Below, we preview some of the most noteworthy albums scheduled for release between now and August. As always, check our ongoing Album Release Calendar for an even more thorough (and frequently updated) list of upcoming album release dates.
June 3 (G-Unit/Caroline/Capitol) Pre-Order From Amazon
In the decade since his debut Get Rich Or Die Tryin', rapper 50 Cent has released his albums through Interscope's Shady/Aftermath affiliates, but that changes with this fifth studio album, his first release for Capitol. Animal Ambition arrives in place of the long-delayed Street King Immortal, which was to be his fifth LP (and which may still surface in the near future). The rapper will have a busy summer; he's also producing (and co-starring in) the new Starz drama series Power, which debuts a few days after his album drops.
|WATCH:||"Don't Worry 'Bout It"|
June 17 (Anti-) Pre-Order From Amazon
After receiving 80+ scores for their previous two full-lengths (2009's Hospice and 2011's Burst Apart), the Brooklyn-based indie band jump to a new label for their fifth album. Though Familiars is self-produced, the group enlisted Chris Coady (Beach House, Future Islands) for the mixing.
Neon Future 1
August 12 (Dim Mak)
The first half of a double album (with Neon Future 2 following in 2015), Neon Future 1 is the DJ and Dim Mak founder's third album as a recording artist. Guests on part one include will.i.am, Wacka Flocka Flame, Fall Out Boy, Empire of the Sun, and Bonnie McKee. Want more EDM this summer? Deadmau5 will release his new double studio album While (1<2) on June 17th, and Tiësto has A Town Called Paradise out that same day.
|LISTEN:||"Rage The Night Away" feat. Waka Flocka Flame|
August 25 (Atlantic Jaxx/PIAS)
It's been five years since we last had a proper LP (2009's Scars) from veteran electronic music duo Basement Jaxx, but the just-announced Junto (Spanish for "together") will arrive at the end of the summer. "Unicorn" (below) is the album's first official single, and last year's "Mermaid of Salinas" will appear as well, but other recently released tracks such as "What a Difference Your Love Makes" and "Back 2 The Wild" will not be included.
|LISTEN:||"Mermaid of Salinas"|
Bethany Cosentino and co. are expected to release their third album this summer—recording (but not mixing) was completed earlier this spring—though there are still no official details (including a record label) to speak of. Cosentino recently discussed the 12-song album with Spin, and she cited the Go-Go's, Gwen Stefani, and even Sugar Ray as influences on the album's sound.
Me. I Am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse
May 27 (Def Jam) Pre-Order From Amazon
We're not exactly sure how "elusive" an international pop superstar, occasional actress, and one-time American Idol judge could be, but the title's right about one thing: she is Mariah. Her. She is. MIAMTEC arrives after two years of delays, title and tracklist changes, and a quickly squashed rumor that it would spring upon the world Beyoncé-style, as a surprise release without any advance warning. Producers include Rodney Jerkins and Jermaine Dupri, while Nas, Miguel, Wale, R. Kelly, and Mary J. Blige are among the guests. Reviews are starting to come in.
|LISTEN:||"The Art of Letting Go"|
|WATCH:||"Beautiful" feat. Miguel|
|WATCH:||"You're Mine (Eternal)"|
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
June 3 (self-released) Pre-Order From Amazon
So far, indie rockers Clap Your Hands Say Yeah have proven to be one-album wonders, unable to reach the heights of that one wonderful album (their 2005 self-titled debut) with either of their two follow-ups. Now down to just two original members (frontman Alec Ounsworth and drummer Sean Greenhalgh), they'll try again with album #4. Only Run was mixed by Dave Fridmann and features contributions from The National's Matt Berninger.
Lana Del Rey
June 17 (Interscope)
Critics didn't love the singer-songwriter's 2012 major-label debut Born to Die, but it was a hit, shipping more than 5 million copies worldwide. Her highly anticipated follow-up finds Del Rey working with an unlikely collaborator: The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach. He produced the entirety of Ultraviolence, which was recorded in his Nashville studio with a seven-piece band shortly after the two artists met serendipitously in New York.
