New Music Friday | The best releases out on May 26

Lil Durk's Almost Healed tops our shortlist of the best releases out on May 26. Courtesy of the artist

The Chicago rapper Lil Durk returns this week with Almost Healed, a sometimes searing, sometimes tender examination of his life after years of loss and survival. On this week’s episode of New Music Friday, we dig into the music, talk about the pain that informs it and how Lil Durk has entered a new period of growth as an artist.

We’ve also got sometimes profound, sometimes comical reflections on surviving your 20s from Arlo Parks and Miya Folick, blood-slowing piano works from Gia Margaret, the mind-bending — and head-spinning — music of drummer, rapper and producer Kassa Overall and more. WBEZ and Vocalo Radio’s Ayana Contreras joins contributor Cyrena Touros, NPR Music editor Sheldon Pearce and host Robin Hilton as they share their picks for the best releases out on May 26.

Featured Albums:

  1. Lil Durk — Almost Healed
    Featured Songs: “Same Side (feat. Rob49),” “Therapy Session,” “Never Again,” “All My Life (feat. J. Cole)”
  2. Arlo Parks — My Soft Machine
    Featured Songs: “Dog Rose,” “Bruiseless,” “Purple Phase,” “Pegasus (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)”
  3. Gia Margaret — Romantic Piano
    Featured Songs: “Ways of Seeing,” “Cicadas,” “Juno”
  4. Kassa Overall — ANIMALS
    Featured Songs: “Clock Ticking (feat. Danny Brown & Wiki),” “Still Ain’t Find Me (feat. Tomoki Sanders, Bendji Allonce, Mike King & Ian Finklestein)”
  5. Miya Folick — ROACH
    Featured Songs: “Get Out of My House,” “Oh God,” “Cartoon Clouds”

Lightning Round:

  • Alex Anwandter — El Diablo en el Cuerpo
  • Anna Thorvaldsdottir — ARCHORA / AIŌN
  • Sparks — The Girl is Crying in Her Latte
  • Wande Coal — Legend or No Legend

Other notable releases for May 26:

  • Bayonne — Temporary Time
  • Henry Threadgill — The Other One
  • Incendiary — Change The Way You Think About Pain
  • Janai Shankar — Hot & Cold
  • Kari Faux — REAL B*TCHES DON’T DIE!
  • Kevin Morby — More Photographs (A Continuum)
  • MeeeZ — [red album]
  • M. Sage — Paradise Crick
  • Matchbox Twenty — Where The Light Goes
  • Mike Oldfield — Tubular Bells – 50th Anniversary Celebration
  • Maya Ongaku — Approach to Anima
  • Shirley Collins — Archangel Hill
  • Simply Red — Time
  • Water From Your Eyes — Everyone’s Crushed
  • Wolf Eyes — Dreams in Splattered Lines
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