Written by Emilee Lindner • Photography by Getty Images • June 6, 2017
Need a spritz of new music? Summer 2017 has got you covered. With Halsey's and Dua Lipa's albums already out and Katy Perry coming soon to kick off the most fun months of the year with some hot pop, there will be plenty of stuff to bop to. We've also got some anticipated hip-hop releases on the way, with Vince Staples, DJ Khaled and Big Boi ready to pop their projects. And there's even a bit of country in the mix -- ahem, the new Lady Antebellum -- because country pretty much thrives in the summer, ain't it true?
More: Summer Tour Preview
Check out these 20 releases and enjoy accordingly:
Halsey follows up her breakout Badlands album with another concept project. This time around, Ashley Frangipane has crafted a mythical tale about two star-crossed lovers (perhaps named Luna and White Nite) modeled after Romeo and Juliet. Like her first LP, Halsey has built a futuristic world that's apparent in Hopeless Fountain Kingdom's first single, "Now or Never." The single has all the appeal of a pop song, a catchy hook and big bouncy bass, but something about the new track gives off a cooler and more misty, ethereal feel. Halsey enlisted the help of buzzy producers Benny Blanco, Cashmere Cat, Ricky Reed and more for this one -- which means it might get experimental without straying to far from center.
The Dua Lipa self-titled debut album has been a long time coming for the British "dark pop" star. Nearly a year after its first proposed release, the album now has six singles out in the world, with "Blow Your Mind (Mwah)" leading the charge as its sassy and unapologetic precedent. The album also includes a song written with Coldplay's Chris Martin, along with her duet with Miguel, "Lost in Your Life." And while Dua has many proper pop producers booked for this release, make no mistake, this album is all about her. "For this album I want to be as truthful as possible, then all the club shit can come later," she told Digital Spy.
With some new club tracks, Katy Perry is making her musical revival a little less candy-coated than her previous hits. She called her new era "purposeful pop" with the drop of her first Witness single, "Chained to the Rhythm," which told the story of obliviousness in the time of global turmoil. But as more tunes are heard from the album -- "Bon Appétit" featuring Migos and "Swish Swish" featuring Nicki Minaj -- Perry has dug into both a conscious persona and less conscious persona, and it's only a mystery what she'll try out next.
Hiatus? What hiatus? Lady Antebellum supposedly took a break from touring and recording as a trio at the end of 2015, but apparently, that hiatus didn't last long. Each member took time to write and produce either solo endeavors or music for other people. They came back together pretty quickly, however, for what they are calling the "spiritual follow-up" to 2010's Need You Now. Lady Antebellum once again tapped trusted producer busbee, and he helped them create their first non-Tennessee-based album. The band chose to live together in Los Angeles and Florida to hone in on their harmonies and make each song sound cohesive.
Fans have been anxiously awaiting CTRL, expecting a February release. But CTRL now has a release date of June 9. SZA has said it's about being an outsider: "I [wrote about] my younger life, which was haphazard: being at sleepaway camp away from my parents, being the only black girl, not even noticing until I got older, dealing with boys, self-hate, growth and God," she told Billboard. "It’s the first time I’m literally writing about my life instead of figuratively writing about it." SZA fans are currently gushing over her most recent single, "Love Galore," featuring Travis Scott.
The longtime Fleetwood Mac friends always had a knack for writing together, and that chemistry was so undeniable that they came back for a joint album. Named, simply, Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie, the album was recorded in the same studio where Fleetwood Mac's Tusk was created. Their friends John McVie and Mick Fleetwood also came through to add their special touch to the record. Catch Fleetwood Mac play at The Classic this summer.
During the November 2015 Bataclan terrorist attack in Paris, Phoenix guitarist Christian Mazzalai was trapped inside a studio as police barracaded parts of the city. From that studio, sprouted Phoenix's sixth album, Ti Amo. Despite the bouncy, disco-level tracks that we've heard so far, the band has told The New York Times that the album reflects the dark events surrounding their city. But still expect those blitzed electro tracks from the French band -- "J-Boy" and title track "Ti Amo" serve up a glittery dance vibes that might provide a little escapism from harrowing world events.
Big Boi was on fire when he put out the Big Grams EP with Phantogram, and now he's ready to release a full project. The follow-up to 2012's Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors features Adam Levine, Jeezy and Killer Mike of Run the Jewels. "Mic Jack" features Big Boi rapping in his familiar, speedy Outkast flow. He keeps up with the futurist beat that bounces beneath a steady snare, and when it comes to the chorus, Levine dishes up the funk, as synths glitter like a discoball around a scattered guitar riff. You can even hear was seems to be Janelle Monae's voice on the track -- which makes sense because Monae is scheduled to appear on the album, alongside Travis Scott and Gucci Mane.
It's been six long years for Fleet Foxes fans, who were waiting patiently for the return of their favorite folk band from Seattle. The harmonious group, known for their foresty, relaxing jams, are back with the follow-up to 2011's Helplessness Blues, and they quite literally pick back up where they left off: The chord at the beginning of Crack-Up resolves the end chord on their previous album. The album is called Crack-Up to pay homage to frontman Robin Pecknold's more disjointed syle in editing. After finishing college at Columbia University, the new tunes will come from a different perspective, he told Pitchfork.
Lorde has come a long way since she was discovered as New Zealand's teen savior to pop music. As an adult, the David Bowie-approved prodigy is now exploring life and lonliness in the wake of her first heartbreak. The album follows the story of a night out -- from the raucousness of it, to the regret the morning after. The whole thing was made in producer Jack Antonoff's studio and has her diving deep into the catharsis of music after a breakup tears you apart.
