Summer’s finally here and that means it’s prime time for great new music. In fact there’s so much exciting new music right now that I’m struggling to keep up. The month of June brought new albums from The Drums, Beach Fossils, The Strypes, and more, plus the return of Wolf Alice and Ride, a tasty new single from Together Pangea (pictured above), and much more. There’s definitely some tracks I’m forgetting here, but for the time being, this is what my brain came up with. Here’s a list of my 15 favorite new tracks from the month of June (so far).
1. Otherkin – React
Otherkin are an Irish punk/garage rock quartet whose debut album, OK, will be released on September 29th via Rubyworks. Their new track, “React” is one of many blistering singles from the band, following their latest one, “Bad Advice”, which came out in March. While other indie bands reach for their synths or their drum machines, Otherkin’s “React” is yet another unapologetic guitar anthem from an unapologetic guitar band. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for their new album or you’ll be kicking yourself.
2. Phoenix – Fior Di Latte
Speaking of synths, French indie pop juggernauts, Phoenix, have just released their sixth studio album, Ti Amo, to critical acclaim. Even though I’d argue the album still hopelessly pales in comparison to their 2009 masterpiece, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, their new song, “Fior Di Latte” is genuinely up there with their finest work to date. The song’s chorus alone puts it alongside the best indie pop songs of the year. While “J-Boy”, “Goodbye Soleil”, and the album’s title track are all great, “Fior Di Latte” is in a league of its own with its hypnotizing synths and sugary, smooth vocals from frontman, Thomas Mars.
3. Baby Strange – No Coin To Play
Baby Strange, the Scottish punk trio, are due to release an EP this summer, Extended Play, in July via Public Records. This new track “No Coin To Play” comes after their latest track “Play Me” and it’s a seething take on the state of UK politics and prime minister, Theresa May. Don’t underestimate the sheer power of this 2 minute punk track — it’s one hell of a rallying cry.
4. The Strypes – Mama Give Me Order
Irish retro rockers, The Strypes just released their third album this month, Spitting Image, via Virgin EMI. While their first two albums were filled with classic, driving rhythm and blues and rock and roll, the band have widened their horizons a bit with their newest album by throwing in a few wild cards: the sleazy, Humbug-esque “Garden Of Eden” and an acoustic ballad, “Mama Give Me Order.” Sung by lead guitarist, Josh McClorey, “Mama Give Me Order” is both a refreshing change in tempo and a reminder that this band are more than meets the eye.
5. Rat Boy – Laidback
Rat Boy, the DIY hip-hop/indie rocker is set to release his debut album, SCUM, this year on August 11th via Parlophone. The forthcoming album is a whopping 25 tracks long and if it’s anything like his crazy live sets or music videos, it’s going to be bonkers (but in a good way). He unveiled a new track this month, “Laidback” and it features one of Jordan Cardy’s (aka Rat Boy) heroes, Blur’s Graham Coxon on guitar. The track is fittingly-titled as it’s, by far, his most straightforward, chilled out track so far.
6. Together Pangea – Better Find Out
LA garage rockers, Together Pangea, are set to release their third album, Bulls And Roosters, on August 25th via Nettwerk. The album was mixed by Chris Coady (TV On The Radio, Beach House, The Black Lips) and was produced by Andrew Schubert, the band’s longtime collaborator. The band just released a new single from the album, “Better Find Out”, and it’s an almost 2 minute, energetic garage punk tune that’s a bit light on lyrics, but you’ll have so much fun singing and head-banging along that you won’t even care.
7. Temples – Henry’s Cake
Temples just dropped a brand new track, exclusively for Amazon’s Songs of Summer and it’s called “Henry’s Cake. The psychedelic pop tune has lyrics filled with whimsical, kaleidoscopic imagery and it wouldn’t feel out of place on Syd Barrett’s Pink Floyd album. Along with the band’s new album, Volcano, it marks the band’s move away from psych rock and into the weird, wonderful world of pop and it’s a move they’ve so effortlessly pulled off.
