Album releases promise innovation

According to Spotify data, NYU students are the nation’s hippest with regard to musical taste. Our university’s appreciation of music is only emphasized by events such as the Mystery Concert, which featured Jamie xx, Ratking and Ghostface Killah. NYU also featured BADBADNOTGOOD, which has subsequently announced an experimental jazz hip-hop album with Ghostface Killah titled “Sour Soul,” to be released on Feb. 24. 

The student body’s music taste and university’s appreciation of music have proven successful in predicting artists and music to look out for. Genre-spanning and boundary-pushing, “Sour Soul” should prove an interesting listen, as it brings together Ghostface Killah’s compelling storytelling and BADBADNOTGOOD’s innovative production.

Natalie Prass’ undeniably outstanding debut which will be released this week. The self-titled album features the new songstress’ gentle murmur of a voice overlaid with lush string orchestration, making a very mature and natural sound. On her first single, “Bird of Prey,” melodic horns and swelling flutes mingle with captivating Diana Ross-inspired vocals reminiscent of
1970s soul-pop.

While newcomers such as Prass are introducing new elements established artists are also hard at work to release new songs to stay relevant. Sufjan Stevens recently announced his first album since his electronic-heavy 2010 release “The Age of Adz.” The upcoming album, titled “Carrie & Lowell,” is billed as a return to folk roots, harkening back to earlier albums “Seven Swans”
and “Michigan.”

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In March, indie-rock icons Modest Mouse will release their sixth studio album, “Strangers to Ourselves.” The two singles released so far, “Lampshades on Fire” and “Coyote,” retain the polished hooks and more pop-oriented sound the band has cultivated in its past two releases.

Not one to be outdone by burgeoning younger divas, Madonna is set to release “Rebel Heart,” her 13th studio effort, on March 10. An eclectic mix of A-list producers, ranging from Avicii to Kanye West, contributed to the album, further solidifying Madonna’s EDM-inspired style. The album also flirts with hip-hop, showcasing guest stars such as Nicki Minaj on “Bitch, I’m Madonna” and Chance the Rapper on “Iconic.” It seems as though every artist is on top of their game for 2015.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Jan. 26 print edition. Email Ahmed Bubshait at [email protected]

 

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