Echo & The Bunnymen
June 3 (429 Records) Pre-Order From Amazon
Since re-forming in the mid-1990s, '80s alt-rock stars Echo & The Bunnymen have received mostly positive reviews for their subsequent records, up until 2009's The Fountain, a rare misfire. They hope to return to form with Meteorites, their first LP in five years. The 10-song set, produced by Youth (Killing Joke), doesn't sound all that different from what Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant have been doing for decades—and that's a good thing, though some critics aren't all that impressed.
|LISTEN:||Full album stream [The Guardian]|
|WATCH:||"Lovers on the Run"|
First Aid Kit
June 10 (Columbia) Pre-Order From Amazon
The Swedish sister alt-folk duo follow their critically acclaimed 2012 set The Lion's Roar with this third album, produced by Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes). Stay Gold finds the sisters working with a larger musical palette, including a 13-piece orchestra.
|WATCH:||"My Silver Lining"|
June 3 (Matador) Pre-Order From Amazon
Despite that name, Canadian hardcore punk band Fucked Up has done little wrong in recent years, scoring a Polaris Music Prize for their critically acclaimed 2009 LP Chemistry Of Common Life and then earning even better reviews for follow-up David Comes To Life. Now, three years later, Fucked Up is set to release album #4, recorded over a 13 month period. The time off doesn't seem to have mellowed them; despite being "more chill" and "looser" than past outings, the tracks released so far are loud, fast, and angry. J Mascis guests.
|LISTEN:||"Led by Hand"|
|WATCH:||"Paper the House"|
The Nickelodeon star emerged with a surprisingly strong debut as a recording artist last year in Yours Truly, which earned strong reviews and debuted at #1. Now, less than a year later, her second album is already complete, though it is still awaiting a title and a firm release date (expected to be in late August). Iggy Azalea guests on the lead single, "Problem," while the album will also feature an EDM track (produced by Zedd) and another song produced by Rodney Jerkins.
|WATCH:||"Problem" (lyric video)|
Hercules & Love Affair
The Feast of the Broken Heart
May 26 (Moshi Moshi) [UK only]
The New York house music outfit Hercules & Love Affair, featuring Andy Butler and a rotating group of collaborators, returns with a third LP. John Grant, Krystle Warren, Belgian singer Gustaph, and Rouge Mary provide the vocals this time around. Early reviews are mixed, however.
|LISTEN:||Full album stream [Pitchfork]|
|WATCH:||"I Try To Talk To You" feat. John Grant|
The Moon Rang Like a Bell
May 27 (OWSLA) Pre-Order From Amazon
The Florida electronic art-pop band moves to Skrillex's OWSLA label (as the first indie act to sign there) for their second album. The spare, synth-driven songs, with an emphasis on Nicole Miglis' versatile voice, are suggestive of acts ranging from The xx to Bjork. Early reviews are solid.
|LISTEN:||Full album stream [NPR]|
|LISTEN:||"Nowhere" (bonus track)|
June 10 (Caroline) Pre-Order From Amazon
Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde has done many things in her 40-year career in music, but releasing a solo album has not been one of them. Next month's Stockholm, then, qualifies as her first, though if you think it sounds a bit like Hynde fronting Swedish indie-rockers Peter, Bjorn and John, it almost is: that group's Bjorn Yttling is Hynde's collaborator here, producing, co-writing the songs, and even playing guitar. Perhaps we could call them Chrissie, Bjorn and John? (The John, of course, is tennis great John McEnroe—seriously—who guests on one track.) Neil Young also guests.
|LISTEN:||"You or No One"|
La Petite Mort
June 2 (Cooking Vinyl) [UK only]
The Manchester band's 10th album (and first LP since 2008's Hey Ma) is produced by Max Dingel (The Killers, Muse). Though, lyrically, the album deals with themes related to death—frontman Tim Booth lost his mother and best friend shortly before recording—lead single "Moving On" and the recently released track "Frozen Britain" are upbeat and catchy.
August 19 (Secretly Canadian/Sincerely Yours)
Change happens. Based on a well-established formula, this fifth release from the Swedish duo should have been called jj n° 5; instead, the band's name has been capitalized, and we seem to have switched to Roman numerals. What other changes are in store for the group's first full-length since 2010's jj n° 3? We wish we could tell you; aside from a cryptic note, there are few details to speak of.
