In my opinion, there is no better season than summer…I love it. It’s the season of drinks on the patio with friends, beach trips with my Mom, sailing with my Dad, and long, sticky days by the pool. Bring on 90 degree temps and 100% humidity, and I am a happy, happy girl! It’s also the season of my birthday, and birthdays are a big deal to me, so … that could explain it.
This year, it seems there’s also a TON of great new music being released just in time to help celebrate my favorite season…and to be honest, this post is just as much to help me remember release dates as it is to spread the word about these phenomenal artists. Be sure to mark your calendars to pick up these sure-to-be-fab releases! I’ll keep updating this post as new releases get announced and pre-order or purchase information becomes available.
- June 4 – Quiet Hounds – Megaphona (download free here | purchase on iTunes)
My love for this artistic and masked quintet from Atlanta is well documented (see posts below. This exceptional EP is full of lush guitar, dreamy songwriting, and even, yes, a megaphone (and perhaps a garage door?). Check it out. It’s free. You have nothing to lose.
- June 5 – The Rocketboys – Build Anyway (purchase on iTunes | Amazon)
Great rock n’ roll from Austin, Texas with strong songwriting to back it up. Brandon Kinder’s voice is golden, and he’s got a revamped band line up that has produced a really put-together record.
- June 12 – The Constellations – Do It For Free (preorder on iTunes)
Atlanta’s funkiest band, The Constellations will not let us down with this record – it will be one dance and sweat to (and that’s however you choose to sweat – running, dancing or otherwise engaged, if you catch my drift). You can catch them on this summer’s Warped Tour.
- June 12 – Grace Potter & The Nocturnals – The Lion, The Beast & The Beat (preorder on iTunes or Amazon (CD only) | Stream on the band’s Facebook page)
My favorite sultry songstress, I’m pretty sure that Grace Potter could sing the phone book and I’d love it. Her smoky voice and high-energy live show are enough to make everyone love her – guys want to be with her and girls want to be her. Her band is no joke, either…although the new bass player has yet to pass my test!
- June 19 – Walk the Moon – Walk the Moon (no preorder yet available)
High-energy indie pop, this way-too-skinny group of hipsters got me grooving last summer with their song “Anna Sun”…and it’s now all the rage. In fact, you can’t even buy their previous album online anymore! Watch for them to hit it big this summer….
- June 26 – Mieka Pauley – The Science of Making Choices (no preorder yet available)
Probably my favorite female artist ever, Mieka is one of the sharpest songwriters around. With her sassy Yankee attitude, unique style and straightforward demeanor, she writes incredibly truthful songs that are heartbreaking, edgy, angry and fun.
- June 26 – Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons – Old Believers (no preorder yet available)
I’ve got to admit, this is probably one of the releases I’m most excited for. Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons debut album, Death Won’t Send A Letter, was pure genius (and so critially underratted). With his gravelly voice and bluesy Americana that is reminiscent of the best 60s and 70s folk songwriters, this Wisconsin-ite will make me a believer ANY day of the week. You can pick up the first single, “I’ve Been Accused” already on iTunes.
- July 3 – Jeremy Fisher – Mint Juleps (Pre-order hard copy or preview on Amazon)
This Canadian songster won me over back in ’07 with his Goodbye Blue Monday album and catchy songs like “Jolene” and “Cigarette.” He went a little more indie with his follow up release, but word on the street is that this new album hearkens back to his “folk roots.” I’m pretty excited to hear it!
- July 10 – Brendan James – Hope in Transition (Preorder hard copy CD here)
When my bestie Christy – and the woman I have dubbed my “music dealer” – fell in love a few years ago, she grew a soft spot for romantic singer-songwriters. Having always had the penchant for them myself, it wasn’t long before she’d turned me on to Brendan’s music. After seeing him live, I was a convert – what a talented fellow! One listen to the whimsical “Anything for You” off his latest self-titled album and you’ll be in love, too. (Thanks to Robin for the reminder about his new release!)
- July 24 – The Gaslight Anthem – Handwritten (Preorder packages here)
The modern day answer to punk-infused rock n’ roll, these Jersey boys stole my heart a few years ago with their guitar-heavy sound. I was late on the train getting switched on to them, but I tell ya what…when Bruce Springsteen gives a band a nod, I will listen. Next generation of Jersey awesome… And if the lead single, “45” is any hint at what’s to come, Handwritten promises to be worthy of The Boss’s approval!
- August 14 – Ben Taylor – Listening (no preorder yet available)
As the son of 70s superstar songwriters James Taylor and Carly Simon, Ben Taylor has a pedigree to sing and let me tell ya…he can. His music channels his father’s easy style and blends it with a funky, soulful sound that is absolutely irresistible to the ears. And…ladies, I must say, he is a tall drink of water that is incredibly easy on the eyes. Good for the ears + eyes = yum. Stream the first single from this new album, “Oh Brother,” dedicated to his little twin half-brothers, over at Rolling Stone.
- August 28 – Jackopierce – Everywhere All the Time (preview available on Noisetrade)
If there was a band that defined college for me, it was Jackopierce. They were probably the first “non-mainstream” band that I fell for, and any time I hear Cary and Jack’s voices, I swear I smell Chestertown and I can’t help but smile. Emotionally-charged, pretty pop-rock songs. Cannot wait for this new record!
- September 4 – Matchbox 20 – North (no preorder yet available)
First new material in 10 years from a band that was a staple in my life through most of my 20s. Can you say “excited?”
- September 4 – Imagine Dragons – Night Visions – (no preorder yet available)
I.love.this.band. High-energy, original, and fun as all get out. But they’re from Vegas, so I guess we should expect that! Imagine Dragons was all over my Best of 2011 list, and I predicted they were gonna be huge…mark my words…huge!
What new music are you guys and gals looking forward to downloading/buying this summer?