The best new music of the week: Florence and the Machine, Barenaked Ladies, Jason Derulo and more

By Nicholas Jennings

As music columnist for hellomagazine.ca, each week I’ll bring you my selections for the best and most notable new music, albums you’re going to want to add to your collection plus a five-song playlist to try out. Happy listening!

Scroll down for playlist…

BEST NEW ALBUMS:

Florence and the MachineHow Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
The third recording from Florence Welch and her band is easily their best. A breakup album that plumbs the tremendous depths of Welch’s emotional despair, it captures both her extraordinary vocal range and melodic gifts. Highlights include the howling stomp of “What Kind of Man” and hand-clapping, gospel ache of “Delilah.” It’s an impressive display of pain-purging—designed for summer festivals, but not the faint of heart.

Barenaked LadiesSilverball
Lead Lady Ed Robertson’s obsession with pinball gives the band’s 14th album its title track, an artful song that compares arcade-game wizardry to enlightened relationships. Robertson has crafted an album’s worth of irresistible ear-candy, including the hard-rocking “Get Back Up” and the giddy “Duct Tape Heart.” Keyboardist Kevin Hearn almost steals the show with his heartbreaking closer “Tired of Fighting with You.”

Various artistsBessie
Queen Latifah stars as Bessie Smith in the HBO film and on its accompanying soundtrack. The singer-rapper-actress duets with the late blues legend on “Gimme a Pigfoot and a Bottle of Bear” and channels her tough, rambunctious side on classics like “Work House Blues.” The soundtrack also features period recordings from other stars of the 1920s, including Fats Waller and Louis Armstrong.

OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES:

Jason DeruloEverything is 4
With Stevie Wonder, JLo, Keith Urban and Meghan Trainor as guests, the So You Think You Can Dance judge and r&b star has massive crossover designs.

Indigo GirlsOne Lost Day
The folk duo of Amy Ray and Emily Saliers get a little rowdier on their 14th album, most noticeably on the feisty, exuberant rocker “Happy in the Sorrow Key.”

The VaccinesEnglish Graffiti
The British quartet’s third album features plenty of stadium-ready rock riffs, especially on the jumpy “Handsome” and the peppy “20/20.”

Hawksley WorkmanOld Cheetah
Canadian music’s oddball genius releases spacy rock and cabaret delirium, working with his Mounties partner, ex-Hot Hot Heat frontman Steve Bays.

PLAYLIST OF THE WEEK

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