Arts, Music, Arts Features

Sonic Waves to Surf Through the Hot Summer

Music lovers can cool off with hot new tracks of all genres. Well-established artists like Arctic Monkeys, Kanye West, and Dierks Bentley are expected to return to the music scene with new albums, while The 1975 and BROCKHAMPTON are expected to expand their growing repertoires.

Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino – Kaylie Ramirez

Arctic Monkeys, the British alternative rock band that thrust hard rock riffs and cryptic lyricism back onto popular radio stations with their 2013 album AM, is set to release its sixth album, titled Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino on May 11. The band released a short sound clip hinting at a modern take on a retro spacey sound for the new album. The clip featured a twinkling synthetic keyboard lead into the Arctic Monkeys’ signature creeping drum beat and an airy electric guitar riff. Both the album’s title and the grand black and gold artwork suggest an element of spy movie mysticism.

While the clip contains no lyrics, the eclectic tracklist opens up the album to the lyrical creativity of Alex Turner, the band’s mysterious frontman. Track titles like “The World’s First Ever Monster Truck Flip” and “The Ultracheese” exemplify the playful seriousness with which the band approaches music: Arctic Monkeys affords eccentric subject matter serious musical attention on previous tracks such as “Brianstorm” and “The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala.” The tracklist also includes a track titled “Batphone.” Given Turner’s experimentation with movie-themed songs on The Last Shadow Puppets’ “The Bourne Identity,” listeners can expect the same fresh perspective on a well-known film franchise Turner brought to his side band for Arctic Monkeys’ stay in Gotham City.

Kids See Ghosts – Kaylie Ramirez

In an April 19 Tweet, Kanye West announced his seven-track upcoming album will be released on June 1. The rapper also informed followers that the album would feature Kid Cudi, and would be called Kids See Ghosts. Since the initial announcement, West released two singles titled “Ye vs. the People” and “Lift Yourself,” but West has not confirmed whether the singles will appear on the album.

The first single seems to embody the artist’s views that have caused controversy in recent days with lyrics such as “Actually, wearin’ the hat’ll show people that we equal” and “All blacks gotta be Democrats, man / We ain’t made it off the plantation.” West recently made headlines for tweeting a picture while sporting a red “Make America Great Again” hat, a symbol of the Trump campaign and presidency.

“Lift Yourself” continues the theme of political commentary with the opening lyric “The hang ups we have today-ay-ay / Said we need to strive for more liberty.” While the song is experimental with samples of “Boom Boom” by Dezz and “Liberty” by Amnesty, the rapper’s verse comes off more insane than enlightened: It is solely composed of gibberish lyrics like “Poopy-di scoop / Scoop-diddy-whoop.” Regardless of the artist’s unconventional approach to his latest album, it is certain the world will be hanging onto every lyric, searching for meaning and message in each word.

The Mountain – Emily Himes

Dierks Bentley headed to the Rockies in Colorado to record his upcoming album, appropriately titled The Mountain. Bentley’s ninth album is expected to be released June 8. He released the album’s stripped-down and sweet lead single, “Women, Amen” in January, which has garnered radio airplay success. Bentley helped write the majority of the 13 songs on The Mountain, all of which were created in the middle of nowhere to ensure honest and simple lyrics. The album features an array of guest artists such as Brothers Osborne, famous mandolinist Sam Bush, and bluegrass musician Tim O’Brien, among others. By the look of the featured musicians, listeners can expect a solid country sound on this album. Many of them are famous bluegrass musicians, which will add a welcome traditional country sound to today’s world of pop-country crossovers. Bentley is also touring to promote The Mountain. The tour begins in Maryland in late May and will span the entire summer, closing up in California in October.

Music for Cars Connor Murphy

The 1975 is not known for subtlety. Their music is self-absorbed and often overwrought; their lead singer (Matty Healy, a.k.a. Truman Black online) philosophizes obnoxiously on social media and has a weird habit of wearing suits with no shirt on stage, wobbling around with a glass of wine; and their second album, I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It, is a complete sentence. And yet that overwrought music can so often be spectacularly entertaining and deeply introspective, somehow hitting all the notes at just the right times in the way you always hoped music would.

For months Healy has been hinting at a third album to be titled Music for Cars, the same name as an early EP, and then earlier this week the band blacked out all its social media (hardly the first time), tipping fans off that something was coming. And so emerges, on their website, a countdown ending May 31. June 1 is an important day in the band’s lore, which gets its name (the last in a virtual litany for a group that’s been together since 2002) from a book Healy once found at a market in Spain that said “1st June, The 1975” on the inside cover. May 31 might be the release day for a single, or the entire album—it’s tough to tell—but I’ve got one hope for whatever comes out: for it to be as bold and original and flawed and derivative and catchy and grating and stupidly, wonderfully earnest as everything else.

PUPPY – Kaylie Ramirez

On April 30, BROCKHAMPTON’s Kevin Abstract announced that the band will be releasing its fifth album in June 2018 and tweeted a picture of the album artwork. The artwork is a photo collage of different features of a yellow sweatshirt-clad Matt Champion with the word “PUPPY” in the center. The band, which describes itself as the “best boyband sice One Direction” in the SATURATION III song “BOOGIE,” skyrocketed to fame after it released three albums in 2017 alone, gaining the band an invitation to festivals like Coachella and Boston Calling.

BROCKHAMPTON’s fifth album follows a record deal with RCA that will yield six albums over three years and is reportedly worth $15 million. With eight vocalists and a large creative team that produces the band’s succinct image, it is possible that the band will create quality tracks in spite of the record label’s tall order. BROCKHAMPTON demonstrated the band’s ability to evolve over short periods of time by moving from relatively simple beats on tracks like “STAR” from SATURATION to the dynamic, original party beat of SATURATION III’s “ZIPPER.” Given the band’s past autonomy over its music, it will be interesting to see how RCA’s oversight will reshape and refine the rowdy sound.

Featured Image by Domino Recording Company 

May 2, 2018