As we get closer to the American Memorial Day weekend, there’s going to be an insane number of new releases as the summer music season begins. Here are a few recommendations to get you started.
1. Little Image, Out of My Mind
Recommended If You Like: Twenty One Pilots, for one.
We don’t tend to see a lot of alt-rock coming out of Dallas, so this trio is breaking some ground with their debut EP. Little Image has been together for about eight years and have honed a sound somewhere in the same region as Twenty One Pilots, Lovelytheband, AJR, and Coin. Buzz has started to build in the US. We’ll see where this goes.
2. Caroline Polacheck, Smoke
Desire, I Want to Turn into You (Sony)
RIYL: Things that pair nicely with Florence + The Machine
Polacheck’s fourth album has become something of a favourite in the UK and with the indie-adjacent crowd (Pitchfork, Rolling Stone). There’s an alt-pop diva slant to this single (the sixth since the album was released in February) which should sound rather nice during warm summer evenings. I’ll bring the Chardonnay.
3. Stephen Stanley, The Edge
Divided Frame of Mind (Capitol)
RIYL: A more upbeat Wallflowers
Sonically, this song could have traveled forward from about 1985 and might have paired well with the Don Henley of the era (think Boys of Summer) or anything else with the mid-80s production feel). Stanley’s 14-song debut album (out July 21) floats on themes of mental health—things to get dark—and redemption, so there’s at least a happy ending. If you want to get caught up, there’s another single out there called Rest in the Father.
4. Durry, Who’s Laughing Now
Suburban Legend (Big Pip Records/Thirty Tigers+
RIYL: Millennial woes
Durry is a brother-sister duo from Minneapolis who saw this song blow up even before it was finished. A clip was uploaded and then, according to vocalist Austin, the song “went viral before it was even finished being written. What started as a cynical outlook on life was flipped on its head overnight, as it rocketed to popularity. The next morning I left for the studio to try and capture this once-in-a-lifetime viral moment. I realized the song I had written was wrong, and there was still hope left in the world. On the drive to the studio, I rewrote it, inspired by the success and excitement of the public. This song is literally written about the success of its own demo.” I can see why. This song will hit very close to home for a lot of people. The album will be out on September 8.
5. Luke Morley, Killed by Cobain
Songs from the Blue Room (BMG)
RIYL: Historical perspective
If you were around in 1991, you’ll remember how quickly grunge wiped out hair metal and the dominance of heritage rock acts. When Nirvana’s Nevermind came out that September, everything that came before suddenly seemed irrelevant and out of step. Luke Morley certainly remembers. He was in a band called Thunder that tried to break it in America in 1991 after a tiny bit of chart success with a song called Dirty Love. But then Nirvana and grunge came along and…well, that was it for Thunder. Thirty-two years later, Morley has this new Tom Petty-ish song about how his career was killed by Cobain. The album is out on June 23.