5 Albums to Stream for Free This Week: Peaking Lights, Smashing Pumpkins


It’s Monday, which means it’s time for another edition of our regular start-of-the-week stream-a-thon, wherein we scour the Internet for worthy and/or noteworthy albums that are streaming this week at absolutely no cost. Today we rejoice at strange and wonderful records from Peaking Lights and Blues Control, sigh at the new one from “Smashing Pumpkins,” smile happily at being pleasantly surprised by the posthumous J Dilla record, and then bliss out to the debut album from Echo Lake. Click through and get listening.

Peaking Lights — Lucifer

Well, now. After a slow-ish couple of months, 2012 has kicked up the goodness over the last few weeks in terms of album releases — first it was the excellent Lower Dens record, then the similarly fantastic Liars album, and now there’s this thoroughly engrossing release from Peaking Lights. It’s one of the best things we’ve heard this year, and we highly recommend you click right here to get a piece of the action.

Billy Corgan and Whoever He’s Roped In this Week Smashing Pumpkins — Oceania

From the sublime to… well, no, that’s probably somewhat unfair on the latest incarnation of Smashing Pumpkins, but still, the fact is that as long as he keeps insisting that a band that contains none of James Iha, D’Arcy Wretzky, and Jimmy Chamberlin is nevertheless Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Corgan’s output will be judged against that band’s glory days. And judged harshly. Judge for yourself at the band’s official website.

Blues Control — Valley Tangents

The good folks over at Ad Hoc, where this stream is hosted, describe this record as “one of the best, classically ‘rock’ albums in recent memory.” We’re not sure that we entirely agree — we take the point that Blues Control’s deconstruction of classic rock sounds is interesting, but really, they’re a lot more interesting than that. This record encompasses everything from weird free jazz to spaced-out ’70s-esque psych, creating a series of sonic collages that are as intriguing as they are unusual. If you want to hear something unlike anything else you’re likely to hear this week, or for quite some time, go ahead and click right here.

Echo Lake — Wild Peace

We mentioned discovering London duo Echo Lake in last Friday’s MP3 roundup, so we were delighted to see that their entire album is streaming via Huffington Post ahead of its release next week. The record is just as good as we rather hoped it might be, a dreamy, shoegaze-y opus that will nestle nicely next to Loveless on your shelf. Listen here.

J Dilla — Rebirth of Detroit

Posthumous albums are generally a risky business, especially those released quite some time after the death of the people allegedly responsible for creating the sounds contained therein. Still, there’s something to said for the prospect of a posthumous J Dilla record — the producer apparently left a huge trove of unreleased material, so releases like this aren’t necessarily an exercise in Hendrix-esque barrel scraping, and pleasingly, Rebirth of Detroit is both a fine record in its own right and one that bodes well for the future of the archive Dilla left behind. His loping, organic, endlessly inventive beats are always worth hearing, no matter who’s rapping over the top of them, and happily the people rapping on the top of them are rappers with whom Dilla worked in his lifetime — there’s no latter-day bandwagon jumping, and as a whole, this is definitely worth hearing. You can do so here.

Bonus link:

Justin Bieber — Believe

Oh, go on, here‘s the Justin Bieber album. We won’t tell if you don’t.