Summer Music Preview: 35 Notable Upcoming Albums

  • Publish Date: May 23, 2019
  • Comments: ↓ 1 user comment

Confirmed and likely releases coming this summer

Below, our editors select some of the key albums due for release between now and early September, listed in alphabetical order by artist.

Album coverAfrica Express
July 12 (Africa Express) Prime Video

Damon Albarn's world music collective returns with 18 new tracks recorded in South Africa. The album includes contributions from Gruff Rhys, Nick Zinner, and Georgia as well as local musicians.

LISTEN: "Johannesburg" (feat. Gruff Rhys, Morena Leraba, Radio 123, Sibot)
WATCH: Album trailer

Album coverBaroness
Gold & Grey
June 14 (Abraxan Hymns) Prime Video

The adventurous metal band has been working on a follow-up to 2015's Purple for the past two years with producer Dave Fridmann. It'll be their last album with a color name and their first with new lead guitarist Gina Gleason, who replaces Peter Adams.

LISTEN: "Throw Me an Anchor"
WATCH: "Borderlines"
WATCH: "Seasons"

Album coverBastille
Doom Days
June 14 (Virgin) Prime Video

The Grammy-nominated British synth-pop band follows 2013's Bad Blood and 2016's improved Wild World with a third studio album. Beginning with the previously released single "Quarter Past Midnight," the 11 songs tell a story set over a single night.

WATCH: "Doom Days"
WATCH: "Quarter Past Midnight"

Album coverBeast Coast
Escape From New York
May 24 (Columbia)

New York's Beast Coast is a hip-hop supergroup of sorts, featuring Joey Bada$$ (and fellow Pro Era colleagues Kirk Knight, CJ Fly, and Nyck Caution) as well as members of the Flatbush Zombies and the Underachivers. They've performed live off and on for the past six years, but Escape marks their album debut.

LISTEN: "Coast/Clear"
LISTEN: "Left Hand"
LISTEN: "Snow in the Stadium"

Album coverThe Black Keys
"Let's Rock"
June 28 (Nonesuch) Prime Video

After spending much of the past five years pursuing solo projects, the duo of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney are back next month with their ninth Black Keys album and follow-up to their 2014 hit Turn Blue. After collaborating with Danger Mouse on recent albums, Auerbach and Carney serve as their own producers and sole songwriters on Let's Rock, and the slimmed-down result is billed as an "homage to electric guitar."

LISTEN: "Eagle Birds"

Album coverBlack Midi
June 21 (Rough Trade) Prime Video

The nine-song debut album from the secretive London-based rock band known for their excellent live shows was produced by Dan Carey (Bat for Lashes). The tracklist is being kept a mystery until the premiere date, so it is unclear if it will include any of the band's previous singles (which you can stream below).

LISTEN: "Talking Heads"
WATCH: "Crow's Perch"
WATCH: "Speedway"

Album coverBlack Mountain
May 24 (Jagjaguwar) Prime Video

The Canadian psych-rock band returns Friday with a follow-up to 2016's IV. (Yes, that makes this album number five.)

LISTEN: "Boogie Lover"
LISTEN: "Future Shade"
LISTEN: "Licensed to Drive"

Album coverCalexico and Iron & Wine
Years to Burn
June 14 (Sub Pop/City Slang) Prime Video

After previously collaborating on the 2005 EP In the Reins, the Arizona duo Calexico and singer-songwriter Sam Beam (aka Iron & Wine) have returned to the studio together—supplemented by additional musicians—to record this eight-song full-length release.

LISTEN: "Father Mountain"
LISTEN: "Midnight Sun"

Album coverBill Callahan
Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest
June 14 (Drag City) Prime Video

The former Smog frontman hasn't released a studio album of new songs since 2013's Dream River. But he's making up for lost time with this 20-song set, accompanied by a summer tour.

Album coverStef Chura
June 7 (Saddle Creek) Prime Video

The Detroit indie rocker follows her 2017/2018 debut Messes with a 12-song sophomore set produced by Car Seat Headrest's Will Toledo.

LISTEN: "Method Man"
WATCH: "They'll Never"

Album coverBob Dylan
The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings
June 7 (Legacy Recordings) Prime Video

Released in conjunction with a similarly titled Netflix documentary directed by Martin Scorsese, this 14-disc box set features five full professionally recorded live sets by Bob Dylan on his legendary 1975 theater tour, supplemented with in-studio rehearsals and other rarities from the time period. All told, there are 148 tracks—100 of which have never before been released.

