New Music Friday | The best releases out on June 2

Ben Folds' first solo album in 15 years, What Matters Most, is on our shortlist of the best releases out on June 2. Alysse Gafkjen/Courtesy of the artist

It’s a big release day for veteran artists who’ve been putting out great music for decades, from Bob Dylan and Foo Fighters to Tanya Tucker, Cowboy Junkies and more. We can’t get to all of them on this week’s show, but we do spend some time with What Matters Most, the first new solo album from Ben Folds in 15 years. It’s a collection of often profound, often comical songs about the mess of life, powered by Folds’ gift for storytelling and keen observations on the small, universal moments in life that make us human, including a track that our reviewers this week found particularly moving, “Kristine from the 7th Grade.”

We’ve also got a powerfully poetic new album from the rapper and songwriter McKinley Dixon, inspired by the work of Toni Morrison, a raw and ragged rock album from Bully, singer Aisha Badru‘s gorgeous Learning to Love Again, the first new album from Zambia’s W.I.T.C.H. in almost 40 years and more. WXPN‘s John Morrison joins contributor Stefanie Fernández, Radio Milwaukee‘s Tarik Moody and host Robin Hilton as they share their picks for the best new releases out on June 2.

Featured Albums:

  1. McKinley Dixon — Beloved! Paradise! Jazz!?
    Featured Songs: “Run, Run, Run,” “Hanif Reads Toni,” “Live! From the Kitchen Table (feat. Ghais Guevara)”
  2. Bully — Lucky For You
    Featured Songs: “Hard to Love,” “Lose You (feat. Soccer Mommy),” “All I Do”
  3. Aisha Badru — Learning to Love Again
    Featured Songs: “Path of Least Resistance,” “Inside,” “Move”
  4. Ben Folds — What Matters Most
    Featured Songs: “What Matters Most,” “Clouds with Ellipses,” “Kristine from the 7th Grade,” “Moments (feat. Tall Heights)”
  5. W.I.T.C.H. — Zango
    Featured Songs: “Waile,” “Avalanche of Love (feat. Sampa the Great)”

Lightning Round:

  • Foo Fighters — But Here We Are
  • Juan Wauters — Wandering Rebel
  • Lazy Salon — Bellis
  • Toosii — NAUJOUR

Other notable releases for June 2:

  • The Aquadolls — Charmed
  • Bob Dylan — Shadow Kingdom
  • Cowboy Junkies — Such Ferocious Beauty
  • Jack Johnson — In Between Dub
  • Kenny Rogers — Life is Like a Song
  • Linda May Han Oh — The Glass Hours
  • Moneybagg Yo — Hard to Love
  • Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds — Council Skies
  • Protomartyr — Formal
  • Rufus Wainwright — Folkocracy
  • Tanya Tucker — Sweet Western Sound
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