Summer Music Preview: 40 Notable Upcoming Albums

  • Publish Date: May 24, 2018
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Confirmed and likely releases coming this summer

Below, our editors select some of the key albums due for release between now and early September, listed in alphabetical order by artist.

Album coverLily Allen
No Shame
June 8 (Parlophone/Warner Bros.)
Amazon

Recorded with Mark Ronson, Fryars, and Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend (among others), the English star's fourth album follows 2014's Sheezus, a rare critical disappointment. The "personal" and "truthful" nature of the new set should make it a perfect fit with her upcoming memoir, due this fall.

LISTEN: "Higher"
LISTEN: "Three"
WATCH: "Trigger Bang"

Album coverA$AP Rocky
Testing
May 25

At press time, it looks likely that the A$AP Mob rapper's delayed third studio album (and follow-up to 2015's At.Long.Last.A$AP) will drop this Friday, though the details are still unconfirmed. Rumored guests include Frank Ocean, FKA Twigs, Puff Daddy, Dev Hynes, and Kid Cudi.

Album coverBrockhampton
Puppy
June tbd (RCA)

Texas/California hip-hop collective Brockhampton got its start by collaborating over the internet (originally putting out material under the name AliveSinceForever). And they certainly are prolific. Despite releasing three separate albums in 2017—including December's well-received Saturation III—they already have a fourth album set to go for a June release. No details have been revealed (other than the title and cover art), though it is expected to be the group's major-label debut.

Album coverNeko Case
Hell-On
June 1 (Anti-/Epitaph)
Amazon

After collaborating with like-minded singer-songwriters k.d. lang and Laura Veirs on 2016's eponymous case/lang/veirs and then contributing (as always) to the latest New Pornographers album, Whiteout Conditions, Neko Case has returned to her solo work. Hell-On, her first solo album since 2013's excellent The Worse Things Get..., is produced by Case along with Peter Bjorn & John's Bjorn Yttling, and it includes contributions from both Veirs and lang as well as Mark Lanegan, Beth Ditto, Kelly Hogan, Eric Bachmann, and AC Newman.

LISTEN: "Bad Luck"
LISTEN: "Curse of the I-5 Corridor" (feat. Mark Lanegan)
LISTEN: "Hell-On"

Album coverChvrches
Love Is Dead
May 25 (Glassnote)
Amazon

The Scottish band enlisted Grammy-winning producer Greg Kurstin (Adele, Sia) for this third full-length, marking the first time they've worked with an outside producer. Love Is Dead does not include any of the tracks the group recorded with Dave Stewart of Eurythmics, but it does include vocals from The National’s Matt Berninger.

LISTEN: "Get Out"
LISTEN: "My Enemy" (feat. Matt Berninger)
LISTEN: "Never Say Die"
WATCH: "Miracle"

Album coverDeafheaven
Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
July 13 (Anti-/Epitaph)
Amazon

The massively acclaimed Bay Area metal band (whose last release was New Bermuda in 2015) began recording their fourth album last fall, and it will finally surface in July. Love finds the band working again with producer Jack Shirley. A North American tour also launches in mid July.

WATCH: "Honeycomb"

Death Cab for Cutie
tbd
August tbd

In 2015, the veteran, Ben Gibbard-fronted indie rockers released Kintsugi, their final album with contributions from guitarist (and frequent producer) Chris Walla. It certainly looks like they will release their first Walla-less album this August, though only the tour in support of the album has been detailed so far. The new record will feature touring musicians Zac Rae and Dave Depper, who are now full members of the band.

WATCH: Album trailer

Album coverDeath Grips
Year of the Snitch
tbd (Harvest/Third Worlds)

There's a title, tracklist, and album cover—just no firm release date—for the sixth studio album from the Sacramento hip-hop(-ish) trio. Following 2016's Bottomless Pit, the "coming soon" Snitch includes some sort of contributions from Shrek director Andrew Adamson and Tool's Justin Chancellor.

LISTEN: "Black Paint"
LISTEN: "Streaky"
WATCH: "Flies"
WATCH: Album trailer

Album coverDirty Projectors
Lamp Lit Prose
July 13 (Domino)
Amazon

David Longstreth’s indie experimentalists are back with a quick follow-up to last year's hiatus-ending self-titled release. Lamp Lit Prose includes contributions from The Internet's Syd, Empress Of, Rostam Batmanglij, Robin Pecknold, and HAIM, plus strings from the Calder Quartet and horns from The Brass Players of Los Angeles.

