Exclaim!'s Ten Most Anticipated Albums of Summer 2011

Exclaim!'s Ten Most Anticipated Albums of Summer 2011
Finally, summer has officially begun. Now, we have weeks of hot weather, backyard barbecues and lazy days at the beach to look forward to. But of course, none of this would be complete without a few tunes to set the mood. Between now and the beginning of fall, there are a slew of great albums coming out that will undoubtedly help define the summer of 2011. So slap on some sunscreen, pack your beach blanket and get ready for Exclaim!'s most anticipated records of summer 2011.

Exclaim!'s Ten Most Anticipated Albums of Summer 2011:

10. The Horrors
Skying (July 26)
(XL Recordings)

After spending some time wrapped up in his side-project Cat's Eyes, Faris Badwan has returned his attention to the Horrors. This shoegaze-loving British outfit cued up the horns and synths for the expansive first single, "Still Life," so be sure to keep the incense burning when you cue this up on your turntable/CD player/iTunes playlist.

9. Shabazz Palaces
Black Up (June 28)
(Sub Pop)

Just how buzz-worthy is this spinoff of Digable Planets? Well, the Ishmael Butler-led rap project Shabazz Palaces managed to land a deal with the venerated Sub Pop, a label that has previously shied away from hip-hop. The record company has helped earn the group more hype than ever and has made this full-length one of the most eagerly anticipated hip-hop releases of the year. Get ready to strap back on that backpack, folks.

8. Moonface
Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I'd Hoped (August 2)

Like his Wolf Parade ally Dan Boeckner, Spencer Krug is staying busy during the band's hiatus by focusing on other projects. This is his second release by his Moonface project (the first was Dreamland EP: Marimba and Shit-Drums). The self-explanatory Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I'd Hoped is said to blend lush organ drones with Krug's keen pop sensibility.

7. Extra Happy Ghost!!!
Modern Horses (July 26)
(Saved by Radio/Saved by Vinyl)

For this LP, Calgary experimental pop project Extra Happy Ghost!!! called in the big gun: Chad VanGaalen. The musical mad scientist produced this nine-song album in his Yoko Eno studio. Expect Chad to capture more of that brittle, eclectic magic found on his solo records, as well as those he produced for Women.

6. Beirut
The Rip Tide (August 30)
(Pompeii Records)

Horn-loving Balkan folksier Zach Condon is having a busy 2011. Along with a tour and a compilation contribution, the songwriter will release his third album with his project Beirut. Judging by the single "East Harlem," fans should expect more of the songwriter's usual eclectic instrumentation and Eastern European-inflected pop.