8 New Releases To Play With Your Dorm Room Door “Accidentally” Open, Categorized By Whatever Illusion Of Cool You’re Trying To Create
Let’s set the scene: it’s your first week away at college. Your clothes are put away neatly, your posters are freshly hung on the wall, your laptop is charging, and your bed is made (for once) with your brand-new, extra-long twin sheets. After hauling all your stuff out of their trunk, your parents drove off... so now you know exactly no one. You’re in desperate need of friendship, preferably a group of brunch-loving individuals who will happily venture to the dining hall in their pajamas with you on Sunday morning. (If you've got your priorities straight.)
The cool thing about college is that, more so than high school, you really get to choose your friends. Of course, you want to make a stellar impression in order to meet the right kind of people. What better way to connect than through the music you’re listening to? It makes for a great conversation-starter, be it through discovery (“Hey! What is this?") or commonality (“You listen to these guys, too? They’re the bessssst!”)
We're here to get you up to speed on the latest releases. Read on to find out what each one says about you. Listen to them on alternating nights, and really make people wonder who you are.
1. "Of Course I Saw Straight Outta Compton This Summer."
Album: Vince Staples, Summertime ‘06
Release Date: June 30, 2015
Why You Need It: The debut studio album from 22-year-old Long Beach rapper Vince Staples is bona fide fire. With its gritty sound and dark narratives, Summertime '06 exudes the fear and desperation of growing up in an unstable environment. (Staples was at the formative age of 13 during the actual summer of 2006.) From the shadowy guitar parts on “Summertime” to the horn-like synths on “Norf Norf,” the attention to detail is remarkable. Despite a vast range of style, head producer No I.D. (that’s Kanye’s old mentor) succeeds in creating a cohesive body of work.
What It Says About You: Your taste in hip-hop extends far beyond Top 40. You have a penchant for the darker stuff and need a backstory to feel invested in what you’re listening to.
2. "Drop By My Room Any Time. I’m Super Chill."
Album: Tame Impala, Currents
Release Date: July 17, 2015
Why You Need It: Psychedelic rock band Tame Impala returns with their third album and possibly their best one yet. As evidenced by lead single “Let It Happen,” Currents is more dance-oriented and places a heavier emphasis on synths than the Australian group’s previous releases. Primary member Kevin Parker — who also happens to write, compose, produce and mix — is known for being a perfectionist and it shows here, via lush arrangements and seamless structural changes. Parker’s unique voice sounds just like John Lennon would (with very heavy reverb).
What It Says About You: You’re super mellow and dig upbeat tunes. You probably went to Lollapalooza this summer.
3. "I’m SO DOWN To Go Out With You on Thursday (and Friday and Saturday)."
Album: Carly Rae Jepsen, Emotion
Release Date: August 21, 2015
Why You Need It: The 2012’s “Call Me Maybe” songstress is BACK, y’all, and it’s about time! Emotion kicks off with a saxophone solo so you know what’s up right off the bat: undeniable ‘80s pop music influences. Jepsen scores indie cred with help of collaborators Sia, Rostam Batmanglij (Vampire Weekend), and Devonté Hynes (Blood Orange). It’s clear that the intention was to create a tremendous full-length album and Emotion delivers with its vibrant hooks and robust vocals. We forgive CRJ for taking three years off, since the amount of work put into her latest is clear.
What It Says About You: You came here to have a good time. You have a special affinity for car sing-a-longs and you get along with most anyone.
4. "Feelings. I Have... A Lot Of Them."
Album: Beach House, Depression Cherry
Release Date: August 28, 2015
Why You Need It: Dreamy pop duo Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally return this year with another eerily beautiful release: the aptly named Depression Cherry. Their signature atmospheric sound, comprised of vintage organ sounds and crackling guitar riffs, makes for a ride of emotions — and that’s even before you take in the introspective lyrics. Album highlights include the mesmerizingly multi-layered vocals on “Sparks” and the bubbly melody on “Space Song.”
What It Says About You: Your thoughts are as complex as Legrand’s crooning. You’re more likely to roll solo or in small groups. You will not be partaking in Greek life.
5. "Watch Out, 'Cause I’m A Hugger."
Album: The Weeknd, The Beauty Behind The Madness
Release Date: August 28, 2015
Why You Need It: Abel Tesfaye (aka The Weeknd) has been around for a little while now; his acclaimed mixtape House of Balloons came out in 2011. But with his second studio album, The Beauty Behind The Madness, on which he collaborated with Lana Del Rey and Ed Sheeran, The Weeknd is finally poised for mainstream stardom. You’ve heard the hit single “Can’t Feel My Face” on the radio enough times this summer to know this album is bound to be gold. From the darkly sensual “The Hills” to the infectiously poppy, Max Martin-produced “In The Night,” there’s something for everyone — all wrapped up in Tesfaye’s smooth-like-butta voice.
What It Says About You: You like slow dancing. You’re the most likely to make out with someone in a dark corner at a party during Syllabus Week.
6. "I’m Not Weird, I’m Just Much Cooler Than You."
Album: Battles, La Di Da Di
Release Date: September 18, 2015
Why You Need It: Battles has a way of making you want to wiggle around in your seat while bopping your head. The experimental rock group returns after a four-year hiatus with an all-instrumental album. The hypnotic rhythm of glitches and ::beep-boops:: on lead single “The Yabba” is perfectly underscored by drummer John Stanier’s speedy percussion; there’s no need for vocals. It feels worth mentioning that the album cover art earns an A+ for its pretty substantial-looking breakfast spread.
What It Says About You: You march to the beat of your own drum. Or rather, many loud drum beats, as the case may be here.
7. "I’d Love To Be Your Friend, But Please Recognize My Uniqueness."
Album: CHVRCHES, Every Open Eye
Release Date: September 25, 2015
Why You Need It: CHVRCHES returns this fall with the highly anticipated follow-up to 2013’s massive The Bones of What You Believe. Based off what I hear from the first two singles, “Leave A Trace” and “Never Ending Circles,” Every Open Eye promises to deliver on the band’s signature brand of edgy, hook-driven synthpop, highlighted by frontwoman Laura Mayberry’s lovely yet defiant vocals.
What It Says About You: You have good taste and you know it. You also have a playlist of upbeat indie hits you love to work out to.
8. "Sure, I’ll Join Your Garage Band."
Album: Wavves, V
Release Date: October 2, 2015
Why You Need It: California-based lo-fi rock band Wavves has had a busy year. In June, they released a collaborative album with indie-rock group Cloud Nothings, and in October, they’ll be releasing their fifth full-length studio album. The three tracks out right now — “Way Too Much,” “Flamezesz,” and “Heavy Metal Detox” — all boast a frenetic sound that’s less polished than 2013’s Afraid of Heights, but not quite as fuzzy as their earlier stuff. V is sure to be fun, although admittedly, not very conducive to studying.
What It Says About You: You’re effortlessly cool and you keep it real. You may not actually surf, but you definitely grew up on the coast.
Cover Image: tamuc/Flickr