It’s all right, we get it — summer is a busy time for everyone and it can be difficult to stay on top of all the new music. So, here’s a list of some impeccable albums that came out this summer that, guess what, aren’t Coloring Book — sorry Chance.
by the Arkells
The Hamilton, Ont. heartthrobs return to the limelight this summer with their fourth studio album Morning Report. This time around, the boys shy away from their harder, rock ‘n’ soul roots to opt for a lighter, more pop oriented direction. The album opens with “Drake’s Dad,” which buoyantly regales a night in Memphis when vocalist Max Kermin met, and partied with, the Six God’s old man.
Goofy songs aside, Morning Report also offers pensive ballads, like “Making Due,” that make you wonder about the direction of your relationships and your place in your home town. The emotive versatility of the Arkells’ Morning Report make it the perfect album to get the party started and to walk you home at the end of the night.
Puberty 2 is the album you need when you catch that inevitable summertime sadness. Laden with neurotic ruminations and catchy folk-pop arrangements, Puberty 2 is an innately accessible record for those feeling a little blue. Mitski muses on common grievances like self-doubt, unsuccessful relationships and overall discontent in Puberty 2 without seeming banal. This may be due, in part, to the self-awareness that she exudes throughout the album. “Happy,” the record’s ironically titled opener, attests to this awareness and seems to affirm self-indulgent melancholy.
by Blood Orange
Can summer really be complete without a great record to dance to? Probably not. If anything, Blood Orange’s Freetown Sound is an album one can groove with. At first glance, Freetown Sound is a catchy, 1980s influenced R&B album — the man behind the moniker, Devonte Hynes, quickly reveals that Freetown Sound is more than a simple dance record. He does this through songs like “Augustine” and “Love Ya,” where he openly considers the limitations that race, sex and religion place on love. At the end of the day, Freetown Sound is an album that you can spend hours dancing to or thinking about. Maybe even both, if you’re lucky.
Day of the Dead
by various artists
Curated by Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National, this behemoth compilation boasts a catalogue of nearly 60 Grateful Dead covers recorded by an impressive array of artists. The immensity of Day of the Dead guarantees that there is at least one song for you in there. Whether it’s The Lone Bellow bringing you a bawdy rendition of “Dire Wolf” for your night’s libations, or Courtney Barnett crooning “New Speedway Boogie” for a late evening stroll, this album befits nearly any situation. What’s more, all proceeds from Day of the Dead benefit the Red Hot Organization, a charity dedicated to HIV and AIDS research and awareness.
Teens of Denial
by Car Seat Headrest
If there was any album to come out this summer for the angsty teenager in us all, it would be Teens of Denial. Jam-packed with feisty guitar lines and moody prose, Teens of Denial is superbly catchy and undeniably youthful. With lines like, “We are not a proud race / It’s not a race at all / We’re just trying to get home,” to rally behind, front man Will Toledo will inevitably jump-start your cold, adult heart so that you can feel like a kid again.
If you’re still on the fence about the album and need a professional opinion, look no further. A little band by the name of Smash Mouth said on Twitter last month that “Drunk Drivers / Killer Whales” on Teens of Denial is one of the best tunes to come out of 2016. Go figure.
Graphic: Lesia Karalash / Graphics Editor