“North Star” by Future Islands
Following their breakthrough album Singles, which was anchored by the single “Seasons (Waiting On You),” Future Islands go into their release of The Far Field with some sense of expectations– certainly a new feeling for a band that had made a career flying under the radar. While The Far Field doesn’t disappoint, it doesn’t entirely break any new ground either. There’s more than enough here to hold interest for ardent fans of the band or 80’s pop in general, but there aren’t any immediate singles in the spirit of “Seasons” to garner new fans. The closest thing is perhaps “North Star,” with its addictive rhythm and soaring vocals.
“Total Entertainment Forever” by Father John Misty
It seems as though Pure Genius has been discussed, dissected and hyped ever since Father John Misty wowed fans and critics with his biting sophomore release, I Love You, Honeybear. With his third album, everything is bigger, bleaker and somehow, more self-aware. It all suits Father John Misty incredibly well– despite the length of the album it never feels bloated, and the myriad of ideas at work on every track throughout the album come together in a manner that’s every bit as enjoyable as his previous efforts.
“For My People” by Joey Bada$$
Speaking of high expectations, Joey Bada$$ is another artist that had a lot of hype going into his second official release. While the singles have been hard-hitting and explosive as you’d expect, the surprise comes from the softer edges within the opening of the album, particularly “For My People.” In a way that is reminiscent of the opening of Kanye’s The College Dropout, “For My People” delves in serious everyday struggles while riding a deceptively smooth beat. It’s not exactly uncharted territory for Joey Bada$$, but something he hadn’t really touched since his mixtape 1999. These touches give an added depth to ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$ that would otherwise be sorely lacking.
“This Song” (feat. Rostam) by RAC
André Allen Anjos is an incredibly underrated talent, especially when it comes to his work under the RAC moniker. Partnering with former Vampire Weekend member Rostam Batmanglij, “This Song” is a beautiful, summery jam that, if there’s any justice in the world, would be an early contender for song of the summer.