With so much good music being released all the time, it can be hard to determine what to listen to first. Every week, Pitchfork offers a run-down of significant new releases available on streaming services. This week’s batch includes new albums from Sufjan Stevens and Angelo De Augustine, Nao, Mas Aya, Andy Shauf, Macie Stewart, Mickey Guyton, and Esperanza Spalding. Subscribe to Pitchfork’s New Music Friday newsletter to get our recommendations in your inbox every week. (All releases featured here are independently selected by our editors. When you buy something through our affiliate links, however, Pitchfork earns an affiliate commission.)
Sufjan Stevens and Angelo De Augustine created the songs on A Beginner’s Mind while tucked away in an upstate New York cabin. The artists played music and watched movies each day during their retreat, and the 12 tracks on their collaborative album are loosely inspired by the films they watched, such as Return to Oz, which influenced their single “Back to Oz.” The LP also includes previously shared tracks “Fictional California,” “Olympus,” and “Reach Out.”
And Then Life Was Beautiful is the follow-up to Nao’s 2018 LP Saturn. The new album features contributions from Serpentwithfeet (“Postcards”), Adekunle Gold (“Antidote”), Lucky Daye (“Good Luck”), and Lianne La Havas (“Woman”). Earlier this summer, Nao shared the record’s title track, as well the single “Messy Love.”
Mas Aya is the pseudonym of Toronto composer, producer, and percussionist Brandon Valdivia. Máscaras follows his 2017 LP Nikan. The new album was mixed and mastered by Matt Smith, and includes the songs “Momento Presente,” “Tiemp Ahora” with Lido Pimienta, and “Quiescence.” In addition to his solo work as Mas Aya, Valdivia has played in bands like the Cosmic Range, I Have Eaten the City, and more.
More than a year and a half after The Neon Skyline, Andy Shauf announced Wilds on short notice following the single “Spanish on the Beach” earlier this month. “Jeremy’s Wedding” and “Judy,” Neon Skyline B-sides that Shauf released last year, appear on the record, along with this week’s “Jaywalker.”
After releasing Fantasize Your Ghost as half of Chicago’s Ohmme last year, arranger and multi-instrumentalist Macie Stewart assembled a solo full-length for Owen Ashworth’s Orindal Records. On Mouth Full of Glass, Stewart focuses on airy fingerpicked acoustic guitar compositions, fleshed out with touches of electronics and strings. She shared the title track, “Finally,” and “Garter Snake” ahead of the record’s arrival.
Remember Her Name is the long-overdue debut album from country singer-songwriter Mickey Guyton. Despite being signed to Capitol for a decade and releasing a few EPs, she had yet to issue a full-length record, the result of a series of setbacks that Guyton attributed to prejudice in the country music industry. Guyton’s Grammy-nominated “Black Like Me” appears on the record, as does a cover of Beyoncé’s “If I Were a Boy.”
Each piece on Esperanza Spalding’s Songwrights Apothecary Lab is intended to evoke different responses from the listener, approaching the question of “What do you need a song for song for?” Wayne Shorter and Raphael Saadiq are among several guests on the project, which includes the three pieces that Spalding released as the Triangle suite earlier this year.