The Golden Echo
August tbd (Warner Bros.)
Though she has been upstaged a bit in the past year by fellow Kiwi vocalist Lorde, 24-year-old Kimbra Lee Johnson is still one of only a handful of New Zealand-born artists ever to win a Grammy award, which she earned for her 2013 collaboration with Gotye, "Somebody that I Used to Know." Kimbra will follow her 2012 debut Vows with a second full-length, The Golden Echo, in August. The only taste of the new album released so far is oddball single "90s Music," which features Mark Foster (Foster the People) and Matt Bellamy (Muse).
June 16 (Akashic)
Love Frequency is the first album since 2010's Surfing the Void (and third LP overall) from the London rave-rockers. The big, upbeat, and poppy new set is produced by LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy, Chemical Brothers' Tom Rowlands, Gorgon City, James Ford, and Erol Alkan.
|LISTEN:||"Atom to Atom"|
|LISTEN:||"Children of the Sun"|
|LISTEN:||"Show Me a Miracle"|
|WATCH:||"There Is No Other Time"|
Trouble in Paradise
July 8 (Interscope) [UK only]
English synthpop artist Elly Jackson—now the sole member of La Roux after her collaborator, producer Ben Langmaid, departed the project over artistic differences—returns with a second album a full five years after her Grammy-winning debut, La Roux. Recharged after the lengthy hiatus (which stemmed from fatigue and voice issues), Jackson recorded nine new tracks for Trouble in Paradise, and is expected to tour late this year.
|WATCH:||"Let Me Down Gently"|
June 3 (RCA) Pre-Order From Amazon
Though it has been nearly three years since country music superstar Miranda Lambert's last album, Four the Record, the critically acclaimed artist has kept busy recording and touring with her group Pistol Annies. While titling an album Platinum might seem presumptuous, Lambert has indeed reached platinum-level sales with her last three solo LPs, each of which topped Billboard's country albums chart while scoring terrific reviews from critics. Carrie Underwood and Little Big Town guest on the 16-song set.
|LISTEN:||"Somethin' Bad" feat. Carrie Underwood|
June 3 (Ribbon) Pre-Order From Amazon
With indie rockers The Walkmen now on "extreme hiatus," its members are going the solo route. Already receiving positive early reviews, Black Hours is the solo debut for frontman Hamilton Leithauser, though his Walkmen bandmate Paul Maroon guests—as do members of Fleet Foxes, Dirty Projectors, Vampire Weekend, and The Shins. Meanwhile, Walkmen member Walter Martin just released his own solo album, We're All Young Together, while Peter Matthew Bauer follows with Liberation! on June 24th.
|LISTEN:||Full album stream [NPR]|
|WATCH:||"11 O'Clock Friday Night"|
|WATCH:||"I Retired" (lyric video)|
July 29 (Warner Bros.)
The Voyager is the first solo album from the former Rilo Kiley frontwoman (and Postal Service contributor) since 2008's Acid Tongue (and third solo release overall, if you include her release with the Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur Coat). Introspective songs inspired by the breakup of her band and the death of her father are paired with production from Ryan Adams, Mike Viola, Beck, and Johnathan Rice.
Tha Carter V
tbd (Cash Money/Young Money)
Though its status has been "coming soon" for several years now, the fact that an album cover and several album tracks have surfaced in recent weeks suggest that Weezy's fifth and final "Carter" album—and possibly the rapper's final album, period, as he has suggested on multiple occasions—is finally nearing a release, even if it has already missed a previously announced May 5th date. An unconfirmed tracklist (which, it should be noted, did not include the two songs listed below) leaked earlier this year had Kanye West, Future, The Weeknd, The Game, Nas, and Meek Mill joining Drake as guests on the follow-up to 2011's Tha Carter IV.
|LISTEN:||"Believe Me" (feat. Drake)|
Tied to a Star
tbd (Sub Pop)
Other than an album cover, no details have been released for the Dinosaur Jr. frontman's summer solo album, which follows his 2011 set Several Shades of Why (as well as Dinosaur Jr.'s 2012 album I Bet on Sky).