Evolve, or ƎVOLVE as Imagine Dragons would spell it, is a proper title for the band's third album. After touring nonstop for six years and riding high off their first two albums, Imagine Dragons say that some time off in 2016 has led to growth. "I feel like it's definitely an evolution for Imagine Dragons," frontman Dan Reynolds told ABC News. The band's last efforts included a mix of folky and heavy rock tunes, but the band have seemingly taken their edginess to a poppier oasis with new tracks "Whatever It Takes," "Thunder" and "Believer." The former is stewed in hip-hop as Reynolds takes on a more rap-influenced flow in his lyrical delivery. One thing's for sure -- Imagine Dragons aren't going to stay the same with their third album.
Not much is known about Vince Staples' Big Fish Theory, besides the fact that it's following up his critically acclaimed debut album, Summertime '06. The cunning rapper with the normcore style has been known to have an opinion on everything, but on the new track, "Big Fish," which features uncredited vocals from Juicy J, Staples looks inward, reflecting on how far he's come since his career began a few years ago: "It's funny I was going crazy not too long ago / Women problems every morning like the Maury show / Swimming upstream while I'm tryna keep my bread / From the sharks make me wanna put the hammer to my head."
Shall we even go into all the guest collaborators on Calvin Harris' upcoming fifth album? The Scottish DJ seemingly got every modern music phenom on his project, including Ariana Grande, Big Sean, D.R.A.M., Frank Ocean, Future, Jessie Reyez, John Legend, Katy Perry, Kehlani, Khalid, Lil Yachty, Migos, Nicki Minaj, PartyNextDoor, Pharrell Williams, Schoolboy Q, Snoop Dogg, Travis Scott and Young Thug. The collection of songs were at first meant to be dropped as individual singles -- and maybe they still will be -- but instead, they will appear together on an album on June 30.
Taking time to write their sophomore album, Haim were afraid that most of their studio sessions were coming up short until they were tapped to write a song for the movie Trainwreck. And although the song never made it into the film, the juices started flowing after that, and the sisterly trio teamed up with Ariel Rechtshaid to refine their sleek Fleetwood Mac-inspired beats into something more produced. And while there will be a ton of neat effects on Something to Tell You, don't be alarmed: Haim still comes through with intense folky ballads, three-way harmonies and a clattering of original rhythms, just like fans have already seen in the live studio version of "Right Now," directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.
While Lana Del Rey's music has had a touch of the morbid in the past, she appropriately labeled this latest album Lust for Life, pointing her in a more postive direction. She sings about the butterflies of young love on first single "Love," while she declares "my boyfriend's back, and he's cooler than ever" in the title track. It seems like Del Rey is happy just twirling around in her Hollywood studio, creating old-timey, retro-based tracks and hazy visuals to go along with them.
PVRIS, whom Billboard calls "goth-tinged electro-rockers," are back to prove while they're one of the most promising bands on the scene. Their new song "Heaven" has the ability to take on multiple personalities, like the group itself. It's airy yet heavy, pounding yet minimalistic, dark yet light... actually it's mostly just dark. Lynn Gunn serves as PVRIS' powerful lead singer, who belts out most of their tracks as if they can't help but bubble up from her stomach. If you're into gut-wrenching music that has zero fluff, get your hands on the new PVRIS LP.
It's only been a few months since Cabello Cabello left Fifth Harmony last December, yet her solo debut is coming with the swiftness of a Monday after a short weekend. Cabello recently dropped two new songs from the project, which has yet to receive a release date. "I Have Questions" has Cabello inflecting her unique tone all over the melody as she climbs scales and sings about a lover's betrayal. For "Crying in the Club," she got the help of Sia, Benny Blanco and more to create a dance pop tune that has the potential to infect radio. The album was written at a time when Cabello felt "broken," she wrote in a letter to fans, so it's a journey from "darkness to light."
Surely, Chris Stapleton had a double album on his hands when he started recording the follow-up to his extremely popular Traveller. But the country outlaw split the release into two. In May, he put out From a Room: Volume 1, which features the pedal steel guitar-heavy "Up To No Good Livin'." The track includes vocals from Stapleton's wife, along with the ever-so relatable story about mistrust in a relationship even after reconciliation. After all his work with producer Dave Cobb at RCA Studio A in Nashville, Stapleton says that a second part to the sessions will come later this year.
In typical DJ Khaled fashion, he's getting all his celebrity friends to feature on his upcoming 10th studio album. And the standout so far is a joint track called "Shining" by power couple Jay Z and Beyoncé. Along with "Shining," which may or may not be the song of the summer, there's "I'm The One," featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper and Lil Wayne. Drake is also expected to rap on the album. The album is also a family affair in the most literal sense, with Khaled's infant son signed on as executive producer (seriously). Baby Asahd is the little muse that appears in all the promotional artwork. "He’s in the studio listening to songs with me going over the business part of it, [seeing if] the vocals are right, if the beats are right, if the energy’s right, everything he’s a part of," Khaled told XXL. If you're looking for baby-approved music this year, Grateful is it.
Faith Hill and Tim McGraw are granting a wish to every fan who's ever wanted their favorite musicians to collaborate together: an joint album. After reviving their Soul2Soul Tour (get tickets now!), the country couple are prepping the release of their upcoming album. We've already heard the first track, "Speak to a Girl," and it's a subtle ballad with Hill and McGraw trading verses about respect in a relationship. This is far from the first time they've worked together, but a full body of work should reveal even more about having a creative soulmate.
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