni, grapples with this question. This politically charged album has the feeling of both an expansive protest and an intimate confession. Musically, it departs from the artist’s chamber pop past. Songs like album standout “Watch Me” are reminiscent of Kate Bush, while more somber moments like “Obama” reveal the influence of synth-pop artists like the Knife. Hopelessness is a heart-wrenching album that should appeal to longtime fans and win new ones. –Sarah C. Jones 

Summer Cannibals

Summer Cannibals
Full Of It
(Kill Rock Stars)
Rating: 4/5

If you’re looking for fresh tunes to play during warm and wild nights out with friends, look no further than Summer Cannibals’ third studio album, Full Of It. The rock group gives off major Sleater-Kinney vibes, with pounding guitars meeting frontwoman Jessica Boudreaux’s arresting vocals. Tracks like “Go Home” and “I Wanna Believe” would be right at home in dark, smoke-filled basements with moshing punks, while “Say My Name” features a smoother, more reverb-heavy West Coast sound. If you’re looking for punk music you can bring to the beach, Summer Cannibals’ latest album is full of it. –Meg Zulch

Tegan And Sara

Tegan And Sara
Love You To Death
(Kill Rock Stars)
Rating: 4/5

“I don’t want a white wedding.” This lyric from “BWU” sums up Tegan and Sara’s eighth studio album, Love You to Death. The record is cathartic and exuberant right off the bat with “That Girl,” and continues on with bright, glittery, and explosive pop tracks like “Boyfriend,” “Stop Desire,” and “Hang on to the Night.” Refusal to conform is a theme that runs rampant in Love You to Death, as is the idea of a reckless—even obsessive—love (“White Knuckles”). Don’t be fooled by the album’s charming ’80s-infused indie pop. Tegan and Sara’s version of love is not for the “Faint of Heart.” –Alexa Tietjen 


Adia Victoria

Adia Victoria
Beyond the Bloodhounds
(Canvasback Music)
Rating: 5/5

“There’ll be days you go dancing with your demons.” Nashville’s Adia Victoria doesn’t sing that line until nearly 17 minutes into the Southern-gothic blues of Beyond the Bloodhounds, but it cracks the core of the album wide open. This debut full-length dances with dichotomies: of youth, of home, of being a woman of color in the South. And it does so with Victoria’s distinct musical shuffle, from sharp country-garage (“Dead Eyes”), to swampy rock (“Head Rot”), to the humid, haunted vibe that makes the record so irresistible (“And Then You Die,” “Stuck in the South”). Consider this a classic in the making. –Mollie Wells

White Lung

White Lung
Paradise
(Domino Recording Co.)
Rating: 4/5

Ever since 2014’s monumental Deep Fantasy, Vancouver’s White Lung have left punkers on the edge of their seats, anxiously anticipating what’s next. The wait is finally over with the release of their new album, Paradise, a mix of ruthless and frenzied, yet poised and polished tracks. For this record, the band focused on bringing a new pop sensibility to their music. While the songs on Paradise are undeniably the most melodic ones in White Lung’s discography, they still possess the razor-sharp riffs, penetrating rhythms, and hauntingly expressive lyrics—heard in songs such as “Sister” and “Vegas”—that made their earlier albums punk faves. –Marisa Cagnoli

 D2A6512 credit Faisal Mohammed

Bosco & Speakerfoxxx
Girls In The Yard 
(Fool's Gold)
Rating: 5/5

Atlanta’s reputation for funk is well earned on Bosco and Speakerfoxxx’s collab, Girls In The Yard. Queens of their respective Atlanta scenes (rap and electronica), Bosco and Speakerfoxxx together are straight party fuel. In “Revolution,” the duo calls for a dance-worthy world takeover. And on “Beemer,” they challenge their haters to stay in their own lanes with the lyric, “Who got the keys to my Beemer?” Girls In The Yard delivers a sunnily defiant attitude and a delicate collage of diverse samples and sounds. This album feels like a vacation or at least the soundtrack to an epic road trip with your bestie. –Holiday Black

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This article originally appeared in the June/July 2016 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today

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