June is a hot time for many reasons, but we've got five ear-ticklers for you to mull over as you sip your sweet tea and dream about beach combing. Five albums we're psyched about for various reasons, and you should be too. Check them out.
Battles Gloss Drop
Losing a member of the band can be harrowing, but losing the voice of the band (and in many ways, the creative catalyst) can be deadly. Battles has been going through such a dispute; their main man Tyondai Braxton due to "opposing ambitions" and were forced to continue on without him, instead opting for a bevy of guest vocals and creative collabs to fill in the blanks. First single "Ice Cream", a compendium of their frenetic face-melting jams, provided some much needed evidence that they've still got the chops to be the Battles we all know and love. Now the question is, will the Gloss Drop
be just as tasty? [Perhaps we've already got our answer
Bon Iver Bon Iver, Bon Iver
Where do we begin? Justin Vernon's debut, For Emma, Forever Ago
, wooed everyone from hip bohemians to Diddy and Spike Lee. We've all heard the story of how he went Thoreau, and wrote/recorded reclusively in a Wisconsin cabin, but his artisanship quality was only a spark of the Bon Iver wildfire that had ensued. Music that satiates the soul was the product of the hermit's dwelling, and it is difficult to envision that his sophomore release will be as equally gratifying. We're excited to see if Vernon has managed to charm us once again, and Bon Iver, Bon Iver
will be echoing from our offices for months to come.
Weird Al Alpocalypse
Weird Al taught us all how to laugh at our idols, and the impending release of Alpocalypse
(June 21), has us giddy with hysterical anticipation. He gave us an excuse to snicker at hard-ass rappers with "Amish Paradise", and it's become impossible to watch a Tom Hanks movie without questioning if he's "inbred". His 13th studio album, and his first in five years, will undoubtedly bash our pop culture heroes once again. We've all heard its first single, "Perform This Way", where he teases Lady Gaga's eccentricity. The 12-track album includes additional satirical ballads like "Craigslist", where he parodies Jim Morrison to croon about some "missed connections". The album also holds a track that is an unconventional mash-up of 18 contemporary hits. Weird Al's accordion, in "Polka Face", contests Girl Talk's technical fusions.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. It's A Corporate World
We recently spent a day zipping around a high-speed go-kart facility in hot pursuit of Detroit indie pop duo Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. We knew their debut album It's A Corporate World
would be setting our summer in motion—it's blissed out beats, weird electronics, and gushy melodies setting the soundtrack to all day hangs in the park, road trips, and lazy Sunday mornings. Josh Epstein and Daniel Zott appropriately fire on all cylinders over the course of the album, tipping a variety of moods along the 37 minute journey to the finish line. What we didn't expect was that we wouldn't stand a chance against their motor city moves on the race course. Turns out, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. are a couple of actual gearheads (obviously...). Check out the hilarious video a few weeks down the road and the album, out tomorrow.
Beyonce wasn't the only pop music fixture who was releasing a numerical album in June (in fact the final spot on our list originally belonged to Wayne's fourth Carter
, now pushed back to August). But the speculation is no less polarized, based on the two radically different singles to impact prior to release. On the one hand, Diplo's obnoxious Major Lazer sampling "Girls (Run The World)" left many thinking the Fierce may be fading from Sasha, while "Best Thing I Never Had" showcases the singer's best and brightest qualities. Only the full LP will tell which Beyonce we're getting this time around.