The State Hornet

11 of the best music projects that were released this summer

Mason+Ramsey%2C+known+as+the+%22Yodeling+Kid%2C%22+yodels+in+his+well-known+video+taken+at+Walmart.
Mason Ramsey, known as the

Mason Ramsey, known as the "Yodeling Kid," yodels in his well-known video taken at Walmart.

Googites - CC BY 2.0

Googites - CC BY 2.0

Mason Ramsey, known as the "Yodeling Kid," yodels in his well-known video taken at Walmart.

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Throughout this summer, artist throughout a wide range of genres released music projects that brought us into our feelings.

Whether you’re into Travis Scott or you’re into the “Yodeling Kid”, there was something for everyone to enjoy this summer.

The editors at The State Hornet put together a list of our favorite music projects that came out this summer that we all got into our feelings listening to.

Claire – “Forever & Ever” by Sales

If you’re one of those #typical displaced Bay Area residents like me, you probably hate Sacramento’s summer heat and wish it could be cold and foggy again so you can cuddle up in your blankets without sweating out all your body’s water supply.

“Forever & Ever” will cure the languished irritation you’re likely feeling this summer — this chill, upbeat indie-pop album from Florida-based duo SALES delivers songs like “Off and On” and “Talk A Lot” that make you feel like you’re in San Francisco and can lay in bed with a cup of hot tea and enjoy the foggy morning.

Complete with a song titled “Rainy Day Loop,” this album will make all your dreamy, cold, sad indie dreams come true — but if you’re stuck in the heat like me, make sure you position yourself juuuuust right under your air conditioner in order to get the best experience out of this album.

Emily – “Weed Garden” by Iron & Wine

This two-song drop over the summer from the indie-folk, American singer-songwriter Sam Beam is just a taste of a full, six-song album being released on Aug. 31.

If you could imagine your life as an indie romance movie scene set in the fall, with you and the person you care about as the protagonists, the songs “Waves of Galveston” and “What Hurts Worse,” would play as you drove together with the windows down along the mountain roads on your way to an adventure.

It feels like a soft, windy, crisp autumn hug.

The songs roll with a slow “chuga-chuga” rhythm of drums and acoustic guitar like a train taking you to a place with a friendly dog and those trendy twinkle lights that hang above everyone’s back porch nowadays, where you and your friends make memories and spill your guts on each other. The soft harmonies of the vocals create a sound that’s familiar but interesting.

The rest of “Weed Garden” promises to be a continuation of last year’s album “Beast Epic,” featuring songs not finished in time for its release.

If you’re into Simon & Garfunkel and haven’t heard of Iron & Wine, check it out. You’ll be into this, too.

Kameron – “Hive Mind” by The Internet

As someone who wasn’t head-over-heels in love with this summer’s new music, I’m very happy to report that at least one certified banger came out, July 20’s “Hive Mind,” courtesy of The Internet.

I’ve always been a fan of The Internet’s singles — “Come Over” is the newest fantastic example — but this whole album is peak modern R&B pop music, with flavors of funk mixed in. It is a huge step up for an already popular band.

Going back to “Come Over,” it is now their legitimate best song. It’s been on repeat for weeks on my phone. It’s sensual, but it’s not classic cheesy sex music; it’s listenable all the time and Steve Lacy’s guitar continues to evolve and stand out.

The Internet started as a band made from random pieces of Odd Future, and will probably never top other OF performers like Tyler, The Creator, Frank Ocean or Earl Sweatshirt in terms of popularity. But they are prolific, and damn good each time they put out something new.

Adria – “Everything Is Love” by The Carters

15 years ago when Beyoncé and Jay-Z released their first collaboration “03 Bonnie and Clyde,” nobody could really predict how much their creative and personal partnership would evolve throughout pop culture years later — from “Déjà vu” to “Drunk in Love,” anything the the couple releases together never seems to disappoint. So when The Carters dropped their joint album “Everything Is Love” this summer, it came to no surprise (other than its release) that the album was filled with hit after hit.

Although lyrically the songs on “Everything Is Love” are about personal experiences in Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s life, the sounds and vibe match the carefree feelings of summertime and the first track “SUMMER” that sets that tone for the rest of the album.

If you’re looking for an album to play in the background that will hype you up as you’re getting ready to go out with friends or before heading back to any responsibilities September has in store for you, turn on “Everything Is Love.”

RELATED: OPINION: Beyonce and Jay-Z stop the world with “Everything is Love”

Cory – “Hydrograd (Deluxe Edition)” by Stone Sour

A new release of 2017’s Loudwire Music Awards’ Hard Rock Album of the Year “Hydrograd,” the Deluxe edition features previously unreleased songs and covers, as well as live recordings and acoustic versions of songs from the original album. As the album won’t be officially released until Aug. 30, there is much to be anticipating from the upcoming album, including a cover of Van Halen’s “Unchained,” and acoustic versions “Song #3” and “Rose Red Violent Blue (This Song Is Dumb & So Am I),” with both songs giving last year’s album a more classic rock-and-roll feeling.

For fans looking for something new, Stone Sour has given us a little taste of what to expect with “Burn One Turn One.” The new single definitely falls into the hard rock category and might as well be considered a duet between lead singer Corey Taylor’s more melodic vocal style associated with Stone Sour and his more guttural style associated with his other band, Slipknot. The song should provide enjoyment for fans of either or both bands that now have to wait until next year for a new Slipknot album and at least two more, if not more, for another Stone Sour album after “Hydrograd (Deluxe Edition)” releases.

