One of the reasons I love summer is I have all the time I want to listen to new music. This summer produced a wealth of beautiful music, and choosing a few albums to populate this list was excruciatingly difficult. After much thought, prayer and tears I arrived at what I feel are my seven favorite albums of the summer. Enjoy.
Tame Impala - Currents: Currents is a beautiful third album from psych music extraordinaire Kevin Parker. The album was recorded solely by Parker and explores a side of psych music previously uncharted by the band. In the past, Tame Impala sounded much like the Beatles in their later years. On Currents, however, Tame Impala goes electronic, even adding in elements from R&B and rap music. The results are a beautiful, catchy psych pop album. Best tracks: “Let it Happen,” “Eventually,” “'Cause I'm a Man”
Son Lux - Bones: Son Lux continues to sound different and exciting in a time that is becoming crowded with electronic pop bands that want to make it big. Part of what sets Son Lux apart is their use of live instrumentation orchestrated by the classically trained Ryan Lott, the band’s founder, who also recently scored the music for the film Paper Towns. Son Lux perfectly walks the line between pushing the envelope with dense, experimental instrumentation and writing catchy hooks. Best Songs: “Change Is Everything,” “You Don't Know Me,” “This Time”
Jamie xx - In Colour: Jamie xx, one third of the xx, strikes out on his own in his luscious album In Colour. The album contains beautiful tracks where Jamie slowly adds samples to a song that grows into a beautiful climax like “Gosh” and “Sleep Sound.” While this type of song makes up the majority of the album, Jamie xx throws in some curveballs like the incredibly catchy “Loud Places” and the summer banger “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)” featuring Young Thug. Best Songs: “I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times),” “Obvs,” “Loud Places”
Twenty One Pilots - Blurryface: Twenty One Pilots return with their fifth album Blurryface, a mixture of genres that defies categorization. The band successfully mixes reggae, pop, punk and rap to create songs that are undeniably catchy. Tyler Joseph’s lyrics deal with themes of sin, forgiveness and love—managing to be both catchy and deeply meaningful. The album is an hour of pure fun, and every song has the potential to be stuck in your head for days. Best Songs: “Stressed Out,” “Ride,” “The Judge”
Mac Demarco - Another One: If you haven’t listened to Mac Demarco, you are missing out. Demarco’s laid-back, twangy songs are both catchy and relaxing. This musical aesthetic allows Demarco to write the happiest break-up album ever. Demarco gives off fun, carefree vibes, especially at the end of the album when Demarco tells the audience his address and invites fans over for coffee.
Kacey Musgraves - Pageant Material: Kacey Musgraves is a singer from the small town of Golden, Texas, and she is breathing life into the genre of country music that has become saturated with bro-country acts like Florida Georgia Line. Pageant Material is a throwback to the golden days of country music and even includes a duet with Willie Nelson. Musgrave’s voice is silky smooth, and the warm steel guitars and quaint song subjects makes this album the perfect pick for laying in a hammock on a lazy Sunday. Best Songs: “Pageant Material,” “Biscuits,” “Dimestore Cowgirl”
Lianne La Havas - Blood: The first thing that stands out on Lianne La Havas’s sophomore album is her strong, rich voice. Beautiful voices can feel like a dime-a-dozen, but La Havas ensures that she won’t be forgotten through her superb songwriting and instrumentation. Songs range from slow, simple ballads to lush pop jams. If you are sick of Beyoncé and her terrible music, La Havas is a cleaner, more talented replacement. Best Songs: “Tokyo,” “What You Don't Do,” “Grow”