The Definitive Guide To Every Album You Need To Hear Coming Out This Summer

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Summer is here. The weather is warm. Big-budget Hollywood sequels are inundating theaters. Children are out of school, giving them free reign to torment us until they mercifully return to their educational holding cells in the fall. Also, there are several notable music releases that will be dropped. These are the albums that will soundtrack your summer of barbecues, romances, fireworks, and sunburns. Of course, there’s always the chance someone *cough* Kanye, Rihanna, Drake *cough* could surprise us all by dropping their album sometime this season, but we’re sticking with what we’re sure is coming for now.


Giorgio Moroder, Déjà Vu

Release date: June 12

The disco godfather is releasing his first album of new music in 30 years, and he’s brought along a lot of big names for the occasion. We’re talking Sia, Charli XCX, Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears, and others.


Adam Lambert, The Original High

Release date: June 12

Lambert didn’t win American Idol the year he was on, but he’s still one of the more successful alumni of the program. For proof of that fact, try to name the person who actually won in Lambert’s season. The Original High is Lambert’s third album, and he described it as being less campy and theatrical than his prior efforts. The lead single, “Ghost Town” has already been out for a few weeks, if you want to get a sense of Lambert’s new sound. It was Kris Allen, by the way.


Hudson Mohawke, Lantern

Release date: June 16

Ross Birchard, also known as Hudson Mohawke, has already made a name for himself as a DJ and producer, most notably for his work with Kanye West on Yeezus and Cruel Summer. He’s also one half of the duo TNGHT. Lantern is his second solo album, and his first since he became a known quantity.


Migos, Y.R.N.: The Album

Release date: June 16

It feels like Migos have been around forever, and in a way they kind of have. They’ve put out 11 (!!) mixtapes in the last four years, with a handful of hit singles. Still, Y.R.N.: The Album is their debut studio effort. It’ll feature Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, and Meek Mill, and feature production from DJ Mustard amongst others.


Ryn Weaver, The Fool

Release date: June 16

We’ve already predicted that 2015 will be a big year for Ryn Weaver, the pop star with a couple of arena-ready singles already under her belt in a year. We’ll see if her debut album, The Fool, can pack such a consistent punch across its 11 tracks. She has her fair share of detractors, but we still have faith.


Nate Ruess, Grand Romantic

Release date: June 16

The erstwhile lead singer of Fun, Ruess has seen himself overshadowed by bandmate Jack Antonoff and his Bleachers project in recent years. Perhaps Ruess will turn the tide with his first solo effort. He hasn’t strayed far from the Fun. sound, so if you happened to be one of those people obsessed with the anthemic “We Are Young,” you should enjoy this.


Leon Bridges, Coming Home

Release date: June 23

Another up-and-coming artist we’re incredibly high on, Leon Bridges has already released half the songs from his debut album, and all they’ve done is make us more anxious for the other half. You might have heard him without even knowing it in a recent Apple commercial. Bridges has an Amy Winehouse vibe in that he’s a wholly new performer who effortlessly manages to sound like he’s from another musical era, but where Winehouse traded in ’60s girl-group soul, Bridges takes on Sam Cooke and dusty ’50s doo-wop.


Carly Rae Jepsen, Emotion

Release date: June 23

Call Me Maybe” is still a dope song, everywhere you went in the summer of 2012. Now, Jepsen will try to take over the summer once again. By now, most people have probably heard the single “I Really Like You,” which doesn’t quite live up to the legacy of “Call Me Maybe,” even if Tom Hanks is in the music video. It’s still a great song, as is what else we’ve heard from Emotion; this is no one-hit wonder.


Refused, Freedom

Release date: June 30

This was a surprise addition to the summer album lineup. Refused had flirted with a full comeback before, touring in 2012 after disbanding in 1998, then disbanding again, then touring again earlier this year. Then, on April 27, the word came down: Refused would actually be following up their seminal 1998 album The Shape of Punk to Come. Oddly, the band enlisted Swedish pop superproducer Shellback (Taylor Swift, Pink, Britney Spears) to work on a couple of tracks, but as you can hear on one those songs below, “Elektra,” this is the same Refused we’ve always loved.