WATCH: "Break-Thru"

Drake
Scorpion
June tbd (Republic)

The Canadian star's fifth studio album is expected next month. A tracklist has yet to be revealed, and it is uncertain whether Drake's recently announced collaboration with 76-year-old singer Paul Anka will be part of Scorpion or is an unrelated project. Drake kicks off a lengthy tour with Migos in late July.

Album coverThe Essex Green
Hardly Electronic
June 29 (Merge)

Part of the Elephant 6 Collective of '60s pop-influenced indie rock bands (along with Neutral Milk Hotel and Of Montreal, among others), Brooklyn's The Essex Green haven't released an album since 2006's Cannibal Sea. But they will break their 12-year silence this summer with their fourth album Hardly Electronic, which has been in the works since 2015.

LISTEN: "Sloane Ranger"
WATCH: Album trailer

Album coverFather John Misty
God's Favorite Customer
June 1 (Sub Pop/Bella Union)
Amazon

Barely over a year after releasing Pure Comedy, Josh Tillman is back with a follow-up. Rather than another concept album, Customer is a straightforward 10-song set written mostly in a six-week period while Tillman was living in a hotel room.

LISTEN: "Disappointing Diamonds Are the Rarest of Them All"
LISTEN: "Just Dumb Enough to Try"
WATCH: "Mr. Tillman"
WATCH: "Mr. Tillman" (live on The Tonight Show)

Album coverFlorence + The Machine
High as Hope
June 29 (Republic)
Amazon

The English chart-toppers' fourth studio album is their first since 2015's How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. Joining Florence Welch & co. are Jamie xx, Sampha, Kamasi Washington, and Tobias Jesso Jr.

WATCH: "Hunger"
WATCH: "Hunger" (live on The Tonight Show)
WATCH: "Sky Full of Song"

Album coverGang Gang Dance
Kazuashita
June 22 (4AD)
Amazon

The New York experimentalists return after a seven-year hiatus with a follow-up to 2011's well-received Eye Contact. Each of the 10 tracks flows seamlessly into the next, making Kazuashita more like a single piece of music rather than a collection of songs.

LISTEN: "Lotus"

Album coverGhost
Prequelle
June 1 (Loma Vista)
Amazon

The masked Swedish metal band's fourth album follows their 2015 LP Meliora, which brought the group international recognition and their first Grammy award. The new set finds frontman (and sole songwriter and permanent member) Tobias Forge playing a new character, Cardinal Copia.

WATCH: "Dance Macabre"
WATCH: "Rats"

Ariana Grande
Sweetener
tbd (Republic)

Likely out on July 20th though an exact date hasn't been made official, Sweetener will be the fourth studio album from the actress and pop singer, following 2016's Dangerous Woman. The full tracklist has not been confirmed for the album, though it will include tracks produced by Max Martin and Pharrell.

WATCH: "No Tears Left to Cry"
WATCH: "No Tears Left to Cry" (live on The Tonight Show)

The Internet
Hive Mind
July 20

The Odd Future-affiliated L.A. outfit returns with a follow-up to 2015's Grammy-nominated Ego Death. In the interim, several Internet members have released solo albums, including Syd (Fin) and Matt Martians (The Drum Chord Theory).

Album coverJim James
Uniform Distortion
June 29 (ATO)
Amazon

The My Morning Jacket frontman has been releasing solo albums at a rapid clip, especially with that band on a bit of a recording hiatus. His latest, Uniform Distortion, follows last year's covers collection Tribute to 2 and his 2016 LP of originals, Eternally Even.

WATCH: "Just a Fool"

Album coverJay Rock
Redemption
June 15 (Top Dawg Entertainment)

The L.A. rapper's just-announced third album follows 2015's 90059 and 2011's Follow Me Home. There's no official tracklist yet, so we don't know if Redemption will include his recent collaboration with Kendrick Lamar, "King's Dead," which also appears on the Black Panther soundtrack.

LISTEN: "Win"
WATCH: "King's Dead" (feat. Kendrick Lamar, Future, James Blake)

Album coverAngélique Kidjo
Remain in Light
June 8 (Kravenworks)

Considered one of the better albums ever recorded, the fourth album from Talking Heads, 1980's Remain in Light, borrows heavily from Afrobeat and other African music styles. So it seems fitting that if anyone is going to attempt a song-for-song remake of that LP, it's an African artist. Singer-songwriter Angélique Kidjo has actually been performing the album live since 2017, and now she has recorded it in the studio, joined by collaborators including Fela Kuti drummer Tony Allen, Blood Orange, and Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig. Kidjo's take on Light emphasizes the West African musical influences and even adds lyrics to some of the songs.

