Summer 2019 Music Preview: 35 Key Albums

Confirmed and likely releases coming this summer

Below, our editors select some of the key albums due for release between now and early September, listed in alphabetical order by artist.

Album coverAfrica Express

July 12 (Africa Express) Prime Video

Damon Albarn’s world music collective returns with 18 new tracks recorded in South Africa. The album includes contributions from Gruff Rhys, Nick Zinner, and Georgia as well as local musicians.

Album coverBaroness

Gold & Grey

June 14 (Abraxan Hymns)
Prime Video

The adventurous metal band has been working on a follow-up to 2015’s Purple for the past two years with producer Dave Fridmann. It’ll be their last album with a color name and their first with new lead guitarist Gina Gleason, who replaces Peter Adams.

Album coverBastille

Doom Days

June 14 (Virgin)
Prime Video

The Grammy-nominated British synth-pop band follows 2013’s Bad Blood and 2016’s improved Wild World with a third studio album. Beginning with the previously released single “Quarter Past Midnight,” the 11 songs tell a story set over a single night.

Album coverBeast Coast

Escape From New York
May 24 (Columbia)

New York’s Beast Coast is a hip-hop supergroup of sorts, featuring Joey Bada$$ (and fellow Pro Era colleagues Kirk Knight, CJ Fly, and Nyck Caution) as well as members of the Flatbush Zombies and the Underachivers. They’ve performed live off and on for the past six years, but Escape marks their album debut.

Album coverThe Black Keys

“Let’s Rock”

June 28 (Nonesuch)
Prime Video

After spending much of the past five years pursuing solo projects, the duo of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney are back next month with their ninth Black Keys album and follow-up to their 2014 hit Turn Blue. After collaborating with Danger Mouse on recent albums, Auerbach and Carney serve as their own producers and sole songwriters on Let’s Rock, and the slimmed-down result is billed as an “homage to electric guitar.”

Album coverBlack Midi

June 21 (Rough Trade) Prime Video

The nine-song debut album from the secretive London-based rock band known for their excellent live shows was produced by Dan Carey (Bat for Lashes). The tracklist is being kept a mystery until the premiere date, so it is unclear if it will include any of the band’s previous singles (which you can stream below).

Album coverBlack Mountain

May 24 (Jagjaguwar)
Prime Video

The Canadian psych-rock band returns Friday with a follow-up to 2016’s IV. (Yes, that makes this album number five.)

Album coverCalexico and Iron & Wine

Years to Burn

June 14 (Sub Pop/City Slang)
Prime Video

After previously collaborating on the 2005 EP In the Reins, the Arizona duo Calexico and singer-songwriter Sam Beam (aka Iron & Wine) have returned to the studio together—supplemented by additional musicians—to record this eight-song full-length release.

Album coverBill Callahan

Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest

June 14 (Drag City)
Prime Video

The former Smog frontman hasn’t released a studio album of new songs since 2013’s Dream River. But he’s making up for lost time with this 20-song set, accompanied by a summer tour.

Album coverStef Chura


June 7 (Saddle Creek)
Prime Video

The Detroit indie rocker follows her 2017/2018 debut Messes with a 12-song sophomore set produced by Car Seat Headrest’s Will Toledo.

Album coverBob Dylan

The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings

June 7 (Legacy Recordings)
Prime Video

Released in conjunction with a similarly titled Netflix documentary directed by Martin Scorsese, this 14-disc box set features five full professionally recorded live sets by Bob Dylan on his legendary 1975 theater tour, supplemented with in-studio rehearsals and other rarities from the time period. All told, there are 148 tracks—100 of which have never before been released.

Album coverEarth

Full Upon Her Burning Lips

May 24 (Sargent House)
Prime Video

Not to be confused with the planet of the same name, Washington state drone metal specialists Earth are one of the pioneers of the genre, though they sometimes deviate from their formula. The duo’s first album since 2014’s Primitive and Deadly eschews the guest vocals on that record and finds them stripping back their sound, leaving something “witchy and sensual.”

Album coverEluvium

Piano Works

May 31 (Temporary Residence)
Prime Video

Portland, Oregon composer Matthew Cooper’s latest album of minimalist music, is, as its title suggests, filled with solo piano works—his first such music in over a decade. The album comes with a bonus disc of piano-based remakes of older Eluvium tracks, and a deluxe version even comes with its own book of sheet music.

