In nearly every moment of my free time, I find myself searching for the best new music. That task proves to get even more complicated when summer rolls around. Filled to the brim with an endless supply of radiant party-anthems, moody records fit for a breezy night-time stroll and albums to fit nearly every other type of feeling, it can be hard to find the gems sprinkled throughout.
Here’s a brief list of some of this summer’s best albums.
Tyler, the Creator has a long reputation for being quite abrasive throughout his career. His latest album Flower Boy is a departure from that faux-edgy persona. Entirely produced by Tyler himself, his fourth album is the finely-tuned project that the young rapper has been trying to make throughout his solo career. It is a near perfect mix of soulful, nostalgia-ridden ballads and hard-hitting tracks fit for any rambunctious function.
Not only is the production on the album impeccable, but Tyler’s raps are stronger than ever. His lyrics are witty, catchy and concise. Nearly every song has a hook that will be stuck in your head nonstop until you satisfy the urge to listen to it again. Once you hear “See You Again,” you’ll wonder how you went your whole life without hearing such a mesmerizing hook.
While Flower Boy is perfectly suited for days with the sun beating down on your exposed skin, rap duo Shabazz Palaces delivered an album primed for staring into the night sky and wondering about what’s out there.
Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines is the second of two synth-laden albums released by the group this summer. Critiquing the state of hip-hop, pop culture and society as a whole, the album demands your utmost attention to catch every little detail. The production is otherworldly; it feels as grand as space itself while pulling you in, letting you inspect every individual layer. It’s intimate and distant at the same time. There’s so much to unpack in this album that I still find myself discovering new things after listening to it 20 times.
Spend a night sitting under the stars while listening to Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines and you’ll probably end up with more questions than answers, but that’s part of the fun.
Now picture yourself driving down a highway along the ocean in a convertible as the wind blows through your hair; The Drums’ newest album Abysmal Thoughts is the soundtrack for that coastal drive. Pulling partly from surf-rock and conventional indie, The Drums seamlessly mix the feel-good attitudes of the beach with some good old-fashioned teenage angst.
It seems like a strange mix, but the combination encapsulates the feeling of growing up and not knowing what’s next all the while being equally excited and uneasy for whatever comes. It’s the embodiment of ignorant youthfulness.
BROCKHAMPTON, a group of 20-year-olds who met on an online hip-hop forum, released a bombshell of excitement with Saturation. Featuring a collection of songs that showcase each individual member’s strengths beyond belief, the album brings a lot to the table.
Songs like “Star” and “Milk” show that the hip-hop collective’s chemistry is off the charts. Clever lyrics, original production and a diverse range of sounds make Saturation a truly one-of-a-kind album that deserves your attention. With another album on the way by the time summer ends, it seems that BROCKHAMPTON are poised to become something great.
Lorde’s sophomore album Melodrama proves that she’s a star who knows how to evolve as an artist without completely losing touch of her past work. In a similar vein as some of the other albums mentioned earlier, Melodrama is overflowing with the feeling of youth. As cliché as it may sound, Lorde makes you feel like you can literally do anything. There’s something about her voice that makes you feel like you’re unstoppable, so for that reason alone, Melodrama is a must-listen.
As summer comes to a close, these albums are just a few of the gems that have incredible staying power. Here’s to hoping that the fall semester brings even more great albums.