The list of collaborator cronies on Amanda Blank's (above right) debut, I Love You (out July 14), practically guarantees the potty-mouthed Philly rapper has a summer hit on her hands. But while she's backed by an impressive musical coterie -- including Santigold, Lykke Li, Spank Rock, TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek, Diplo, and Switch -- she's really just seeking her gay BFF's endorsement. 'You can only get the truth from a cunty gay man,' Blank says. No doubt aggressive club-bangers like the smutty first single 'Might Like You Better' and Depeche Mode dead ringer 'Shame on Me' have earned his stamp of approval.
Peaches (above left) took to her throne 10 years ago when she unleashed her throbbing lesson on sexual liberation, The Teaches of Peaches. Since then she's kept class firmly in session, collaborating with everyone from Iggy Pop to Pink and waging a carnal war against Dubya ('Impeach My Bush'). 'I've established myself as hardcore, so at this point I can do whatever I want,' she says of her fourth album, I Feel Cream (out now). The result is songs like the hypnotic title track -- as close as Peaches has ever come to dipping her strap-on into the deep end of disco.
With all the buzz it's already received, you'd think Grizzly Bear's new album was the second coming of Christ. But yes, Veckatimest (out May 26) lives up to its hype. 'I don't feel like I have to prove that it's as good as Yellow House -- I think it's better,' says the Brooklyn quartet's gay singer, Ed Droste, (above center) referencing their widely acclaimed 2006 release. Considering Veckatimest's crunchier guitars, escalating percussion, understated Nico Muhly arrangements, and the teenage girls' choir weaving in and out of the record to gorgeous effect, we'd have to agree with Droste on this one.