What I’m Listening To: Your 2012 Summer Record Round-Up

Summer music = awesome music. Here are 10 (yes, 10!) records we’re excited about this summer.

Hot Chip, In Our Heads. The fifth record from the dorkiest cool guys alive, In Our Heads offers more dance-floor bangers and indulgent experimentations, from epic first single “Flutes” to hypnotic b-side “Night and Day.” Described by founding member Joe Goddard as a record inspired by the “epic” maxi-12”’s from the ‘80s, expect extended jams and positive vibes, prefect for summer raging.

In Our Heads drops June 12; check out single “Night and Day” right now.

Metric, Synthetica.  Canandian rockers Metric are back, with another album of sweet, sexy, soulful pop. Described by front woman Emily Haines as a record about “forcing yourself to confront what you see in the mirror when you finally stand still long enough to catch a reflection,” expect a mix of gravelly beats and soaring pop moments—from glammy first single “Youth Without Youth” to breathy, exuberant “Breathing Underwater.” There’s even a cameo from Lou Reed we hear.

Synthetica drops June 12, but stream the whole thing right now via SoundCloud.

Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do. Leave it to Fiona Apple to title her new record something long and vague. After months of swirling rumors, America’s favorite bad, bad girl returns with her fourth studio album, and first in 7 years. Judging from first single “Every Single Night,” it will be filled with snarls, growls, intense emotional turmoil, and flowy, poetic lyrics. Just the way we like it.

The Idler Wheel… drops June 19; stream first single “Every Single Night” right now.

The Dirty Projectors, Swing Lo Magellan. Brooklyn experimentalists The Dirty Projectors return with their 6th full-length and another record of complex, twisted pop—inspired by horror, fear, GPS systems, a “creepy” old house and “meaninglessness and existential nausea.” (No really!) Band leader David Longstreth describes the record as more stripped down and “woody” than past releases. So far, we’ve heard one track—the seductive, back-alley “Gun Has No Trigger.”

Swing Lo Magellan drops July 10; scoop up single “Gun Has No Trigger” now.

JJAMZ, Suicide Pact. We’ve already shared our love for luscious single “Heartbeat,” the debut offering from West Coast supergroup JJAMZ, and this summer, the band drops its first full-length just as the weather really heats up. Look for more scintillating pop beats, and soaring vocals from The Like’s Z Berg. (Don’t let that record title fool you—these are summer jamz if we’ve ever heard them.)

Suicide Pact is out July 10; scoop up a free mp3 of “Heartbeat” via the band's website.

Passion Pit, Gossamer. It’s easy to assume that life for Passion Pit front man Michael Angelakos is all champagne + roses—especially after the success of sparkling debut Manners. But on sophomore record Gossamer, Angelakos explores a darker side, through expansive structure, experimental forays, and deeply personal lyrics. “I really fucking hate dishonesty, which a lot of indie music is especially prone to,” he tells Pitchfork. “I like artists that are really honest and talk about their lives, because people invest in that as much as they invest in the record itself.”

Gossamer is out July 24; check out single “Take a Walk” now.

Purity Ring, Shrines. Canadian buzz band Purity Ring craft dense, teeming electronic tracks, imbued with a sense of childlike wonder. The project of young 20-somethings Megan James and Corin Roddick, Purity Ring finds its power in the undefined spaces between dark fantasies, and the darkness of the human condition. A string of excellent early singles and a bewitching stage show have already poised Shrines as the release of the summer; scoop it up late July.

Shrines is out July 24; download early single “Obedear” via the band's website.

Eternal Summers, Correct Behavior. We first wrote about Eternal Summers in November 2010, when we fell in love with the Virginia duo’s debut, Silver. Now, 2 years later, the band (now a 3-piece!) is back—with the dreamy, punk-y Correct Behavior, a summer-y mix of garage rock tunes and Nicole Yun’s floaty vocals. This is record so good, we fully expect these guys to explode like woah when this drops. We can’t wait!

Correct Behavior is out July 24; check out the kick-ass video for first single “Millions” now.

Yeasayer, Fragrant World. The dudes in Yeasayer seem kinda like weirdos, but the coolest weirdos you’ll ever meet. We loved first two records All Hour Cymbals and Odd Blood and are curious to see what they’ll think up next. So far, we’ve heard three new songs—including the punchy, synth-y “The Devil and the Deed” and clubby, ‘80s-inspired “Henrietta.”  The rest arrives this August.

Fragrant World drops August 21; check out first single “Henrietta” now.

Animal Collective, Centipede Hz. It might be 3 months away still…but there’s a new Animal Collective record coming out! So far, details are scant, but we do know that the record sees the band returning “to [its] roots”—with a more garage-y feel and less Merriweather Post-Pavilion type synths. Record of the summer? We’ll have to wait and see.

Centipede Hz drops September 4; check out the bizarre record teaser via P’fork.


Related stories: What I'm listening to: JapanadroidsWhat I'm listening to: ReptarWhat I'm listening to: Your Summer 2012 Road Trip Mix-TapeWhat I'm listening to: The Spinto Band,   What I'm listening to: Lower Dens