This is Music Mondays, a weekly list of music recommendations.
April is going to be a very crowded month for music. This Friday, April 7, is one of the busiest release days in my recent memory. I am personally excited about many of the albums releasing this month. In fact, there are so many, that I decided to run down my most anticipated albums for the month of April, as well as the previous releases you should check out from the artists. Please enjoy.
1) Father John Misty, “Pure Comedy” (April 7)
Father John Misty’s “I Love You, Honeybear” is one of my favorite singer-songwriter albums to release in the last few years. It’s funny, strangely inappropriate, and sincere to a degree that I have never heard before. “ILYH” worked as a meta-concept album, as Father John Misty (whose real name is Josh Tillman) sang of his real-life marriage. The album chronicled the couple’s first encounter, to their fictional deaths, and included all the unnecessary, but interesting details in between. I could go on about this album for an entire article, but the point is, I cannot wait for Tillman’s next release, “Pure Comedy”. Having already covered his own personal life in “ILYH”, it’s his turn to sing about the horrors and comedic ironies of today’s society. Based on the released singles, Tillman will pull no punches, and I cannot wait to hear the humorous bite that he injects into every one of his songs. And his voice is great too.
Recommendation: Check out “I Love You, Honeybear”. My favorite songs are “Chateau Lobby #4”, “Strange Encounter”, and “Bored in the U.S.A.”. The whole album is great though, and I am also a fan of his first release as Father John Misty, “Fear Fun”.
2) Kendrick Lamar, “???” (April 7?)
What can be said about Kendrick Lamar that has not already been said? He exploded onto the rap scene with “Section.80” in 2011, and then dropped two of the best hip-hop albums of the last ten years with “good kid, m.A.A.d city” in 2012 and “To Pimp a Butterfly” in 2015. His songs tackle race and gang violence in an intense and often self-biographical way. All this being said, his fourth album’s release is highly anticipated, and based off a line in his first released single, “The Heart Part 4,” it may be releasing on April 7. I’m certainly excited.
Recommendation: “good kid, m.A.A.d city” and “To Pimp a Butterfly” are already considered rap classics for good reason.
3) Joey Bada$$, “ALL AMERIKKKAN BADA$$” (April 7)
If Kendrick Lamar’s new album ends up coming out on April 7, I will feel very bad for Joey Bada$$. If this does happen, the likely scenario is that Kendrick will overshadow Joey’s release like a solar eclipse, and while this makes sense given Kendrick’s prolific status, it would be a shame because Joey Bada$$ is worth checking out. He’s heaving inspired by ‘90s rappers like Nas and Tupac, and I even get vibes of A Tribe Called Quest in some of his songs. Despite his rather loud name (and new album title), Joey comes across in a very rhythmic and enjoyable way. Singles from his upcoming second LP like “Land of the Free” are catchy and politically charged. I suggest keeping an eye on this release.
4) Gorillaz, “Humanz” (April 28)
I’m not going to pretend to be the biggest fan of Gorillaz. (This statement holds true for the next artist on this list.) In my book, Gorillaz is one of the most interesting groups in alternative music. Their rap/pop/rock sound is constantly evolving, and with that, I am never able to confidently call myself a true fan. This won’t stop me from giving their newest album, “Humanz”, a shot when it’s released at the end of the month. The released singles are all very different, which makes it hard to predict what the album’s overall sound will be. None of the songs sound like actual Gorillaz tracks, as they largely lack the band’s usual vocals from Damon Albarn. However, I like all four singles, especially “Ascension” with Vince Staples and “Saturnz Barz” with Popcaan. I’ll just have to wait and see to form a final verdict when the full album releases.
Recommendation: “Demon Days” and their original self-titled release are considered their best albums. At least that’s the case in my mind.
5) Cold War Kids, “L.A. Divine” (April 7)
I have always been a passive fan of Cold War Kids. Their bombastic piano/guitar/bass/drums indie rock is not always successful, and sometimes appears unfocused in my opinion. There’s always four or five songs from each of their albums that I return to, while I choose to skip the rest. I found their last release, “Hold My Home”, to be their most consistent record yet, so I’m hopeful for the new release. I truly hope “L.A. Divine” will finally be the Cold War Kids album to make me a legitimate fan.