The sun is out, your bedroom is already stinking hot, and suddenly the memory of snow seems less depressing than it does nostalgically inviting: yes, it’s summer! The advent of the summer generally corresponds with something of a drop-off in the volume and quality of album releases — everyone’s too busy drinking beer on rooftops, maybe — but never fear, because as ever Flavorwire has pored over the release schedules and come up with a list of the ten albums you need to hear in the month to come, along with a roundup of everything else that’s out, whether good, bad, or Barenaked Ladies.
Camera Obscura — Desire Lines (June 4)
Yay for the return of a fantastic indie-pop band! Desire Lines was recorded in Portland, OR, and features guest appearances from Neko Case and Jim James — the former appears on the suitably alt-country-inflected single “Fifth in Line to the Throne” (above), which is gorgeously melancholy and bodes very well indeed for the rest of the album.
Boards of Canada — Tomorrow’s Harvest (June 11)
You may have heard something about this.
These New Puritans — Field of Reeds (June 11)
Wait, when did this band get so good? This record sounds absolutely nothing like These New Puritans’ early work, and very little like anything else — it’s sort of downbeat pseudo-orchestral electronic medieval music, or something, a combination that’s every bit as bizarrely fascinating and compelling as it sounds. If that’s piqued your interest, you can stream the record at the Guardian website.
Gold Panda — Half of Where You Live (June 11)
Apparently this record is the result of Derwin Powers upping and traveling around the world for a couple of years, and there are plenty of suitably global influences to be heard in its sounds. Fundamentally, though, it’s still beautifully evocative electronic music characterized by the sort of lush atmospherics and subtle production that have come to define Gold Panda.
Coma Cinema — Posthumous Release (June 11)
Catchily lo-fi indie pop furnished with crushingly depressing lyrics? Sure! Absolutely!
Sigur Rós — Kveikur (June 18)
Sigur Rós, bless them, have essentially been doing the same thing for at least 15 years. That’s not a criticism — their career has been an exercise in refining a distinctive and singular aesthetic, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. This makes Kvelkur an interesting proposition, because by the sounds of it — and we only have singles “Brennisteinn” (above) and “Ísjaki” to judge by so far — the album represents something of a stylistic shift. “Brennisteinn,” in particular, sounded more like Tool than Sigur Rós; “Ísjaki” is less radically different from the band’s former work, but still, the production is a lot more lush and polished than we’ve heard in the past. It should be fascinating to hear the rest of Kveikur, and to find out whether its lead single was a bait-and-switch or a genuine creative left turn.
Primal Scream — More Light (June 18)
There are two Primal Screams these days: the moody atmospheric Vanishing Point version of the band, and the loud, scuzzy Stooges-inspired version. This record finds them in the latter frame of mind — it’s noisy, nasty, and angry, returning to the sort of window-smashing political rhetoric that characterized 2000’s incendiary XTRMNTR.
Heliotropes — A Constant Sea (June 18)
If we’re going to have a ’90s revival, we might as well at least celebrate bands who take inspiration from the good bits of that decade. Heliotropes are clearly grunge-inspired, but there’s enough originality and quality songwriting here to make the band well worth hearing (as evidenced by this album’s lead single “The Dove,” above.) Further listening is available in the form of recent single “Quatto,” which if you’re a Total Recall fan is indeed named after the weird mutant rebel leader in the film (even if the spelling is different).
Kanye West — Yeezus (June 18)
Apparently Kim Kardashian says it’s good, so, y’know, it must be.
Tunng — So Far From Here (June 18)
And finally, more quietly beautiful, electronic-inflected neo-folk sounds from a band who have quietly been making such music for a decade now. It’s hard to believe that Sam Genders and Mike Lindsay used to write music for porn films.
Also out this month:
Queens of the Stone Age — Like Clockwork (June 4) ROCK.
Ben Folds Five — Ben Folds Five Live (June 4) There’s still only three of them, because Ben’s still a Wacky Guy™.
Barenaked Ladies — Grinning Streak Also on the Wacky Guys™ front, hey, it’s a new Barenaked Ladies album! (And the title’s a pun, see?!)
Megadeth — Super Collider (June 4) Still not selling as many records as Metallica.
Beady Eye — BE (June 11) They’re out to get One Direction, apparently. If you say so, Liam.
Andrew Stockdale — Keep Moving (June 11) What the world has been waiting for: a post-Wolfmother solo album from the most ridiculous man in rock ‘n’ roll.
Black Sabbath — 13 (June 11) There’s a pretty grand cosmic irony in the fact that Stockdale and Black Sabbath are releasing records in the same week, actually.
Goo Goo Dolls — Magnetic (June 11) In a parallel universe, this will sell many, many copies.
CSS — Planta (June 11) Remember when CSS were the hip young hopes of the music industry? It all seems so long ago now.
Surfer Blood — Pythons (June 11) Ever noticed how everyone’s stopped talking about Surfer Blood’s domestic abuse arrest but is still happy to continue raging against Chris Brown? Yeah. Us too.
Sonny & the Sunsets — Antenna to the Afterworld (June 11) A fine example of the actually-quite-decent-band-saddled-with-terrible-band-name phenomenon.
The World Is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die — Whenever, If Ever (June 18) This band name, meanwhile, is flat-out intriguing. The album has been out digitally since last month — this is the date for the physical release.
Empire of the Sun — Ice on the Dune (June 18) Key point: it’s apparently Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore again, which is important because it’s Littlemore who’s the interesting one.
Bosnian Rainbows — Bosnian Rainbows (June 25) You have to feel for Cedric Bixler — getting stiffed for a band called BOSNIAN RAINBOWS.
Wise Blood — ID (June 25) Not to be mistaken for Surfer Blood, the key differences being that Wise Blood a) weren’t arrested for beating their girlfriends and b) actually make pretty good music.