The 10 Albums We’re Most Excited About in June

Music Lists Best Albums
The 10 Albums We’re Most Excited About in June

June 21 is creeping up on us, which means the days are getting longer, which really means you have even more daylight hours in which to soak up new music. As always, we’ve compiled our list of album releases we’re excited about in the coming month. Among those for June are the return of an American icon, a healthy serving of Philly power-punk and the first solo effort by a beloved frontwoman. So slather on some sunscreen and keep scrolling to hear your new summer soundtrack.

June 7

Stef Chura: Midnight
Saddle Creek

“If only you could hear me scream,” Stef Chura sings at one point during her sophomore release, Midnight, her first full length for Saddle Creek. She makes good on her promise and does quite a bit of screaming throughout, even channeling a modern DIY Karen O at times. Produced by Car Seat Headrest’s Will Toledo, Midnight takes everything you love from his band and applies it to Chura’s transfixing voice, a perfect match for the rising act from Detroit. She’s long been building up buzz in the indie rock community; Midnight may launch her to stardom, a jump that’s been long overdue. —Steven Edelstone

More notable June 7 releases: Bob Dylan: The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings, Dylan LeBlanc : Renegade, Eleni Mandell: Wake Up Again, Ida Mae: Chasing Lights, Jake Xerxes Fussel: Out Of Sight, Lust For Youth: Lust For Youth, Mariee Sioux: Grief In Exile, Neil Young: Tuscaloosa, Palehound: Black Friday, Sonic Youth: Battery Park, NYC: July 4, 2008

June 14

Bruce Springsteen: Western Stars

Following last year’s Springsteen on Broadway, the soundtrack to his yearlong residency in New York City, Bruce Springsteen is gearing up to release his first studio album in five years. Western Stars is Springsteen’s 19th album, and the record sees him channeling a sound we haven’t yet heard from his back catalogue—the country-pop records of the late ’60s and early ’70s. Springsteen’s voice is notably more polished, and the addition of rich orchestral arrangements removes a layer of scruffiness we’re used to hearing from The Boss. Springsteen’s enlivening chorus vocal on “There Goes My Miracle” risks sounding trite, but his whole-hearted embrace of steep pop melodies would rival any ballad blaring on classic rock radio. “Tucson Train,” another single, is even more sonically expansive with horns and strings underpinning Springsteen’s smooth drawl. —Lizzie Manno

Julia Shapiro: Perfect Vision
Hardly Art

Seattle has long been a headquarters for America’s musical underground. But every so often, someone (I’m sure you can think of a few) breaks above the surface. Chastity Belt have been poised to make that entrance for nearly a decade now, but before they return with LP4, frontwoman Julia Shapiro is taking a solo trip with her debut studio album. A year ago the musician returned home from a cancelled Chastity Belt tour, feeling like she “couldn’t even imagine playing a show again.” What emerged from that period of darkness is something clear, the sad but savvy summer sing-song of Perfect Vision. If Ms. Shapiro is the next Seattle singer to break it big, then the musical reputation of the Pacific Northwest is in very good hands, indeed. —Ellen Johnson

More notable June 14 releases: Calexico & Iron & Wine: Years to Burn, Carole King: Live at Montreux 1973, Jamestown Revival: San Isabel, Kate Tempest: The Book of Traps and Lessons, Katie Toupin (of Houndmouth): Magnetic Moves, Madonna: Madame X, Mattiel: Satis Factory

June 21

black midi: Schlagenheim
Rough Trade

It’s okay not to completely understand black midi, the most unique and legitimately unclassifiable band to come out of the U.K. in quite some time, because no one truly does. Even if their debut feels like an unlistenable combination of shrieks and crashing guitars in bizarre time signatures, you’re probably not alone. But they’re also perhaps the most technically proficient and skilled act around, one that’s genuinely injecting a long-needed boost of weirdness and excitement into indie rock at large, taking more risks on any given song than most bands do throughout their first few albums combined. With a surprise at every turn, black midi may very well have the debut of the year on their hands, one that challenges the listener more than they ever thought possible, rewarding those who buy in with a record for the ages. —Steven Edelstone

Hatchie: Keepsake
Double Double Whammy

Ever since we first heard the lush Cranberries-esque guitar strums that opened last year’s Sugar and Spice, Hatchie’s debut EP, we’ve been desperately waiting for a full album from the Australian dream pop artist. One of our best new artists of 2018 delivers a home run on her debut, Keepsake, one that’s more polished and Sky Ferreira-esque than last year’s EP, fully capitalizing on the promise of those first handful of songs. Every track here is a knockout, each equally life affirming and capable of soundtracking nearly any indie film. Keepsake is a gorgeous listen front to back. Get ready to believe the hype. —Steven Edelstone

