The Best Albums Of The Summer

It’s only April, and 2015 has already seen some of music’s hottest acts drop new albums: proto-riot girls Sleater-Kinney returned to the fray with one of rock’s most anticipated records, No Cities to Love; Bjork unleashed her post-breakup masterpiece, Vulnicura; and indie darling Courtney Barnett racked up the accolades with Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit.

And the year is only set to continue with its run of hits, with Adele, Rihanna and Kanye all tipped to drop new albums (dates TBC), while summer’s release calendar – usually a time for anthemic singles and festival fever – is looking particularly strong.

With this in mind, here are five confirmed SS15 releases that should be on your radar.

1. Wolf Alice – My Love Is Cool

North London four-piece Wolf Alice’s debut album is long overdue, with fans clamouring for a full release since their 2014 EP, Creature Songs.

If single Giant Peach is anything to go by, with its long, riff-filled intro, My Love Is Cool is set to surprise with a more experimental, brave approach.

Available: June 2015 (Dirty Hit Records)

2. Years & Years – Communion

When their track King dropped in January, Years & Years were quickly catapulted onto everyone’s ‘ones to watch list’ – and with good reason. Here were a band not only making catchy electro-pop, but they had the kind of song writing chops and charismatic vocals to actually make an impact.

Debut album Communion will test their mettle, sure, but if singles Desire and the aforementioned King are anything to go by, you’re going to be seeing a lot more of these boys in the future.

Available: June 2015 (Polydor)

3. Kelela – Hallucinogen

Produced by Arca (who most recently worked with Bjork on Vulnicura), Kelela’s Hallucinogen is set to burn through the summer – her mellow, almost Aaliyah-like vocals melting through dark, futuristic production.

Comparisons to FKA Twigs are narrow and miss Kelela’s unique song writing and vocal mastery, most evident on the single A Message.

Available: May 2015 (self-released)

4. Shamir – Ratchet

Hailing from Las Vegas, Shamir Bailey’s On The Regular became a viral hit as soon as it dropped. A neon-hued, cowbell-tinged statement of self, it set the tone for his forthcoming debut album: multi-faceted, always colourful and totally surprising.

He’s not shy about drawing on a myriad influences, so expect to see hints of hip-hop, country and electro on Ratchet.

Available: May 2015 (XL-Recordings)

5. Florence + The Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful

Florence’s belting vocals are as ubiquitous as her flame red hair – or so you’d think.

The new single (named after the album) sees Flo in a far more tempered mood, all soft melodies and heartfelt refrains. Gone is the trademark gutsy power, and in its place is something far more refined and considered.

If the album continues in this vein, it’s going to be an interesting counterbalance to the pop hits she’s renowned for.

Available: June 2015 (Republic/Island)