Editors' Choice for June, 2019

Needle & Thread Entertainment
While lyrics grapple with societal and personal tensions, the psych-pop band's fourth album is again ruled by catchy, inviting songs.
- Marcy Donelson
BIS
Amid strong recent competition, a standout recording of Saint-Saëns' last three piano concertos.
- James Manheim
Smalltown Supersound
Marking another change from his earlier releases, the Norwegian producer embraces experimental electro on this short, stunning album.
- Paul Simpson
Crammed Discs
Reissue collects key tracks from this obscure early-'80s duo whose strange take on pop predicted sounds yet to come.
- Fred Thomas
Abraxan Hymns
With new guitarist Gina Gleason, the band deliver their most diverse, kaleidoscopic, intricate release to date.
- Thom Jurek
Capitol / Virgin EMI
Chronicling the ups and downs of a night out with friends, the band's relatable third album celebrates living in the moment.
- Heather Phares
Drag City
The singer/songwriter's first album in six years tackles life, love, and death with a refreshing and thought-provoking lightness.
- Heather Phares
Rough Trade
An imaginative and restless debut from the shape-shifting London art punks.
- Fred Thomas
International Anthem
The Chicago ensemble led by Damon Locks weds poetry to prewar African-American gospel, spiritual jazz, and politics into a sublime whole.
- Thom Jurek
Columbia / Sony Music
This sprawling box captures the mystery and magic of the songwriter's star-studded carnivalesque 1975 tour in rehearsal, over five shows, and in rarities.
- Thom Jurek
Because Music
Album five from Berlin's "techno without the technology" trio, again with strings and brass, plays out like a sequel to 2013's Miami.
- Andy Kellman
Columbia / Sony Music
A beguiling evocation of the hippie twilight of the early 1970s.
New West
This duet album from the songwriters is Julie's first release in a decade, and she makes the most of the showcase.
- Mark Deming
III
Bobo Integral
The third album from the indie folk solo act gone full band sounds effortlessly rich and understated.
- Fred Thomas
Sub Pop
Almost 15 years after they made In the Reins, the two Americana titans rekindle their collaboration for a set of expansive country-folk ballads.
- Tim Sendra
BIS
Impressively versatile thematic recital by soprano Carolyn Sampson covering English and French songs depicting famous madwomen.
- James Manheim
Agati / Banana & Louie Records
Lovely album that joyfully combines relaxed Welsh indie pop with the warm sounds of Brazil and South America.
- Tim Sendra
BMG
A seductive '90s R&B- and SoundCloud rap-influenced sophomore album from the Australian trio.
- Matt Collar
Soul Music
R&B
Sharp two-disc overview of the singer, songwriter, and producer's eight years with Columbia, including all of her charting singles and much more.
- Andy Kellman
Winspear
The excellent third album from the laid-back Chicago indie band folds in Latin pop, chillwave, neo-disco, and soft rock with relaxed skill.
- Tim Sendra
Glossa
In the hands of historical-performance virtuoso Biondi, a hitherto unheard Stradivari comes alive.
- James Manheim
Wichita
The L.A. trio's fourth album finds them scaling back their shoegaze approach to something home-cooked and proudly lo-fi.
- Tim Sendra
Merge
Eric D. Johnson's project makes its Merge Records debut with a tuneful, warmly nostalgic seventh album.
- Marcy Donelson
Alpha
Fascinating examination of early instrumental music as it grew into sensuous effects divorced from the "reason" of vocal polyphony.
- James Manheim
Provogue
To celebrate their 25th anniversary, the hard-rocking quartet deliver one of their finest live recordings for their fans.
- Thom Jurek
Ondine
Gorgeous presentation of recent Saariaho works could serve as an introduction to this composer's music.
- James Manheim
Double Double Whammy
The Australian singer/songwriter's first full-length adds some twists -- and some edge -- to her ultra-catchy dream pop.
- Heather Phares
What's Yr Rupture?
Another album's worth of short, fragmented neo-psych songs that shine like shattered diamonds.
- Tim Sendra
Cabin 24 Records
Inspired by Stranger Things, Michaelson crafts an album about finding a safe place of love in an upside-down world.
- Matt Collar
Bella Union
The South Korean post-rock group follow their Olympic performance with their fittingly ambitious third full-length.
- Paul Simpson
Soul Music
R&B
The biggest and best-known '60s sides from this renowned soul duo come together in this anthology.
- Mark Deming
Jamestown Revival Recordings
By looking inward, the Austin duo have crafted their most outwardly satisfying collection of folk- and country-inflected Americana songs to date
- James Christopher Monger
Fire Records
A collection of reimagined songs from the singer/producer's pair of transcendent albums from 2015 (Silver Globe) and 2017 (Modern Kosmology).
- Tim Sendra
American Recordings
The London poet and rapper holds up a mirror to reveal our most vulnerable reflections on her powerful third LP.
- Timothy Monger
BMG
A career-spanning collection of Kylie's biggest hits, best songs, and thrilling pop classics recorded between 1987 and 2018.
- Tim Sendra
Brilliant Classics
Superb Arvo Pärt performances from a small Renaissance-oriented vocal group.
- James Manheim
New West
R&B
The debut of the eclectic Austin-based combo delivers a hip-shaking amalgam of pop, soul, R&B, funk, gospel, and psychedelic rock.
