Whew! August was a hot one. Oh you thought we were talking about the weather? Nope! August had some solid releases and *dare I say* a possible contender for Album of the Year. Our picks from each week's new releases went from huge commercial albums to self-released indie ones. This month we highlighted Mac Demarco, Dr. Dre, Palehound, Albert Hammond Jr., and The Weeknd. Below you can find break downs of each of their albums plus what songs you gotta listen to. You can also follow our Spotify playlist for Summer 2015 to keep up with each week's best releases (except for Dr. Dre because the richest person in hip hop doesn't care about money).
Mac Demarco -- Another One
Mac Demarco has always made the best music for "chilling." Because in real life, there seems to be no other artist more chill and confident than Demarco. He sounds like the type of guy you could goof off with no judgement. This album is a further collection of that essence showing through his music. In fact, if you want to go "chill" with Mac, he leaves his address in Brooklyn at the end of the album. Tell him we say hello!
Gotta hear: "The Way You'd Love Her", "Without Me", "Just to Put Me Down"
16 years the world waited to hear a new album from Dr. Dre. The long rumored Detox was finally put to rest on Dr. Dre's radio show and the world exhaled a sigh of disappointment and relief. Although, Dre doesn't release anything that isn't up to his standards. So from being around the filming of the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton he was inspired to create new material that harkened back to where it all started: Compton. The album is everything we expected from The Doctor and more: grandeur production, excellent features from both big and small artists, and a of-the-moment feel that we didn't see coming. Inevitably, this also happens to be Dre's grand finale. We think that this is the perfect ending for Dr. Dre and, even though the world will miss him, he'll always still be D.R.E.
Being heartbroken and 21 usually creates the perfect recipe for a musician. This was the case for Palehound's Ellen Kempner after her move to Boston post-breakup. Performing every instrument except drums, you can hear the coping and search for self-identity play out in her lyrics. It evokes a feel of uncertainty that we all experience as we grow into ourselves and learn life's lessons each misstep at a time. We first heard this album and knew that we were hearing the birth of an artist with the potential capabilities of presenting youth in a fresh light. We're excited to follow along as Kempner travels through life's journeys because this is only the beginning.
While the Strokes have been trying to figure things out musically over the past couple albums, Albert Hammond, Jr. has been exploring his solo career and fine tuning his sound. His first full release since he became clean, "Momentary Masters" is a step forward. The album is filled with fun and energetic melodies that are suited to be the perfect pick-me-up pop songs.
The Weeknd got his start working with Drake on Take Care and 3 mixtapes that established him in the underground R&B scene. With this album, Abel Tesfaye sets out to break out of that underground. The albums big singles, "Can't Feel My Face", "The Hills", and "Earned It", all set the stage for this album to be huge. He has the ambitions to reach Michael Jackson levels of fame. "In the Night" sounds like MJ was moonwalking saying "SHAMONA!" next to him . We can only hope that The Weeknd continues his rise and brings R&B back to the forefront of popular music.
FKA Twigs -- M3LL155X