Land of Talk, Woods, Roya, the xx, Slowdive: Your summer playlist

Land of Talk

Here are a dozen albums — recently released and recommended — to consider for your summer playlists. My list is a mix of pop, rock, lo-fi, surf, shoegaze and electronic. Mostly, here’s a group of albums that won’t harsh your mellow (too much).

Land of Talk – Life After Youth

Woods – Love Is Love

Roya – Roya

The xx – I See You

Slowdive – Slowdive

The Feelies – In Between

John Andrews & the Yawns – Bad Posture

Beach Fossils – Somersault

Six Organs of Admittance – Burning the Threshold

Mac DeMarco – This Old Dog

NE-HI – Offers

The Courtneys – II

Palehound’s sophomore album: Best new release

Ellen Kempner and her band Palehound released a stunning debut album, Dry Food, two years ago, earning her a best of 2015 spot on this site. Palehound’s eagerly awaited follow-up just came out and it’s very good.

A Place I’ll Always Go continues Kempner’s personal story telling with irresistible hooks (listen below to Carnations, a favorite track from the new album).

Kempner plays a couple of upcoming dates in Chicago. She headlines an Empty Bottle set Friday, July 7 and then plays an early evening set that Sunday at West Fest.

Big Thief’s Capacity: A solid second album

Big Thief, led by singer Adrianne Lenker, is a band that blew us away with its excellent debut, Masterpiece, last year. I was surprised to see this Brooklyn four piece put out another album so quickly. I’m also glad it did.

Capacity is possibly just as good as the band’s debut. This is a very personal album with some real head-turning songs.

I asked my friend Dan (aka Andersonville Dan) to help me review this gem from a great young band.

Dan: After that first album, it seems impossible that they could come back sounding anymore intimate but it really is a beautiful album with longing and ache. Coma absolutely devastates me.

This album is so much hazier and vulnerable than the first, a very deep and beautiful listen. This will be one of my favorites of the year no doubt.

Me: It’s a very strong follow to the debut. That shows this band isn’t a one-album wonder. There’s some real genius here.

I love Coma and Watering. The album’s second track, Shark Smile, is infectious.

This album has a lot of range and a lot of depth. This is a band we’re going to be listening to for a number of years.

Dan: Adrianne breathes so much space to live inside the lyrics. I agree that it feels like Big Thief will be around awhile creating thoughtful, inspired music.

Big Thief plays a free show at Millennium Park July 17.