Music Review

Doug goes on the record: 5 hot albums to watch for in summer 2018

Doug goes on the record: 5 hot albums to watch for in summer 2018

Austin City Limits Festival ACL 2015 Weekend Two Florence + the Machine
Is this the modern-day Annie Lennox? Photo by Shelley Neuman

Editor's note: Doug McGrath is a music contributor with four decades of experience as a member of the Dallas music community. This week, he forecasts five hot albums for summer 2018.

Best Coast, Best Kids
(June 22, Amazon Music)
Why would a single guy with no kids anticipate a children's record? Best Coast is a fun-loving, talented band, and this is a well-executed and fun concept. Buy it and you'll have something both you and the kids can listen to all summer. Who says cats and dogs can't be best friends? Listen to the adorable "Cats & Dogs."

Nine Inch Nails, Bad Witch EP
(June 22, The Null Corporation)
Being a longtime (but not completist) NIN fan, I was curious about this. Sadly, I'm afraid too much of it will be an introspective ambient noise experiment. I liken this to Radiohead's Amnesiac 17 years too late and without guitars. Bottom line: Trent Reznor doesn't care at all what you I like or what we're expecting. Listen to "God Break Down the Door."

Florence + The Machine, High As Hope
(June 29, Virgin EMI, Republic)
Florence strikes me as kind of a modern-day Annie Lennox. She's a talented and interesting vocalist/lyricist, but to me it's all vocals and boring background music. Pop music fans will be inspired by her lyrics, and might be seen singing her songs on their morning run (or coffee run). Watch the video for "Hunger."

Deafheaven, Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
(July 13, ANTI- Records)
Imagine Scandinavian black metal without the makeup, transplanted to San Francisco and raised on emo. Frontman George Clarke knows how to command a stage, and his band crafts music that can keep you listening for 10+ minutes per song. See them live at Gas Monkey Bar & Grill on release day (and Friday the 13th) in Dallas. Watch the video for "Honeycomb."

Nothing, Dance On the Blacktop
(August 24, Relapse)
I anticipate this as the best new music of the summer. Brash and beautiful at the same time, Nothing's songs wash over you like a bold stroke of paint. You'll love it if you like distorted guitars and dreamy vocals. They'll be performing at Club Dada in Dallas on September 25. Watch the video for "Zero Day."