While The Minaret will be going on hiatus for the summer, the music world never sleeps. This summer will see the release of some highly anticipated records, and while we won’t be around to review them, that doesn’t stop us from highlighting the ones to keep an eye out for.
The Early November – “Imbue” (May 15, Rise Records)
The New Jersey group’s second album since coming off hiatus, “Imbue” promises to be a stellar continuation of an incredible band’s career. Hints of grunge and ‘90s rock define pre-release tracks “Narrow Mouth” and “Circulation,” and it’s a fantastic look for The Early November. Judging from these two songs, “Imbue” will see the band stretching their boundaries even further, letting their talent as a fantastic rock band overpower their history as an early ‘00s emo juggernaut.
Florence+The Machine – “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful” (June 1, Island Records)
Florence+The Machine has spent nearly their entire career as indie pop heroes, storming the charts and popular media with their 2008 single “Dog Days Are Over.” Masterminds Florence Welch and Isabella Summers produce incredibly graceful and wonderfully dynamic pop rock, and the lead single from “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful,” “What Kind of Man,” promises a more nuanced and confidently done continuation, Welch’s smooth, emotive vocals taking center stage behind a blooming sonic landscape.
Nate Ruess – “Grand Romantic” (June 15, Fueled By Ramen)
Nate Ruess is best recognized as the voice behind fun., a band that dominated the radio with cuts from their wonderful 2012 record “Some Nights.” He’s lesser known from his work in the equally terrific indie pop duo The Format in the early 2000s. Ruess is one of the best songwriters in the pop world, his body of work ranging from the pop rock tinges of The Format’s “Interventions+Lullabies” to the circus dabbling of The Format’s incredible “Dog Problems” and fun.’s debut “Aim and Ignite.” “Grand Romantic” comes a year after fun. member Jack Antonoff saw some success with the release of “Strange Desire” under the name Bleachers. Ruess made a small radio splash with his first solo single, “Nothing Without Love,” which seems to be closest in style to “Some Nights,” but this seems to be more of a warm up than anything. Ruess has never released a bad or predictable album, there’s no reason to expect anything less than fantastic on his solo debut.
mewithoutyou – “Pale Horses” (June 15, Run For Cover Records)
Very few rock bands are as lyrically dense and intricate as mewithoutyou. “Pale Horses” is the follow up to the band’s best work, 2012’s “Ten Stories,” an independently released concept album about a group of circus animals caught in a train crash in 1878. With a body of work rooted in post hardcore but often drenched in folk traits, mewithoutyou promise another few years of deciphering and reference-catching with their sixth full length record, their first with Run For Cover.
Desaparecidos – “Payola” (June 23, Epitaph Records)
Desaparecidos is the punk brainchild of Conor Oberst, best known for his work in Bright Eyes. “Payola” will be the band’s second album, the first since 2001’s fiery “Read Music/Speak Spanish,” a hyper political burst of energy from a songwriter most often aligned with sad, folky songs. Lead single “City On A Hill” is a little cleaner than “Read Music/Speak Spanish,” but better written, more focused and more catchy. If “Payola” follows through, it’ll be the best, funnest record to get angry to this summer.
Kanye West – “So Help Me God” (Release Date TBA, Roc a Fella Records)
It seems as if no one really knows what to expect from the follow up to Kanye West’s critically acclaimed, sonically bleak 2013 record “Yeezus.” Rumored to be on the record are the sweet autotune drenched ballad “Only One” and the scorching “All Day.” The range displayed between just those two tracks shows the difficulty in predicting whether or not “So Help Me God” will cling to the middle ground or end up being something completely off the wall. Knowing Kanye, the latter seems more likely.
Chance The Rapper & the Social Experiment- “Surf” (Release Date TBA, Self-release)
Chance The Rapper is set to release his follow up to his successful 2013 mixtape “Acid Rap” some time this year, his first official collaborative recording with The Social Experiment. The album was announced last October and will be released for free, as “Acid Rap” was two years ago. If “I Am Very Very Lonely,” a Social Experiment/Chance The Rapper track streamed last year, is any indication, “Surf” could see Chance venturing into more R&B centric territory, a good look for the Chicago based artist. The Social Experiment especially shines on single “Sunday Candy,” a more upbeat track that promises an incredibly interesting array of sonic textures for the record to follow.
Jordan Walsh can be reached at Jordan.firstname.lastname@example.org.