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New Music Friday: Sampha, Emma Anderson, Blink-182 Round Out an Eclectic Album Release Day

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Emma Anderson, Pearlies

It’s been quite awhile since we’ve heard from Anderson, best known as guitarist and occasional vocalist for Lush. In the wake of Lush’s initial breakup in 1996, she formed the band Sing Sing, which released two albums before breaking up in 2008, and Lush got back together in 2015 for a brief period, releasing a new EP (Blind Spot) before dissolving again. Pearlies, however, is the first time Anderson has ever gone completely solo. Produced by James Chapman (Maps), it should come as no surprise that the singles that’ve been released to tease the LP – “Bend the Round” and “Clusters” – definitely bring Anderson’s former band to mind, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s actively encouraged. —Will Harris

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Pip Blom, Bobbie

Pip Blom are a Dutch trio – Pip, her brother Tender and Darek Mercks – who blend percolating synth hooks and ethereal space-wave lo-fi textures. Prior to this, their third release, they parted ways with long-time member and drummer Gini Cameron, which has allowed some deep dive rhythms and drum machine bops that can recall the early indie leanings of Belly and Sonic Youth. The trio has benefited from festival exposure, and with Bobbie, they also have the vocal talents of Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos on “Is This Love?” Pip’s vocals can run the gamut from angry to unapologetic melancholy, which compliments this retro-sounding, forward-moving album. —Amy Hughes

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Sampha, Lahai

A ubiquitous presence on R&B and hip-hop tracks before and after his acclaimed 2017 debut, the British singer-songwriter has cut a more low-key figure in recent years, but sophomore effort Lahai shows he’s lost none of his probing, atmospheric touch. Rich in spiritual and philosophical questioning, and rife with unexpected inspirations (hippie lifetsyle bible Jonathan Livingston Seagull, for one), Lahai is convincing in its invocations of a simpler, more unhurried life—Andrew Barker

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Blink-182, One More Time…

Restored to their classic three-man lineup for the first time in seven years—singer-guitarist Tom DeLonge rejoined his longtime bandmates after bassist-singer Mark Hoppus’ cancer battle inspired some collective hatchet-burying—California’s oldest teenagers are still up to some largely familiar tricks on their ninth full-length. Themes of mortality, aging, illness, and some Anka-esque self-mythologizing are evidence of the decidedly middle-aged turmoil that the band members have undergone in recent years, though there are still plenty of giddily puerile moments to prompt the question: “what’s their age, again?” —A.B.


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