Sleater-Kinney took a lot of chances on its latest album, The Center Won't Hold, upending its much beloved sound to experiment with strange sonics, dark textures and surprising forms. The result is one of the most adventurous, exciting – and best – albums the band has ever made. We open this week's New Music Friday with a look at how and why The Center Won't Hold works and what the recent departure of drummer Janet Weiss means for the band at this point in its quarter-century long career. Also on the show: R&B singer Snoh Aalegra, Boston rapper Cousin Stizz, country singer Lillie Mae, the literary rock of The Hold Steady and more. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Ann Powers, Lyndsey McKenna and Sidney Madden as they share their picks for the best albums out on Aug. 16.
- Sleater-Kinney - The Center Won't Hold
Featured Songs: "The Center Won't Hold" and "The Dog, The Body"
- Frank Turner - No Man's Land
Featured Song: "Nica"
- Snoh Aalegra - Ugh, Those Feels Again
Featured Song: "Find Someone Like You"
- Cousin Stizz - Trying to Find My Next Thrill
Featured Songs: "STP" and "The Message"
- Shura - Forevher
Featured Songs: "The Stage" and "Tommy"
- Lillie Mae - Other Girls
Featured Song: "Love Dilly Love"
- Rodney Crowell - Texas
Featured Song: "Flatland Hillbillies"
- The Hold Steady - Thrashing Thru The Passion
Featured Song: "Entitlement Crew"
Other Notable Albums Out Aug 16: Blanck Mass - Animated Violence Mild; Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors - Dragons; Jason Lytle - Nylon and Juno; Madison Cunningham - Who Are You Now; Maria Usbeck - Envejeciendo; Oso Oso - Basking in the Glow; The Rails - Cancel The Sun.