Artist Spotlights: Hot Summer Releases

Checking in on all the musicians and bands from last semester

Hey all, I’m back, and boy has it been a crazy summer for music. Almost every artist I’ve covered has had a release of some kind, and it has been wonderful.
Let’s start off with mxmtoon. After releasing the singles “fever dream” and “quiet motions,” she dropped her third album, “dawn.” It has a similar lofi vibe to “the masquerade,” but leans more into the pop aspect. But she wasn’t done yet.
Teaming up with Llusion, she released “walk but in a garden,” then she made a style return to “plum blossoms” with her single “bon iver.” Finally, she released an extended play (EP) with Carly Rae Jepson, where they collaborated on the song “ok on your own.”
Next up is grandson. Back in April, he worked with DREAMERS again on “Heat Seeker,” then “Zen” with X Ambassadors and K.Flay. Then he dropped an EP a week later, “(Text Voter XX to 40649).”
In late June, he returned with “Identity,” which took on a darker sound. That was followed up by “Riptide” in July, which had a similar vibe to the former. In August, there was “lost cause,” a collab piece with KennyHoopla. Most recently, he released a remix of “Cash Machine” by Oliver Tree.
Oh boy, Glass Animals. They released three more singles, “Dreamland,” “Heat Waves” and “It’s All So Incredibly Loud,” in that order, before their third album, “Dreamland.” It explored more on the pop side of their psyche pop roots. It also very much divided the fanbase, however I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Mike Shinoda’s recent music has been a bit unorthodox. He spent the past few months streaming on Twitch, where he makes music with fans. This has led to the release of two albums, “Dropped Frames, Vol. 1” and “Dropped Frames, Vol. 2,” and the announcement of “Dropped Frames, Vol. 3,” as well as a single from the latter, “License to Waltz.”
Another artist I was excited for, Dizzy, released the single, “Roman Candles” (conveniently on July 3), before their second album, “The Sun and Her Scorch.” They went from talking about high school problems in “Baby Teeth,” to watching your friends wane their way out of your life.
Of Monsters and Men also had releases: the singles “Circles” and “Visitor.” I mean the latter kind of felt like something that may have come from “Beneath the Skin,” but both of them still felt like they were missing soul. Just eh.
Porter Robinson’s new album has a name now, “Nurture,” but still no release date. However, he did release the single “Mirror,” and it feels like “Fellow Feeling,” and it’s great.
Surprisingly, Linkin Park (LP) had a song too. From the “Hybrid Theory” era came “She Couldn’t.” While it isn’t my favorite LP song, it’s a satisfyingly somber listen, hearing Chester sing once again.
Trevor Powers also released an album, “Capricorn.” It’s a collection of weird and experimental instrumentals that kind of twist and drone. An interesting listen, but not necessarily something to bop to.
Lorn released a collab album with Dolor, titled “ZERO BOUNCE.” Not much to say about it, it’s the classic heavy industrial of Lorn, and I enjoy it.
The HU released “Song of Women” again, this time with Lzzy Hale from Halestorm, as well as “Sugaan Essena” from “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order,” and a deluxe edition of “The Gereg” that includes the collab pieces from the album.
Yung Gravy had two singles this summer, “jack money bean” and “yup!” the former with bbno$ and Lentra: the first is a classic bbno$-Gravy piece, the latter with a fun little dance beat.
Banners had five EP releases, which included a mix of old songs, new songs and variations: “Always Yours,” “Somebody to Someone,” “The Rise, The Fall,” “Starlight in the Room” and “Someone to you.” The man is on fire and, with blowing up on TikTok, will probably keep going.
Finally comes Gorillaz. They had three releases within their project “Song Machine”: “Friday the 13th,” “Pac-Man” and “Strange Timez,” as well as a standalone piece titled “How Far?”
So yeah, it’s been a pretty crazy summer for music. As always, send feedback and criticism to [email protected]. I’ll see you all in the next issue.