7 New Albums You Should Listen to Now: Zach Bryan, Kokoko!, and More

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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 Zach Bryan; Kokoko!; 42 Dugg; Fire-Toolz; Jeff Mills; Jordina Millà & Barry Guy; and Norma Winstone & Kit Downes. 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.)


Zach Bryan: The Great American Bar Scene [Warner]

Zach Bryan was bigger and bolder than ever on last year’s Zach Bryan, an album that Sam Sodomsky described as “very ambitious” and “very serious,” suggesting, too, that the Oklahoma country singer-songwriter was influenced by statements like Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago and Bruce Springsteen’s The River. His ambitions continue to grow on a rootsy new album, The Great American Bar Scene, that features John Mayer, Tulsa’s John Moreland, and, fittingly, Bruce Springsteen. Bryan previewed the album with the plaintive singles “Pink Skies” and “Purple Gas.”

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Kokoko!: Butu [Transgressive]

Fronted by singer-percussionist Makara Bianko, Kokoko! strike up a jamboree of percussion and electronics on their second album, Butu. The Congolese collective adds tales of nightlife excess to the political currents of debut FongolaButu translates as The Night—adding a bacchanalian dimension to their already gleefully danceable sound.

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42 Dugg: 4eva Us, Neva Them [CMG/4PF/Interscope]

Leading in to 4eva Us, Neva Them, 42 Dugg presented contrasting showcases of his range, following up the confrontational “Win Wit Us” with the uproarious, Sexyy Red–featuring “N.P.O.” (“No Panties On”). The Detroit rapper, whose last solo album was 2021’s Free Dem Boyz, enlists additional guests including Meek Mill, EST Gee, and Lil Baby for the new record.

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Fire-Toolz: Breeze [Angel Marcloid Music]

Angel Marcloid’s latest as Fire-Toolz—one of her many aliases—collects 14 antsy compositions recorded over the past four years, during which time she sallied deeper into deathcore and death metal, she said in press materials. Infernal vocals crawl across her wondrously maximalist soundscapes, wraithlike interlopers in a euphoric swirl of jazz fusion, Midwest emo, and digital new age. Contributors include Sam Greenfield, Nylist, Lipsticism, and Cole Pulice, among others.

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Jeff Mills: The Eye Witness [Axis]

Techno originator Jeff Mills, now given to beguiling and ambitious electronic compositions, takes a decidedly big-picture view of world affairs on The Eye Witness, a concept album of sorts about “the leftover residue of harsh reality so impactful that it shapes the way you imagine, envision and calculate your position in regard to everything and everyone around you,” as he put it in press materials. The result is a suite of characteristically intricate, ambient symphonies that border neoclassical, as on “Menticide,” one of several tracks concerned with malign influences on public thought.

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Jordina Millà & Barry Guy: Live in Munich [ECM]

Double-bassist Barry Guy and free-associative pianist Jordina Millà recorded this album of cascading improvisations at Schwere Reiter, a home to Munich’s free art scene. Guy tugs to and fro against Millà’s particle-rush of melody and noise, which often makes use of the piano interior. “To work with these colors is a great challenge and joy!” Guy exclaimed in press materials.

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Norma Winstone & Kit Downes: Outpost of Dreams [ECM]

After tracking down the pianist Kit Downes as a last-minute concert backup, the British jazz singer Norma Winstone (recently sampled, to much surprise, on Drake’s “IDGAF”) hit the studio with her new musical partner for her first ECM album in six years. The duo strikes a tone between theater and introspection, fulfilling Downes’ wish, in an 80th birthday tribute to Winstone, to “jump off musical cliffs together.” Compositions include new pieces by Downes and old ones by Carla Bley, Ralph Towner, and John Taylor, plus the traditional songs “Black Is the Colour” and “Rowing Home.”

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