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Charli XCX makes wildly warped, genre-bending songs that are artful and adventurous but can still top the charts. On the English singer's latest album, Charli, she collaborates with Troye Sivan, Lizzo, Haim and more for a sound that moves pop firmly into the future. On this week's New Music Friday we dig into that release, along with an ambitious concept album by the foot-stomping band The Lumineers, the euphoric, soul-stirring songs of singer Emeli Sandé, Sampa The Great and more. NPR Music's Ann Powers and Stephen Thompson join host Robin Hilton to share their picks for the best new albums out on Sept. 13.
- The Lumineers — III
Featured Song: "Gloria"
- Charli XCX — Charli
Featured Song: "Click"
- Bethlehem Steel: Bethlehem Steel
Featured Song: "Govt Cheese"
- Emeli Sandé — Real Life
Featured Song: "Survivor"
- Microwave — Death is a Warm Blanket
Featured Song: "Leather Daddy"
- Chelsea Wolfe — Birth of Violence
Featured Song: "Deranged for Rock & Roll"
- Sampa The Great — The Return
Featured Song: "Mwana"
- Jeremy Ivey — The Dream and the Dreamer
Featured Song: "Story of a Fish"
Other Notable Albums Out On Sept. 13: Alex Cameron — Miami Memory; Belle & Sebastian — Days of the Bangold Summer; Chasity — Homemade Satan; Devendra Banhart — Ma; Goo Goo Dolls — Miracle Pill; Gruff Rhys — Pang; Hobo Johnson — The Fall of Hobo Johnson; Jenny Hval — The Practice of Love; Joseph — Good Luck Kid; Long Beard — Means to Me; Pixies — Beneath the Eyrie; (Sandy) Alex G — House of Sugar; Shawn Colvin — Steady On 30th Anniversary; Trupa Trupa — Of the Sun.