The year has already been chockfull with exciting new music. But this doesn’t stop once school gets out. The PHOENIX compiled a list of the greatest releases coming out this summer across genres, including rock, pop and hip-hop, just to name a few, so that you don’t have to do any digging on streaming services.
Lil Yachty “Teenage Emotions” (Release Date: 5/26)
On April 21, rising Atlanta rapper Lil Yachty generated considerable buzz after unveiling the album cover for his debut studio album, “Teenage Emotions” — and the chatter hasn’t stopped. The album art features Yachty in the center of a movie theater, surrounded by people not normally represented in the media: a girl afflicted with vitiligo, an albino boy and perhaps the most controversial — a young gay couple making out.
The response has been generally positive, and following the unveiling of the album art, Yachty released a third single, “Bring It Back” on May 4. For its music video, the rapper channels what looks like a typical 80s prom scene. Yachty pines for the return of a girl over a synthy beat and drums that recall “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” from “The Breakfast Club.” The 19-year-old rapper has many people looking to him to deliver a strong debut and the singles so far are a good sign.
Portugal. The Man “Woodstock” (Release Date: 6/16)
Indie rockers Portugal. The Man have unveiled plans to release a new album that will hit shelves and streaming services on June 16 via Atlantic Records. The band previously teased the album with the lead single, “Feel It Still,” and on April 30 shared another new track. Titled “Number One,” the song is a collaboration with R&B artist Son Little and samples “Freedom” by the late Richie Havens. Since the release of its 2013 album, “Evil Friends,” the band had spent three years working on a new album called “Gloomin + Doomin,” which was scrapped because it wasn’t satisfied with the recorded tracks. Despite having to restart, the Alaskan band indie-pop collective is back and stronger than ever, and with only 10 tracks and a handful of features, the album shows an incredible amount of promise.
Lorde — “Melodrama” (Release Date: 6/16)
Many young folks’ favorite spooky songstress Lorde is gearing up to release her sophomore album, “Melodrama,” which comes out June 16 through Republic Records. Pressure on the 20-year-old pop prodigy is high considering she hasn’t put out a studio album since her massive 2013 breakout, “Pure Heroine,” which spawned the career-defining single, “Royals.” On March 2, the New Zealand singer previewed “Melodrama” with the release of the lead single “Green Light,” co-produced by Bleachers frontman Jack Antonoff. Shortly after, Lorde followed the upbeat “Green Light” release with the poignant piano ballad, “Liability.” Lorde’s deep, honest lyrics never fail to disappoint, and this album is likely to be on repeat for a long time.
HAIM — “Something to Tell You” (Release Date: 7/7)
The Los Angeles trio of sisters is slated to release its sophomore album, “Something To Tell You” on July 7, which will be the group’s first new music in four years. The first single, “Right Now,” was released on April 27 with an accompanying live music video shot by acclaimed filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson. “Right Now” builds slowly, starting with a simple cymbal beat and a breathy, closely mic’d vocal. Haim adds elements one by one: slabs of bass, ringing, distorted guitar chords and finally, piano. The band brings the song to a rousing close with a jolt of energetic percussion from two sisters.
Haim debuted in 2013 with “Days Are Gone,” but since that Grammy-nominated release, the band hasn’t released so much as a Soundcloud one-off. Fans looking for a hint of Haim who have been forced to listen to the sisters’ collaborations can finally have something to look forward to.
Lana Del Rey — “Lust for Life” (Release Date: TBD)
As if the hype couldn’t get any bigger, the queen of indie is back to provide her fans with a collection of summer jams that people can sing along to for months to come. Del Rey released the first single, “Love,” on Feb. 18 with an accompanying music video. Last month, she revealed the album’s title via a supernatural trailer which depicted her as a witch living inside the “H” of the Hollywood sign, whipping up spells of new music (and a curse on Donald Trump).
On April 11, she unveiled the artwork and one week later she released the title track which features Canadian R&B star The Weeknd. With confirmation of collaborations on the album from the likes of Sean Lennon — the late Beatles’ frontman’s son — and Stevie Nicks, fans of Del Rey are in for a huge treat.
Sean Paul’s Seventh Studio Album (Release Date: TBD)
Sean Paul shook the world in the 2000s with the release of his two hugely popular dancehall songs, “Get Busy” and “Temperature.” Since then, Paul has worked with a plethora of musicians as a feature artist and producer.
But the Jamaican rapper and singer is preparing new music and plans to release a new album over the summer. It comes preceded by two promotional tracks released last November: “Tek Weh Yuh Heart,” which features Toronto R&B artist Tory Lanez and “No Lie,” with British singer Dua Lipa.
On April 28, Paul officially announced the first single of his yet-to-be-named album called “Body,” with notable feature verses from Atlanta rap juggernauts Migos. For the music video, Paul took Migos to Miami to see a carnival celebration on a beach, which is certainly a perfect environment for any summer music. Fans of his are lucky because soon enough they’ll have a new body of work to listen to that continues his legendary streak of tropical and rootsy reggae.