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All Songs Considered

Summer comes in shades of life: nightclubbing with besties, poolside with neighborhood children, backyard grilling, making out at parties, hitting the gym grind, hitting the work grind, quietly sobbing to Stevie Nicks-level heartbreak, living whatever version of your best life fills out the hot and sticky days of your hot and sticky mess of a life. It's a seasonal equalizer, the heat making our clothes a little brighter and easier to breathe in, and perhaps resetting our psyches to do the same.

The first time Tony Presley heard Sun June, it was through his apartment floor. The co-founder of up-and-coming Austin label Keeled Scales was living above Estuary Recording Facility, where the band was tracking its debut LP, Years. The album, which Keeled Scales will release June 15, retains the warmth of that initial encounter. Sun June's music is something that comes in snatches, wisps that captivate and escape the ear with all the airy weight of dust rising from an Austin floorboard on every beat of a muffled drum.

The sun's season became official this past weekend — so what do you want to hear? Rooftop bops? Windows-down coasters? Sweated-through squall?

All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton talks with NPR Music's Ann Powers and Stephen Thompson about the best new albums out on June 1, including the remarkable new Neko Case record Hell-On and an emotional and revealing new album from Father John Misty. Complete list below.

Featured Albums

  • Neko Case, Hell-On
    • Featured Track: "Last Lion of Albion"

  • Father John Misty, God's Favorite Customer

Matty Healy can't help stepping all over himself to explain away his millennial ennui. It's the ultimately charming feature, not the bug, of The 1975 — his British pop band is perfectly attuned to the hyper-aware environment of this over-connected age.

The Schneider family is full of nerds. If you were wondering whatever happened to The Apples In Stereo, well — its frontman Robert Schneider has spent the last five years getting his Ph.D in mathematics. No, really, he teaches and studies math at Emory University.

All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Rodney Carmichael, Stefanie Fernández, Lars Gotrich, Stephen Thompson and World Cafe host Talia Schlanger for a quick run through the best new albums out on May 25. That includes the highly anticipated (and instant classic) Daytona from rapper Pusha-T, reggaetón hit maker J Balvin, raw and ragged rock from Thunderpussy, effervescent synth-pop from CHVRCHES and more.

Featured Albums

  • Thunderpussy, Thunderpussy

The penumbra is the shadow beyond the shadow, its light only partially blocked by an object. Think of an eclipse, but only being able to experience the edge of it. Tsembla's "Penumbra" achieves a similar effect, its sound sources familiar, but obscured by some very chill electronic rhythms.

Björk doesn't so much perform on a stage — she inhabits a space.

The only antidote for the hell-in-a-handbasket blues is the stankiest of funks, and no one makes it stankier than George Clinton. The good doctor is here to prescribe Medicaid Fraud Dogg, the first album in 38 years from Parliament, the P-Funk empire's more soulful outfit.

San Francisco-based Pllush makes hazy dream-pop that pairs emotionally wrought lyrics with maxed-out shoegaze guitars. The band has developed a dense, harmony-rich sound over the course of several releases — all, up until now, under the name Plush. For the release of Stranger to the Pain, its forthcoming album, the band has added the second l to its name, honed its pop melodies and sharpened its guitar-heavy sound.

This is an unusual, beautiful and dark album curated by — and at times performed by — the Danish musician Agnes Obel. It's part of a series of artist-curated albums called Late Night Tales. Nils Frahm, The Flaming Lips, Jon Hopkins and others have put their own records together for the series in the past.

All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton chats with NPR Music's Rodney Carmichael, Marissa Lorusso, Ann Powers and Stephen Thompson for a sprint through six noteworthy albums out May 18. This includes the raging rock of Courtney Barnett, Atlanta rapper Nick Grant, wildly ambitious psych-folk from Ray La Montagne and a whole lot more.

Parquet Courts' fifth album, Wide Awake! is a turning point for the band. The four guys based in New York made conscious attempts to push their music out of their habitual tendencies toward aggressive rock and wound up with their most interesting record to date, with the help of producer Brian Burton (Danger Mouse).

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