WATCH: "One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below)" (S.I.R. Studio Rehearsals, Oct. 21, 1975)

Album coverEarth
Full Upon Her Burning Lips
May 24 (Sargent House) Prime Video

Not to be confused with the planet of the same name, Washington state drone metal specialists Earth are one of the pioneers of the genre, though they sometimes deviate from their formula. The duo's first album since 2014's Primitive and Deadly eschews the guest vocals on that record and finds them stripping back their sound, leaving something "witchy and sensual."

LISTEN: "Cats on the Briar"
LISTEN: "The Mandrake's Hymn"

Album coverEluvium
Piano Works
May 31 (Temporary Residence) Prime Video

Portland, Oregon composer Matthew Cooper's latest album of minimalist music, is, as its title suggests, filled with solo piano works—his first such music in over a decade. The album comes with a bonus disc of piano-based remakes of older Eluvium tracks, and a deluxe version even comes with its own book of sheet music.

LISTEN: "Entendre" (bonus track)
LISTEN: "Radio Ballet" (bonus track)
LISTEN: "Recital"
LISTEN: "Underwater Dream"

Album coverBrian Eno
Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks – Extended Edition
July 19 (UMC)

Originally released in 1983, Brian Eno's ambient classic (a collaboration with Daniel Lanois and Brian's brother Roger Eno) was composed to soundtrack the moon landing documentary For All Mankind, and you've probably heard portions of the album even if you haven't seen the doc. This expanded reissue includes a remastered version of the original album and tacks on a brand-new, 11-track album (again featuring both Enos and Lanois in their first collaboration since the original) intended to serve as a new soundtrack to the same film.

WATCH: "Like I Was a Spectator"

Album coverFlying Lotus
May 24 (Warp) Prime Video

With his time increasingly occupied by film directing and various music side projects, among other diversions, Steven Ellison hasn't released a Flying Lotus album since 2014's stellar You're Dead!. But he's back Friday with a new album that spans 27 tracks, including two intended as a tribute to the late Mac Miller. Guests include Little Dragon, Solange, George Clinton, Shabazz Palaces, Anderson .Paak, Tierra Whack, Thundercat, Denzel Curry, Toro y Moi, and fellow filmmaker David Lynch. Early reviews suggest a good (though less than exceptional) album.

LISTEN: "Black Balloons Reprise" (feat. Denzel Curry)
LISTEN: "Spontaneous" (feat. Little Dragon)
LISTEN: "Takashi"
WATCH: "Fire Is Coming" (feat. David Lynch)
WATCH: "More" (feat. Anderson .Paak)

Album coverHot Chip
A Bathfull of Ecstasy
June 21 (Domino) Prime Video

It has been an unusually long time—four years—since their last album, Why Make Sense?, but the always fun London indie/dance/electronic outfit are about to return with a new album, summer festival dates, and a fall tour. The nine-song Ecstasy marks Hot Chip's first album recorded with outside producers (in this case, Philippe Zdar and Rodaidh McDonald).

WATCH: "Hungry Child"

Album coverJonas Brothers
Happiness Begins
June 7 (Republic) Prime Video

The trio of Joe, Nick, and Kevin Jonas ended their hugely successful brother act in 2013 while recording what would have been their fifth album. Now, they have reunited to record a brand new fifth album, their first studio LP in a decade. A new documentary about their reunion, Chasing Happiness, will also stream on Amazon's Prime Video beginning June 4th.

WATCH: "Cool"
WATCH: "Sucker"
WATCH: Chasing Happiness film trailer

Album coverCate Le Bon
May 24 (Mexican Summer) Prime Video

Early reviews are excellent for the Welsh artist's first solo album since 2016's Crab Day (though in the interim she also released a collaborative album with Tim Presley under the name Drinks). The 10-song Reward includes contributions from H. Hawkline and Warpaint's Stella Mozgawa.

LISTEN: "Daylight Matters"
LISTEN: "The Light"
WATCH: "Home to You"

Album coverMadonna
Madame X
June 14 (Interscope) Prime Video

For her first album since 2015's Rebel Heart, the pop star has enlisted multiple guests, including Quavo (of Migos), Swae Lee (of Rae Sremmurd), Colombian singer Maluma, Brazilian vocalist Anitta, and frequent Madonna producer Mirwais. It's a Latin-inspired album, with some lyrics in Portugese and Spanish. An unconventional tour—which finds Madonna playing many-date "residencies" at medium-sized venues in seven U.S. cities—begins in the fall, followed by a similar European tour in 2020.

