Gorillaz — “Humanz” (April 28)
Drawn together by pop art masterminds Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, everyone’s favorite virtual band drops its fifth project Friday. While the return of 2D, Noodle, Russel and Murdoc is exciting in its own right, their collaborators this time around are even more intriguing. Among them are Kelela, Vince Staples, Danny Brown and De La Soul. With the druggy dancehall vibes of “Saturnz Barz” and the mellow drift of “Andromeda,” “Humanz” is set to get you animated on the dance floor like no other record this summer.
At the Drive-In — “Inter Alia” (May 5)
Grow out your afros: El Paso, Texas’ panic-rock provocateurs have reunited to record their fourth studio album. Expect more of what the band already delivered on 2001’s post-hardcore masterclass “Relationship of Command.” Early single “Governed by Contagions” might be their most anthemic song yet. After a 15-year recording hiatus, this station is now operational.
Lil Yachty— “Teenage Emotions” (May 26)
As of Tuesday, Lil Yachty’s “1 NIGHT” music video has nearly 100 million YouTube views. It’s practically the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” of meme rap. Whether the forthcoming album can swim where others’ oddball rap debuts have sunk remains to be seen, but the adorable album cover, featuring Yachty among a gaggle of teenage misfits, has our fingers crossed for smooth sailing.
Ride — “Weather Diaries” (June 16)
Shoegaze stock is at an all-time high, with everyone from dream poppers the XX to the hazy electronic act M83 still basking in the afterglow of My Bloody Valentine’s “Loveless.” Ride, one of the genre’s early favorites, couldn’t have picked a better time to reunite. The jury’s still out on whether the band’s new record will ere closer to its intoxicating noise of the band’s debut album “Nowhere” or the unfortunate Britpop flavor of 1996’s album “Tarantula.” Early singles, mastered by Alan Moulder, suggest the former.
Vince Staples — “Big Fish Theory" (TBA)
Dismissing Vince Staples as second best to Kendrick Lamar would be disingenuous to the Long Beach rapper’s impressive discography. His 2015 double album “Summertime ’06” is every bit as lyrically vivid and rhythmically complex as “GOOD Kid, MAAD City.” Few details are known about his forthcoming album, but if Staples can keep up his current winning streak – which includes last fall’s excellent “Prima Donna” EP — he might just cement his position as the biggest fish in the pond.