- James Christopher Monger
Linn Records
Gorgeous, emotionally intense renditions of Schütz's small-scale motets.
- James Manheim
Epitaph
On their Epitaph debut, the Philadelphia punk combo turns in a layered and pleasingly diverse set without losing their edge.
- Timothy Monger
Harmonia Mundi
Brilliant virtuoso works for recorder by Handel and others, astonishingly cleanly performed.
- James Manheim
Paradise of Bachelors
The fifth album from this ever-shifting songwriter is made up of her best songs and most controlled arrangements.
- Fred Thomas
Reprise / Warner Bros.
A sometimes moody but engaging 1973 concert from the same tour that produced the album Time Fades Away.
- Mark Deming
Linn Records
Vocally gorgeous rendering of a rarely heard piece of English-language music by Byrd.
- James Manheim
Polyvinyl
On the Boston band's third LP, singer/songwriter Ellen Kempner turns her sensitive gaze toward themes of love and compassion.
- Timothy Monger
ECM
An archival live document from the 1999 tour that showcased the gifts and potential of this all-too-infrequent virtuoso trio.
- Thom Jurek
Southern Lord Records
The post-metal instrumentalists' sixth full-length effort showcases the band at their funereal best.
- James Christopher Monger
Domino
The second album of the former Only One's comeback is tougher, tighter, and just as welcome as the first.
- Tim Sendra
Exploding in Sound
Harsh and melodic metal-shoegaze-indie hybrid made with skill and deep feels by a member of Stove.
- Tim Sendra
Verve
A stunning jazz-rooted solo return, released as the singer celebrates the 50th year of Earth, Wind & Fire.
- Andy Kellman
Warp
The tenth studio album from the British IDM duo is inspired by humanity's relationship with synthetic objects.
- Paul Simpson
Believe Direct Limited / Marathon / Marathon Artists / What Reality? Records
Blazing guitar work and clever melodies mark the Australian psych combo's intricate third outing.
- Timothy Monger
Epitaph
Improving production and writing, the Minnesota band mature from D.I.Y. punks to indie rock songsmiths.
- Neil Z. Yeung
Western Vinyl Records
The composer and multi-instrumentalist blends the moods of his soundtrack work with ambient electronic textures on his third solo album.
- Paul Simpson
Blue Note
A thought-provoking spoken word and jazz collaboration between writer/painter Danny Simmons and bassist Ron Carter.
- Matt Collar
Concord / Decca
The Santana band teams with Spanish vocal superstar Concha Buika on their most satisfying group album since the 1970s.
- Thom Jurek
Touch & Go
The authorized release of two BBC Radio sessions from Steve Albini and company captures their live approach brilliantly.
- Mark Deming
Supraphon
Fine performances of three little-known Russian trios from the end of the 19th century.
- James Manheim
Matador
Thanks to its rock-solid performances and unusual set list, this 2008 live album is a testament to the band's enduring power.
Verve
Hidden in the vaults for 58 years, this 1961 concert showcases the saxophonist during a muscular period of creative transition.
- Thom Jurek
Saddle Creek Records
The Michigander with the distinctive punk twang offers up another doozy, this time with an assist from Car Seat Headrest's Will Toledo.
- Marcy Donelson
Beyond Beyond Is Beyond
On their best work to date, the experimental electronic duo offer patiently unfolding ambient sprawl and lively, Krautrock-inspired synth meditations.
- Fred Thomas
Nonesuch
The Black Keys reconvene for a colorful album that sounds like a fantasy jukebox.
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Megaforce / Silver Arrow Records
The CRB best funky mid-'70s Grateful Dead with this buoyant album.
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Hopeless Records
The emo outfit's second album after a five-year hiatus is an anthemic statement of struggle and survival.
- Matt Collar
Company Records
The sibling duo conjure an intoxicating dream of late-'60s California romance and trippy AM pop vibes on their follow-up to A Love Supreme.
- Matt Collar
Korda Records
An assured album of mature sophistication that retains all of the melodic dream pop lyricism of the Ocean Blue's early work.
- Matt Collar
Third Man Records
The Raconteurs enliven classic rock and pop forms on this lively, satisfying album.
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine
ABKCO Records
A new expanded edition features a host of unreleased material, primarily from the other artists on the bill.
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Coro / CORO
Not exactly a greatest-hits collection by The Sixteen, but one aimed at showing the diversity of their catalog.
- James Manheim
Naxos
Superb performances by violinist Yang and cellist Schwabe that do justice to the distinctive qualities of each concerto.
- James Manheim
Jagjaguwar
Online trolling indirectly inspires a superb homage to '70s soft rock breakup music that could pass for the real thing.
- Mark Deming
Merge
A stripped-to-the-frame exercise in fast, loud punk rock.
Fire Records
The group responds to late-2010s xenophobia with beguiling psychedelic pop that's equally welcoming and unusual.
- Heather Phares
Various Artists
Atlantic
The 50th anniversary box commemorating Woodstock is the first set to contain music from every artist on the legendary festival's bill.
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Interscope / Polydor
A polished sophomore album from the Ithaca trio that magnifies all of their soulful pop, rock, and hip-hop inclinations.
- Matt Collar
Steinway & Sons
Fine performances of Hahn's giant set of miniatures that captures their sparsity.
- James Manheim
Rhino / Warner Bros.
A 50th anniversary celebration of ZZ Top that tells their entire history in detail.
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine