Each week, InStyle’s resident music aficionados will share what’s blaring through their headphones and speakers, from just-released albums to fist-pumping throwback tracks. Happy listening!
There’s no shortage of good music these days, but the sheer quantity of tunes renders it challenging to figure out what really deserves a listen (or two, or seven). This week, we’re blasting two brand-new albums: Chicago alt-rock band Wilco’s tenth LP, Schmilco, and British electronic music duo AlunaGeorge’s second effort, I Remember, along with two of 2015’s greatest hits by Adele and Drake in advance of their respective headlining tours. And thanks to a certain podcast, Fat Joe and Remy Ma’s infectious single has climbed—wait for it—all the way up to the top of our commuting playlist.
1. 25 BY ADELE
“I saw Adele perform live for the first time at Madison Square Garden last week, and now I can’t stop rolling in the deep with her entire music catalog. I’ll never get sick of listening to “Hello” or “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” from her latest album, 25, but hearing her tell the stories behind some of her early hits, like “Chasing Pavements” and "Hometown Glory” reminded me how brilliant she has been since day one. In concert, she also played her amazing cover of Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love”, which was first featured on her 2008 debut album, 19. It’s definitely one to add back into your shuffle if you’re in the mood for a power ballad.” Buy 25 for $11 on the iTunes Store.
—Jennifer Ferrise, senior editor
2. “All the Way Up” by Fat Joe and Remy Ma feat. French Montana and Infrared
“I was listening to Buzzfeed’s Another Round podcast this week—the episode featuring film and TV director, screenwriter, and jack-of-all-trades Ava DuVernay—and she mentioned her pump-up song was Remy Ma and Fat Joe’s ‘All the Way Up.’ Ava knows what she’s talking about. I’ve had that song on rotation all week to get me ready to hit the ground running at work.” Buy “All the Way Up” feat. French Montana and Infrared for $2 on the iTunes Store.
—Leigh Belz Ray, features and news director
3. I Remember by Aluna George
“I’ve been waiting for AlunaGeorge’s next album for quite some time (read: three years), so I was stoked when it finally came out Sept. 16. Whether I’m at work or the gym, going out with friends, or stuck in traffic, the duo’s sophomore album, I Remember, has been on repeat ever since I got my hands on it. I love the mix of soulful, slower tracks and poppy dance numbers, and there are some really great messages in the lyrics, too. It’s hard to choose a favorite song, but ‘I Remember’ and ‘Full Swing’ are two of my top picks.” Buy I Remember for $10 on the iTunes Store.
—Tessa Trudeau, editorial assistant
4. Schmilco by Wilco
“I’ve been a Wilco fan for quite some time, and Schmilco, the band’s new cheekily-named tenth album, is arguably their greatest since 2007’s Sky Blue Sky. The intimate sound is reminiscent of their earliest work—from guitarist Nels Cline’s off-kilter riffs to frontman Jeff Tweedy’s soothing, mellow vocals. In particular, the opening track, ‘Normal American Kids’—about the struggles of fitting in—reminds me of my favorite Wilco song of all time, ‘Misunderstood’—lyrically and sonically. But each one is beautifully understated in the best way possible.” Buy Schmilco for $10 on the iTunes Store.
—Claire Stern, associate editor
5. What a Time To Be Alive by Drake and Future
“In preparation for Drake and Future’s Summer Sixteen tour two weeks from now in N.Y.C., I’ve been listening to both rappers on repeat. I even have a full Spotify playlist with the songs they’ve been performing at each concert so far, with tracks from their joint 2015 album What a Time To Be Alive. Of course, Drake’s latest venture, Views, is on there, too—but I think I’m most pumped for the medley of his OG hits, including ‘Over’ and ‘Up All Night.’” Buy What a Time To Be Alive for $10 on the iTunes Store.
—Samantha Simon, assistant editor