Although many artists have been forced to work their release plans around the self-distancing guidelines that are likely to be imposed all summer, the good news is that there is still a lot of good music lined up for the next few months! Here are my top five albums to get pre-ordering ASAP (a heavy indie bias was inevitable, I’m afraid):
5. Open Up Your Head – Sea Girls
Release date: 14th August
Indie-rock quartet Sea Girls are quickly growing in popularity, with successful singles and EPs already in the bag, so this debut LP seems like a surefire win. Their energetic, poppy production and catchy melodies create earworm tunes that’ll be sure to have you singing along. One reason this isn’t higher up on my list, however, is that literally half of their upcoming 14-track record consists of songs that have already been released, so there isn’t as much new content to be excited for as I would like. This will definitely provide a good jumping-on point for new fans though, with the bands best work highlighted on one album rather than having to dig through older releases, and hopefully some new tracks that hold up to the same high standard.
4. Zeros – Declan McKenna
Release date: 21st August
The king of indie-pop returns for the follow up to his successfully 2017 record, through which he reached #11 in the UK charts at only 18 years old. Now 21, I would say this will be a more mature record, but he has already shown the capability to intertwine social and political commentary into anthemic verses that drive festival crowds crazy. This new album has already shown its potential for flexing Dec’s experimental music growth through two single releases, which themselves are phenomenal. With such a history of great indie songs, it’s difficult to not get excited for this release, even if it won’t get blasted on the live stages just yet.
3. Deep Down Happy – Sports Team
Release date: 5th June
A cult following has always surrounded Sports Team, with eyes on them ever since their first few singles. It is no surprise then that the alternative rock group has recently earned significant radio support, and alongside their promotional campaigns, it seems likely that the long-coming debut will chart well. With rowdy live shows, as I can attest, and a large discography of chaotic and fast-paced bangers under their belt, this success is certainly well-earned and I can’t wait to hear what else they have in store. The album was delayed from 3rd April to 19th June due to COVID-19, but last week the band said ‘f*ck it’ and have moved this to 5th June – this Friday! Be sure to buy a copy of one of the many available record versions and help this promising act make a big mainstream impression.
2. The Glow – DMA’S
Release date: 10th July
After already raving over the title track, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that this one is so high up on my list. Regardless of their history, the three singles already released from this record are enough to justify the excitement around it. Blending indie-rock songwriting and performances with a heightened level of poppy and almost dance-like production, this band are hitting something special that Britpop fans are grasping onto keenly right now. Although their sophomore attempt wasn’t as successful, I hope this third album will reach the heights of their debut, Hill’s End, and if the eight remaining songs are anything near the level of quality already displayed, we’re really in for a treat with this one.
1. Dreamland – Glass Animals
Release date: 10th July
After their last album made it onto our ‘best albums of the decade’ list (courtesy of yours truly), it is again no shocker that all eyes are on this upcoming release. After the band’s drummer was involved in a tragic road accident back in 2018, fans worried about the future of the act – thankfully, Joe made a phenomenal recovery and was back to playing on the 2020 tour that was planned to lead up to a big album reveal announcement (this was interrupted by corona, obviously).
The last 3 singles have been announced as part of the upcoming project, with title track ‘Dreamland’ acting as a contents page for the 17-track album – the prospect of 14 new Glass Animals songs excites me beyond any verbal description. With ‘Your Love (Deja Vu)’ and ‘Tokyo Drifting’, Dave has given a glimpse of the energy that is soon to come with their new sound, which is always genre-bending and ever-evolving, and the fanbase is constantly speculating as to how the record will all play out. I’m looking forward to seeing the groups heavily alternate roots develop into a sound that a mainstream audience can back.
As you may have noticed – my #1 and #2 picks both drop on the EXACT SAME DAY. Say what you will about summer 2020, but there sure is a lot of great music to get excited for. At least when live music does return, we’ll have loads of new material to rave to!
Last modified: 2nd June 2020