Due to the volume of work Prince produced and never released, coupled with the late singer’s penchant to hold on to his IP, it was inevitable that Prince’s death would create huge opportunities for his estate to cash in on unreleased music. The first full album to do so is Originals, which collects 15 tracks that Prince gave to other artists. The album includes “Nothing Compares 2 You” (Sinead O’Connor), “The Glamorous Life” (Sheila E.), “Manic Monday” (The Bangles), and “Jungle Love” (the Time). The Prince estate insists that they released nothing that wasn’t polished, stating that the songs all date from a period (1981-1985) when Prince was especially focused.
Madonna, Madame X
Madonna is back and the question is most definitely “who will she be this time?” Madonna tries and discards personas at will. This time around, the persona, Madame X, is shrouded in mystery. On Instagram, Madonna teased the album as follows: “Madame X is a secret agent. Traveling around the world. Changing identities. Fighting for freedom. Bringing light to dark places. She is a dancer. A professor. A head of state. A housekeeper. An equestrian. A prisoner. A student. A mother. A child. A teacher. A nun. A singer. A saint. A whore. The spy in the house of love. I’m Madame X.”
Alrighty then! We already got a glimpse into the visuals for this one and it includes eye patches, so whether the music matches the piracy is yet to be seen. The release date is June 14.
The Raconteurs, Help Us Stranger
The Raconteurs have now been around longer than Jack White’s previous engagement, The White Stripes. But they haven’t released new material in the studio for 11 years. The supergroup, which includes White, Brendan Benson, Patrick Keeler, and Jack Lawrence, are back to their old tricks on Help Us Stranger, the sequel to 2008’s Consolers of the Lonely. White made headlines recently talking about how he mixed several singles by sitting in a Tesla listening to the music broadcast on FM radio. White feels this gives him ultimate control over how the songs will sound in a car. The album drops on June 21.
Palehound, Black Friday
Boston trio Palehound return with their third LP, Black Friday. The album is more chill than their normal loud rock. Black Friday includes the spaghetti western single “Killer”, self-care ditty “Worthy” and lead singer Ellen Kempner’s ode to her trans partner, “Aaron.” “Killer” is the real standout, which the band calls a “self-proclaimed murder fantasy” about abusers.
The album drops on June 7.
Tim Heidecker, What The Brokenhearted Do…
Tim Heidecker lives to troll the alt-right and three years ago they got back at him by starting a rumor that Tim’s wife dumped him. Tim’s wife did not dump him, but the episode inspired Heidecker’s new release, What The Brokenhearted Do. On the album, Heidecker pretends that he is going through a divorce. The result is an 11-song album that wallows in breakup pity. The sound can best be described as 1970’s Harry Nillson-ish. The album follows 2017’sToo Dumb for Suicide, which featured protest songs, and 2018’s Another Year in Hell, which also targeted the alt-right. The album debuts on June 7.
Neil Young, Tuscaloosa
Neil Young is still making new music and releasing old singles. His latest, Tuscaloosa consists of an incomplete concert he recorded live at the University of Alabama in 1973. The 11 tracks include songs from Harvest. The tour, with backing band the Stray Gators, was also the subject of the LP Time Fades Away. Neil Young completists will want this one, which is due on June 7.
Baroness, Gold & Grey
Metal heads Baroness are back June 14 with their self-released fifth album, Gold & Grey. The Savannah, GA band has mellowed a bit as they have aged, going from thrashing tunes into something that is more prog but still hard. The album includes new textures over 17 tracks. This is the first album recorded with their new guitarist Gina Gleason.
Bill Callahan, Shepherd In A Sheepskin Vest
Bill Callahan is set to release his first album in six years, Shepherd In A Sheepskin Vest. The double-album reinforces Callahan’s folk cred, reveling in nature and life. In a press release for the album, Callahan describes the 20-songs as “from somewhere beyond his Eagle-Apocalypse-River headspace.” The release goes on to say the album is “very much its own beast.” The songs are a little shorter than his norm, but their volume will leave longtime fans pleased. The album arrives on June 13.
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