8. Isaac Gracie – All In My Mind
Newcomer and British singer-songwriter, Isaac Gracie, just put out another spine-tingling new single, “All In My Mind.” The new single comes after a string of brilliant tracks like the haunting, “Terrified”, the Jeff Buckley-esque “Last Words”, and the heartfelt ballad, “Reverie.” This time around, he’s at his most upbeat with his chorus guitar riff being the most uplifting, vibrant thing he’s done thus far. Ballad lovers, fear not, you’ll still find his trademark quivering vocals and his honest, beautiful lyrics.
9. Radiohead – I Promise
Radiohead just released a 20th anniversary edition of their classic 1997 album, OK Computer, complete with three unreleased tracks including “I Promise” and “Man Of War.” It’s amazing that songs of this caliber, especially “I Promise”, were just lying around, unreleased for two decades. This wonderful time capsule of sorts features Thom Yorke’s unmistakably angelic vocals alongside an acoustic guitar and strings. The beautiful, minimalistic track confirms that Radiohead are more than deserving of the vast amount of critical acclaim that continues to come their way.
10. Ride – Rocket Silver Symphony
Oxford shoegazers, Ride just released their first album in 20 years, Weather Diaries, this June and it serves as proof that bands are more than capable of making a successful comeback album, even after a two decade-long split. One of their new tracks, “Rocket Silver Symphony” is an ethereal, sublime track that takes you on a journey through space and time, perhaps the band’s best quality and ability from their heyday in the 90’s.
11. The Drums – Under The Ice
The Drums just released their fourth studio album this month, Abysmal Thoughts, but this time around, it’s the sole brain child of frontman, Jonny Pierce. The album was met with widespread critical acclaim with its sound bringing in the old (the big pop choruses of their first two records) and embracing the new (his most daringly transparent lyrics to date). “Under The Ice” has this wonderfully refreshing jangle pop guitar riff that will plant itself into your head for weeks whether you want it there or not and Pierce’s blissful vocals and anxiety-filled lyrics are the cherry on top of this perfect pop song.
12. Beach Fossils – Down The Line
NY indie rockers, Beach Fossils released their third album this June, Somersault and though they haven’t reinvented their trademark breezy indie rock sound on this album, they’ve definitely added new and interesting elements like the album’s instrumentation, which features the saxophone, the harpsichord, and even the flute. The band launches into krautrock mode on “Be Nothing” and there’s even a spoken-word track called “Rise” (whether or not the latter actually worked is another story). My favorite track is probably the mellow “Down The Line”, with its hazy, beautiful pop vocals and an infectious bass line.
13. Wolf Alice – Yuk Foo
Wolf Alice are due to release their highly-anticipated second album, Visions Of A Life, on September 29th via Dirty Hit. The first cut from the album was just released and it’s called “Yuk Foo.” The new track is definitely as angry as the title sounds and it’s easily the heaviest, most aggressive thing the band have ever put out. The track shows the band venturing into full-on riot grrrl territory and even though the band have said that there’s nothing else like it on the album, it’ll be great to see this track live in the moshpit as it was so clearly intended.
14. Free Money – I Want In
Up-and-coming East London rock quartet, Free Money just released their third song, “I Want In”, following their other two tracks “Headful” and “What Did I Miss?”. This track oozes of cool and its driving punk energy and feel-good guitars combine for a summer rock anthem and yet another promising new track from a band that you’d be stupid to sleep on.
15. Pretty Vicious – It Ain’t No Fun
Young Welsh punk rockers, Pretty Vicious, just released a new b-side for the soundtrack of the racing video game, Dirt 4. The track is called “It Ain’t No Fun” and don’t let the title fool you. If this new track is merely a b-side, I can’t wait to hear what comes from their debut album, expected to be released some time later this year. Seat belts on everybody.