Each Friday, AllSole’s editors select the hottest albums released that day, what we have been listening to this week, and the releases you should be keeping an eye out for over the weekend. You can listen to our weekly selections on our dedicated Spotify playlist.
Paradis – Recto Verso (Maison Barclay)
Formed after a chance meeting at a house party in 2010, Paradis is the brainchild of Parisians Pierre Rousseau and Simon Mény. After three years during which their friendship firmed over mutual interests in music and photography, the duo decided to give a music career a shot in 2013 when Paradis was veritably formed. Recto Verso is the pair’s debut album, a testament both to their eclectic tastes in music and their love of the classic French songwriting tradition. Layering poetic vocals over infectious house melodies, Recto Verso is an accomplished debut album that reaffirms recent claims of the emergence of a new musical scene in France.
Bon Iver – 22 , A Million (Jagjaguwar)
The enigma of Bon Iver continues to intrigue in the band’s third studio album and their first in five years, 22, A Million. Gone is the soft, strumming folk Americana of the band’s earlier years, replaced with a sparse, airy, electronic sound that acts as the perfect medium for addressing lead singer Justin Vernon’s latest plights. Lyrics dealing with the problems of fame and success are reinforced by the band’s new sound, created by the Messina—a combination of a Prismizer software plug-in and hardware created by Vernon and his engineer Chris Messina. 22, A Million is a complex, thoughtful album that gets better with each listen.
Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition (Warp)
Taking its title from a Joy Division song and a J.G. Ballard collection of short stories, Danny Brown’s fourth full-length solo album is an angry, psychedelic album that blurs the boundaries of hip-hop. Like Ian Curtis in his song of the same name, Brown uses his music to delve under the surface and explore his mental world in a stream-of-conscious narrative not dissimilar to the books of William Burroughs or films of Stanley Kubrick. Atrocity Exhibition is an ambitious album aware of and taking inspiration from the art that has influenced its creator.
Solange – A Seat at the Table (Saint Records/Columbia)
It has been four years since Solange released her last (and well-received) EP True, and A Seat at the Table marks a career-defining moment in her career. With a guestlist including Kelly Rowland, Lil Wayne, Sampha and Dev Hynes, this album feels like the work of an artist in her prime, released alongside an interactive booklet on her website plus a video that changes every time you visit the site. The album itself is full of soul, with several tracks taking inspiration from gospel music—a genre with widely influential album in contemporary America. A Seat at the Table is a mature, well-produced album that sees Solange step confidently out of the shadow of her older sister to emerge as a powerful artist in her own right.