7 essential new albums to stream on Spotify, Apple Music and more

J Hus Beautiful and Brutal Yard
(Image credit: Black Butter Records)

Whether you’re a Spotify streamer, an Amazon Music HD aficionado, an Apple Music maven or prefer to tune in to Tidal, it’s been a brilliant week for new music. Taylor Swift continues her re-recording and re-evaluation of her back catalog, J Hus is blowing minds and there's an extraordinary new recording from a jazz giant too.

You'll usually find that new albums and single releases drop on all of the best music streaming services simultaneously, but some platforms also offer platform exclusives. For example, if you're a fan of Lewis Capaldi, his current album is available as an Apple Music Edition with extra tracks (and while bonus tracks aren't always essential, there's some really great stuff on that one). However, all of the albums here should be available on your preferred streamer today.

From state-of-the-art electronic music to genre-busting rap, an old favorite and an amazing blast from the past, these are the albums we think you should add to your playlists this week.

J Hus: Beautiful and Brutal Yard

The London rapper’s third album is attracting rave reviews from everywhere, uniting Pitchfork and broadsheet newspapers in their praise of this very English take on G-funk, Afrobeat and rap. The Guardian’s resident critic Alexis Petridis says it’s a superb record apart from “some terrible sex puns”, adding that it's “a curiously polarised album, which keeps flipping from bleak, raw-throated street reportage to easygoing, sun-kissed stuff that frequently sees J Hus ramping up his Gambian accent”. NME says it’s “a triumphant summer blast… [that] taps Drake, Burna Boy and more for a scattershot burst of brilliance”.

Rita Ora: You & I

Rita Ora seems to have been everywhere but the studio in the last few years – The Masked Singer, The Voice Australia, movies and more – so it’s good to hear her back, five years after Phoenix came out. According to Rolling Stone, “there are plenty of cathartic dance-floor bangers, but beneath the beat drops and brassy choruses, Ora confesses her struggles with self-worth, her fear of abandonment and the anxiety she grapples with while getting close to someone new”; it’s “a collection of stunning love songs.”

Lindstrøm: Everyone Else is a Stranger

“The Norwegian electronic producer is known for his romantic, cosmic take on disco,” The Guardian says, and this “fizzy and enticing” album is “a suite of four gloriously starry-eyed dance epics, filled with cheeky synth whirrs and undulating bass rhythms.” Pitchfork calls him a genius thanks to his ability to be many things to many people: “a custodian of vintage synths and reverbs to gearheads, a solid floor-mover for club dwellers, or, for indie kids, a comfortingly songful dance-music concierge bobbing in a bucket hat.”

Evenings at the Village Gate: John Coltrane with Eric Dolphy

Here’s a huge treat from the jazz vaults, a long-lost set recorded in Greenwich Village back in 1961. Coltrane performs here with multi-instrumentalist Eric Dolphy, and according to The New Yorker this set has “a singular place in the canons of both headliners” that “reveals an entirely new realm of accomplishment” for both men: it “helps to redefine the very importance of hitherto unreleased recordings.” It’s Quobuz’s album of the week, as it was recorded using a single microphone. “The instrumental balance on the unearthed tapes isn’t flawless, but that’s a quibble: the overall sound and room tone are good, and the music stuns.”

Taylor Swift: Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)

Currently upsetting most of Europe through the medium of Ticketmaster dynamic pricing, the latest Taylor’s Version is a reminder that she isn’t just about bankrupting parents of Swifties with $600-a-head concert tickets: she’s a hell of a songwriter too. And this revised version of her 2010 album benefits from her more mature voice and, by the sound of it, her more adult experiences of joy and sadness alike. “She’s learned to voice regrets as well as rage,” Pitchfork says. “It feels less like she’s sending a message to any particular ex than she is conveying a generalized weariness about how draining young adulthood can be.”

ANOHNI and the Johnsons: My Back Was a Bridge for You to Cross

It’s been a long time, but ANOHNI and their backing band are back after a 13-year absence with an intense, soulful record. The Evening Standard called it “magic”, while Far Out says it’s a “soulful masterclass… a pure delight, perfect for late nights and moments of deep contemplation.” The record “is undisputedly beautiful” and ANOHNI is “a masterful songwriter.”

PJ Harvey: I Inside the Old Year Dying

There’s no point trying to predict what PJ Harvey will do in any new record: she’s a musical mayfly who never met a genre she couldn’t master. I Inside The Old Year Dying has divided critics. Far Out magazine says it’s “a journey of eccentric weirdness… I highly doubt it is one that fans will be returning to all that often” but Uncut gives “this obliquely powerful album” four and a half out of five stars. The lyrics began life as poems, “and here they are, more or less, murmured and tra-lah’d over a musical soundtrack, which contrives to blend the folky innocence of the Moomins with – at the parched extremes – the alarm and discord of Hildur Guðnadóttir’s Chernobyl soundtrack.”

Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.