Courtesy of the artist
We open this week’s show with Lorde, who became a pop superstar at 16 on the strength of her 2013 hit “Royals.” Now, she’s released her third album, Solar Power, which finds the 24-year-old New Zealander reflecting on her past as she learns to find peace with herself. Next, we listen to a posthumous album from Philadelphia rapper Chynna, who died last year of a drug overdose at 25. Sturgill Simpson has released three albums in the last 12 months, and the latest is The Ballad Of Dood And Juanita, a thematically ambitious concept album full of traditional Americana sounds. And Wanda Jackson is an 83-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer who says that Encore, out today, will be her final album.
Albums by the effervescent Scottish rock band Vistas, the late jazz legend John Coltrane, the metal-turned-dream-pop band Deafheaven and the brilliant guitarist Nathan Salsburg round out the mix, along with a lightning round full of rising stars and Americana staples. Joined by writer Gavin Godfrey, NPR Music’s Lars Gotrich and Ann Powers, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee’s Tarik Moody and Pop Culture Happy Hour co-host Glen Weldon, guest host Stephen Thompson shares the gang’s picks for the best new albums out Aug. 20.
- Lorde — Solar Power
Featured Song: “The Path”
- Chynna — Drug Opera
Featured Song: “S&M” (feat. A$AP Ant)
- Sturgill Simpson — The Ballad Of Dood And Juanita
Featured Song: “Ol’ Dood (Part 1)”
- Wanda Jackson — Encore
Featured Song: “Two Shots”
- Vistas — What Were You Hoping To Find?
Featured Song: “Young Forever”
- John Coltrane — Another Side Of John Coltrane
Featured Song: “Oleo”
- Deafheaven — Infinite Granite
Featured Song: “Great Mass Of Color”
- Nathan Salsburg — Psalms
Featured Song: “147”
Notable releases for Aug. 20: Orla Gartland — Woman On The Internet; Villagers — Fever Dreams; Angel Olsen — Aisles; Debbie Gibson — The Body Remembers; Wye Oak — Civilian + Cut All The Wires: 2009-2011; Connie Smith — The Cry Of The Heart; Anderson East — May We Never Die; James McMurtry — The Horse And The Hounds; Martha Wainwright — Love Will Be Reborn; Sam Williams — Glasshouse Children; Various Artists — The Bob’s Burgers Music Album Vol. 2; Wolves In The Throne Room — Primordial Arcana