Want to press refresh on your music? Check out these new releases

Abby Shewmaker

Though the pandemic has been a challenging time for most, it has also brought introspection and self-discovery, which has inspired many artists to release new music. These new releases have not disappointed and make up for the fact that experiencing live music won’t be a possibility for a long time. From pop to rock to rap and R&B, here are four new albums to check out while staying home.


Marking her spot at the top, Flo Milli shows she is a force to be reckoned with in her debut mixtape, “Ho, Why is You Here.” Image courtesy of RCA Records.

“Ho, Why is You Here?” by Flo Milli – 4/5 

Newcomer to the rap arena, Flo Milli shows that she is here to stay with her mixtape, “Ho, Why is You Here,” released this summer. You may already know many of this mixtape’s songs from TikTok, where several of the tracks went viral before it’s release. Songs like “The Party” and “Beef FloMix” inspired popular dance video trends that dominated the social media scene for the summer. This playful mixtape is as confident as it is breezy, with a snappy flow that just begs to be sung along to. After only a few times listening to the mixtape, there were a few songs I could not get out of my head, like “May I,” “Not Friendly” and “The Party.”



“The Ascension” by Sufjan Stevens – 3/5 

Surprisingly, Sufjan Stevens’s eighth studio album takes an electronic turn in “The Ascension.” Image courtesy of Asthmatic Kitty Records.

“The Ascension” marks the eighth studio album release for Sufjan Stevens, as well as an evolution of his sound. Stevens is well known among the indie rock community for albums such as “Carrie and Lowell” and “Illinois,” although some may know him for his Academy Award-nominated contributions to the soundtrack of the film “Call Me By Your Name.” Fans of Stevens and those albums may find themselves alienated by his most recent work. The electro-pop sound seemingly came out of nowhere, considering his previous discography of primarily indie rock and folk albums. The gorgeous lyrics that Stevens consistently brings to his work are ever-present in this album. However, this does not make up for the jarring production and general awkwardness of most of the tracks. Though the intricacies and quality of this work should be appreciated, “The Ascension” is likely not to lure dedicated fans. Standout songs include “Run Away With Me,” “Die Happy” and “Death Star.”


Keeping spirits high, Yung Gravy keeps the fun going with his third album, “Gasanova.” Image courtesy of Republic Records.

“Gasanova” by Yung Gravy – 3/5

Yung Gravy returns with his third studio album with the release of “Gasanova,” a 38-minute interlude filled with Gravy’s signature charming and humorous lyrics over mostly classic jazz beats. The features on this album include Y2K, Ski Mask the Slump God, bbno$ and Chief Keef, each bringing their own personalities and styles into this album. “Gasanova” is by no means a masterpiece, but it’s fun, silly and packed with amusing lines such as “Gravy got the drip and the cheese like I’m fondue/All of y’all been on one, congrats, b****, I’m on too” and catchy choruses. The most entertaining tracks are “yup!,” “Tampa Bay Bustdown” and “Gas Money.”


“Zeros” by Declan McKenna – 5/5

Bringing out-of-this-world stories to life, Declan McKenna’s sophomore album “Zeros” does not disappoint. Image courtesy of Columbia Records.

Declan McKenna’s sophomore album, “Zeros” pays clear homage to his Britrock predecessors of David Bowie, U2 and The Beatles, while combining them with fresh modern takes.Zeros” is a concept album, following survivors of the end of the world, flying through space as they grapple with the gravity of their situation. Through this lens, McKenna explores a variety of themes prevalent in today’s political sphere, such as climate change and surveillance capitalism, as well as parallels between the 1960s space-age and today. The concept album works well, as the songs both fit nicely into the story and work well on their own. The rousing production, clever lyricism and storytelling make for an enjoyable listening experience. The best songs on this album are “You Better Believe!!,” “Daniel, You’re Still a Child” and “The Key to Life on Earth.”

Although a few of the releases were disappointing in their own ways, I would still recommend giving any of these albums a listen.


Check out the best songs from each album in this playlist!