LISTEN: "Future" (feat. Quavo)
LISTEN: "I Rise"
WATCH: "Crave" (feat. Swae Lee)
WATCH: "Medellín" (feat. Maluma)

Album coverMorrissey
California Son
May 24 (Etienne/BMG) Prime Video

Morrissey's follow-up to 2017's Low in High School is his first all-covers album, and finds the former Smiths frontman tackling songs by Bob Dylan, Carly Simon, Roy Orbison, Laura Nyro, Dionne Warwick, Joni Mitchell, and more, with help from guests like Petra Haden, LP, Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong, and Grizzly Bear's Ed Droste. Early reviews, however, are extremely disappointing.

LISTEN: "It's Over" (feat. LP) (Roy Orbison cover)
LISTEN: "Wedding Bell Blues" (feat. Billie Joe Armstrong) (Fifth Dimension cover)

Album coverPurple Mountains
Purple Mountains
July 12 (Drag City) Prime Video

Purple Mountains is a new band from Silver Jews frontman David Berman. Jarvis Taveniere and Jeremy Earle of the band Woods produce this 10-song debut LP. Berman will also mount his first tour in a decade this summer.

WATCH: "All My Happiness Is Gone"

Album coverThe Raconteurs
Help Us Stranger
June 21 (Third Man) Prime Video

It has been over a decade since this Jack White side project (which also features Brendan Benson and members of The Greenhornes) released a studio album. But album number three arrives next month, and the 12-song set includes a cover of Donovan's "Hey Gyp (Dig the Slowness)." A North American tour begins in July and runs through October.

LISTEN: "Hey Gyp (Dig the Slowness)"
WATCH: "Help Me Stranger"
WATCH: "Now That You're Gone"
WATCH: "Sunday Driver"

Album coverRide
This Is Not A Safe Place
August 16 (Wichita) Prime Video

After ending a 21-year hiatus with their 2017 comeback album Weather Diaries, the shoegaze outfit returns with a relatively quick follow-up. Erol Alkan returns as producer.

LISTEN: "Future Love"

Album coverMark Ronson
Late Night Feelings
June 21 (RCA) Prime Video

The ubiquitous super-producer last released an album as a solo artist in 2015 (Uptown Special, his biggest hit to date). His latest LP includes collaborations with Miley Cyrus, Lykke Li, Alicia Keys, Angel Olsen, King Princess, YEBBA, and Camila Cabello.

LISTEN: "Don't Leave Me Lonely" (feat. YEBBA)
WATCH: "Late Night Feelings" (feat. Lykke Li)
WATCH: Album trailer

Album coverSebadoh
Act Surprised
May 24 (Dangerbird) Prime Video

One of many side projects for Dinosaur Jr.'s Lou Barlow, Sebadoh (a trio that also includes Jason Loewenstein and Bob D'Amico) returns Friday with their first LP since their 2013 reunion album Defend Yourself.

WATCH: "Celebrate the Void"
WATCH: "Raging River"
WATCH: "Stunned"
WATCH: "Sunshine"

Album coverSinkane
May 31 (City Slang) Prime Video

The seventh album for the Sudanese-English (and now New York-based) electronic pop/rock artist follows 2017's Life & Livin' It.

WATCH: "Dépaysé"
WATCH: "Everybody"
WATCH: "Ya Sudan"

Album coverSkepta
Ignorance Is Bliss
May 31 (Boy Better Know) Prime Video

The London grime artist returns with his first full-length release since 2016's Mercury Prize-winning Konnichiwa.

LISTEN: "Bullet From a Gun"
LISTEN: "Greaze Mode" (feat. Nafe Smallz)

Album coverSlipknot
We Are Not Your Kind
August 9 (Roadrunner) Prime Video

The metal band's first album since 2014's .5: The Gray Chapter is once again produced by Greg Fidelman. (Obviously, it should have been titled We Are Knot Your Kind.)

WATCH: "Unsainted"

Album coverThe Soft Cavalry
The Soft Cavalry
July 5 (Bella Union) Prime Video

The Soft Cavalry is a new project led by Slowdive and Mojave 3 member Rachel Goswell, who is joined in the duo by her husband, Steve Clarke.

WATCH: "Dive"

Album coverBruce Springsteen
Western Stars
June 14 (Columbia) Prime Video

With his Broadway residency over, Bruce Springsteen was able to return to the studio, and the result—at least this year—is his first solo album since 2014's High Hopes (and first batch of originals since Wrecking Ball in 2012). The character-driven, 13-song set is inspired by '60s and '70s California pop and produced again by Ron Aniello and features contributions from Jon Brion and David Sancious. But Springsteen has so much new material that a new record with the E Street Band could follow next year.

