Entertainment » Music

4 Albums to Look Forward to This Summer

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Monday Jun 19, 2017

The summer season can be one of the most exciting times for an artist to release new music. With the days getting longer and warmer, music that evokes the carefree, sweltering days of summer are perfect to soundtrack your nights out, your BBQ parties and beach/pool time.

Over the next few months, pop stars and indie artists alike will run the gamut of new releases, ranging from saccharine radio bangers to lesser know jams. The artists listed below are expected to release new music this summer (with a few bonuses from musicians who haven't given hard facts on their next albums but are nevertheless highly anticipated) and are worth checking out.

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Calvin Harris - "Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1"
Release: June 30

Calvin Harris has gone after the coveted yet unofficial title of Song of the Summer. Though he's come close with the 2013 hit "I Need Your Love," featuring Ellie Goulding, his 2014 single "Summer" and last year's "This is What You Came For," featuring Rihanna, the U.K. producer seems to always fall short. But on his upcoming fifth album, aptly named "Funk Wav Bounces Vol.," Harris is doubling down on odds of ruling the summer.

Though the full track listing has yet to be revealed, Harris did announce several of the artists who will be featured on the LP. The DJ has enlisted a powerhouse of all stars, including Frank Ocean, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande, Pharrell, Migos, John Legend and many more. With a line up heavy hitters, Harris is sure to find radio success, but more importantly, listeners will be gifted with some stellar collaborations.

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Haim - "Something to Tell You"
Release: July 7

The three sisters who make up the indie pop band Haim have kept fans waiting nearly three years for new music. Their debut album "Days Are Gone" skyrocketed the trio into the alternative pop stratosphere, where they gained a rabid fan base. (The album peaked at no. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart.)

Haim returned earlier this year, delivering two new songs off their forthcoming LP "Something to Tell You." Once again teaming up with producer Ariel Rechsthaid, the band leaned harder into their Wilson Phillips sound, making "Want You Back" a groovy delight. The stripped back "Right Now" finds the band on the other side of the spectrum; a skeletal version of what could have been a huge banger. This shows, however, shows "Something to Tell You" won't be a safe bet and that the Haim sisters are pushing their sound.

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Lana Del Rey - "Lust for Life"
Release: July 21

After the minimalist mood piece that was "Honeymoon," Lana Del Rey will return with new music next month that sounds closer to her breakthrough debut album "Born to Die." Judging from the singles the queen of cool has already shared, including one of the best songs of the year "Love," Lana's new album "Lust for Life" shows a more reflective side of the pop star. Though she's back to sweeping orchestral ballads and hip-hop influenced pop songs, Lana seems to be more socially aware -- or woke, as the kids say.

From recent interviews and social media messages, Lana has gone from casting a spell on President Donald Trump to creating impromptu ballads about Coachella and North Korea. Lana is concerned about the world, about the fans and how Hollywood exists in its own bubble. "Lust for Youth" will likely explore these issues while playing out on Lana's widescreen, dramatized pop sensibilities.

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Arcade Fire - "Everything Now"
Release: July 28

Arcade Fire returns at the height of summer with their fifth album "Everything Now." The band is moving away from their stadium-rock, Bruce Springsteen-inspired sound and headed towards a disco greatness. Their 2013 effort "Reflektor" found the group embracing shimmering synths, four-on-the-floor beats and dance tunes, while still maintaining the essence of Arcade Fire.

The group is doubling down on that sound for "Everything Now," which happens to be the band's fist album with a major record label (Columbia). The title track and lead single is Arcade Fire doing their best ABBA impression; a gliding piano anchors the song and a funky bass chugs along. (There's even a pan flute!) On their second single "Creator Comforts," Arcade Fire keep up the dance tunes but take a page from New Order's gritty guitars. Besides sounding epic and up beat, both songs have politically charged lyrics that carry grand statements about consumerism, suicide, and immediate gratification in today's modern, social media driven world.


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