A few heavy-hitters to add to your summer listening list.

 

Florence + The Machine High As Hope

Don’t let Flo fool you. She’s been describing her fourth album to music journalists as “less Florence-y,” which I’m sure to her it is in some way. But all of the hallmark “Florence-ness” is there on display: the theatre, the bombast, the dramatic vocal play. Is there growth and evolution? Without question. Ms. Welch is now in her thirties and singing and writing about her demons and struggles with even more depth than in the past.

 

Gorillaz The Now Now

It’s refreshing when a project as big as Damon Albarn’s Gorillaz can turn around a new album just a year or so after releasing their last. With Albarn as the main man behind the project, however, this becomes a bit easier. Not that he all alone: James Ford helped produce the latest effort straight off of working on Arctic Monkeys’ Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, and George Benson, Snoop Dogg, and Jamie Principle all guest. Other than that, though, it’s the Damon Albarn show this time around.

 

Jim James Uniform Distortion

The My Morning Jacket front man has been creating music on his own for close to a decade now, so it stands to reason that he’d have his rhythm down. And he does. His first solo effort–2009’s Tribute To–was just James (or Yames, in this case) and a guitar, covering the Beatles. His latest finds him fleshing out things much more fully. And the best part? The songs don’t sound like MMJ cast-offs. Jim has his own damn thing going on.