The season's biggest albums
Below, we look at some of the key albums due to arrive over the next three months. As always, you can check out our Album Release Calendar for a frequently updated listing of upcoming release dates.
13 & God: Own Your Ghost
A 2005 collaboration between German indie rockers The Notwist and anticon outfit Themselves is not a one-off after all. Recording together again under the name 13 & God, the trip-hop supergroup returns in June with Own Your Ghost, a moody (though generally not gloomy) album with themes of death and aging.
Listen to "Armored Scarves"
Arcade Fire: Scenes From The Suburbs
OK, so it's not really a new album, but it does have new music. In August, Arcade Fire will be the latest group to jump on the "deluxe reissue" bandwagon when they re-release their Grammy-winning 2010 album The Suburbs 87 almost a year to the day after it originally arrived. The deluxe edition will include two new tracks -- "Culture War" and the David Byrne collaboration "Speaking in Tongues" -- and come with an 80-page book and a DVD containing a documentary about the making of the album as well as Spike Jonze's 30-minute short film Scenes From the Suburbs featuring music by Arcade Fire.
Arctic Monkeys: Suck It & See
The English band's fourth album -- and first since 2009's somewhat disappointing Humbug 75 -- is produced again by Simian Mobile Disco's James Ford. The new 12-song record is reportedly more accessible, poppy, and organic than its heavily produced and hook-lacking predecessor.
Listen to "Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair"
Battles: Gloss Drop
The New York experimentalists lost a key member -- vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Tyondai Braxton -- since releasing their acclaimed 2007 debut Mirrored 86. That's why you'll find guests like Gary Numan, Matias Aguayo, and Blonde Redhead's Kazu Makino stepping behind the mic on sophomore set Gloss Drop. Still, it's on the many instrumentals where Battles really shine, and though their mix of electronica, post-rock and jazz isn't quite as inventive as it was four years ago, the group hasn't lost its sense of fun.
Listen to "Ice Cream (feat. Matias Aguayo)"
It has been four years since the New Mexico band with a European sound last checked in with a full album, The Flying Club Cup 80. But Beirut will release a third LP this summer, according to a recent interview with band leader Zach Condon at HitFix. Condon recorded the still untitled disc in upstate New York -- away from Beirut's usual base -- with the musicians from his touring band.
Bon Iver: Bon Iver
In 2008, indie folk outfit Bon Iver -- basically, a solo project for Justin Vernon -- released their debut For Emma, Forever Ago 88, which turned out to be one of the best-reviewed albums of the year. So the news that Vernon is returning with a second album is good news indeed for music fans, even if we had to wait three years while Vernon performed with Kanye West and recorded with Volcano Choir and Gayngs. Each of the 10 songs on Bon Iver's self-titled sophomore set is named after -- and inspired by -- a specific place, from "Perth" to "Lisbon, OH," and the album was recorded with a variety of guest musicians.
Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi: Rome
A tribute to Ennio Morricone's classic film scores of the 1960s and '70s, Rome is the brainchild of producer Danger Mouse (Gnarls Barkley, Broken Bells, Gorillaz) and Italian composer Daniele Luppi. The pair have worked on the album over the past five years, enlisting surviving members of Morricone's orchestra as well as Jack White and Norah Jones, who provide the vocals on the six tracks that have them. Note that you can stream the album in its entirety at NPR prior to its release date.
Listen to "Season's Trees [feat. Norah Jones]"
Death Cab for Cutie: Codes and Keys
Recorded in bits and pieces over a seven-month period, the seventh album for the indie rockers turned pop sensations is their first LP since 2008's Narrow Stairs 73. As heavily produced as ever (with mixing by Alan Moulder), Codes and Keys does mark a new approach for Death Cab, thanks to a bigger reliance on strings, analog synths, and overall sonic variety at the expense of the group's usual guitar-driven sound.
Listen to "You Are a Tourist"
Depeche Mode: Remixes 2: 81-11
A sequel to the band's 2004 remix album Remixes 81–04, June's Remixes 2 includes new interpretations of tracks stretching across 30 years of Depeche Mode's discography by artists ranging from Röyksopp to M83. If 13 tracks aren't enough for you, consider the three-disc version, which adds another 23 mixes by the likes of Dan the Automator, Peter Bjorn and John, Orbital, and former DM members Vince Clarke and Alan Wilder.
Listen to "Puppets (Royksopp Remix)"
Brian Eno and Rick Holland: Drums Between the Bells
Brian Eno's second album in two years for Warp Records (following last year's highly enjoyable Small Craft on a Milk Sea 72) is a collaboration with poet Rick Holland. The pair have been working on the project off and on for eight years, and the result features Holland's words, Eno's music, and vocals from a variety of artists (as well as Holland and Eno), available with or without a 44-page hardcover book.
Listen to "Glitch"
The Game: R.E.D. Album
You may recognize this album from previous music preview articles dating back to January 2010. So while we certainly wouldn't put money on the R.E.D. Album arriving this summer, the latest word from rapper The Game is that his official follow-up to 2008's L.A.X. 65 will arrive sometime in late August. An encouraging sign is that the first music video taken from the album -- for the Lil Wayne-featuring single "Red Nation" -- has been completed and is expected to be released next week, so progress is indeed being made. However, exactly who or what else will appear on the album remains a mystery, though contributors like Pharrell, Dr. Dre. Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado, Lupe Fiasco, Snoop Dogg, and Jay Electronica have all pitched in during the never-ending recording process.
Handsome Furs: Sound Kapital
One of many Wolf Parade-related side projects, Handsome Furs is a duo consisting of that band's Dan Boeckner and his wife, Alexei Perry. Following 2007's Plague Park 72 and 2009's Face Control 68, their upcoming third album for Sub Pop marks the first time the pair has composed their songs entirely on keyboards, and is inspired by the European industrial and electronic music of the 1980s.
Listen to "What About Us"
Jane's Addiction: The Great Escape Artist
When it arrives this August, The Great Escape Artist will mark the first album for Perry Farrell and company since 2003's comeback effort Strays 75. Despite touring with the group in recent years, bassist Eric Avery is once again out; replacing him on the record is TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek, who also contributed to the writing process (and who is himself a replacement for the original replacement bassist, Guns N' Roses' Duff McKagan). Rich Costey (Interpol, Franz Ferdinand) produces.
Listen to "End to the Lies"
Continued on the next page ...
Keep reading for more albums from Lady Gaga, My Morning Jacket, Little Dragon, and more...