KNBA - KBC

Music

On this week's New Music Friday, All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Ann Powers, Rodney Carmichael, and Stephen Thompson for a quick run through the best new releases for June 15. Highlights include Christina Aguilera's Liberation, a monument to self-empowerment with contributions from Kanye West and Anderson .Paak; the trippy, futuristic debut of pop producer SOPHIE; and a deeply emotional solo project from Linkin Park co-founder Mike Shinoda.

Featured Albums

Peter Hook's first bass rig when he was a child was "no good," as he puts it. The low notes sounded terrible, so instead, he worked his way up the fretboard. Few musicians have more of a signature sound, or personality, than Peter Hook. He was one of the founding members of Joy Division, pioneers of the post-punk genre. When the band's lead singer, Ian Curtis, died on the eve of its first American tour, the remaining members didn't mourn.

Sometimes your dreams are bigger than originally imagined. After a successful crowdfunding effort, Cumulus was one day from pressing its debut album in 2013 when the band got an email from Death Cab For Cutie's Chris Walla. Walla not only wanted to work with the Seattle band, but also sign it to his label Trans- Records (also home to Now, Now).

The dreamy retro-rock sound of The Shacks, led by guitarist and songwriter Max Shrager and lead vocalist Shannon Wise, was a great fit at WGBH's Fraser Performance Studio.

In between performing 11 songs, the band reflected on the roots of the band's sound. "There's a certain way we think about our music that allows it to be really intimate, and that's an important part of who we are as a band," Shrager said. "We try to think of our music as an extension of our lives, and maybe that's a cliché, but I think it's something that's actually lost in the world these days."

Pages