Best Upcoming Summer Releases

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Summer is almost upon us and many of VSQ’s favorite artists are releasing albums just in time to make our backyeard BBQ playlists. Here are the best of early summer’s album releases. Raphael Saadiq, Stone Rollin’ – May 10 Saadiq’s follow up to his excellent 2008 release The Way I See It promises to be a bit harder and slightly less funky than its predecessor, as Saadiq says that he’s “moved out of the Motown thing” and created an album with “edge.” Stone Rollin’s release date was pushed back several times last year, but Saadiq promises that the album’s May 10 drop is the real deal this time. You can stream the album in its entirety, courtesy of NPR. Lady Gaga – Born This Way, May 23 Much of Gaga’s third studio LP was written during her 2009/10 Monster Ball tour, and Gaga says the album is “much more vocally up to par with what I’ve always been capable of. It’s more electronic, but I have married a very theatrical vocal to it. It’s like a giant musical-opus theater piece.” We totally feel that. For proof, check the eponymous lead single/video here. My Morning Jacket, Circuital – May 31 “Holdin’ On to Black Metal,” the lead single from MMJ’s forthcoming release heavily features a children’s choir. It seems safe to assume then that Circuital will be as experimental as MMJ’s 2008 release Evil Urges, which only took us 15 listens to really fall in love with. Death Cab for Cutie, Codes and Keys, May 31 Death Cab worked their way up the west coast for Codes and Keys, recording in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver. So it makes sense that the album explores the concept of home and displacement. (Check out the lead single “You Are a Tourist”). Still, the band says the album is more “fun” than 2008’s weepy Narrow Stairs. Expect more synth, strings and experimental electronic action than we’re used to from Death Cab. Bon Iver, Bon Iver – June 21 Finally! It feels like we’ve been waiting for the follow-up to Bon Iver’s debut LP For Emma, Forever Ago…well, forever. It’s actually been four years, which has been enough time to raise the levels of anticipation for this release as high as singer Justin Vernon’s haunting falsetto. Tracks from the self-titled sophomore release include "Calgary", "Perth" and "Michicant". The album was recorded in Vernon’s home state of Wisconsin, three miles from the house he grew up in. Be Sure to Check Out: VSQ Performs Lady Gaga Available now at iTunes and Amazon The String Quartet Tribute to Death Cab for Cutie Available at iTunes and Amazon


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