Rize of the Fenix

Lazy days and memorable nights — summertime is almost here. Whether you’re a lo-fi aficionado or an instrumental rock lover, this summer has plenty to offer for fans of all genres. These are our picks of summer’s most promising new albums.

Best Coast,
The Only Place
Release date: May 15
Genre: Garage rock, surf pop

Garage rock duo Best Coast will make their long-awaited return with their follow-up to 2010’s well-received Crazy for You. Best Coast’s sophomore release will keep in the vein of the fuzzy, lo-fi distorted sound that has become their trademark. Two singles from the album have already been released: “The Only Place” and “When I Cry,” and frontwoman Bethany Cosentino and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno have still got it. Underneath Cosentino’s sob stories of unrequited love lie muddled and distorted guitars and drums — the perfect accompaniment for a broken heart.

Tenacious D,
Rize of the Fenix
Release date: May 15
Genre: Comedy and Hard Rock

It has been six long years since comedy rock duo Tenacious D graced us with their presence. Their upcoming third album Rize of the Fenix shows the group tackling the themes they have become infamous for: love, sex and food. Although band members Jack Black and Kyle Gass make up Tenacious D, the duo enlisted the help of Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl to contribute drums to the album. For those eager to listen to the album, Rize of the Fenix is already streaming on the band’s website.

John Mayer,
Born and Raised
Release date: May 22
Genre: Americana, pop

Singer-songwriter John Mayer has had a bumpy road in recent years. Two years ago, the artist came under fire in an interview with Playboy Magazine, in which Mayer discussed past relationships with Jennifer Aniston and Jessica Simpson in explicit detail. The interview only worsened when Mayer used a racial slur to address his African-American fans, a mistake that the artist has since then tried to forget about. Now, Mayer just seems to be focused on the music. His upcoming fifth album will be the follow-up to 2009’s Battle Studies. The only single currently available from the forthcoming album is “Shadow Days,” which has Mayer taking on a country twang while maintaining that soothing jazz-influenced vocal delivery he’s known for.

Sigur Rós, Valtari
Release date: May 29
Genre: Ambient Post-rock

Known for their ethereal sound, Icelandic rock ensemble Sigur Rós has been a part of indie movie soundtracks and college dorm playlists since their 1999 album Agaetis byrjun. Thirteen years later, the group will release their sixth full-length album, Valtari. It’s an album that will include “more electronic stuff than before,” as promised by bassist Georg Holm in an interview with Q magazine. The group will hopefully use Valtari to redefine their instrumental sound.

SpaceGhostPurrp, Chronicles of SpaceGhostPurrp
Release date: June 12
Genre: Hardcore-southern rap

Expect things to get trippy with this debut from A$AP Rocky producer and rapper SpaceGhostPurrp. To get a general idea of what Purrp may have up his musical sleeve, check out A$AP Rocky songs “Purple Swag: Chapter 2” and “Keep It G,” the latter of which Purrp both produced and rapped on.

Fiona Apple,
The Idler Wheel ...
Release date: June 26
Genre: Piano rock, baroque pop

It’s been seven years since singer-songwriter Fiona Apple put out some new material. After 2005’s Extraordinary Machine, Apple disappeared from the music radar, leaving fans wondering if the talented artist would ever return. This year marks Apple’s comeback as she prepares for the release of her fourth studio album, The Idler Wheel. Featuring 10 new songs, including the
well-received single “Every Single Night,” Apple’s forthcoming release will hopefully reassure fans critics that the songstress has not lost her knack for writing great songs.