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 Doja Cat; Yeule; Chai; Chappell Roan; Laurel Halo; MIKE, Wiki & The Alchemist; Loraine James; Föllakzoid; and Eartheater. 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.)
Doja Cat: Scarlet [Kemosabe/RCA]
Never a stranger to confrontation or controversy, Doja Cat has released her Planet Her follow-up Scarlet, declaring a new era for herself with the single “Attention” in June. She released the Dionne Warwick–sampling single “Paint the Town Red” ahead of the more recent “Demons” and “Balut.” Amid the previews, Doja Cat released and quickly replaced the album’s artwork after fans pointed out its resemblance to the cover of a German metal band’s new LP.
Yeule: Softscars [Ninja Tune]
After last year’s Glitch Princess, Singaporean synth-pop producer Yeule returns with Softscars, their first LP for Ninja Tune. “It’s like I turned into an AI and my soul left my body, and now I’m an AI trying to find out what it means to feel like a human being,” they told Pitchfork about their experience making the album, which addresses themes of scars, love, dysmorphia, and recovery. Read Pitchfork’s review of Softscars, and check out “Logging Off and Rocking Out With yeule, Pop’s Internet Explorer” on the Pitch.
Chai: Chai [Sub Pop]
Chai keep their priorities in order, making sure never to lose the fun in their music. And the Japanese pop-rock quartet’s self-titled third album is a full-on nostalgia trip, pastel chords and bubblegum synths infused with the bouncy rock rhythms for which they’re known. The singles “We the Female!” and “Para Para” indicate they’re smiling through it all.
Chappell Roan: The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess [Amusement/Island]
The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess is the debut album from Missouri-born pop artist Chappell Roan. The record was produced by Olivia Rodrigo collaborator Dan Nigro, and includes ballads lamenting unrequited love (like “Casual”), alongside ecstatic pop cuts such as “Hot to Go!” and “Red Wine Supernova.” Across the 14-track LP, Roan relays “stories of unearthing my true self and fearlessly embracing queerness,” as she put it in press materials. She added that the album “mirrors the rollercoaster of becoming the popstar I always wanted to be.”
Laurel Halo: Atlas [Awe]
For her new album, Atlas, Los Angeles–based composer Laurel Halo created abstract soundscapes from electronic and acoustic instruments, reacquainting herself with the piano and enlisting a number of friends to play across its 10 songs. The ambient jazz LP is Halo’s debut release on her new imprint, Awe, and it features saxophonist Bendik Giske, violinist James Underwood, cellist Lucy Railton, and singer Coby Sey. Here, Halo’s pieces sound free-flowing and liquid, with only the occasional accent—Giske’s gurling sax, Underwood’s arching violin—rupturing the surface.
MIKE, Wiki & The Alchemist: Faith Is a Rock [ALC]
The Alchemist may hail from Beverly Hills, but the prolific producer’s moody and cinematic beats have helped define significant swaths of the New York rap scene, from Mobb Deep, Nas, and Dilated Peoples to Armand Hammer, Action Bronson, and Roc Marciano. For his latest album, he links with MIKE and Wiki, two of the New York underground’s sharpest talents, grizzled veterans despite having yet to graduate from their twenties. Twinkling piano keys and sweeping strings make for a vibe complementary to MIKE’s emotional intelligence and Wiki’s battle-earned wisdom, sure to appease each artist’s fan bases.
Loraine James: Gentle Confrontation [Hyperdub]
Loraine James was envisioning the album she would have made as a teenager when she cut her latest release, Gentle Confrontation. With song titles like, “I DM U,” “One Way Ticket to the Midwest (Emo),” and “2003,” you can glimpse a bit of the musician and producer’s inspiration. The 16-song LP features guest spots from the likes of Marina Herlop, KeiyaA, Ritchie, Contour, Corey Mastrangelo, and others. James accents her subdued vocals—and those of her contributors—with bracing beats and glimmering washes of synthesizer.
Föllakzoid: V [Sacred Bones]
V is the fifth album from the long-running Chilean psychedelic and experimental outfit Föllakzoid. Leader Domingæ and remote producer AtomTM worked on the album over the course of a month, editing and layering dozens of stems. The latest in a series of albums released with Sacred Bones, it follows 2019’s I.
Eartheater: Powders [Chemical X]
New York–based experimental pop artist, composer, and producer Alexandra Drewchin has released her sixth studio album under the name Eartheater. The follow-up to 2020’s Phoenix: Flames Are Dew Upon My Skin was was largely put together at Sunset Sound in Hollywood. It features a cover of System of a Down’s “Chop Suey.” The follow-up sister album Aftermath is due in 2024.