Can you keep up with all these album announcements?

Julian Balboa/Staff Writer

As a fan and observer of the music world, these past couple of months have been very dry. A Cupcakke album here, a Yo La Tengo album there, the Black Panther soundtrack came and went, and the Car Seat Headrest album is full of music that’s already been heard before. Other than that, I haven’t been too impressed with what has been released and what artists are officially announcing projects for the coming months. Weeks pass and April 6 hits, greeting us with not one, not two, not three, but four great albums.

Cardi B’s “Invasion of Privacy,” which I thought was fun and enjoyed quite a bit. Saba’s “Care for Me,” which is one of my favorite albums of the year. Flatbush Zombies’ “Vacation in Hell,” which was a long, if not consistently, fun trip. And Kali Uchis’ “Isolation,” which was a bubbling cauldron of different genres.

Two weeks later, we get a meteor shower of more album announcements. It’s hard to keep up when almost everyday there is a new announcement, but here’s a guide to the albums coming out in the next coming months:

What’s out now:

J Cole – KOD

J Cole announced “KOD” out of thin air, it seemed. The New York rapper had released “4 Your Eyez Only” just last year to very mixed reactions. Personally, I felt it was his worst project, no questions. The production wasn’t the most interesting, and his lyrical content far less interesting for the most part. I’m not exactly sure why, but I always root for J Cole to put out an album of higher quality. I’m not a fan of his, no, but I do know he’s very much capable of putting out a great album. Unfortunately, with “KOD,” I still don’t think he’s done so.

Sleep – The Sciences

Legendary stoner metal band Sleep have nothing to prove, but that didn’t stop them from putting forward their newest material in over 15 years. They all kept busy, though; guitarist and singer Matt Pike with his work in High On Fire, drummer Jason Roeder played for Neurosis in the meantime, and bassist Al Cisneros played bass and sung for Om. While all three of those bands are fantastic in their own right, they don’t hold the legacy that Sleep had built for them. Leaving off on “Dopesmoker,” the trio’s magnum opus, left a lot to be desired, but desire no more. “The Sciences” surprise released on 4/20 because of course it did. It’s a fantastic listen, it deserves at least one, and can be heard on streaming services now.

What has yet to come out:

Father John Misty – God’s Favorite Customer (June 1st)

Former Fleet Foxes drummer Josh Tillman has clearly made a name for himself past being their former drummer. I think it’s fair to say that at this point in his career, with this upcoming album being entry number four and his second in a year. Lead single “Mr. Tillman” sees Father John Misty returning to the silly, surreal cynicism we had seen on “Fear Fun” and “I Love You, Honeybear” that radiates from his lyrics and has since become his trademark. I look forward to the rest of “God’s Favorite Customer” when it hits streaming platforms.

Deafheaven – Ordinary Corrupt Human Love (July 13th)

If you’re a fan of black metal and have only heard of Deafheaven, you should close Pitchfork’s review of Sunbather in your fifty-two tabs and check out the rest of the genre’s best and brightest—Alcest, Emperor, Darkthrone, Mayhem just to name a few. When you’re done, listen to the lead single of Deafheaven’s upcoming album, “Ordinary Corrupt Human Love,” titled “Honeycomb.” Deafheaven haven’t been as heavy as they are on this track since, perhaps, “Roads to Judah.” It’s nice to see a change of pace for what’s to come. “New Bermuda” became my favorite album of theirs when it came out, but whether this new album dethrones it is up in the air.

Kanye West – Love Everybody (June 1st)

Kanye West is a truly confusing personality in the music world. He’s announced five albums that release within weeks of each other, confirmed his support of President Trump since announcing it at a stop during his Saint Pablo tour, doubled down on that support by posting a picture of himself in a Make America Great Again hat with Lyor Cohen, and dropped two singles for his upcoming album. One titled “Lift Yourself,” and another that features T.I. titled “Ye vs The People.” Both are terrible, but the production on both songs confirm that the man still has a great ear for musical composition. The latter song is a delusional attempt from Kanye at trying to get fans to empathize with his logic and support of Trump, when those who support his music don’t support Trump or his personal views. What “Ye vs. The People” lacks, “Lift Yourself” makes up for in nonsensical fun. This song, while still crap, has a sliver of the Kanye West that fans want to hear. I’ve never been this uninterested for an album an artist I support has been putting out since Sting and Shaggy announced their collaboration together.

