It’s hard to distinguish whether the “unofficial” start of summer was actually Memorial Day weekend or if it coincided with the release of the new album from Jack Johnson. Needless to say, as many folks were taking out the swim trunks for the first time this year, the world’s most unassuming superstar Johnson released his fifth studio album To The Sea.
After taking some time apart to work on individual projects, the tandem of singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney are back together as The Black Keys. The two slip comfortably back into their blues rock grooves on the new album, Brothers. With less of an emphasis on refining the edges, Brothers offers rawness reminiscent of early Black Keys records, which is sure to excite fans.
For those of us who either never have or will realistically never again step foot onto a nightclub dance floor, James Murphy gives us our at home admission with the new LCD Soundsystem album This Is Happening. The addictive atmosphere that LCD produced three years ago on the critically praised album Sound of Silver is full-realized again on This Is Happening.
Without even listening to a note of the new Band of Horses album, you'd be inclined to suspect that the blueprint for Infinite Arms would equate to sonic changes. The cast of band members has been altered, yet frontman Ben Bridwell remains consistent in his tendency for writing dreamy melodies and affecting lyrics.
With a decade of music-making under their belts, The National stand ready for another round of introductions. With each subsequent release, the band has garnered a wider fan base and louder critical praise. Upon the release of their new album High Violet, the band should be prepared for its most overwhelming ovation yet.
In a musical climate where pure singer-songwriters are burdened by competition for attention and ears, it seems cliché yet appropriate to say that the cream rises to the top. And with that, Josh Ritter is a name who has continued to engage and grow artistically with each record. His latest So Runs The World Away continues a progression of agreeable, literate releases from the Idaho native.
Anthemic rockers The Hold Steady ready the release of their fifth studio album entitled Heaven Is Whenever. Animated keyboardist, Franz Nicolay, has parted ways with the group leaving the dynamics a bit altered, but nonetheless The Hold Steady’s classic brand of fist pumping rock ensues.
Despite the success that surrounded their debut album, MGMT stand determined to wipe the slate clean with their sophomore release Congratulations. Where songs like “Kids” and “Electric Feel” found leverage in pop venues, the songs of Congratulations aim to push beyond those boundaries challenging the audience to a musical kaleidoscope.
With the release of their 4th studio album, I Learned The Hard Way, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings have further solidified their place at the head of the table when it comes to modern soul music.
Philly's own Dr. Dog may have a new home for their six studio album, but their unmistakable brand of psychedelic, retro-rock remains familiar. Shame, Shame is the name of the new release and a record of many firsts for Dr. Dog. It's the group's first release for Anti- Records, and first album recorded with producer Rob Schnapf, yet all the while Shame, Shame remains a confident leap forward that leaves Dr. Dog poised for bigger things.