Hot Chip: A Bath Full of Ecstasy

On their sixth and latest album, 2015’s Why Make Sense?, English electro-rock stalwarts Hot Chip explored new sounds, namely influences like Detroit techno and Chicago house music. Their new album, A Bath Full of Ecstasy, isn’t so much a huge departure from their synth-pop strengths as it is a sharpening of the knives they already possess. The aforementioned “ecstasy” that inhabits this LP is marked by polychromatic melodies, squiggly sonics, pulsing rhythms and Alex Taylor’s tuneful, often morphing pop vocals. The album was recorded in Paris and London, and it’s the first time they’ve elected to completely relinquish production duties to outside producers. Hot Chip tapped two veterans known for their shimmery electronic soundscapes: French producer Phillppe Zdar (Phoenix, Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party) and Scottish producer Rodaidh McDonald (The xx, David Byrne, Sampha). —Lizzie Manno

Mannequin Pussy: Patience

Philadelphia punks Mannequin Pussy are on a roll. Both their 2014 debut GP and 2016’s Romantic clocked in at less than 20 minutes but brought a spirited thrust of punk that didn’t put them on a pedestal or skimp on bursts of melodic pop bliss. Their third album Patience doesn’t ditch the snappy punk that makes them so vehement, but it does find the band wielding hooks and more traditional song structures to an extent they haven’t before. Their new album has a whopping 26-minute run time, and lead singer Marisa Dabice has a lot to say—whether it’s fighting against self-hatred, coming to terms with the reality of an abusive relationship or resisting the urge to compare herself to others. With producer/engineer Will Yip (Quicksand, The Menzingers) on board, Mannequin Pussy attempt to balance their vigorous, zippy punk spurts with peppy moments of pop/rock immediacy, and they do it to a T. —Lizzie Manno

More notable June 21 releases: Bad Books (Manchester Orchestra): III, Bedouine: Bird Songs of a Killjoy, Fruit Bats: Gold Past Life, Harry and the Potters: Lumos, The Raconteurs: Help Us Stranger, Titus Andronicus: An Obelisk, Willie Nelson: Ride Me Back Home

Quantic: Atlantic Oscillations
Tru Thoughts

Few understand the rhythmic pulse of the globe quite like Quantic’s Will Holland. Born in the U.K., the prolific producer and multi-instrumentalist lived in Colombia for years before settling down in Brooklyn, making music at every stop. Mixing traditional instrumentation with Latin sounds and a deep, deep dance music repertoire are both part of the Quantic canon. He’s a master collaborator, bandleader and arranger. Returning to his solo roots on Atlantic Oscillations, Holland looks to galvanize his unique referential scope into yet another fine Quantic release, and single “You Used To Love Me,” featuring Denitia, is nothing short of divine. —Adrian Spinelli

June 28

Brijean: Walkie Talkie
Native Cat Records

You’ve likely heard Brijean Murphy playing the congas before, but you just don’t know it. Press play on Toro y Moi’s single “Ordinary Pleasure,” and there she is flashing what’s made her a lowkey indie conga royal. Murphy has also notably played with Poolside and U.S. Girls over the years and now, along with producer/multi-instrumentalist Doug Stuart (Meernaa, Bells Atlas) Brijean is born. The debut Walkie Talkie EP packs a healthy seven tracks, and on lead single “Show And Tell,” the Oakland-based Brijean’s musical vocabulary comes through in a thumping, disco groove, tailor-made for summertime hedonism. Dig it. —Adrian Spinelli

Freddie Gibbs and Madlib: Bandana
Cool/RCA Records and Madlib Invazion/ESGN

After months of speculation, Freddie Gibbs and Madlib recently announced the release date for their new collaborative album, Bandana, and shared a new single, “Crime Pays,” plus an accompanying video directed by frequent Gibbs collaborator Nick Walker. Bandana, the long-awaited follow-up to Gibbs’ and Madlib’s 2014 joint effort Piñata, will feature Pusha-T, Killer Mike, Yasiin Bey and Black Thought. “Crime Pays” follows previously released single “Flat Tummy Tea,” which dropped in February. “Crime Pays” finds the pair in fine form, with Gibbs slinging accelerated verses left and right and Madlib’s distinctly wobbly production on full display. All hail the dream team. —Ellen Johnson

More notable June 28 releases: The Black Keys: Let’s Rock, Daughter of Swords: Dawnbreaker, Horse Jumper Of Love: So Divine, Jade Jackson: Wilderness, Sofia Bolt: Waves

Share Tweet Submit Pin