New Music Playlist: April 2018

NM April 2018
Top row left to right: Kimbra, Cardi B, Janelle Monáe, Kitten Forever, Ariana Grande; bottom row: Scrunchies, Princess Nokia, Kali Uchis, Hinds, Speedy Ortiz

May is just around the corner, which means that it’s time to round up some of the most outstanding music releases of the past month. April was packed with stellar new music, including a number of albums that are sure to be some of my favorite releases of 2018.

On April 6, Cardi B dropped the debut album that we’ve all been waiting for, Invasion of Privacy. There’s not a song on the album that doesn’t ooze with Cardi B’s signature confidence, and she breezes through poetic, biting lines with ease. The album is studded with collaborators, including Migos, Change The Rapper, Kehlani, and SZA.

Spanish indie-rock band Hinds released their sophomore album, I Don’t Run, this month. The album is full of gritty, sung/spoken vocals and punchy guitar riffs. Themes of love and failed relationships seep through most of the tracks. Hinds’ explosive yet vulnerable style provides an outlet for expressing the frustration and pain that comes out of these relationships, creating a powerful catharsis for their listeners.

One of the albums that I have not been able to stop listening to all month is Kali Uchis’ full-length debut, Isolation. The album is a follow-up to the singer’s 2015 EP, Por Vida, which introduced her retro pop-infused R&B sound to the world. Traces of Por Vida can be heard on Isolation, however, the album defies the categorization of any one genre, as it melds elements of funk, bossa nova, pop, and soul. Throughout the album’s 12 tracks, Uchis shows off her versatility through romantic ballads, testaments of heartbreak and loss, and fierce assertions of her self-confidence.

Instead of just releasing a new album, Janelle Monáe dropped the afro-futuristic “emotion picture,” Dirty Computer, this month. The film is set in a dystopian future, where humans have become computers, and anyone who strays from the norm is labeled “dirty,” and must be cleaned by having their memories wiped. Dirty Computer showcases a more personal side of Monáe, who came out as pansexual in an interview with Rolling Stone earlier this month. “I consider myself to be a free-ass motherfucker,” said Monáe. Dirty Computer‘s tracks ring with Monáe’s sense of freedom and refusal to be constrained by society’s preconceptions. The album provides a sharp criticism of today’s America, while delivering a soundtrack to the resistance.

Check out the full playlist and listen using the player below:

  1. “Ring (feat. Kehlani)” – Cardi B
  2. “Just A Stranger (feat. Steve Lacy)” – Kali Uchis
  3. “Hell Hole” – Kitten Forever
  4. “Stunner” – Scrunchies
  5. “Screwed (feat. Zoë Kravitz)” – Janelle Monae
  6. “No Tears Left To Cry” – Ariana Grande
  7. “Right Direction” – Kimbra
  8. “Tester” – Hinds
  9. “Your Eyes Are Bleeding” – Princess Nokia
  10. “Lucky 88” – Speedy Ortiz
  11. “Lilac House” – Half Waif
  12. “Heat Wave” – Snail Mail

 

 

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