Spring proved to be a blossoming release season for highly anticipated albums.

 

Now that summer is in full swing, we can now add spring’s freshly cut releases to our summer playlists. Hello, summer road trips!

This year is quickly stacking up to be one of the best release years yet. Emerging artists took on a new path while the veterans released albums after years in hiding. The combination of nostalgia and fresh sounds have dominated the charts this spring and laid the groundwork for some innovative albums to be released.

Here are my top five favorite spring releases:

 

The Search For Everything– John Mayer: I would be lying if I said I wasn’t totally fan-girling for this album to come out..there were many nights Continuum would be playing through my CD player speakers on repeat. After the last two albums, I wasn’t sure what to expect…but John delivered a nostalgic arrow straight to my heart. Throughout the album, you get a highly produced (but not over produced) feel reminiscent of most classic 70s albums. There is a troubadour-like delivery in the lyrics that nods to his years of touring with The Grateful Dead. The album feels like an incredibly intentional version of John Mayer’s musical perspective. (Favorite songs: Still Feel Like Your Man, Moving On and Getting Over, In The Blood)

 

After Laughter– Paramore: Two words: Hayley. Williams. Need I say more? This album has been a long time coming. Paramore has one of the most loyal and diverse fan bases around. They have been trailblazers since their inception, and After Laughter will remain a testament to their legacy. Even with the surge in popularity of the 80’s synth sound, Hayley Williams stands firm in her individuality and vocal mastery. With clever lyrics and easy guitar rhythms, this album has quickly earned its way to the top of my summer playlist. (Favorite songs: All of them – seriously)

 

DAMN.– Kendrick Lamar: I haven’t really listened to any Kendrick Lamar albums in-depth, but after this release, I will be sure to go back and listen to his earlier efforts. This album has taken over the charts like wildfire…it was a highly anticipated yet quiet release that challenged the rap community in a new way. This album feels like a rap revolution. It’s lyrically loaded…the way Kendrick flows through his words seem effortless, almost like he’s not taking a breath. This album takes on a masterful way of storytelling that can only be interpreted by the master himself. (Favorite songs: HUMBLE., DNA., PRIDE.)

 

From A Room: Vol. 1– Chris Stapleton: After a striking part one release, this album has set the stage for another incredible year for Chris Stapleton. Rolling Stone said it best…this album is absolutely equal parts Otis and Waylon. Chris is an undeniable soul singer that has the ability to pierce through any record with his raspy vocals. As an accomplished songwriter, this album delivers stories of heartbroken protagonists and sultry guitar riffs. This album is daringly simple and focused. From track to track, Stapleton creates a fluid extension of himself. Vol. 2 is expected to release later this year. (Favorite songs: Either Way, Up To No Good Livin’, Death Row)

Harry Styles-Harry Styles: This one really took me by surprise – in the best way possible. I never took much interest in One Direction (besides the hits), and now I’m convinced that I missed the development of a great artist. This album feels like a nod to his British roots while still feeling relevant. There are definitely hints of the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, and Bowie. The soft-rock 70’s vibe is persistent throughout the album. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the personality of each song and impossible to put down. This is definitely a solo career that should be on everyone’s radar. (Favorite songs: Sweet Creature, Carolina, Woman)

Bring on all of the summer vibes!