Sept. 91. Die Antwoord, “Mount Ninji and Da Nice Time Kid”The zef az fokk hip-hop duo from South Africa return with what is said to be their final album. Yolandi Vi$$er and Ninja make a very particular brand of hip-hop, bringing in Afrikaans slang and a surrealist mentality to a genre rife with tropes. Listen to “Banana Brain” and see if you can even understand what Ninja is talking about most of the time.
2. Devil Makes Three, “Redemption And Ruin”Local favorites Devil Makes Three return with a new album chock-full of classic covers. “Redemption and Ruin” runs the gamut of the bluegrass emotional experience, with happy jaunts like Tampa Red’s “I’m Gonna Get High” and the religious nihilism of Hank Williams Sr.’s “Angel of Death.” This one is good if you like bluegrass and want to see a modern take on some of the tracks that made the genre what it is today.
3. Mac Miller, “Divine Feminine”Mac Miller returns with his fourth studio album, enlisting some of the genre’s best and brightest to fill out the lighter sound of the new record. Great voices like those of Anderson. Paak and Cee-Lo Green bring a more rhythmic feel to the new record, with brass-focused beats making it a prime end-of-summer-joy-ride soundtrack.
4. Against Me, “Shape Shift With Me”Known for frontwoman Laura Jane Grace’s signature raspy voice and rockabilly guitar stylings, “Shapeshift with Me” follows up their blockbuster “Transgender Dysphoria Blues” with similar stylings, rambunctious western-tinged punk with catchy tunes throughout. I always value albums like this, that present clear explorations of subjects I have little experience with. Laura Jane does an excellent job of illustrating both the power and the meekness that she feels after her transition, and I think everyone could benefit from thinking the thoughts these types of records bring.
5. Dawes, “We’re All Gonna Die”Dawes is a folk-rock group coming out of L.A.,a bastion of folk music. This new album employs the traditional folk instrument of keyboards, giving them a prevalent space in the mix while also allowing the spoken/sung whispers of singer Taylor Goldsmith to shine through. This record also includes guest spots from genre notables such as Jim James of My Morning Jacket and Brittany Howard of The Alabama Shakes. The album is light and breezy, making it a good companion to secret Mexican Loggers down at the beach.