Francesca Cepero/Courtesy of the artist
We open this week’s show with Olivia Rodrigo, the actress-turned-pop star whose debut single “Drivers License” topped the Billboard Hot 100 for eight weeks earlier this year. Now, she’s released her debut album Sour, which expands Rodrigo’s template to include Taylor Swiftian acoustic folk and jagged, ’90s-inspired pop-punk. Patrick Paige II, the bassist for the experimental R&B group The Internet, has a new album of clever and creative hip-hop called If I Fail, Are We Still Cool? And Allison Russell, known as one-half of Birds of Chicago and one-fourth of Our Native Daughters, just released a thoughtful and beautiful, deeply reflective, ultimately triumphant solo collection called Outside Child.
Albums by funky and inventive multi-hyphenate Georgia Anne Muldrow, clever singer-rapper Audrey Nuna and rising Danish pop and R&B star Erika de Casier round out the mix, along with a lightning round full of big stars and intriguing discoveries. Joined by Alt.Latino‘s Anamaria Sayre, NPR Music producer Bobby Carter, WXPN’s John Morrison and 88Nine Radio Milwaukee’s Tarik Moody, guest host Stephen Thompson shares the gang’s picks for the best new albums out May 21.
- Olivia Rodrigo — Sour
Featured Song: “Brutal”
- Patrick Paige II — If I Fail, Are We Still Cool?
Featured Song: “Curfew”
- Allison Russell — Outside Child
Featured Song: “4th Day Prayer”
- Georgia Anne Muldrow — VWETO III
Featured Song: “Old Jack Swing”
- Audrey Nuna — A Liquid Breakfast
Featured Song: “Damn Right”
- Erika de Casier — Sensational
Featured Song: “Polite”
Notable releases for May 21: Twenty One Pilots — Scaled and Icy; Blake Shelton — Body Language; Counting Crows — Butter Miracle, Suite One; Mdou Moctar — Afrique Victime; CHAI — Wink; Lambchop, Showtunes; Lord Huron — Long Lost; Edmar Castañeda — Family; Sunny Jain — Phoenix Rise; Rising Appalachia — The Lost Mystique of Being in the Know; Claire George — The Land Beyond the Light; BLK JKS — Abantu: Before Humans