LISTEN: "Hello Sunshine"
LISTEN: "There Goes My Miracle"

Album coverMavis Staples
We Get By
May 24 (Anti-) Prime Video

The legendary R&B singer continues a late-career resurgence with this 11-song set produced by Ben Harper, who also appears on the title track.

WATCH: "We Get By" (feat. Ben Harper)
WATCH: Album trailer

Album coverTitus Andronicus
An Obelisk
June 21 (Merge) Prime Video

The New Jersey punks are back next month with a quick follow-up to last year's A Productive Cough. Bob Mould produces.

WATCH: "(I Blame) Society"

Album coverJosephine Wiggs
We Fall
May 24 (The Sound of Sinners) Prime Video

Best known as the bassist for The Breeders, Josephine Wiggs has recorded under a variety of names over the past few decades—and now, for the first time, its her own name (not counting a 1996 record as The Josephine Wiggs Experience). Wiggs handled the writing, production, and playing, save for some instrumentation from Spacemen 3 member Jon Mattock.

WATCH: "Time Does Not Bring Relief"
WATCH: "The Weeping of the Rain"

Album coverYeasayer
Erotic Reruns
June 7 (self-released) Prime Video

The indie band's follow-up to 2016's Amen & Goodbye is a self-produced, nine-song set.

WATCH: "I'll Kiss You Tonight"

Album coverVarious artists
Woodstock 50–Back to the Garden
August 2 (Rhino)

Subtitled "The Definitive 50th Anniversary Archive," this massive, 38-disc box set aims to be exactly that: recordings of every single song (minus three that could not be reconstructed with existing tapes) performed during the legendary three-day concert in 1969, supplemented with announcements and snippets of crowd conversations. Of the 432 live tracks included here (arranged in the order they were performed at Woodstock) are over 250 that have never before been released in any form. The comprehensiveness comes at a price, however—and that price is $799. (For non-completists, Rhino is also releasing new 10-CD and 3-CD sets in late June.)

WATCH: Album trailer

A few wildcards

Chance the Rapper

The rapper's long-awaited studio debut album is allegedly coming in July, though nothing about the release has been confirmed—including whether or not it will contain the just-released single "Groceries".

Danny Brown
U Know What I'm Sayin?

Q-Tip, Paul White, and JPEGMAFIA are among the producers for the rapper's first album since his hugely acclaimed 2016 set Atrocity Exhibition. Only the title has been confirmed, and there's no word yet on a release date.


Long-suffering Tool fans know that the band's fifth album (and follow-up to 2006's 10,000 Days) does not and will not exist. So it's up to you whether or not to believe a recent tweet from the band announcing an August 30 release date.

What are you looking forward to?

Which albums are you looking forward to this summer? Let us know in the comments section below, and visit our Album Release Calendar for even more upcoming music release dates.


Comments (1)

  • eli_fjr  

    Chance the Rapper as a wildcard? haha.

    Looking forward to it.

What Our Users Are Talking About

  1. /feature/2019-emmy-prediction-poll Image
    Predict the 2019 Emmy Award Winners
    July 17, 2019 - 2 comments
    1. we2nelson : There is one error for sure on this page... Best Writing in a Comedy is missing the Veep nominee for its finale episode. Read »
    2. eli_fjr : VEEP! Read »
  2. /feature/best-of-may-2019 Image
    Best of May 2019: Top Albums, Games, Movies & TV
    June 1, 2019 - 2 comments
    1. eli_fjr : Not bad Read »
  3. /feature/metacritic-must-see-movies Image
    New on Metacritic: Must-See Movies
    June 11, 2018 - 4 comments
    1. sevendays : @ahmedaiman9999 LOL the score is an average of 15 or more critics. Not Metacritic's opinion. Read »
  4. /feature/nintendo-switch-console-hardware-review Image
    Hardware Review: Nintendo Switch
    March 1, 2017 - 8 comments
    1. 7PageDisparagin : The negative comments aged like milk. Read »
  5. /feature/now-streaming-on-amazon-instant-video Image
    What to Watch Now on Prime Video
    August 19, 2019 - 12 comments
    1. behamilton : Love these lists. But how about when you hover over a title, instead of the cast, you got the plot summary? That... Read »
  6. /feature/tv-premiere-dates Image
    2019 Fall TV Premiere Calendar
    August 12, 2019 - 207 comments
    1. blarpisblarp : All New Holmes & Holmes September 4 @ 9/8c On the the American DIY Channel Read »
    2. sevendays : Bachelor in Paradise doesn't start until 8/5. Read »
    3. DeePlorable : The Man In The High Castle returns to Prime on November 15th and the Expanse returns to Prime on December 13th. Read »
    4. DeePlorable : Mindhunter returns to Netflix August 16th. Read »