Please tell me someone else out there doesn’t have air conditioning and is sitting in front of a fan, trying to stay cool while writing about the hottest new music releases for the summer… someone? Anyone? Just me? Well fine, I’ll take the responsibility on. Let’s check out the mid-summer fun!
Haim – Something to Tell You
Release date: 7/7
This feels so right to kick off the summer with. HAIM is everything a good summer outdoor concert should be, chock full of good harmonies and melodies for the open road. “Want You Back” is a fun-paced but insightful track that is outright soul-bearing. I am so insanely in love and heartbroken all at once by this light track.
I think it’s dawned on me why HAIM is so appealing to me. Songs like “Right Now” are lighter versions of tracks that The Veronicas put out (another girl-centric group that I frequently forget just how much I enjoy). While they can’t all be top favorites, this makes for another general nice listen.
“Little of Your Love” rounds out our sampler before the album release, and it even brings in some sweet folk-country-esque sounds, proving that they take the slightest musical risks to bring out all the talent. I have to say, this is a release that’s all set to be a surprising delight. My only lingering question is – how is this only album number two?
Other 67/7 releases:
Broken Social Scene – Hug of Thunder
Melvins – A Walk With Love and Death
The Vamps – Night & Day
Release date: 7/14
While this is a two-part album, we’re actually only about to get the Night Edition this month – you’ll have to hold out until December for Day Edition. Welcome back to concept albums.
This is today’s pop rock at its truest, with all of the pop and next to none of the rock. Let’s face it though – as soon as you see DJ something or other near a song, you know you’re losing any classic rock elements you may have once hoped to be brought in. “All Night” is just this, and I’m sorry but this just sounds like a bunch of kids singing against a very familiar track.
And in all loss of creativity, the next song title for a single is “Middle of the Night.” Impressively, not all the songs on the album have ‘night’ in the title, and one includes Sabrina Carpenter (not this one). Despite this fact, even my Girl Meets World love will probably not bring me any closer to giving this one much of a shot outside of a random club experience (and I don’t have those often, if ever).
Other 7/14 releases:
Neil Young - Hitchhiker
Silverstein – Dead Reflection
Foster the People – Sacred Hearts Club
Release date: 7/21
In late 2016, Foster the People performed three new songs at Rocking the Daisies Music Festival and announced the third album was on the way. Two of the three of those songs wound up on “III” which is presented as a short EP on Spotify to listen to – in other words, a sweet little music sampler.
I know I just went slightly off about club music, but FTP seems to present that dance vibe without the fear of having nightmares about flashing strobe lights. They seem to be smart and interesting in their methodology (releasing, in this case, three music videos on their own Vevo channel, along with a short doc on the album title and release date).
Everyone knows the inner story of “Pumped Up Kicks” by now, and the band seems to take their ability to deliver messages in unique ways to heart. There is no wasted word or beat, and the songs stick with you. From the heartful “Pay the Man” right into something with more whimsy and insight, “Doing It for the Money,” I think anyone could get intrigued by what’s being offered.
“S.H.C.,” which I’d imagine it short for the album title, maybe tries to set the tone, but despite it not being the highlight of the preview, it doesn’t make me shy away. “Loyal Like Sid & Nancy” mixes that sound with a slightly darker tone. At the end of it all, we’ve got to give this one a chance for sure. At least a one-listen round is coming up in late July.
Other 7/21 releases:
Cornelius – Mellow Wave
Avey Tare - Eucalyptus
Arcade Fire – Everything Now
Release date: 7/28
This summer seems to be one of sleeper hit possibilities, with bands returning that you never knew you missed. Arcade Fire is one of everyone’s love-to-forget bands that seems to make big splashes each go-around.
Album number five (??) was produced by half of Daft Punk, along with some other folks who have brought this band’s greatness to us before. They launched a cryptic yet seemingly exciting campaign to announce the album and tracks, even doing a little thing with anagrams on Twitter back in early June. Hey, there’s a lot of noise out there, and I have massive respect for anyone making any attempts to break on through.
The fun is back with “Everything Now” (and yes, that piano is familiar – oh the Francis Bebey samples!) and I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to go roller skating as much as I do right this second. There’s a B-side to the single too – an instrumental version – and I’d bet it’s just as great.
“Creature Comfort” takes an abrupt turn, but not so much that the groove is lost. That’s how I think this album is going to wind up being described – downright groovy. We’re due for a 70’s comeback with some 2000’s flair, right? Can we make that a thing? Would you let us make it a thing for 100% marshmallow cereal? Yeah, go on and look up that reference in connection with the song. I’ll wait.
The last piece we get is “Signs of Life,” which officially solidifies my proposed theme. What an excellent way to round out July. Groove in the sunshine, my friends.
Other 7/28 releases:
Alice Cooper – Paranormal
Joywave - Content