St. VincentSt. Vincent (Republic)

Annie Clark took some of that David Byrne grease-shine from their 2012 collab, and applied it to an album of clinical surreality mixed with wildly unhinged fucking shredding. – LP

ScHoolboy QOxymoron (TDE/Interscope)

ScHoolboy Q sure had us on the edge there for a minute. We had to wade through months and months of release delays to get to this moment, but we finally made it. Oxymoron places Q in stronger footing than 2012’s Habits & Contradictions, whether in the hot-jump of Man Of The Year or the dark snarl of Break The Bank, where Q’s throwing-bricks flow is king. – LP

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial OrchestraFuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything (Constellation)

The Montreal collective takes the “Tra-La-La Band” off their moniker, says “fuck off” in the title and, well you get the idea. While still sprawling and psychy, they get apocalyptically serious lyrically, even if strings and swooping keyboards keep their looping, tumbling sounds intermittently, oddly lovely. – ED

TweensTweens (Frenchkiss)

This Queen City trio make chewy-gooey punk with the spunk of teens and the smarts of 20-something scene vets, which they are. The best guitar-grabbing debut so far this year. – ED

Sharon Van EttenAre We There (Jagjaguwar)

There’s a moment in the single Your Love Is Killing Me when Sharon Van Etten’s voice reaches so far into crushing intensity dimensions that her vowels start to get swallowed up in her pained crescendo. This encapsulates the feeling of the entire album: stomach-clenching emotions wrapped in vocals so painfully raw you might forget how to speak. – LP

White ReaperWhite Reaper EP (Polyvinyl)

Twin brothers and a sneering singer make searing pop for a post-Burger underbelly. They eschew some of that camp and opt for stingy guitars, lil’ pricks of synth, and the inertia you get from doing it all in the simmering Louisville, KY, scene. – ED

Young Thug x Bloody JayBlack Portland (Self-Released)

Atlanta must be some kind of hot breeding ground for surreal, untethered yalp-rap, and Young Thug is the poster child for it. His Black Portland mixtape with Bloody Jay earlier this year is easily one of the most endlessly listenable things to come out of DatPiff in months. It’s amazing. It’s amazing. – LP