WATCH: "Born Under Punches"
WATCH: "Once in a Lifetime"

Album coverLykke Li
so sad so sexy
June 8 (RCA)
Amazon

On her first solo album in four years (following 2014's I Never Learn), the Swedish art-pop artist enlists Rostam Batmanglij, producer Jeff Bhasker, and rapper Aminé, among other collaborators.

WATCH: "Deep End"
WATCH: "Hard Rain"
WATCH: "Utopia"

Album coverLUMP
LUMP
June 1 (Dead Oceans)
Amazon

What sounds like a Presidents of the United States of America cover band is instead a new collaboration between acclaimed singer-songwriter Laura Marling and Mike Lindsay of the English folktronica band Tunng, who met while both were at a Neil Young concert. As for the name LUMP? That's the fuzzy character created for the album cover (and first video).

LISTEN: "Late to the Flight"
WATCH: "Curse of the Contemporary"

Album coverJohnny Marr
Call the Comet
June 15 (New Voodoo)
Amazon

The former Smiths guitarist has been recording as a solo artist under his own name in recent years. Comet is his third studio album, following 2014's Playland (and the 2015 live set Adrenalin Baby).

WATCH: "Hi Hello"
WATCH: "The Tracers"
WATCH: Album trailer

Album coverThe Midnight Hour
The Midnight Hour
June 8 (Linear Labs)
Amazon

It may be their first album, but it's certainly not the first work from the duo of producer/composer Adrian Younge and A Tribe Called Quest's Ali Shaheed Muhammad. After first working together on a 2014 album by Souls of Mischief, the pair collaborated to score the first season of the Netflix series Luke Cage, and are returning to provide music for this summer's second season as well. Work on The Midnight Hour, however, began well before they signed on to the Marvel series. In fact, one of the new album's tracks, "Questions," was sampled by Kendrick Lamar on his 2016 album untitled unmastered. In addition to Cee Lo Green, the new LP features contributions from Questlove, Raphael Saadiq, Bilal, and a full orchestra.

LISTEN: "Questions" feat. Cee Lo Green

Nicki Minaj
Queen
June 15 (Young Money)

Though she frequently appears on tracks by other artists, Nicki Minaj hasn't released an album of her own since 2014's The Pinkprint. That changes in a few weeks with the arrival of her fourth studio album, which she recorded earlier this year. Minaj has already attracted some controversy with her SNL performance of Queen single "Chun-Li," which provoked accusations of cultural appropriation.

WATCH: "Barbie Tingz"
WATCH: "Chun-Li"
WATCH: "Chun-Li" (live on Saturday Night Live)

Album coverMitski
Be the Cowboy
August 17 (Dead Oceans)
Amazon

The singer-songwriter's follow-up to 2016's stellar Puberty 2 and fifth LP overall is once again produced by her longtime collaborator, Patrick Hyland. After touring recently with Lorde and Run the Jewels, Mitski will kick off a string of solo dates next month.

WATCH: "Geyser"

Album coverNine Inch Nails
Bad Witch
June 22 (Null Corporation)
Amazon

Is it an EP? An LP? It was originally announced as the conclusion in a trilogy of EPs, following 2017's Add Violence and 2016's Not the Actual Events. And it is only six tracks long, running for just 30 minutes. But Trent Reznor has been characterizing Bad Witch as a full album (NIN's first since 2013's Hesitation Marks), though that may have more to do with how it appears on streaming services.

LISTEN: "God Break Down the Door"

Album coverOneohtrix Point Never
Age of
June 1 (Warp)
Amazon

After scoring the critically acclaimed film Good Time last year and contributing to David Byrne's recently released LP, electronic music composer Daniel Lopatin is back with his first studio album since 2015's Garden of Delete. Anohni, James Blake, and Prurient are among the guests.

WATCH: "Black Snow" (feat. Anohni)

Album coverJohn Parish
Bird Dog Dante
June 15 (Thrill Jockey)
Amazon

The frequent PJ Harvey collaborator, multi-instrumentalist, and producer will release his first solo studio album since 2005's Once Upon A Little Time next month. Harvey guests on one track, a tribute to the late Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse.

LISTEN: "Sorry for Your Loss" (feat. PJ Harvey)

Album coverNatalie Prass
The Future and the Past
June 1 (ATO)
Amazon

The Ohio native made a splash with her self-titled debut album, which ranked among 2015's best debut albums (and best albums, period). Her second album (and first for new label ATO) was again recorded with Matthew E. White.

LISTEN: "Lost"
LISTEN: "Sisters"
WATCH: "Short Court Style"

Album coverPrefuse 73
Sacrifices
May 25 (Lex)
Amazon

Guillermo S. Herren's first solo full-length since 2015's Rivington Não Rio follows his 2016 detour into hip-hop as part of the duo Fudge. The new 17-song album Sacrifices is out this week digitally, with a physical release to follow on June 15.