Album coverBrian Eno

Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks – Extended Edition
July 19 (UMC)

Originally released in 1983, Brian Eno’s ambient classic (a collaboration with Daniel Lanois and Brian’s brother Roger Eno) was composed to soundtrack the moon landing documentary For All Mankind, and you’ve probably heard portions of the album even if you haven’t seen the doc. This expanded reissue includes a remastered version of the original album and tacks on a brand-new, 11-track album (again featuring both Enos and Lanois in their first collaboration since the original) intended to serve as a new soundtrack to the same film.

Album coverFlying Lotus

May 24 (Warp)
Prime Video

With his time increasingly occupied by film directing and various music side projects, among other diversions, Steven Ellison hasn’t released a Flying Lotus album since 2014’s stellar You’re Dead!. But he’s back Friday with a new album that spans 27 tracks, including two intended as a tribute to the late Mac Miller. Guests include Little Dragon, Solange, George Clinton, Shabazz Palaces, Anderson .Paak, Tierra Whack, Thundercat, Denzel Curry, Toro y Moi, and fellow filmmaker David Lynch. Early reviews suggest a good (though less than exceptional) album.

Album coverHot Chip

A Bathfull of Ecstasy

June 21 (Domino)
Prime Video

It has been an unusually long time—four years—since their last album, Why Make Sense?, but the always fun London indie/dance/electronic outfit are about to return with a new album, summer festival dates, and a fall tour. The nine-song Ecstasy marks Hot Chip’s first album recorded with outside producers (in this case, Philippe Zdar and Rodaidh McDonald).

Album coverJonas Brothers

Happiness Begins

June 7 (Republic)
Prime Video

The trio of Joe, Nick, and Kevin Jonas ended their hugely successful brother act in 2013 while recording what would have been their fifth album. Now, they have reunited to record a brand new fifth album, their first studio LP in a decade. A new documentary about their reunion, Chasing Happiness, will also stream on Amazon’s Prime Video beginning June 4th.

Album coverCate Le Bon

May 24 (Mexican Summer)
Prime Video

Early reviews are excellent for the Welsh artist’s first solo album since 2016’s Crab Day (though in the interim she also released a collaborative album with Tim Presley under the name Drinks). The 10-song Reward includes contributions from H. Hawkline and Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa.

Album coverMadonna

Madame X

June 14 (Interscope)
Prime Video

For her first album since 2015’s Rebel Heart, the pop star has enlisted multiple guests, including Quavo (of Migos), Swae Lee (of Rae Sremmurd), Colombian singer Maluma, Brazilian vocalist Anitta, and frequent Madonna producer Mirwais. It’s a Latin-inspired album, with some lyrics in Portugese and Spanish. An unconventional tour—which finds Madonna playing many-date “residencies” at medium-sized venues in seven U.S. cities—begins in the fall, followed by a similar European tour in 2020.

Album coverMorrissey
California Son

May 24 (Etienne/BMG)
Prime Video

Morrissey’s follow-up to 2017’s Low in High School is his first all-covers album, and finds the former Smiths frontman tackling songs by Bob Dylan, Carly Simon, Roy Orbison, Laura Nyro, Dionne Warwick, Joni Mitchell, and more, with help from guests like Petra Haden, LP, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, and Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste. Early reviews, however, are extremely disappointing.

Album coverPurple Mountains

Purple Mountains
July 12 (Drag City) Prime Video

Purple Mountains is a new band from Silver Jews frontman David Berman. Jarvis Taveniere and Jeremy Earle of the band Woods produce this 10-song debut LP. Berman will also mount his first tour in a decade this summer.

Album coverThe Raconteurs

Help Us Stranger

June 21 (Third Man)
Prime Video

It has been over a decade since this Jack White side project (which also features Brendan Benson and members of The Greenhornes) released a studio album. But album number three arrives next month, and the 12-song set includes a cover of Donovan’s “Hey Gyp (Dig the Slowness).” A North American tour begins in July and runs through October.

Album coverRide

This Is Not A Safe Place

August 16 (Wichita)
Prime Video

After ending a 21-year hiatus with their 2017 comeback album Weather Diaries, the shoegaze outfit returns with a relatively quick follow-up. Erol Alkan returns as producer.