Alex – “Swimming” by Mac Miller

With his new album “Swimming,” Mac Miller continues to show he is one of the most underrated artist in the game today.

As a fan of Miller since his “K.I.D.S.” and “Macadelic” days, it has been incredible to see Miller’s transformation into a more philosophical-style in his music — and “Swimming” continues this style.

Throughout the album, you can tell Miller is dealing with pain with songs like “Self Care” and “Ladders” — most obviously is his breakup with Ariana Grande.

“Ladders” provides listeners a trip into Miller’s mind and the pain he suffers. Miller begins the song by showing how much he put into his relationship with Grande, “somehow we gotta find a way no matter how many miles it takes.”

Later in the song, Miller says, “And you know you’re dead wrong, you’re in love with a lie” as a possible jab towards Grande’s engagement to Pete Davidson.

I am here for you, Mac. Keep fighting.

Robby – “ASTROWORLD” by Travis Scott

“Astroworld’s my planet, my home” says Travis Scott in “Dark Knight Dummo,” a song he features on for rapper Trippie Redd. Although Scott is referring to Six Flags Astroworld in his hometown of Houston, Texas, his album “ASTROWORLD” has been my home since its release on Aug. 3.

It is rare for me to enjoy an album in its entirety but “ASTROWORLD” is one of the rare ones. The album is created so beautifully from its one of a kind beats to the amazing features — including names like The Weeknd, Drake, Stevie Wonder and Kid Cudi.

This album has music for almost every mood. If you want to party, throw on “STARGAZING” or “BUTTERFLY EFFECT.” If you want to sit back and chill, throw on “ASTROTHUNDER” or “COFFEE BEAN.” If you want to take a drive and clear your head, throw on “R.I.P. SCREW” or “CAN’T SAY.” If you want to sing and dance in the shower, throw on “SICKO MODE” or “5% TINT.”

My personal favorite is “WAKE UP,” an upbeat song featuring The Weeknd that I’ve played well over 100 times since the albums release. If you haven’t given this album at least the slightest listen, are you even a fan of rap?

Thomas – “Famous EP” by Mason Ramsey

Mason Ramsey, famous for being known as the “Yodeling Kid,” potentially topped this summer with his new hit “Famous.” He topped that chart-topping song by announcing a concert tour throughout the nation. On Oct. 25, Ramsey will be playing at the House of Blues in Anaheim, and believe me, the entire 415 mile car ride will fly by as you listen to Ramsey’s irresistible hit on repeat the entire drive. Tickets are just $25 so they will probably sell out the day they go on sale, Aug. 23.

Eric – “Post Traumatic” by Mike Shinoda

About a year following the shocking death of Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park, longtime bandmate and friend Mike Shinoda released a solo album “Post Traumatic” June 15.

This was a surprising move for hardcore fans since Shinoda has stated that he is uncertain of what the future holds for Linkin Park, but it seems that he is determined to go forward with his career as an artist, which is good news for Shinoda fans.

Shinoda always had a talent for writing songs based on what he is feeling, and this album is no exception. Shinoda expresses the theme of grief throughout the whole album, as if he created it to help cope with Bennington’s death and he does it brilliantly.

Standout songs like the catchy “Hold it Together” and the thoughtful “Nothing Makes Sense Anymore” put these emotions in the spotlight while showing his talent with using electronic music to create catchy musical beats.

For Linkin Park fans such as myself, this is a great recommendation, and supporting this album from a Linkin Park band member could help him grieve in his hard time. Hang in there Mike, us fans are all still grieving with you.

Shaun – “Rolling Papers 2” by Wiz Khalifa

For those of you who wanted “The Old Wiz,” the “Black and Yellow” and “Roll Up” Wiz, this album is for you.

“Rolling Papers 2” is the sequel to Khalifa’s third studio album produced under a major label. Khalifa has released three albums since 2011 when Rolling Papers debuted, but has been working on the sequel for the last four years since he released “Blacc Hollywood.” Khalifa made a point to get his fan’s input for the album. He took it to Twitter to poll his fans on aspects on the album, including if it should be a double album. It’s what the fans wanted and Khalifa delivered.

“Rolling Papers 2” contains 25 songs with a duration of 1 hour and 30 minutes. Top songs on the album include the title track “Rolling Papers 2,” “Reach for the Stars (feat. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony),” “Something New (feat. Ty Dolla $ign),” “Hopeless Romantic (feat. Swae Lee)” and “Hot Now.”

Wiz went back to his roots in the title track when he said “Imma roll it, roll it, imma light it, light it, when it’s time to make a change, I ain’t gonna fight it, fight it.”  If you have ever been a fan of Wiz Khalifa or any of his songs, this album is worth an hour and a half of your time.

Jordyn – This One’s For You Too (Deluxe Edition), Luke Combs

With country music slowly falling victim to the Keith Urban, Sam Hunt pop wave, Luke Combs’ acoustic sound and give-a-damn attitude takes us back to simpler times.

The album, released in June as an extension of his debut record “This One’s For You,” includes five bonus tracks in addition to chart toppers “Hurricane” and “When it Rains it Pours.” From Cash-vibe tunes like “Honky Tonk Highway” to love-struck ballad “Beautiful Crazy,” Combs gives us all hope that the true heart of country may not be entirely lost to us just yet.

If you’ve been looking for an excuse to break into the country genre (no, seeing Kacey Musgraves open for Harry Styles at the Golden 1 Center doesn’t make you a real “country girl”), Luke Combs is the perfect segway into what it’s all about.

Hank Jr. would be proud, Luke. Well done.

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