The 6 albums you don't want to miss this summer

This summer we saw a lot of great album releases, here are the 6 I feel are not to be missed: 

 

Eve, Rapsody:  

Eve in Rapsody’s own words is a “love letter to all black women,” with 16 songs named after her heroes, from Nina Simone and Aaliyah to Oprah Winfrey and Afeni Shakur. Through this album, she tells a story of struggle, belonging, self-belief, and success. She does so with the creativity and wordplay that has made Kendrick Lamar one of her fans. 

In Aaliyah, Rapsody’s dynamic flow is mirrored in the production as the angelic backing vocals give the song a nostalgic and textured tone. She features newcomers such as New York rapper Leikeli47, as well as legends D’Angelo and GZA. Her album is layered in terms of the stories told and sounds explored. 

 

A Different Kind of Human (Step 2), Aurora

The eclectic world of Aurora is a whimsical and musically complex place that captivates its listeners, inviting them in gently. The Norwegian singer stays true to her own voice with this album, her vocals and lyrics contain wonderful whimsy and otherworldly sensibility that enjoy defying the generic conventions of pop music. From self-exploration to challenging outdated gender roles (The Dreamer) and containing themes of an ecological disaster in The Seed, this album is sophisticated and multidimensional.

The sound is playful, light and cinematic at times, but this lightness is contrasted by the darkness that lurks beneath and is to be found in her words. The album is inventive in both the themes she explores and in its musicality and depth foregrounded in her vocals. Her voice carries the same enchanting energy and haunting quality that Bjork brings to mind. 

 

IGOR, Tyler, the Creator

IGOR, is a refreshing and innovative new album from Tyler the Creator. The album contains the perfect mix of fast-paced/light songs, ballads and more experimental sounds that refine Tyler’s own sound. The album demonstrates Tyler’s extensive musical range, from playfulness to serene ambience that makes you want to close your eyes and listen closely to the music feeling each note.

 

i,i, Bon Ivor 

Bon Ivor’s highly anticipated album is a mesmerising rendering of emotional heights and open-ended revelations that invite interpretation. This album at its core sounds like unmediated emotion that makes for a beautiful and serene listening experience. Definitely worth listening to! 

 

Norman Fucking Rockwell!, Lana Del Rey

Her new and perhaps her most complex and eloquent album yet gets up close and personal with American society and is thus riddled with contradictory visceral emotions, myths of the American dream debunked, and tales revealing the culture and confines of toxic masculinity. There is an apparent universality to be found and felt that transcends the particular social context her songs are set in.

There is also freedom both in her lyrical expression and minimal production style. The spectral harmonies and atmospheric tones make this album a deeply introspective acoustic space. This acoustic space Lana creates invites us to embody the complex and sometimes painful and uneasy feelings behind each word and sound. Instead of giving us a feel-good illusory remedy/promise to the pain, she invites us to sees its meaning.

 

Perception, Joy Crookes

There's a soothing warmth and self-reflective tone to that makes you want to return to the music of Joy Crookes. Perception offers us a variety of sounds that welcome us in, from the upbeat and jazzy melodies to reflective songs and a stunning stripped-down ballad (Since I Left You).

The EP encourages us to slow down and really listen. In Since I Left You, her fragility and vulnerability are met with self-love and healing, which we encounter throughout. Each song and their lyrics feel deeply personal and profound. A personal favourite (for obvious reasons) is London Mine; an ode to the city that perfectly captures its grit, malaise, movement, possibility and all its wonder (the charm of Kennington Road, Bangla noise on brick lane, Orange haze from street lights…). 

 

These albums come from all genres and styles, but I find what connects them is an artistic exploration that leads to new, uncharted visceral and cerebral soundscapes for us listeners. I hope you enjoy listening to these albums as much as I did! Happy Listening!