Madonna and Bruce Springsteen

Ten unmissable albums in June

Our pick of this month’s releases, including the return of legends like Madonna and The Boss

TIM, Avicii (6 June)

Following his untimely death in April 2018, Avicii’s family are releasing the album that he was working on at the time. The music for the album was largely finished, but Avicii also left behind demo recordings, notes, texts and emails outlining how he wanted his album to sound. TIM includes the singles SOS (featuring Aloe Blacc) and Tough Love, and it also features contributions from Coldplay’s Chris Martin. Net proceeds from album sales will go to The Tim Bergling Foundation – the nonprofit founded in his name – which works to prevent mental illness and suicide.

A Different Kind of Human, Aurora (7 June)

The third album by the Norwegian synthpop star, whose profile has risen in the US after Billie Eilish hailed Aurora’s video for Runaway as one of her main inspirations for getting into music. A Different Kind of Human sees Aurora angrier and more experimental than before. The album was recorded in what Aurora says was a more lo-fi space than before, and focuses on hot-button issues like the ecological crisis. The single The Seed is based on a Native American proverb “you cannot eat money, oh no”, and warns of the toxic ways we are treating nature. “People say ‘live like you don’t care’ or ‘party like you don’t care’, but I like to care”, she says.

Doom Days, Bastille (14 June)

The long-awaited third album, and follow-up to 2016’s Wild World, sees the London band exploring the idea of an ‘apocalyptic house party’. The band say their re-orchestrated tour last year has encouraged them to expand the dimensions of their sound. The first single Joy features gospel choirs, and regarding the title track, Bastille frontman Dan Smith says: "We wanted it to be really direct and talk about trying to find escapism from our modern anxieties -- phone addiction, porn addiction, fake news addiction, climate change denial (to name a few).”

Western Stars, Bruce Springsteen (14 June)

The Boss' first studio album in five years, a solo effort that Springsteen says is inspired by the folky Southern California pop music of the ’60s and ’70s. At first listen, the sound is almost disorientatingly more polished. The first single, Hello Sunshine, has echoes of Everybody’s Talkin’ and Wichita Lineman. There Goes My Miracle channels Roy Orbison through the sweeping grandeur of Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound. But even if the stories and the sound are different, there are still echoes of previous efforts like Nebraska and The Ghost of Tom Joad that spin tales of the dispossessed and disenfranchised.

Madame X, Madonna (14 June)

It’s been hard to avoid the frenzied anticipation around the Queen of Pop’s 14th album, which has seen her appear everywhere from Instagram to Eurovision. Under her new persona of Madame X, the new album contains 15 songs inspired by Madonna’s time living in Lisbon, Portugal, and finds her singing in Portuguese, English, and Spanish. Madonna has already released the lead single Medellín, which features Colombian reggaeton star Maluma, Future which features Migos’ Quavo, and I Rise, with an intro that samples a speech by Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivor Emma González.

False Alarm, Two Door Cinema Club (14 June)

The Northern Ireland band are perhaps best known for having brought their brand of indie electropop-infused rock to prominence in an inconspicuous manner. Their fourth album promises to change this. For a start, the band appear on the front cover for the first time. And the theme of the album taps into the collective sense of mild anxiety people experience in a world of endless phone notifications and doom-ridden news headlines, through the veneer of shiny, funk-ridden pop, if the singles Talk and Satellite are anything to go by.

Originals, Prince (21 June)

Troy Carter and Jay-Z have curated a set of 15 previously unreleased tracks from Prince’s vault, on behalf of the late musician’s estate. The selection comes from recordings that Prince made for himself and others between 1981 and 1991, including Sheila E’s The Glamorous Life, the Bangles’ Manic Monday and Kenny Rogers’ You’re My Love, and ends with the original version of Nothing Compares 2 U. Originals will be streamed exclusively on Jay-Z’s platform Tidal on 7 June, with a wider release set for 19 July.

Late Night Feelings, Mark Ronson (21 June)

You already know the smash hit with Miley Cyrus, Nothing Breaks Like A Heart, but the full complement of sad bangers from Ronson will finally be out in June. It’s a definite shift away from the sound of his 2015 album, Uptown Special. As well as the Lykke Li-featuring title track, and Find U Next with Camila Cabello, the album also features King Princess, YEBBA and Alicia Keys.  

Help Us Stanger, The Raconteurs (21 June)

If guitar music is going out of fashion, then the Raconteurs are here to provide a glimpse of its glorious past. The supergroup, featuring Jack White, Brendan Benson, Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler, have joined forces again to release their first album in over a decade – what they call “the rock n’ roll album you’ve been waiting for”. The album features the already-released Sunday Driver, Now That You’re Gone, as well as a cover of Donovan’s Hey Gyp (Dig the Slowness).

A Bath Full Of Ecstasy, Hot Chip (21 June)

The English EDM band say this is their first album with outside producers in an effort to push the envelope of its electro-synth sounds. That doesn’t necessarily suggest a radical rehaul, Hungry Child brings a touch of melancholy to proceedings, though Melody of Love invigorates with 80s electropop euphoria.

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