Sounds From the Outro: Hip-Hop, Surf Rock and Sharon Jones

Sharon Jones

Sharon Jones

As we approach the outro of 2015, there will no doubt be a contest to see who will finish the year strong. Will Kanye surprise us with Swish? Will Frank Ocean finally release Boys Don’t Cry? Will Meow the Jewels and Run the Jewels 3 both happen before 2016? While we keep our fingers crossed for those in limbo, we can rest easy knowing we’ve got some solid releases on the calendar.

As if Young Thug’s rhymes weren’t unintelligible enough, the melodic babbler has named his debut album Hy!£UN35 (Sept. 24), the title apparently leetspeak for “Hi-Tunes.” The project comes after his unexpectedly excellent Barter 6 mixtape and his surprising dancehall collaboration with Jamie XX and Popcaan, “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times).” If you’re into deciphering codes, Hy!£UN35 will be another lyrical Rubik’s Cube.

October looks like it’ll bring a lot more treats than tricks. First up is Louisville’s Bryson Tiller, the latest half-R&B, half-rap Internet sensation. His singles “Don’t” and the Street Fighter-sampling “Sorry Not Sorry” have earned him comparisons to Drake and PARTYNEXTDOOR, a co-sign from Timbaland and rumors of major label biddings. Let’s see if he lives up to the hype when his TRAPSOUL (Oct. 2) mixtape drops.

If Wavves collaborative project with Cloud Nothings, No Life for Me, released in June, wasn’t enough, the SoCal punk outfit strikes again with their fifth studio album, aptly titled V (Oct. 2). It already sounds as fun as you’d expect. New joints “Way Too Much” and “Flamezesz” are righteous surf-punk jams.

Neon Indian broke a four-year silence when the one-man electronic act dropped the funky, tropical-tinged “Annie” in May. He followed that up in August with the groovy synth-pop of “Slumlord” and the announcement of his new LP, VEGA INTL. Night School (Oct. 16). Though the album is inspired by his adventures in the dark, what we’ve heard so far is certainly fit for a day in the sunshine.

The holidays inevitably bring forth some extra-cheesy Christmas albums, but I have high hopes that Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings It’s a Holiday Soul Party (Oct. 30) will extend beyond a seasonal novelty. The release will feature original cuts and traditional holiday tunes—given retro-soul makeovers, of course. There’s even an “8 Days (of Hanukkah)” on the track list. Break out the menorah and let’s get funky.

But before the holidays actually hit, the music world will get a gift from Jordan Asher, a.k.a. Boots. Aquaria (Nov. 13) is one of the most-anticipated albums of the year for good reason. After co-writing and producing much of Beyoncé’s self-titled 2013 record, Boots dropped a mixtape featuring a host of critically acclaimed artists, and released the short film (and accompanying soundtrack) Motorcycle Jesus. His music is painted from an electronic palette, but touches everything from hip-hop to industrial rock. Aquaria will be co-produced by El-P of Run the Jewels, too. Imagine if Beyoncé hops on a track.