The Week’s 5 Essential Releases Worth Listening To

Jordan Osborne, S&C online editor and founder/editor of online culture publication Vendor, rounds up the week’s biggest music releases.

The new Kendrick Lamar album is the inevitable standout this week but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be furthering your musical horizons. This week’s collection of essential releases is one of the most eclectic of the year so far. Here are the week’s five big releases that should be on your radar:

Kendrick Lamar releases his fifth album DAMN.
The anticipation for Kendrick Lamar’s latest album was already high following the success of To Pimp A Butterfly and its sister compilation album untitled unmastered. So when Lamar ferociously tackled his rivals on ‘The Heart Part 4’ and ‘HUMBLE.’ a few weeks ago, the excitement only grew. Those two preceding tracks also suggest that Lamar is distancing himself from the jazz-infused sound of Butterfly and with confirmed collaborations with Rihanna and U2 on DAMN., it’ll be interesting to see what Lamar does with his latest artistic diversion. Listen to ‘HUMBLE.’ below and read our review of the single here:

Frank Ocean continues his prolific streak with ‘Biking’
The only thing that precedes Ocean’s unique artistry is his elusiveness, so his ubiquity in 2017 feels like an intense u-turn. With a feature on Calvin Harris’ ‘Slide’, the release of solo track ‘Chanel’ and the continued success of his Beats 1 radio show ‘blonded RADIO’, Ocean certainly seems to be coming out of his shell. That notion is extended further on his latest track ‘Biking’. Featuring the monolithic Jay-Z and fellow Odd Future alumni Tyler, The Creator, ‘Biking’ catches Ocean at his most candid and upbeat. Listen to ‘Biking’ below and read our review of the track here:

Mac DeMarco shares another sedate single in ‘On the Level’
Mac DeMarco is well-known for his lax goofball image so when he tries to inject a sense of introspection and seriousness into his music, it’s quite noticeable. This week, DeMarco shared ‘On the Level’, the third single from his upcoming album. The track continues to explore his troubled relationship with his father over a loosely nostalgic cyclical synth melody that recalls Tame Impala circa-Currents. Listen to ‘On the Level’ below:

Royal Blood return with new single ‘Lights Out’
Brighton duo Royal Blood ignited the British rock scene with their muscular self-titled debut album in 2014, even managing to crack the States in the process. Naturally, comeback single ‘Lights Out’ brings heavy expectation and overall it delivers. There isn’t too much divergence from their debut but that isn’t a bad thing; Royal Blood are at their best when they keep the tracks energetic and apocalyptic. Listen to ‘Lights Out’ below:

Kamasi Washington journeys far and wide on the sprawling ‘Truth’
Kamasi Washington has contributed to some of the most revered records of the last few years such as Run The Jewels’ Run The Jewels 3The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam by Thundercat and Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly and his most recent album DAMN. His latest solo track, the 13-minute ‘Truth’, displays all of Washington’s talents in swirling melange of pastoral jazz-gospel glory. ‘Truth’ is part of Washington’s upcoming EP Harmony of Difference. Listen to ‘Truth’ below:

Image by gozamos used under a Creative Commons license [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

This post originally appeared on Vendor.