With big releases from artists like Olivia Rodrigo, Twenty One Pilots and Lord Huron this past week, the albums of the summer are beginning to drop for 2021. The year has not been quiet so far, and there is definitely more to come in the next few months. From confirmed projects to theorized plans, this is a short list of the albums to watch for this summer.
CONFIRMED ALBUMS: These projects have been formally announced by artists, or have official release dates or tracklists.
Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak — “Silk Sonic”
After the success of their lead single “Leave The Door Open,” “Silk Sonic” will be one of the most hyped releases of the summer. When the team-up was announced, a full collaborative album was confirmed by Mars. No dates have been released yet by either artist, but a summer drop would make a lot of sense for the duo.
Bleachers — “Take The Sadness Out of Saturday Night”
The Jack Antonoff-fronted act Bleachers is returning on July 30 with their first album since 2017’s “Gone Now.” While Antonoff is known mostly for his work with pop artists like Lorde, Taylor Swift and Lana Del Rey, Bleachers takes on a more americana approach to their work. The project only contains one credited feature, Bruce Springsteen.
Billie Eilish — “Happier Than Ever”
Eillish’s sophomore album will also be released on July 30. The album cover shows her dramatically posing with blonde hair, possibly signifying a new era or direction for the project. More singles are sure to be released before the whole album in July.
Babytron — “Luka Troncic”
Michigan scam rapper Babytron has become known for his clever and underrated lyricism as a part of the trio ShittyBoyz. His solo project titled “Luka Troncic,” a nod to NBA prodigy Luka Doncic, will be coming out on June 6.
KSI — “All Over The Place”
Rapper, YouTuber and boxer KSI has risen to become one of the biggest figures in the UK. After recently taking on a more poppy sound, his new album will be coming out on July 16, and features names like Lil Durk, Anne-Marie, Future and 21 Savage.
Migos — “Culture III”
The Migos will continue their now-trilogy of albums on June 11. The era-defining “Culture” album was released in 2017, and the bloated mess that was “Culture II” came in 2018. Hopefully a three-year break is enough for the trio to come through with another classic installment to the series.
THEORIZED ALBUMS: Without official statements to back them up, these projects have only been teased, rumored, or inferred.
Cardi recently scored another number one hit this year with her single “Up.” It would make sense to try and follow this success with an awaited sophomore project. Although no direct mentions of an album have been made, the timing seems correct for Cardi’s comeback.
Gouda & Lena Fine (local artists)
Both Gouda and Lena Fine are young artists who have attended Drexel and are currently based in Philadelphia. While Fine has directly stated plans for an album release this year, it is unknown when the project will be finished or released. Gouda has yet to mention plans of an album, but his numerous singles hint at a bigger release in the future.
Lil Tecca, Polo G, Baby Keem and Don Toliver
All four of these rappers have dropped singles that appear to be promoting new projects in the near future. All artists besides Keem have dropped albums in the past year, but speedy turnarounds like this are not uncommon in rap. If you are interested in current hip hop, I would recommend watching these names.
Drake — “Certified Lover Boy”
This album has been rumored since mid-2020, and was delayed once in early 2021. With a merch line by Nike already released and multiple references to the title by Drake online, this album’s existence has been 100 percent confirmed. Similar to the “Views” album release in 2016, I foresee this album being accompanied with lots of hype, criticism and celebration.
The label Top Dawg Entertainment hosts artists like Kendrick Lamar, SZA and Isaiah Rashad. Although most of their artists haven’t released albums in multiple years, these three have been under the most speculation recently. Expect an album from at least one of them this summer.
Since “Anti” dropped in early 2016, Rihanna’s follow-up album has been one of the most rumored and anticipated releases in popular music. The confusion around the state of the album has been added to by vague online statements from Rihanna over the years, and no formal mentions of it at all. This album continues to be a huge mystery into this summer.