Summer Album Release Calendar: 15 Records To Watch For

Tame Impala cover

It’s simply impossible to keep up with all the new music releases these days, and anyone with a half-eclectic sonic palette is bound to find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer number of options. That’s why we’ve pared the Summer Release Calendar down to 15 upcoming albums you should definitely keep an ear out for, regardless of your individual genre preference.


Leon Bridges, Coming Home

Release date: June 23

You know his music, though you don’t know his name. Thanks to a recent Apple commercial placement, Leon Bridges is quickly amassing a following – helped in no small part by the slow-burn release of half the songs from his debut album. With an Amy Winehouse meets Sam Cooke bend, and Bridges calls back doo-wop goodness and soul in a way that couldn’t be further from Bruno Mars.


Refused, Freedom

Release date: June 30

Oh, you think you know punk by the patches and mohawks of old? How quaint. Refused is back for real this time.17 years since the release of their career-defining album The Shape of Punk to Come, the Swedish misfits have reformed with a crusher of a new studio album, and a direct mission.

“It’s not a reunion anymore,” frontman Dennis Lyxzén says via press release. “This is one of the most radical things we’ve ever done, both musically and lyrically.”

The new album is called Freedom, and if the first couple singles are any indication, this one’s gonna kick the doors right off their hinges.


Between The Buried and Me, Coma Ecliptic

Release Date: June 30

Born for fans of ungodly awesome shredding, Coma Ecliptic can be interpreted as a modern rock opera, and another ambitious concept album from a band that has completely mastered the format. Bassist Dan Briggs shares an intensely promising preface: “Spending the last year immersed in a world of Quadrophenia, Operation Mindcrime, The Wall- as well as Sondheim and Lloyd Webber musicals, Stravinsky and Mussorgsky symphonic suites; writing an over the top, dramatic and forward thinking rock opera was the most natural thing to do.” 

The album’s story follows the wanderings of an unidentified man, stuck in a coma, as he journeys through his past lives. Each song is its own episode in a modern day, sort of The Twilight Zone-esque fashion. Ready for the journey? 


Miguel, Wildheart

Release date: June 30

This new Miguel release may just be the curve ball we’ve been waiting for. The official followup to Kaleidoscope Dream features Kurupt, Lenny Kravitz and others, but the industry hype is building heavily on a record many are looking to dominate this Summer. Details are sparse otherwise, but RCA executive Mark Pitts offers the following: “He tells me, ‘I want everyone to know I am wild, funny, edgy and love women. I need this album to connect.” Will it? We’ll see.


Ghostface Killah, Twelve Reasons to Die II

Release date: July 10

No, it’s not Action Bronson. The originator, the Wu master, Ghostface has been in a bit of a creative valley the past few years, but all signs are promising for the upcoming Twelve Reasons to Die II, a sequel to his highest-charting and most critically acclaimed solo album. Adrian Younge returns to handle production on every track, and we’re ready for some bangers.


Veruca Salt, Ghost Notes

Release date: July 10

90s rock returns! It’s not just for Sleater Kinney anymore. Veruca Salt reconnected in 2013, and the original lineup is releasing its first album since 1997’s Eight Arms to Hold You. 


Ratatat, Magnifique

Release date: July 17

Evan Mast and Mike Stroud have gone five years between albums, and we’re taking it as a good sign that they’re branching away from the LP number series of their previous records to opt instead for an actual title. The album was recorded over four years in Jamaica, upstate New York, Long Island, and their home studio in Brooklyn. The cover art depicts a series of sketches by Mast and Stroud done in the studio while working on the record. It all connects!


Tame Impala, Currents

Release date: July 17

We’ve been dragged kicking and screaming into fandom for these cats, but we’re finally on board after four songs from Currents have made their way to our reluctantly adoring ears. Frontman Kevin Parker recently spoke to NME about the dance-leaning LP. He stated: “I wanted to make something that from the sound of it could be down at the club. I just realized that I’d never heard Tame Impala played somewhere with a dancefloor or where people were dancing.” So, ready to dance?


MS MR, How Does It Feel

Release date: July 17

Brooding, hook-driven synth pop champions MS MR return this July with their sophomore album, following up 2013’s Secondhand Rapture. How will the band rise above the rabble with a sound reflected by so very many others? We’ll have to see. But by the initial sounds we’re hearing below, there’s a good amount of promise to be found.


Lamb Of God, VII: Sturm Und Drang

Release date: July 24

Only two years have passed since Resolution, but few bands have gone through the wringer the way Lamb of God have in the interim. Between frontman Randy Blythe’s arrest and acquittal for manslaughter and their financial woes, it has been a hell of a hard ride for the band. But drummer Chris Adler explained that this new album is for themselves, writing from inside themselves, so the focus is definitely on point. Dillinger Escape Plan‘s Greg Puciato and Deftones‘ Chino Moreno are making guest turns on the album as well, which will be an enormous boost. According to the iTunes track listing, Moreno turns up on a song called “Embers,” while you can hear Puciato’s talents on a track called “Torches.” 


Teenage Time Killers, Greatest Hits Vol. 1

Release date: July 31

Oh, you thought Dave Grohl was taking a day off? Ha! Not even a broken leg could get the guy off a stage, so good luck with that. He’s about to feature on a star-studded new album coming out from Rise Records, in a project called Teenage Time Killer. Featuring Corey Taylor of Slipknot, Neil Fallon of Clutch, Aaron Beam of Red Fang, Nick Oliveri, Randy Blythe from Lamb of God and oh so many others, Teenage Time Killer is a supergroup of utter killers from the metal and hardcore scenes.

The instrumental parts for the upcoming album were recorded at Dave Grohl’s famed Studio 606 in Northridge, California on the famous Neve mixing board, which was the central focus of Grohl’s acclaimed “Sound City: Real To Reel” documentary. The rest of the screaming maniacal awesome goodness in store? Well… we’ll just have to wait and see.


Albert Hammond, Jr., Momentary Masters

Release date: July 31

The Strokes guitarist is really hitting his stride now, returning with his third solo album and hitting it out of the park on what we’ve heard so far. “Born Slippy” and “Losing Touch” are both fantastic, so let’s just take this as it comes, with a smile.


Blackalicious, Imani Vol. 1

Release date: August 14

They’ve been gone for a decade, and out of nowhere this dynamic hip-hop leap from 2005’s The Craft with a new sonic adventure. They took to online fundraising to pull together the budget to make Imani Vol. 1, and the fans know it’ll be worth the wait. Do yourself a favor with this one and take the jump.


The Sword, High Country

Release Date: August 21

Searing riffs, sci-fi majesty are just the ticket in the door for this Austin stoner/doom outfit. Their fifth album High Country, produced by Adrian Quesada and mixed by J. Robbins.

Guitarist Kyle Shutt mentioned last year that the band had matured as songwriters, constantly working to improve.

“Every cycle is a learning experience,” he shared. “You refine it a little more. We’re not the best band in the world by any means, but we keep learning. We’re getting to the point where we’re going over the hump of doing dumb shit.”


Ghost B.C., Meliora

Release Date: August 21

The Swedish metal goblins announced their new album via a late-night television commercial, which also revealed the band’s new frontman. Papa Emeritus III replaces his older brother Papa Emeritus II, whose long-held secret identity was revealed last summer. Or is the new Papa really just Papa II in a new costume? Honestly, who cares? The main thrust here is that these heavy-ass doom mongers are about to return with a new album, and we’re all the better for it. With a promise of even more heaviness and instrumentally-driven sound, late August can’t come soon enough.