LISTEN: "Basinskitarian"
LISTEN: "Silver & Gold"
LISTEN: "The World Is Bigger"

Album coverGruff Rhys
Babelsberg
June 8 (Rough Trade)
Amazon

The Super Furry Animals (and Neon Neon) frontman is back with his fifth album as a solo artist. The 10 songs were originally recorded back in 2016, but the release was delayed so that Rhys could supplement those original recordings with orchestral backing (some from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales).

WATCH: "Frontier Man"

Album coverThe Rock*A*Teens
Sixth House
June 29 (Merge)
Amazon

The Cabbagetown, Georgia indie garage-rock band broke up in 2002 after releasing their then-final album, Sweet Bird of Youth, in 2000. After re-forming in 2014 to tour, the band now completes its comeback with a new studio album, Sixth House, due next month on the band's longtime label Merge.

LISTEN: "Go Tell Everybody"

Album coverRolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
Hope Downs
June 15 (Sub Pop)
Amazon

The Australian indie rockers signed to Sub Pop last year for the release of their second EP, The French Press. Now they are set to release their full-length debut, a 10-song set recorded in their home country.

LISTEN: "An Air Conditioned Man"
LISTEN: "Mainland"
WATCH: "Talking Straight"

Album coverTy Segall and White Fence
Joy
July 20 (Drag City)
Amazon

Garage rockers Ty Segall and Tim Presley (aka White Fence) previously released the 2012 collaborative album Hair, and they are back with a follow-up in July. It's somehow only the second 2018 release so far for the insanely prolific Segall (following Freedom’s Goblin), while Presley also has a prior 2018 release, from his collaboration with Cate Le Bon, Drinks.

LISTEN: "Good Boy"

Album coverJorja Smith
Lost & Found
June 8 (FAMM)
Amazon

The 20-year-old British R&B/pop vocalist makes her full-length debut with this 12-song set. Smith first gained fame in 2016 through early singles like "Blue Lights" and "Where Did I Go?" (both included on the new album), which attracted the attention of Drake, who then included her on a pair of tracks on his More Life compilation.

WATCH: "Blue Lights"
WATCH: "Teenage Fantasy"
WATCH: "Where Did I Go"

Album coverKamasi Washington
Heaven And Earth 2xCD
June 22 (Young Turks)
Amazon

L.A. jazz man, Kendrick Lamar collaborator, and Flying Lotus signee Kamasi Washington wowed critics with his 2015 opus The Epic. While that triple album clocked in at 173 minutes, his follow-up is a "mere" double album. Thundercat is among the guest contributors.

LISTEN: "Fists of Fury"
LISTEN: "The Space Travelers Lullaby"

Kanye West
tbd
June 1 (GOOD Music/Def Jam)

Did you know that before he was a Kardashian, a fashion designer, a Family Feud contestant, and one of the world's most famous Trump supporters, Kanye West was a fairly well-known hip hop star? And in just a few weeks, he may finally follow up 2016's The Life Of Pablo with a new album—reportedly just seven tracks long, possibly titled Love Everyone, and almost certainly not including his recent poop-themed track "Lift Yourself." If all goes according to plan, it could actually be an extremely busy summer for Kanye, with West-produced albums also coming from Pusha T (formerly titled King Push, but now called Daytona, due this Friday), Kid Cudi (June 8), Nas (June 15), and Teyana Taylor (June 22). The Cudi album is actually a full collaboration between the two rappers, titled Kids See Ghost.

Album coverYears & Years
Palo Santo
July 6 (Interscope/Polydor)
Amazon

The much-hyped British electropop band won the BBC's Sound of 2015 poll and then promptly released their debut album Communion, which sold well but didn't exactly wow music critics. Can they combine both commercial and critical success with their sophomore effort? The 11-song Palo Santo includes a new version of "Hypnotised," previously released as part of the soundtrack to a Baz Luhrmann short made for H&M.

WATCH: "If You're Over Me"
WATCH: "Sanctify"
WATCH: Album trailer

Album coverYob
Our Raw Heart
June 8 (Relapse)
Amazon

The doom metal trio's eighth album and follow-up to 2014's high-scoring Clearing the Path to Ascend was written in part while frontman Mike Scheidt was recovering from a life-threatening illness.

LISTEN: "Our Raw Heart"
WATCH: "The Screen"

What are you looking forward to?

Which albums are you looking forward to this summer? Let us know in the comments section below, and visit our Album Release Calendar for even more upcoming music release dates.

 

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