Best summer albums of 2016

The albums and tunes you should be listening out for this season Discuss this article

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Some of the world’s most talked-about and listened-to artists are releasing brand-new albums this season. So to brighten up your work-out or your long, leisurely day by the pool, we’ve found 12 of the most anticipated. From upbeat guitar licks to deep house beats, rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers to electropop star Shura, there’s something on this list for every type of music lover.


1. Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Getaway (out now)
The Chili Peppers are back with their eleventh studio album, which was delayed for almost a year after Flea, the bassist, went snowboarding and broke his arm. It’s the first one they’ve pulled out since I’m With You in 2011 and it’s a bold attempt to keep the band as relevant today as they were in the ’80s and ’90s. Oh, and listen out for Sir Elton John, who is playing piano on the track Sick Love.


2. The Temper Trap – Thick as Thieves (out now)
They might be most famous for 2008 track Sweet Disposition, but this Australian indie-rock band has done other stuff, including this new record. Their last album was a little more experimental, but they’ve gone back to an upbeat guitar sound for their third album, and have worked with other songwriters for the first time, too. This was clearly a good decision, if the results of this record are anything to go by.


3. Jake Bugg – On My One (out now)
The title of Jake Bugg’s third album is a saying from his hometown of Nottingham, UK, which just means “on your own”. The indie-rock singer-songwriter did have a hand from a producer for three of the tracks, but apart from that he’s done it all – the writing and producing – on his own, and he admitted it was “quite lonely” making it by himself. Expect the album to be darker and moodier than his past records, with a few attempts at rapping thrown in.


4. Broods – Conscious (out now)
Brother-sister electronic music duo Broods (also known as Caleb and Georgia) are back with their second album, two years after their debut went straight to number one in their home country of New Zealand. Where their first record was dreamy and atmospheric, this one is rather different. In fact, Caleb described it as “a punch in the face compared to the last one”.


5. Blink-182 – California (out now)

Pop-punk band Blink-182 have been together since the early ’90s, but this will be their first album without founding member Tom DeLonge, who quit late last year. Instead, they’ve got Matt Skiba, formerly of Alkaline Trio. They recorded more than 50 tracks for California, but don’t worry, it’s not several hours long, as only 16 of them made it on to the album in the end. It’s bound to be a divisive record, as die-hard Blink fans adjust to the line-up changes.


6. Metronomy – Summer 08 (out now)
English electronic band Metronomy are getting all nostalgic with their latest, uptempo album, which looks back through the mists of time to the summer of 2008. Lead singer Joe Mount says that was the last summer he had free and it was also the summer their breakthrough album, Nights Out, was released. He’s described this record as “the most fun he’s had in a long time”. Well, we hope we all enjoy it as much as he enjoyed making it, then.


7. The Avalanches – Wildflower (July 8)
This Australian electronic group took a bit of a break after releasing their first album Since I Left You. It’s been 16 years since they left us, but they’re finally ready to unveil album number two (it’s been ten years in production). The first single, Frankie Sinatra, took over two years to make and features rappers Danny Brown and MF Doom, as well as a sample from The Sound of Music’s My Favorite Things. Radio DJ Zane Lowe described the album as a “triumph”, so expectations are high.


8. Biffy Clyro – Ellipsis (July 8)

The alternative rock band took a year off from touring last year and went to record this in Los Angeles, a slightly different setting to their home country of Scotland. Speaking about their seventh album, frontman Simon Neil
said that he’s “written some of the best songs I’ve ever written”. He’s also described it as “more of a punch to the nose than a big cuddle.” We’re intrigued.


9. Shura – Nothing’s Real (July 8)
Electropop star Shura was once on Manchester City’s youth team, but gave that up to pursue a career in music instead. And it’s a good thing she did – her first single Touch has already been listened to more than 26 million times on YouTube. She was tipped for success at the beginning of 2015, but she’s only just releasing her debut album now, after working with Grammy Award-winning songwriter Greg Kurstin (he also wrote Adele’s song Hello).


10. Michael Kiwanuka – Love & Hate (July 15)

This British soul singer has been compared to Bill Withers and Otis Redding, and his first album, released in 2012, was critically acclaimed. Since then, he’s been working hard on his second album, which includes a ten-minute long track that’s been likened to something by Pink Floyd. The rest of the album promises to be a little different, too, as he’s been working with Grammy Award-winning hip-hop producer Danger Mouse.


11. ZHU – Generation Why (July 29)
Deep house producer Zhu has always been secretive – he released his tracks anonymously at first, asking that people judge him on his music alone. Since then, his 2014 track Faded was nominated for a Grammy Award, and now he’s getting ready to release his debut full-length album. Details about the record are still under wraps (some things don’t change), but after collaborating with artists like Skrillex, we can safely expect something good.


12. Nao – For All We Know (July 29)

Nao was shortlisted for the BBC Sound of 2016 poll at the beginning of the year, and came in third place. Her inspirations include Aretha Franklin and ’90s R&B, and describes her music as “wonky funk”. This is her debut album, although she’s been singing for years, previously having toured as a backing singer for Jarvis Cocker. Last year she also popped up on Disclosure’s number one album Caracal.

By Dominic Beesley
Time Out Doha,

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