With so much good music being released all the time, it can be hard to determine what to listen to first. Every week, Pitchfork offers a run-down of significant new releases available on streaming services. This week’s batch includes new albums from Burna Boy, Brent Faiyaz, Kali Malone, Wu-Lu, Laura Veirs, Westside Gunn, Caterina Barbieri, and Ken Car$on. Subscribe to Pitchfork’s New Music Friday newsletter to get our recommendations in your inbox every week. (All releases featured here are independently selected by our editors. When you buy something through our affiliate links, however, Pitchfork earns an affiliate commission.)
Burna Boy announced Love, Damini during his landmark show this April at New York’s Madison Square Garden. After 2020’s Twice as Tall and the previous year’s African Giant, Burna Boy returns with an A-list ticket including J Balvin, Ed Sheeran, Kehlani, Khalid, and Popcaan, as well as J Hus, Blxst, Victony, and the beloved South African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. In the run-up to the release, Burna Boy shared a self-directed video for the Toni Braxton–sampling single “Last Last,” before closing out the Billboard Music Awards.
Brent Faiyaz’s recent collaborations with Tyler, the Creator (“Gravity”), Drake and the Neptunes (“Wasting Time”), and Alicia Keys (“Ghetto Gatsby”) rub shoulders with the R&B singer’s own slow-groove soul delicacies on Wasteland, the follow-up to 2020’s Fuck the World. Executive produced by Jonathan “Freeze” Wells, the album also features Raphael Saadiq, Tre Amani, and The-Dream, among others.
Kali Malone: Living Torch [Portraits GRM]
Living Torch comprises a pair of recordings commissioned from Kali Malone by GRM, the Groupe de Recherches Musicales. Known for her pipe organ works, including her acclaimed 2019 album The Sacrificial Code, the Swedish-American composer here merges into a broader electroacoustic sound world, using trombone and bass clarinet alongside synths including Éliane Radigue’s own ARP 2500. Read about The Sacrificial Code in Pitchfork’s rundown of “The Best Experimental Albums of 2019.”
Wu-Lu’s Warp debut showcases the breadth of the south Londoner’s alluringly murky palette. A producer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist, Wu-Lu and his band cram agile rock structures with breakbeats, flickering synths, post-punk guitar, dubbed-out productions, and vocals that lurch from deadpan raps into urgent chants. Guest singers include Léa Sen on “Calo Paste” (which also features a Mica Levi and Raven Bush string arrangement) and Sorry’s Asha Lorenz on “Night Pill.” Black Midi drummer Morgan Simpson guests on “Times,” and the band’s former guitarist Matt Kwasniewski-Kelvin plays on several tracks.
Laura Veirs: Found Light [Raven Marching Band]
Laura Veirs wrote her 12th album in the wake of her divorce from her longtime partner and producer, Tucker Martine. The result is a self-exploratory album that the Portland singer-songwriter co-produced herself—a first for her—alongside Shahzad Ismaily (and, occasionally, Death Cab for Cutie’s Dave Depper). Veirs said that “Winter Windows,” which accompanied the album announcement, is “about the strength of mothers and the power that women in cooperation have to shape their own lives and the lives of children,” adding that it “gets at [her] punk roots but feels confident and current to [her] life right now.” Guests on Found Light include Sam Amidon and Karl Blau.
Westside Gunn: Peace Fly God [Griselda]
Griselda label head Westside Gunn is back with Peace Fly God, a 10-track project that features production from Madlib, Don Carrera, Daringer, and Conductor Williams. It also includes guest appearances from Stove God Cooks and Estee Nack. Peace Fly God was laid down in a 48-hour marathon session following Gunn’s return from Paris Fashion Week, where he attended the late Virgil Abloh’s Off-White exhibition. “As soon as I landed back in the states from Paris, the homies pulled right up on me,” Gunn said of the project in press materials. Peace Fly God is a precursor to Gunn’s forthcoming release Michelle Records, due out later this year.
The follow-up to the Italian composer’s debut LP Ecstatic Computation, Spirit Exit expands Caterina Barbieri’s world of weaponized ambience to include spectral samples, strings and voice, and occasional dancefloor beats. The modular synth maestro sought inspiration from “female mystics” and “philosophers and poets like St. Teresa D’Avila, Rosi Braidotti, and Emily Dickinson,” according to press materials. She introduced the record with the arpeggiated ecstasy of “At Your Gamut.”
Ken Car$on: X [Opium/Interscope]
X is the latest album from Atlanta rapper and Playboi Carti protégé Ken Car$on—who shares a name with Barbie’s boyfriend. The new record was executive produced by Carti, and follows last year’s full-length Project X. “My fans know that I’m big on the X thing,” Car$on said of the recurring letter in a recent interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1, referring also to his 2020 EP Teen X. Car$on added that his new project “is more simple” than his previous work. X includes the rapper’s melodic single “The End,” which landed with an Oliver Shore–directed music video earlier this week.