Depending on where you live it may be hard to tell, but summer is fast-approaching, and with the rising temperatures comes an avalanche of new music competing for your attention and blog coverage. We cannot and should not tell you how to run your blog, but if you’re the kind of writer looking for the best of the best to share with your audiences then we know of a few upcoming releases you should definitely keep your eye on. These records criss-cross genres, but each one adds something special to the global music community that we believe is worthy of coverage.
Also, just so you don’t start believing we claim to have final say over everything that is good or bad, please know we are always in the market for new discoveries ourselves. It’s rare that more than a day or two passes without someone pitching us new music, and we do our best to hear everything that arrives in our inbox. If you know of a great record on the horizon that is not mentioned in the list below, please comment and add your suggestion. We will definitely make time to listen, and who knows? Maybe you will be responsible for kickstarting the development of future blog content down the line.
Anyways, here are our picks for the must hear albums of June 2016:
Gates – Parallel Lives (June 3)
There are few bands in modern alternative music with as much potential for mainstream success as Gates. Their music speaks to something bigger than themselves, and with each listen to their Sophomore LP we find ourselves falling deeper in love with their sound. There are some bands whose talent cannot be denied, regardless of your personal preference in music or genres, and Gates are one of those acts. The only problem is, nowhere near enough people know their name…Yet.
Beartooth – Aggressive (June 3)
If there is one band with a Warped Tour background poised to become rock and roll mainstays in 2016 it’s Beartooth. Everyone in the rock world already knows this to be true, including Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor (who recently expressed his love of the band in the media). Aggressive is a far more focused effort than the band’s debut, but it has the same chaotic tendencies that made the group an underground sensation. Caleb Shomo is a beast on vocals, and his unabashed approach to songwriting adds a layer of sincerity to the band’s music that just isn’t found in rock today.
Garbage – Strange Little Birds (June 10)
A band that certainly needs no introduction, Garbage are continuing to redefine their sound with the release of Strange Little Birds. Fans have long wondered if the group would return, and with that question came concerns that any new material might spoil the work the band released around the same time we all feared for the impact of Y2K. We’re happy to report Strange Little Birds is quite possibly the band’s strongest record, and it has hooks that will stay stuck in your brain for weeks to come. If you need more proof of our love, make sure you find time to read this week’s Monday Motivation post.
Empty Houses – Daydream (June 10)
Love Motown, but wish there were some young artists making that classic sound work in 2016? Empty Houses are about to become your new favorite band. Comprised of vocalist Ali Shea and two former members of pop-rock favorite Fireworks, Empty Houses have been carving a unique place for themselves in the world of pop since their formation in early 2015. The band’ Sargent House records debut blends classic genre sensibilities with the perspective of people living in the now. This is the kind of record that makes you want to fall in love, and we doubt it will leave our stereo anytime soon.
Nahko and Medicine for The People – HOKA (June 10)
Our friends at SideOneDummy are releasing this record, but Nahko and Medicine For The People are not your typical S1D band. HOKA is a very grounded, very organic release that relies on acoustic instruments and nature metaphors to convey its message. The results are an entirely heartwarming and often whimsical musical experience that feels intended for summer road trips without a destination. It’s the kind of record you put on when you want to get lost, and it’s the only company you’ll need on your journey.
I See Stars – Treehouse (June 17)
Now five albums deep into a career many thought would die with the downfall of Myspace, I See Stars have long proven their critics wrong be continuing to push themselves and their fans in new directions. Treehouse is a culmination of everything the band has done in the past, with pop-friendly hooks and mosh pit ready guitar work, but it also points to where they may go in the future. Not many bands can claim to have the confidence to do whatever they desire with each new release, but there is a palpable amount of self-assurance running through Treehouse that makes us root for I See Stars continued success. If tracks like “All In” and “Mobbin’ Out” don’t get your heart racing we highly recommend seeking medical assistance as soon as possible.
Sherwood – Some Things Never Leave You (June 17)
There was a time not that long ago when we thought we may never heard from Sherwood again. That was before the band launched a Kickstarter in 2015 to fund a new album, of course. That promotion lead to an avalanche of love for the group being expressed from all corners of the Earth, and the band quickly gained the funding needed to continue their musical endeavors. Some Things Never Leave You picks up right where the band left off with unique pop-rock songs that feel fragile while carrying a heavy emotional payload. Where one song might make you feel happier than you can remember being for quite some time, another will no doubt bring you to tears, and the ability to criss-cross the emotional range like that is part of what makes Sherwood such a wonderful group to follow. We are barely halfway through 2016, but this record is a definite contender for our favorite album of the year. If not number one, then almost certainly in the top 5.
Avion Roe – In Separation (June 17)
We’ve been promoting the debut full-length from Avion Roe since the band’s vocalist appeared on Inside Music back in January. In Separation is the result of years of hard work on the alternative rock underground, and in our opinion it’s one of the best debuts of 2016. Whether you’re looking for something to scream at the top of your lungs in times where you need hope, or if you’re seeking a soundtrack to keep you company when you’re feeling down, In Separation is the answer. Avion Roe could very well be the biggest band in ‘the scene’ at this time next year. Do NOT sleep on them.
DJ Shadow – The Mountain Will Fall (June 24)
DJ Shadow is forever a legend in our book. …Endtroducing is one of our all-time favorite albums, and we still believe he has an even better release in him. We have yet to hear The Mountain Will Fall in full, but our faith in his ability to deliver incredibly original and undeniably catchy music is strong.
Rae Sremmurd – Sremmlife 2 (June 24)
We don’t know if anyone could have predicted the rise of Rae Sremmurd. In a world where every new rap act feels like an imitation of an already notable name, the duo known as Rae Sremmurd exist in a lane all their own. The group’s business is built atop easy-to-learn, bass heavy material, and the early released from Sremmlife 2 shows there is plenty of that in store on this release. Will it be enough to push the group further into the spotlight? We’re not sure. What we do know, however, is that there will not be another hip-hop release this summer that sounds anything like this record.