Dark times lie ahead of us, and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.
– Albus Dumbledore

When so much is going on in the world, it’s easy to get lost in the darkness. It can overshadow everything else. Thankfully, this week’s list of new album releases features several LPs guaranteed to help bring a little bit of light to an otherwise bleak week.

Benny BenassiDanceaholic
This week, Benny Benassi is putting out his first full-length artist album in five years, and the producer isn’t holding back on the collaborations; this house music record is filled with features from artists such as Chris Brown, John Legend, David Zowie, MOGUAI, and Vassy.

Benny Benassi - Danceaholic

Chrissy & HawleyChrissy & Hawley
This self-titled album is a new project for DJ/producer Chrissy (known for his DJ residency at the legendary Chicago nightclub Smart Bar and releases on labels like Classic, Freerange, Planet Mu, and Hypercolour) and Hawley (a Chicago-based singer-songwriter with a distinctive voice). Chrissy & Hawley met in Chicago and began working together on this debut album, which melds Chrissy’s emotional dance music with Hawley’s catchy melodies and poignant lyrics.

Chrissy & Hawley– Chrissy & Hawley

Clams Casino32 Levels
Producer Mike Volpe is releasing his first full album, and it seems to be a mixtape of Volpe’s contacts folder, featuring guest vocals from A$AP Rocky, Vince Staples, Lil B, Kelela, Sam Dew, Joe Newman, Mikky Ekko, Kelly Zutrau, and Samuel Herring. 32 Levels showcases the artist’s producing strengths and gives him a platform for exhibiting his growth as a producer, from sampling from LimeWire to creating sounds and beats on his own.

Clams Casino - 32 Levels

Dirty HeadsDirty Heads
Six-piece unit Dirty Heads follows up their 2014 release, Sound of Change, with a new self-titled album that maintains the feel-good vibe and high quality production of its predecessor. Don’t forget to head over to the Dirty Heads’ website and enter their #ThatsAllINeed contest for your chance to win their DH summer survival kit!

Dirty Heads

Good CharlotteYouth Authority
If the return of Blink-182 wasn’t enough to satisfy the hair straightening/lip piercing teenager in your heart, then be prepared to really bring them out for the reemergence of Good Charlotte. Youth Authority is the band’s first album since 2010, and the two brothers at the helm have each gotten married in the interim. Still, they know how to tug at the pop-punk heart strings, so make sure to grab some black eyeliner before singing along to lyrics like “You know they say that nothing lasts forever / You know they said we’d never stay together / It’s a long way down / Can’t turn back now.”

Good Charlotte Youth Authority

HeliotropesOver There That Way
Brooklyn band Heliotropes is back with a fresh lineup on its second album, Over There That Way, which is filled with powerful melodies that are made to sparkle when combined with a little psychedelic panache. Founding member Jessica Numsuwankijkul alternates between being the focus of the record and sitting shotgun to the beauty of the instruments. A highlight is the wonderful melding of male and female voices on the title track.


Jeff BeckLoud Hailer
Everyone expresses their choice in politics in different ways (whether it’s a Bernie bumper sticker, a Facebook meme comparing Hilary Clinton to Dolores Umbridge, or a funny picture of Trump looking like an Umpa-Lumpa), but guitar legend Jeff Beck is obviously politically engaged. In the past, he has been willing to put his well-known name on public potshots at David Cameron and Rupert Murdoch, and he’s now releasing an album to tell the world just what he thinks about politics today.

Jeff Beck Loud Hailer

Michael KiwanukaLove & Hate
When “Black Man in a White World,” the first single from Michael Kiwanuka’s second album, was released, Kiwanuka described it as “slave music.” Handclaps and a’capella vocals eventually gravitate towards an agitated-sounding backing vocal track repeating the title over and over again. Love & Hate is the work of an artist coming into his own, and it touches on subjects of both race and identity in a profound and moving way.

Michael Kiwanuka - Love and Hate

Steven JulienFallen
Since he began recording in 2009 under the moniker FunkinEven, London electronic musician Steven Julien has specialized in no-frills house and techno with a stripped-down setup of synthesizer and drum machine. Fallen marks Steven’s first major release under his own name and seems to be a transitional record for him. The album is broken into two halves and follows a loose kind of narrative. The first half takes the lighter house route while the second is filled with the kind of grit most of the techno snobs I know seem to love, so in their words, it’s “techyes.”

Steven Julien - Fallen

The Paranoid StyleRolling Disclosure
As former lobbyists and sometime rock critics, the D.C.-based Nelson/Bracy collaboration isn’t shying away from the political wellspring from which their band grew. They named their group after Richard Hofstadter’s semi-annual essay in Harper’s Bazaar, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” which was penned in 1964 against the backdrop of an ascendant Barry Goldwater. Filled with doomsday anthems and an impressive array of literary references, Rolling Disclosure will satisfy your need for female-driven rock and probably teach you a little something, too.

The Paranoid Style - Rolling Disclosure