Essential New Music: Sleater-Kinney, Lloyd Cole, Hold Steady, Jason Lytle, Oh Sees, Frank Turner, Pete Yorn And More

Sleater-Kinney The Center Won’t Hold (Mom + Pop)
Hopefully drummer Janet Weiss’ departure from the band right before the LP’s release won’t overshadow just how good this St. Vincent-produced set of songs is. Another step in a new direction from one of the more consistent bands on the planet.

The Bird And The Bee Interpreting The Masters Volume 2: A Tribute To Van Halen (No Expectations/Release Me)
Jump back—what’s that sound? Why, it’s Inara George and producer extraordinaire Greg Kurstin covering Diamond Dave-era Van Halen. Class dismissed.

Cherubs Immaculada High (Relapse)
This is the second album from the veteran Austin trio since reuniting in 2014. Have no fear, though: Kevin Whitley and Co. still bring the psych noise guaranteed to piss off your neighbors.

Lloyd Cole Guesswork (earMUSIC)
Even though his 15th LP features the singer/songwriter collaborating with old bandmates and associates, Guesswork is an electronic album. This could’ve been a disaster, but instead Lloyd Cole has managed to deliver one of his most engaging records.

Field Mouse Meaning (Topshelf)
This Philly/Brooklyn band follows 2016’s Episodic (an LP we also deemed Essential New Music) with an 11-track outing that’s every bit as good.

The Hold Steady Thrashing Thru The Passion (Frenchkiss)
The latest from Craig Finn and the boys compiles five new songs with a handful of ones that were released digitally over the past couple years. Together, they equal another standout Hold Steady album.

Arthur King Presents Jason Lytle NYLONANDJUNO (Dangerbird)
Jason Lytle is the Grandaddy genius. Arthur King is an L.A. art collective. NYLONANDJUNO is an experimental LP created solely, as its title suggests, on one analog synth and one nylon-string acoustic guitar. Now it’s on.

Major Stars Roots Of Confusion Seeds Of Joy (Drag City) 
This marks the debut of new singer Noell Dorsey, the latest in a series of female vocalists up to the task of competing with the wall of guitars created by indie legends Wayne Rogers, Kate Biggar and their fellow Stars.

Oh Sees Face Stabber (Castle Face)
The Pollard-prolific John Dwyer returns with album number 22, which indulges his prog tendencies; one song clocks in at 14-and-a-half minutes, while the closing “Henchlock” is a long as your average network sitcom.

Frank Turner No Man’s Land (Xtra Mile/Polydor)
The album title doesn’t lie: This is Frank Turner and all-female musicians telling the stories of 13 fascinating women through music, and the songs themselves are as interesting as the tales told.

Versus Ex Voto (Ernest Jenning)
These longtime MAGNET faves return after nine years with their most mature effort to date without forsaking their classic ’90s indie-rock sound.

Pete Yorn Caretakers (Shelly Music)
Splitting the difference between 2001’s musicforthemorningafter and 2009’s Back & Fourth, the dozen-song Caretakers is a wistfully introspective album that finds an effortless common ground in classic ’60s pop and ’80s new wave.