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New Music Friday: Our Top 8 Albums For July 12

Mississippi rapper Big K.R.I.T. His latest project <em>K.R.I.T. IZ HERE </em>is on our shortlist of the best albums out on July 12.
Courtesy of the artist
Mississippi rapper Big K.R.I.T. His latest project K.R.I.T. IZ HERE is on our shortlist of the best albums out on July 12.

It's been eight years since Ed Sheeran released his 2011, career-launching EP, No. 5 Collaborations Project. Now his No. 6 Collaborations Project has arrivedand it's a features-heavy flex that shows the singer can pretty much work with anyone, from the country rock of Chris Stapleton to Eminem, 50 Cent and Skrillex. We give a listen on this week's New Music Friday along with K.R.I.T. IZ HERE, Mississippi rapper Big K.R.I.T.'s followup to his 2010 mixtape K.R.I.T. WUZ HERE, Blood Orange's heavenly Angel's Pulse the return of Imperial Teen, K.Flay's middle finger to sadness and more. NPR Music's Sidney Madden, Ann Powers, and Stephen Thompson join host Robin Hilton to share their picks for the best albums out on July 12.

Featured Albums:

  • Imperial Teen: Now We Are Timeless
    Featured Song: "Ha"
  • Mal Blum: Pity Boy
    Featured Song: "Not My Job"
  • Africa Express: EGOLI
    Featured Song: "Taranau"
  • Big K.R.I.T.: K.R.I.T. IZ HERE
    Featured Song: "Prove It" (feat. J. Cole)
  • Ed Sheeran: No. 6 Collaborations Project
    Featured Songs: "Blow" and "Beautiful People"
  • Blood Orange: Angel's Pulse
    Featured Song: "Happiness"
  • Various: Tiny Changes: A Celebration of the Midnight Organ Fight
    Featured Song: "Who'd You Kill Now?"
  • K.Flay: Solutions
    Featured Song: "This Baby Don't Cry"
  • Other notable releases for July 12:Bleached - Don't You Think You've Had Enough?; The Dolly Rots - Daydream Explosion; Félicia Atkinson - The Flower and the Vessel (released 7/5); Jesca Hoop - Stone Child (released 7/5); Kyle Craft - Showboat Honey; METZ - Automat; Sigur Rós - Ágætis byrjun: A Good Beginning; Tycho - Weather.

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Robin Hilton is a producer and co-host of the popular NPR Music show All Songs Considered.
    Sidney Madden is a reporter and editor for NPR Music. As someone who always gravitated towards the artforms of music, prose and dance to communicate, Madden entered the world of music journalism as a means to authentically marry her passions and platform marginalized voices who do the same.
    Ann Powers is NPR Music's critic and correspondent. She writes for NPR's music news blog, The Record, and she can be heard on NPR's newsmagazines and music programs.
    Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)