Once More 'Round the Sun
June 24 (Warner Bros.) Pre-Order From Amazon
After detouring into something (ever so slightly) more accessible and straightforward with 2011's acclaimed The Hunter, what will sludge metal act Mastodon do for an encore? How about something "massive and insane," with "lots of epic greatness"? Would you settle for "weird and different"? Sixth album Once More 'Round the Sun finds the band working with producer Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters) for the first time, and features an appearance by Neurosis' Scott Kelly.
June tbd (Matador)
Last we heard, the former Sonic Youth frontman was taking a break from his newest band Chelsea Light Moving to release a solo album for Matador this June, though since the label still hasn't announced a date—and, last we checked, June is happening pretty soon—consider that release window to be very tentative. When it does arrive, it will be Moore's first solo album since 2011's Demolished Thoughts.
World Peace Is None Of Your Business
July 15 (Harvest) Pre-Order From Amazon
Finally! After years of record label troubles and false starts, the former Smiths frontman is ready to release his first solo album since 2009's Years Of Refusal. Though the tracklist does not include any of the new material he's been regularly performing live over the past five years—this is a freshly recorded album, not the one he reportedly had in the can a few years back—it's hard to fault a list that includes song titles like the title track, "Kick The Bride Down The Aisle," and "Neal Cassady Drops Dead." A deluxe edition adds six tracks to the regular album's 12.
|WATCH:||"The Bullfighter Dies" [spoken word version]|
|WATCH:||"Istanbul" [spoken word version]|
|WATCH:||"World Peace Is None of Your Business" [spoken word version]|
Beauty & Ruin
June 3 (Merge) Pre-Order From Amazon
Hüsker Dü and Sugar frontman will release his 11th (!) solo album next month, his first since 2012's strong Silver Age. While Mould may be getting older—he playfully shouts "Get off my yard!" on lead track "Hey Mr. Grey"—Beauty & Ruin appears to be filled with vigorous power pop tunes. This brief (36-minute) new set once again features Jon Wurster (Superchunk, The Best Show) on drums and Jason Narducy (Verbow) on bass.
|LISTEN:||"Hey Mr. Grey"|
|LISTEN:||"I Don't Know You Anymore"|
Moonshine In the Trunk
August 26 (Arista Nashville) Pre-Order From Amazon
You won't find any envelope-pushing songs like last year's "Accidental Racist" on this 10th studio album from the country star, though you will find a bit of EDM influence ("a banjo through stutter edit," anyone?) on what otherwise is billed as a back-to-basics record. Paisley will showcase the new tunes on tour this summer.
|WATCH:||"River Bank" (lyric video)|
May 27 (Domino) Pre-Order From Amazon
Canadian composer and recording artist Owen Pallett already has a Polaris Music Prize (for his Final Fantasy album He Poos Clouds) and an Academy Award nomination (for his score from the recent Spike Jonze film Her), among other accolades. Now, the frequent Arcade Fire collaborator is set to release his first solo album in four years. In Conflict features contributions from Brian Eno throughout, including on vocals. Advance reviews are already terrific.
|LISTEN:||Full album stream [NPR]|
|WATCH:||"On a Path" (lyric video)|
|WATCH:||"Song for Five & Six"|
June 3 (What's Your Rupture?) Pre-Order From Amazon
One of our favorite debuts of last year was the extremely fun, punk-meets-Pavement Light Up Gold. Much like that album breezed through 15 tracks in half an hour, Parquet Courts have been rushing to churn out new material in the studio, following that full-length late last year with the looser and wilder 5-song EP Tally All the Things That You Broke. Next month brings the band's second proper album, which seems to pick up where that EP left off, with propulsive songs willing to exceed the 3-minute mark as well as those that barely make it to 60 seconds. Whereas the debut LP was recorded in a mere 3 days, Parquet Courts spent a more leisurely amount of time in the studio (during three separate sessions) for Animal, working again with producer Jonathan Schenke.
|WATCH:||"Black and White"|
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
July 29 (Reprise)
Petty's first new studio album in four years (following 2010's Mojo) marks a return to straight-ahead, concise rock, the 63-year-old singer recently told Rolling Stone. The band (along with opener Steve Winwood) will tour extensively in support of the new set, beginning August 3rd.