Miguel, Wildheart

Release date: June 3o

Late last year Miguel dropped a surprise three-song EP, and one of the tracks included on that, “NWA,” will appear on his official followup to Kaleidoscope Dream. That song features Kurupt, and another features Lenny Kravitz, but other than that it’s just Miguel, wooing and leg-dropping all by himself. Details are sparse otherwise, but RCA executive Mark Pitts said, in describing the album, “He tells me, ‘I want everyone to know I am wild, funny, edgy and love women. I need this album to connect.'” So, there’s that.


Vince Staples, Summertime ’06

Release date: June 30

Vince Staples has building steadily in the underground rap scene, thanks to a handful of mixtapes and 2014’s excellent Hell Can Wait EP. As a result, his debut studio album, Summertime ’06, has become one of the genre’s most anticipated records of the year, which is saying something considering the fact that Drake, Kanye, Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky and other big names have released or still have albums likely coming out this year.


Ghostface Killah, Twelve Reasons to Die II

Release date: July 10

Ghostface has faltered a bit after a nearly untouchable 10-year run from 1996 through 2006, but anything he puts out is worth checking out, and his upcoming Twelve Reasons to Die II is a sequel to his highest-charting and most critically acclaimed solo album since that string of dominance. Adrian Younge returned to handle production on every track.


Veruca Salt, Ghost Notes

Release date: July 10

Veruca Salt is back, you guys! After reuniting in 2013, and proving they could still rock, the grunge darling’s original lineup is releasing its first album since 1997’s Eight Arms to Hold You. If you’re worried about that layoff, and whether or not it’s possible for them to still have it, just listen to Dinosaur Jr.’s second act. If Veruca Salt can replicate that, there is reason to be excited.


Ratatat, Magnifique

Release date: July 17

Ratatat is another band returning after a bit of a break, although the dynamic duo of Evan Mast and Mike Stroud only went five years between albums. It seems like they’re feeling good about things, considering they actually took the time to name this album after going with LP3 and LP4 for their last two albums. These dudes make somewhat idiosyncratic music, but the folks on their wavelength are going to eat this album up.


Tame Impala, Currents

Release date: July 17

Four songs from Currents have already been released as singles (thanks, Reddit?), so we already have an idea what the guys of Tame Impala are up to here. However, with Currents clocking in at just over 51 minutes, there’s still plenty of stuff to ti discover. Plus, freaky cover art. They blew us away at Governors Ball, and could be poised to drop one an album of the year contender. We’re really excited about this one.


Jason Isbell, Something More Than Free

Release date: July 17

The critically acclaimed Isbell returns with more country/blues/folk odes, following up 2013’s well-received Southeastern. Like that album, Something More Than Free was produced by Dave Cobb, who also helmed last year’s excellent Sturgill Simpson album Metamodern Sounds in Country Music.


MS MR, How Does It Feel

Release date: July 17

The dark, anthemic, synthy pop duo are back with their sophomore album, following up 2013’s Secondhand Rapture. The album enters a crowded market when it comes to their sound, but judging by what we’ve heard from How Does It Feel, we think their songwriting chops will help them transcend the noise.


Ducktails, St. Catherine

Release date: July 24

Real Estate member Matt Mondanile makes gentle, languishing pop with his side project Ducktails. It’s like Real Estate, but where that group trades in Jersey suburban malaise, Ducktails sticks to wistful tunes from the Jersey shore.