Album coverMark Ronson

Late Night Feelings

June 21 (RCA)
Prime Video

The ubiquitous super-producer last released an album as a solo artist in 2015 (Uptown Special, his biggest hit to date). His latest LP includes collaborations with Miley Cyrus, Lykke Li, Alicia Keys, Angel Olsen, King Princess, YEBBA, and Camila Cabello.

Album coverSebadoh

Act Surprised

May 24 (Dangerbird)
Prime Video

One of many side projects for Dinosaur Jr.’s Lou Barlow, Sebadoh (a trio that also includes Jason Loewenstein and Bob D’Amico) returns Friday with their first LP since their 2013 reunion album Defend Yourself.

Album coverSinkane


May 31 (City Slang)
Prime Video

The seventh album for the Sudanese-English (and now New York-based) electronic pop/rock artist follows 2017’s Life & Livin’ It.

Album coverSkepta

Ignorance Is Bliss
May 31 (Boy Better Know) Prime Video

The London grime artist returns with his first full-length release since 2016’s Mercury Prize-winning Konnichiwa.

Album coverSlipknot

We Are Not Your Kind
August 9 (Roadrunner) Prime Video

The metal band’s first album since 2014’s .5: The Gray Chapter is once again produced by Greg Fidelman. (Obviously, it should have been titled We Are Knot Your Kind.)

Album coverThe Soft Cavalry

The Soft Cavalry

July 5 (Bella Union)
Prime Video

The Soft Cavalry is a new project led by Slowdive and Mojave 3 member Rachel Goswell, who is joined in the duo by her husband, Steve Clarke.

Album coverBruce Springsteen

Western Stars

June 14 (Columbia)
Prime Video

With his Broadway residency over, Bruce Springsteen was able to return to the studio, and the result—at least this year—is his first solo album since 2014’s High Hopes (and first batch of originals since Wrecking Ball in 2012). The character-driven, 13-song set is inspired by ’60s and ’70s California pop and produced again by Ron Aniello and features contributions from Jon Brion and David Sancious. But Springsteen has so much new material that a new record with the E Street Band could follow next year.

Album coverMavis Staples
We Get By
May 24 (Anti-) Prime Video

The legendary R&B singer continues a late-career resurgence with this 11-song set produced by Ben Harper, who also appears on the title track.

Album coverJosephine Wiggs

We Fall

May 24 (The Sound of Sinners)
Prime Video

Best known as the bassist for The Breeders, Josephine Wiggs has recorded under a variety of names over the past few decades—and now, for the first time, its her own name (not counting a 1996 record as The Josephine Wiggs Experience). Wiggs handled the writing, production, and playing, save for some instrumentation from Spacemen 3 member Jon Mattock.

Album coverYeasayer

Erotic Reruns

June 7 (self-released)
Prime Video

The indie band’s follow-up to 2016’s Amen & Goodbye is a self-produced, nine-song set.

Album coverVarious artists

Woodstock 50–Back to the Garden

August 2 (Rhino)

Subtitled “The Definitive 50th Anniversary Archive,” this massive, 38-disc box set aims to be exactly that: recordings of every single song (minus three that could not be reconstructed with existing tapes) performed during the legendary three-day concert in 1969, supplemented with announcements and snippets of crowd conversations. Of the 432 live tracks included here (arranged in the order they were performed at Woodstock) are over 250 that have never before been released in any form. The comprehensiveness comes at a price, however—and that price is $799. (For non-completists, Rhino is also releasing new 10-CD and 3-CD sets in late June.)

A few wildcards

Chance the Rapper


The rapper’s long-awaited studio debut album is allegedly coming in July, though nothing about the release has been confirmed—including whether or not it will contain the just-released single “Groceries”.

Danny Brown

U Know What I’m Sayin?

Q-Tip, Paul White, and JPEGMAFIA are among the producers for the rapper’s first album since his hugely acclaimed 2016 set Atrocity Exhibition. Only the title has been confirmed, and there’s no word yet on a release date.



Long-suffering Tool fans know that the band’s fifth album (and follow-up to 2006’s 10,000 Days) does not and will not exist. So it’s up to you whether or not to believe a recent tweet from the band announcing an August 30 release date.

What are you looking forward to?

Which albums are you looking forward to this summer? Let us know in the comments section below, and visit our Album Release Calendar for even more upcoming music release dates.


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