Röyksopp & Robyn
Do It Again EP
May 26 (Cherrytree) Pre-Order From Amazon
Swedish pop star Robyn hasn't released any new music whatsoever since 2010's Body Talk (unless you count this), while Norwegian dance music duo Röyksopp have had only a few scattered tracks emerge since their last album, 2010's Senior. But the frequent collaborators will hit the road for a joint tour this summer (during which they'll perform both together and separately), and to celebrate, they've joined forces for a five-song, 35-minute mini album. Check out a few early reviews.
|LISTEN:||"Do It Again"|
|LISTEN:||Full album stream [NPR]|
July 29 (Sub Pop) Pre-Order From Amazon
The experimental hip-hop outfit (whose roster includes Butterfly from Digable Planets) returns with a follow-up to their well-received 2011 debut Black Up. Shabazz Palaces recently premiered the 18-track album (divided into 7 "suites") in their native Seattle, where local alt-weekly The Stranger declared it to be "the future of hiphop."
|LISTEN:||"They Come in Gold"|
June 23 (Atlantic) Pre-Order From Amazon
At the age of 23, and with only one full-length album released so far, English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran already has three Grammy nominations and two BRIT Awards on his rapidly filling CV. His soon-to-be-released follow-up, also known as "multiply," finds Sheeran working with producers Rick Rubin and Pharrell Williams, among others. He'll support the album with his first-ever North American arena tour, beginning in August.
1000 Forms of Fear
July 8 (RCA/Monkey Puzzle) Pre-Order From Amazon
Publicity-shy Australian singer Sia Furler has been opening up in recent weeks as the release date for her first album since 2010's We Are Born approaches. Greg Kurstin (Lily Allen) produced this new 12-song set, which features lead single "Chandelier" as well as the previously released "Elastic Heart," a collaboration with The Weeknd and Diplo that appeared on The Hunger Games soundtrack.
In the Lonely Hour
June 17 (Capitol) Pre-Order From Amazon
It's a bit of an understatement to say that there's a lot of buzz behind 22-year-old English soul singer Sam Smith, who first gained fame lending his voice to tracks by Disclosure and Naughty Boy. After all, he's already appeared as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live without ever having released an album. However, on Monday in the UK (Americans will need to wait an extra three weeks), the winner of the BBC's Sound of 2014 poll will finally be able to increase his career album total to one. Expect multiple Grammy nominations to follow.
|WATCH:||"Lay Me Down" (live on Saturday Night Live)|
|WATCH:||"Leave Your Lover"|
|WATCH:||"Money on My Mind"|
|WATCH:||"Stay With Me"|
|WATCH:||"Stay With Me" (live on The Graham Norton Show)|
With frontman Britt Daniel busying himself with side project Divine Fits, among other things, his critically adored band Spoon hasn't released an album since 2010's Transference (their fifth consecutive record to score 80 or higher). But a recent announcement for a few summer tour dates included the news that a new album—the band's eighth overall—would arrive at some point during the tour. Few details (or a title) have been revealed, though Daniel recently told Rolling Stone that the new set is "warmer and more inclusive" than the previous LP.
July 1 (Star Trak/Interscope)
The pop star will try to nab that elusive (and illusory) "song of the summer" title for the second year running when he releases his quickly-recorded follow-up to commercial hit (but critical disappointment) Blurred Lines in July. We know that the new album will include Thicke's just-released single "Get Her Back," and that Thicke handles production and songwriting himself throughout, but that's about the extent of the details revealed so far.
|LISTEN:||"Get Her Back"|
May 27 (Trash Talk/Odd Future) Pre-Order From Amazon
Better known as the Odd Future-affiliated act that doesn't come from the hip-hop world, Northern California hardcore punk band Trash Talk will release their fourth LP next week. Alchemist produces two tracks on No Peace, while King Krule guests on another.
A solo album from the Wilco frontman is expected "soon," according to an otherwise detail-free announcement this week. Given that his solo tour (with a new backing band) starts at the beginning of June, the release shouldn't be too many weeks away. While this certainly won't be his first solo tour, it will be his debut album as a solo artist.