Titus Andronicus, A Most Lamentable Tragedy

Release date: July 31

We’ve gone on record calling Titus Andronicus the best rock band in the country today, and A Most Lamentable Tragedy lives up to that, and then some. It’s a 29-song, 93-minute punk opera that takes listeners through a number of rock’s best eras. It’s loud, and inspirational, and catchy, and excellent. Equally excellent? The album’s description: The central narrative of TMLT (“a work of fiction,” claims singer/songwriter Patrick Stickles) concerns an unnamed protagonist whom we meet in deep despair. Following an encounter with his own doppelgänger (an enigmatic stranger, identical in appearance though opposite in disposition), long held secrets are revealed, sending our protagonist on a transformative odyssey, through past lives and new loves, to the shocking revelation that the very thing that sustains him may be the thing to destroy him.

Teenage Time Killers, Greatest Hits Vol. 1

Release date: July 31

This is a supergroup that contains Dave Grohl, Matt Skiba (Alkaline Trio), Nick Oliveri (Queens of the Stone Age), Corey Taylor (Slipknot, Stone Sour), Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys), amongst many others. Need we say more?


Albert Hammond, Jr., Momentary Masters

Release date: July 31

The Strokes guitarist returns with his third solo album. We’ve already heard “Born Slippy” and “Losing Touch,” which are both firmly in Hammond’s wheelhouse. You know what you’re gonna get with him at this point. If that’s your thing, you’ll love Momentary Masters.


Frank Ocean, TBD

Release date: July, date unknown

While there is no official release date or album title for Ocean’s followup to the beloved channel ORANGE, the album is supposed to come out this July, and is rumored to be called Boys Don’t Cry. Whatever it’s called, and whenever it is released, it is going to be a must listen. The only substance we’ve gotten from Ocean in the interim is a toss-off called “Memrise,” and a beautiful cover of The Isley Brothers’ “(At Your Best) You Are Love.” Odds are, they won’t appear on Ocean’s official album. The anticipation for this one at Uproxx is high.


Blackalicious, Imani Vol. 1

Release date: August 14

The incredible hip-hop duo took a decade off after their last album, 2005’s The Craft, and took to online fundraising to pull together the budget to make Imani Vol. 1. Anyone who ever had the pleasure of listening to 2002’s Blazing Arrow knows how great this group can be when they’re on.


Method Man, The Meth Lab

Release date: August 21

Meth isn’t shying from the Breaking Bad comparisons the album’s title implies. Like with Ghostface, the now-mostly-actor isn’t at his best on the mic anymore, but he’s always worth a speculative listen.


Beach House, Depression Cherry

Release date: August 28

Beach House would seem to be perfect listening for the summer, and not just because they’re called Beach House. They say this album will be sparser and more melodic than their recent work, so people who were more interested in their self-titled debut album will probably be more enthused about this album than others.


Young Thug, HyUN35

Release date: August 28

Young Thug has already given us the Barter 6 mixtape, a feature on one of the best tracks of the year so far, and 2015’s most dangerous rap beef. It’s been a big year. Now, he’s readying his proper debut, which is either pronounced “hi-tunes” or “hyenas,” depending on who you ask.


Beirut, No No No

Release date: September 11

Zach Condon had a mental breakdown in 2013, leading to the four-year delay between his last (excellent) album The Rip Tide and No No No. From what we’ve heard so far, No No No doesn’t sound like it’s an extreme departure from Beirut’s catalog, though Condon says there’s a “caffeinated exuberance” to the new album.


Chris Cornell, Higher Truth

Release date: September 18

Will we get the majestic, chamber-influenced alternative of Euphoria Morning or the ghastly pop turn of Scream? Chris Cornell’s fourth solo album is being produced by Brendan O’Brien, who helmed Soundgarden’s Superunknown and a slew of other classic ’90s albums, as well as bunch of ’00s hits. So, that’s a good sign. The promo photos have Cornell lugging an acoustic guitar in an open field, so that’s another good sign. We’re skeptical, but optimistic.


Disclosure, Caracal

Release date: September 25

If you’re a fan of dance music and not named SBTRKT, you’re looking forward to the followup to Disclosure’s secret smash hit Settle. We’ve heard one official single off the album, the Gregory Porter-featured “Holding On,” and its pulsating house beat will please anyone who loved Settle.