Written by Ben Casey. Media by Bekah Dothager.
Summer has come and passed. Insert your Green Day reference here. This summer has been a great one for music. We’ve all been jamming to Kendrick Lamar, Walk The Moon, Miley Cyrus, Drake, and a ton more awesome bands and artists. Since it’s way too tough to pick one favorite of the summer, I picked five! Here are the five albums that, objectively, were the best of the summer.
Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment – Surf
Weird, zany, groovy, and soulful, Chance the Rapper’s project Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment takes retro gospel, jazz, and RnB styles and gives them a fresh sound on their explorative album Surf. It’s easily apparent Donnie Trumpet is not just a Chance album with another name. Smooth and well-orchestrated, you can hear the conglomerate of musicians putting their talents to their best uses, blended to create delicious grooves and energetic jams. But wait, we’re college students! We can’t afford to buy music when we’re living off ramen and praying for chicken nugget day in the DC! Well, you’re all in luck because Surf is free for download on itunes!
Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell
Sufjan makes his return to folk music on this heartbreaking lp revolving on the life and death of his mother and stepfather. Mourning his loss and celebrating their lives, Sufjan has made perhaps the most emotional release of his career. I’m going to be honest: I cried, like, twice while listening to this. If you don’t want to cry, you might want to skip this album on the list. However, if you’re looking for a tearjerker and a waterfall of emotion, this is the album for you!
WARNING: TISSUES NOT INCLUDED
Spirit Night – Shame
Sad never sounded so triumphant on the new Spirit Night album titled Shame. Giving the normally twinkly, punk influenced emo genre a low-fi rock edge, Spirit Night has made an album that, despite it’s depressing lows, ultimately sends a message of hope for the future. The combination of sadness and hope gives this album a very refreshing feel.
Listen and Purchase here
Tame Impala – Currents
This summer, Australian psych rock band Tame Impala gave the atmospheric, equally melancholy sequel to their 2012 hit album Lonerisms. In a much more synth heavy album, the band’s frontman and songwriter Kevin Parker explores repetitive, dazing beats and riffs, repeating just a few words and phrases through each song, giving emphasis to each change and new section. If you’re looking for music to zone out to, look no further.
Josh Moore – Parted Ways
Josh Moore, of alt rock/punk band Classic Case and formerly of Christian hardcore band Beloved, has released a country album. I don’t mean hard rock with a bit of a southern twang. This is a country album clearly influenced by Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, and the smooth Nashville sound. Moore makes heavy use of swelling organ sounds and simple saxophones filling space around his choppy guitar strums. The album is probably the happiest I have heard the entire summer, opening with the line: “The night is darkest right before the dawn”. Josh Moore has released an album that, even at its saddest, makes you feel like you’re curled up at home in a nice blanket and a warm fire.