If you’re like me and you’re constantly looking for new music to listen to, these albums are sure to give you your music fix for a while. Here are my top picks for albums that should be on your summer playlist:
Fans of the The Lumineer’s self-titled first album had a long time to wait for the band’s follow-up piece. Their next album, Cleopatra, was released in 2016 to high expectations. Cleopatra delivered on all fronts and stands as a solid second album for the Denver-based band. From catchy singles “Ophelia” and “Angela” to songs such as “In the Light” and “My Eyes,” The Lumineers have released an album that perfectly blends their stripped-down folky sound from their first album with a heavier and more established full-body sound. Each song on the album plays out as a story and characters such as Cleopatra, Ophelia, and Angela bring these stories to life. On a side note, this album makes for great music to drive to.
While I’ll admit that I sort of lost interest in Weezer a few years ago, this album has brought me back. The fourth of Weezer’s self-titled albums, this one known unofficially as ‘The White Album,’ sees the group embrace a California state of mind while at the same time harkening back to their old Pinkerton and Blue Album days. The album is refreshing in the sense that it is the first Weezer album in a while, for me anyway, that feels very coherent and complete. I began to lose interest in Weezer when it felt like their albums were becoming random assortments of various strange tunes plucked from lead singer Rivers Cuomo’s mind. With their new album though, the songs, while all unique, feel like parts of a larger whole. With a new Beach-Boys-esque sound, but still with that classic Weezer weirdness, great songs such as “Wind in Our Sails,” “(Girl We Got A) Good Thing,”and “Endless Bummer” are sure to brighten up your summer listening.
This passionate and multicultural sound affair is the result of a recent trip to South African by the British folk-rock band. Inspired by their time in the region, Mumford and Sons made an EP featuring some of Africa’s most prominent artists. Creating an EP that was such a departure from their standard folky, banjo-plucking, Brit-rock sound was definitely a risk for the band, but one that paid off. The blending of Mumford’s signature style with the styles of African artists Baaba Maal, The Very Best, and Beatenburg has led to a very genuine-sounding EP that beautifully demonstrates Mumford’s passion for South Africa. Mumford’s solid harmonies and deep melodies meld beautifully into aux percussion-laden songs such as “There Will be Time” and “Si Tu Veux”. This, combined with Baaba Maal’s soaring vocals on several of the songs, most notably the wonderful “Ngamila,” makes for a soulful, intimate EP from our favourite British folk-rock band.
Ok, so this album hasn’t actually been released yet, but it still deserves a place on this list. The three singles that have been released, “Private School,” “A Little Rain (A Song for Pete),” and “Making Due” have all been energetic and bright in classic Arkells fashion. The Hamilton-based band has been gaining popularity with each new album that they release, their most recent being 2014’s High Noon. If their previous albums are anything to go by, Morning Report will be filled with synth-rock gold and a bit of experimentation on the band’s part. Staying with Arkells as their sound evolves and grows is an entertaining and satisfying experience, sure to keep the listener engaged. Morning Report will be released on August 5th and it is definitely worth a pre-order.