The sun is shining, temperatures are soaring and all the good TV is almost over (hello again, Dancing with the Stars). It’s summer! What more could you possibly need? A new soundtrack.
New music and warm weather go together like lawn sprinklers and freezer pops, so sit back and let us run down summer’s new album releases. Just don’t get sand in your iPod.
A quick note: we’re not necessarily urging you to rush out to buy all of these. This is more of a broad overview about what’s coming up. So don’t blame us when you find out that Drake says bad words. ‘Cause (spoiler alert) he totally does.
Hole and Stone Temple Pilots have albums coming out on April 27 and May 25, respectively. Wait, when did it become 1992? Actually, both bands have defied the odds—and rehab stints and parole violations—by reuniting 15 years after their grunge heydays. Hey, flannel’s back in style now—maybe the music will follow.
And speaking of musical reunions from the ’90s … CCM vets The O.C. Supertones are back on May 18 with the appropriately titled Reunite, the newly outed Jennifer Knapp returns with Letting Go on May 11 and Sixpence None the Richer has an as-yet-untitled disc dropping on July 13. What’s next, a sudden rediscovery of the wonders of ska?
Weirdly, Diddy (or is it Diddy Dirty-Money now?) is back with Last Train to Paris on June 22. This will not be good.
However, a good hip-hop album will arrive on May 18, as Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek reteam as Reflection Eternal to bring Revolutions per Minute. And the always dependable Roots are finally supposed to step away from Jimmy Fallon for a bit and release the oft-delayed How I Got Over. If it gets delayed once more, we’re going to be “over” the Roots.
It will be a good—and noisy—summer for fans of blues rock: Ohio duo The Black Keys hit with their eighth studio album Brothers on May 18; the first single, “Tighten Up,” was produced by Danger Mouse. The Dead Weather’s sophomore effort, Sea of Cowards, drops on May 11, less than a year after their debut album Horehound. Jack White reportedly plays all the instruments, sings every song, filmed a 12-part documentary about it and recorded it in a studio he built by himself with a whittle and some Elmer’s glue. Just kidding. We think.
If you can’t bust a move in the summer time, when can you? LCD Soundsystem is one of those electronic “bands” that’s actually just one dude with a laptop. But James Murphy is one of the best people making techno right now, so be sure to check out This is Happening on May 18. Murphy told Spinner that this album will “definitely be better than the other two,” but we guarantee it will be just as ironic.
Remember breakbeats? Chemical Brothers drop their seventh studio album, Further, on June 7. The album will feature eight tracks, each with corresponding films. They report on their website that the album is the “culmination of nearly two decades of psychedelic exploration.” Groovy.
If your dancing style is more of a sullen shuffle, you’ll be thrilled to know that Flying Lotus (DJ extraordinaire and heir apparent to the mixology magic of DJ Shadow) has a new album, Cosmogramma, arriving on May 4. Hipster cred: The album features Thom Yorke. If you’d rather have a watered-version of either Flying Lotus or DJ Shadow, then you should check out UNKLE’s newest on May 11, Where Did the Night Go?.
If you want to rock and roll all summer, The Gaslight Anthem releases American Slang on June 15. Lead singer Brian Fallon says the album will be a step in a new direction. And new American rock heroes The Hold Steady find that Heaven Is Wherever on their new album arriving May 4. Get ready to sing along (loudly and hoarsely) the next time they’re in town.
What’s that? You want 100 percent more screaming in your rock? Well, MyChildren MyBride and To Speak of Wolves have you covered, releasing albums on June 8 and May 18, respectively.
Summer radio is always filled with lots of jams (read: guilty pleasures) and this summer will be no different, especially with albums by Eminem (Recovery, due on June 22—does “recovery” imply less self-hate and misogyny?), TI (August 24) and Drake (June 15, unless it gets delayed again). We guarantee you will know one of their songs by August, even if it’s that one you wish wouldn’t get stuck in your head because the lyrics make you blush and embarrass your mom.
On the far other side of the coin, fans of passionate worship music have plenty to be excited about, as John Mark McMillan releases The Medicine on July 6 and Hillsong UNITED present A Beautiful Exchange on July 29. You will not be embarrassed to sing these songs in front of your mom.
When Band of Horses hasn’t been busy opening for Pearl Jam, they’ve been recording their third album Infinite Arms for release on May 18. Canadian supergroup Broken Social Scene is back on May 4 with Forgiveness Rock Record. Who’s in this band at this point? We can’t keep track. Speaking of Canadian indie collectives, The New Pornographers are also readying their latest, Together, to release on the same day as BSS. Is that too much Canadian power pop on one day? We say no.
Brooklyn indie rockers The National are back with High Violet on May 11. The album was produced by the band and Peter Katis, who recently worked on the solo record by Sigur Ros’ Jonsi. Hopefully there will be enough Zooey Deschanel movies this summer for these bands to fill some soundtracks.
More into moody indie? British sensitive guys Keane release a new EP, Night Train, on May 10. Perpetually morose narrative expert Damien Jurado releases Saint Bartlett (which—gasp—has happy songs!) on May 25. Two bands on Sub Pop Records drop albums soon: Foals return on May 11 with Total Life Forever, and Blitzen Trapper with Destroyer of the Void on June 8. And those wistful Canadians Stars releases The Five Ghosts on June 22.
Australian pop singer Sia, best known for her haunting song “Breathe Me,” will come out with a new album on June 7 called We are Born. And world-music/pop/crazy-instrument band Konono No. 1 returns with June 8’s Assume Crash Position. And finally, Future of Forestry unravels The Travel EP III on June 18.
Attention hipster parents: if you’re equally into rocking horses and Radiohead, don’t lull your tots to sleep with something embarrassingly mainstream like "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." On May 18, you can pick up Sing Me to Sleep: Indie Lullabies (proceeds go to charity) and let bands like Papercuts and Sigur Ros make for a quiet Brooklyn nursery. Now turn things over to the babysitter before you miss the Dirty Projectors concert.