Get ready for the heat—the Love/Lust issue is coming your way! The issue is chock-full of stories about relationships, desire, sex, and more, but there are also some great music recommendations to blast while reading your issue. (Full warning: You might be tempting to put the magazine down and start dancing.) And make sure not to miss our interview with Nona Aronowitz Willis on her mother Ellen Willis's legacy as a music journalist in the pages as well. Here's an aural sampling of what's inside the new issue.
1. Meshell Ndegeocello – Comet, Come to Me (page 76), On her 11th studio album, Meshell Ndegeocello effortlessly floats through genres, from folk to rap to the could-be-pop-hit “Conviction.” Also check out the awesome opening track “Friends,” a cover of Whodini's '80s hit and our interview with Ndegeocello about her new album.
2. Yesway – Yesway (page 78), Emily Ritz and Kacey Johansing, the San Francisco musicians who make up Yesway, were meant to sing together. The duo's debut self-released album features glimmering vocals and lulling harmonies that are complimented with sparse percussion, simple guitar, and unique time signatures that prove that Ritz and Johansing know not just how to share vocals, but really make music together.
3. FKA twigs – LP1 (page 77), With a whisper and not a bang, FKA twigs, aka Tahliah Barnett, is slowly taking over popular music. The R&B star has roots in dance and her years as a backup dancer come through on her first full length album. Throughout LP1 and specifically on tracks like the experimental “Pendulum" and the confessional “Lights On,” FKA twigs delivers her message with a slow beat, understated melody, and ethereal vocal, but this minimal sound is garnering her both commercial and critical acclaim.
4. Le Butcherettes – Cry Is for the Flies (page 76), Le Butcherettes' front-woman Teri Gender Bender is back in full force after taking a break from the feminist garage rock group to work on side projects. This second release from the band is tighter and features a variety of high profile guest performances from Henry Rollins to Shirley Manson.
5. Katie Kate – Nation (page 79), Classically trained musician and self-proclaimed “frontier of future pop” Katie Kate does it all. The Seattle-based artist raps, sings, and does spoken word, all over some of the most danceable beats out there. Kate's sound is confident, but on Nation it is clear she's not worried about allowing emotion and vulnerability to infiltrate her music, something that sets her aside from all that other “future pop.”
6. Priests – Bodies and Control and Money and Power (page 76), Katie Alice Greer has a lot of bones to pick on punk group Priests' debut album. She's mad at President Obama (“And Breeding”) and republicans (“Right Ring”). Each song is an anthem and Greer's wailing vocals are leading the march.
7. !Aparato¡ – !APARATO¡ (page 77), Duo !Aparato¡ describe their music as “traditional Mexican instruments meets the extraterrestrial.” The group (Cat Mendez and Alexandro D. Hernández Guitérrez) use their music to examine the experience of being stuck in-between identities, be it English and Spanish or traditional and modern as well as the struggles faced by undocumented people on tracks like “Estrellitas” and “Kriminal.”
8. Fatima – Yellow Memories (page 79), Swedish-born, New York-based Fatima has taken inspiration from R&B icons who have come before her, from Diana Ross to Janelle Monáe, but Fatima's sound is more tUnE-yArDs than '70s Soul Train. Fatima floats from reggae (“Family”) to electronic-meets-R&B (“Circle”) to forge a sound that if not consistent is never boring.
9. Mortals – Cursed to See the Future (page 78), Brooklyn-based metal group Mortals pack a bunch in this six-song LP. While the group's black metal influences are clear, guitarist Elizabeth Cline mixes in groove-inspired riffs and vocalist/bassist Lesley Wolf's lyrics are dark, but powerful. Those who believe that black metal is a boys club need to take note.
10. The Cold and Lovely – Ellis Bell (page 79), The only disappointing part about shoe gazers The Cold and Lovely's sophomore release is that it didn't happen sooner. The side-project of veteran musicians Nicole Fiorentino (bass) and producer and multi-instrumentalist Meghan Toohey is ambitious from the opening track “Doll,” but does not disappoint. The EP has a '90s vibe with modern production that is a breath of fresh air.