Sharon Van Etten
Are We There
May 27 (Jagjaguwar) Pre-Order From Amazon
The Brooklyn-based artist follows a pair of critically acclaimed albums with her third LP next week. Van Etten produced much of Are We There herself, using instruments once used by John Lennon and Patti Smith. Members of Shearwater, Efterklang, and Lower Dens guest, though outside contributions are reduced this time around. The album is receiving glowing reviews so far.
|LISTEN:||Full album stream (iTunes)|
|WATCH:||"Every Time the Sun Comes Up"|
June 10 (Columbia) Pre-Order From Amazon
Though the former White Stripes frontman has remained ever prolific since the demise of that band, next month's Lazaretto will be just his second solo album to date, following 2012's Blunderbuss. Recorded over the past two years, Lazaretto's 11 tracks find White accompanied by two different backing bands, the female-only Peacocks and the all-male Buzzards. White has already generated buzz for the album by recording and pressing a single for a live version of the title track in matter of hours, and the gimmickry will extend to the LP itself, which will also be available in an "ultra" vinyl version with hidden tracks playable at varying speeds (along with a hologram and other curious features).
|LISTEN:||"Just One Drink"|
|WATCH:||"High Ball Stepper"|
June 17 (Domino) Pre-Order From Amazon
Vancouver punk band White Lung have jumped to a larger label—Domino—for the release of their third album, a follow-up to 2012's Sorry (and if that isn't a Canadian album title, we don't know what is). Recording sessions for Deep Fantasy found the band stripped down to a trio, though they'll add Wax Idols' Hether Fortune on bass for their upcoming tour.
|WATCH:||"Drown With the Monster"|
Bonus: Notable summer reissues
Led Zeppelin I Pre-Order From Amazon
June 3 (Atlantic)
Led Zeppelin II Pre-Order From Amazon
June 3 (Atlantic)
Led Zeppelin III Pre-Order From Amazon
June 3 (Atlantic)
Led Zeppelin's first three albums are getting the deluxe reissue treatment, with tons of extras for longtime fans. All three albums have been remastered (by Jimmy Page), and each will come in a deluxe 2xCD (or 3xLP) set with bonus material: an October 1969 concert for Led Zeppelin I, a selection of alternate mixes (and a previously unreleased track) for the second album, and similar rarities for the third LP. Not enough for you? Super-deluxe box set versions of each album combine CDs and LPs (including new bonus material) with additional books and artwork. Expect deluxe versions of the remaining albums in the band's catalog in the not too distant future.
|LISTEN:||"Good Times Bad Times/Communication Breakdown" (live)|
|LISTEN:||"Whole Lotta Love (Rough Mix With Vocal) (Radio Edit)"|
|WATCH:||LZ1 deluxe album trailer|
|WATCH:||LZ2 deluxe album trailer|
|WATCH:||LZ3 deluxe album trailer|
June 9 (Cherry Red) [UK only]
The legendary mail order cassette compilation released by music magazine New Musical Express in 1986 is back, in greatly expanded form. Its name quickly becoming synonymous with the indie-rock movement it helped create, C86 featured 22 jangle-pop tracks from then-unknown bands such as Primal Scream, The Pastels, The Wedding Present, The Mighty Lemon Drops, McCarthy, The Soup Dragons, and more. Next month's carefully curated deluxe box-set reissue expands the tracklist to a whopping 72 songs, with the added tracks all drawing from similar bands and recorded during the same 1985-86 time period. (Think early recordings from the likes of Jesus and Mary Chain, Pop Will Eat Itself, Blue Aeroplanes, The Primitives, Happy Mondays, and more.) Some of these new songs are never-before-released, while most of the tracks on this three-disc-set are appearing on CD for the first time ever.
|LISTEN:||"Therese" by The Bodines|
|LISTEN:||"Celestial City" by McCarthy|
|LISTEN:||"Happy Head" by The Mighty Lemon Drops|
|LISTEN:||"Mesmerized" by Pop Will Eat Itself|
|LISTEN:||"Velocity Girl" by Primal Scream|
What do you think?
Which albums are you looking forward to this summer? Let us know in the comments section below.