Kanye & Cudi (Kids See Ghosts) – Kids See Ghosts (June 8th)

There isn’t much known about this project aside from Kanye’s announcement via Twitter, and a following tweet, that has the Murakami-drawn album artwork showcased for all to gawk and gasp at. Fans of both Kanye and Kid Cudi know this collaboration is a no-brainer for either artist, but to see it happen is a dream come true whether you dreamed of it becoming reality or not.

Lykke Li – so sad so sexy (June 8th)

Lykke Li’s return to music after giving birth deserves more publicity than it’s currently getting. “I Will Learn” was one of the best albums of 2014, making her follow-up, titled so sad so sexy, hard to follow. However, fans may already make up their mind after hearing new singles, “deep end” and “hard rain.” It’s trap-inspired flavor is a major departure from the more baroque and grandiose sound of “I Will Learn” and “Wounded Rhymes.” Still, these tracks are just as much as ever, her voice and composition carry these songs’ beauty.

Pusha T – King Push (May 25th)

One of my most anticipated albums of recent times, “King Push” is at last slated for a May 25th release date. Pusha T is an unrivaled emcee, having come a long way from his coke rapping days as one half of the Clipse with his brother, Malice. Following many mixed mixtapes, “My Name Is My Name” was a formidable debut. It was equipped with some solidified hip hop credibility as a solo artist and some of Kanye West’s most interesting production. “King Push: Darkest Before Dawn – The Prelude” was a solid project, but, much like Lupe Fiasco’s “Drogas Light,” it isn’t what we’ve been waiting all this time for. Given previously hyped singles, “Drug Dealers Anonymous” and “H.G.T.V. Freestyle,” this is going to be quite an album.

Drake – Scorpion (June TBA)

A new Drake album is always shrouded in mystery until he wants you to know. That’s where the genius in his marketing lies. Every project does big numbers partly for this reason, but Drake and his OVO brand are unanimous with quality. A talented rapper in his own right, people clamor for every single and piece of news on a new album. “God’s Plan” had been dominating the year so far; that was, until he dethroned it with his next single, “Nice For What” (which is, undoubtedly, is a better song). This was a big moment for Drake as no other artist in the Billboard Hot 100’s history has done so. Not much is known about “Scorpion” aside from the Instagram post of the album’s announcement and Drake being a Scorpio. No specific date at the moment, but expect “Scorpion” in sometime in June.

Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino (May 11th)

I’m still upset I couldn’t get tickets to their show at the Fillmore in 2014. Will they be back? The Arctic Monkeys are back after the long gap between this most recent announcement and 2013’s AM. The album, titled Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, is on-track for an early May drop. However, the Arctic Monkeys are playing it cool by not previewing any material from the forthcoming project. Alex Turner and Miles Kane’s collaboration project, The Last Shadow Puppets, released an album in 2016 to solid reviews. Whether The Last Shadow Puppets has an influence on the sound of the Arctic Monkeys’ newest album remains to be seen, but I will wait intently.

Jorja Smith – Lost & Found (June 8th)

After being featured on the Black Panther soundtrack and on albums by Drake and Kali Uchis, Jorja Smith has finally announced her debut album. She’s released singles over the years that are stated to appear on the record, titled Lost & Found, since early 2016. She has one of the most soulful voices in R&B right now, which has me eager to hear more. Lost & Found arrives June 8th.

Death Grips – Year of the Snitch (TBA)

Mysterious experimental hip hop group Death Grips are difficult to pin down. Fans don’t exactly understand them either, even though they’ll pretend to think they do. To attempt to interpret Death Grips lyrics is like attempting to interpret James Joyce. Good luck with that. That also applies to their album release cycles. The first headline to make the rounds was that they were working with Adam Adamson, the director of the first two “Shrek” films. Then came another headline of the news that they were working with Tool bassist Justin Chancellor. Then came a shout-out from William Shatner on Twitter. Later came the album title, cover and tracklist announcement within a four-week span. “Somebody snitched,” the band’s Twitter posted the day of the announcement. It was then doubled down on Instagram. Death Grips aren’t the kind of band that will give you a release date. They’re the kind to drop it out of nowhere, maybe make a tweet about it (or two) until the tour the following couple months. Keep your eyes peeled for Death Grips’ Year of the Snitch to drop soon… whenever that happens.


Photo courtesy of Yanko Panyenkov from Unsplash.


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