91.9’s Top Summer Drops

Well looks like summer came and went, and with it so did some pretty hot new music. This summer saw great stuff release in a lot of different genres of music. Here are our favorite albums/singles that dropped this summer.

Sara Wallace – Music Director:

(Sandy) Alex G, “Gretel”: Three singles by (Sandy) Alex G have been released this summer, “Southern Sky,” “Hope” and my personal favorite, “Gretel.”These are all babies leading to the anticipated album release of House of Sugar, September 13th.

“Gretel” starts off like you’re hearing a song in reverse, it feels just straight up off. But once it gets past that high pitch semi-psych opening you are washed over with a sense of realization when the course hits with, “I don’t wanna go back, nobody is going to push me back.” I always want to hug the song at that very moment. Then the song slowly eases back into that high pitch, once misunderstood sound. This song requires multiple listens, and when you give it to her it’ll become a track you won’t be able to unhear or quit repeating. 

Worth noting: These singles are all gems. They’re diverse, not boring, full of quality. I see no doubt in the fact that this album will be A1.

Angel Olson “All Mirrors”: My favorite Angel Olson has been her single, “All Mirrors,” and it sounds like nothing shes ever put out before. This single is the first studio release of anything by Olsen, since 2016’s My Woman. This song gives me Florence and the Machines + 80’s ballad pop, and I never knew I needed anything more.

This single so far has not hinted at an album release, but ya girl is going on big ‘ol tours in the coming months, so be on the lookout just in case. 

Kevin Krauter, “Pretty Boy”: Former Hoops boy, Kevin Krauter, has released a cathartic and captivating dooey with this single. It’s simple, to the point, and you feel his full sincerity within this song. Not that his other work doesn’t show this. It’s just the rawness of the lyrics and his unashamed ability to just make a simple and beautiful song just hits so right. Summer or not this song is it.  

Whitney, “Giving Up,” “Used to be Lonely,” “Valleys (My Love)”: Whitney has not released new music since their 2016 debut album, “Light Upon the Lake.” (86 the “Southern Nights” demo.) These sweetie sad boys have been releasing singles all summer foreplaying their new album, “Forever Turned Around,” August 30th. And I’m going to make big calls right now that nothing they make will ever be able to compete with, “Light Upon the Lake.” 

“Why make such a large call Sara,” You ask? Because sadly they have made my expectations super high. A nonchalaunt youthful love was “Light Upon the Lake.” And based on these new singles, I can tell “Forever Turned Around” is going to try to be deeper, and that scares me.

“This is a favorites list Sara, why are you talking about this,” You ask? Because I still listened the shit out of the three singles. They’re beautiful, and I’ve been looking forward to this album for four years now. So yes, I am still adding their singles to this list. Ok!?

Zach Perez – Music Assistant:

Tycho Weather: After was Weather was announced back in May, I was conflicted about how to feel about it. As die hard Tycho fan, I’d been waiting three years for a new studio album and after hearing that this was to be a collaboration album with indie singer Saint Sinner, and that only three of eight tracks on Weather would be non-collab tracks, I felt like this wasn’t going to be what I had been waiting for. Weather definitely subverted my expectations. Rather than having the featured artist take on a leading role, as many of Tycho’s collaborations have done in the past, Weather does an amazing job blending both artists together without either overpowering the other. 

While Weather is definitely different from the past trilogy of albums (Dive, Awake & Epoch) Tycho has released, it keeps the same feelings and sounds associated with the artist. Sinner’s vocals on tracks like “Japan” and “No Stress” give the album a more indie rock sound while still sticking to Tycho’s traditional chillwave and house genre. The three solo Tycho tracks (“Easy”, “Into The Woods” & “Weather”) all seem to simultaneously try something new and be reminiscent of past albums. “Easy” is heavy use of keyboards without the traditional use of synths in its intro sound noticeable different from recent Tycho works but it’s second half sounds like it would fit right in on Epoch or Awake. The title track “Weather” sounds like it came straight from Dive, but ends with a unique assortment of synth, keyboard and percussion parts that make it feel like it belongs on this new album. 

I could talk forever about how much I liked this album but I’ll just finish by saying please go listen to it. If you’re a Tycho fan, it’ll remind you of the past while making you excited for what they’ll do next. If you’ve never heard of Tycho, get on that right now pls.

Heads or Heads “Nightfall”: Heads or Head has been relatively quiet since early 2018. His debut album, Am Enigma, garnered a lot of popularity in the local Kansas City music scene but other than another single, “What’s That”, in January of 2019 he hasn’t been too active. I think “Nightfall” definitely proves that the artist has a plan in mind. His newest single is a bit of a departure from his first album in terms of genre, as Am Enigma was a unique combination of lofi hip hop and chillwave and “Nightfall” fits more into the traditional alternative/low-fi rock genre. I think a big part of this change has to do with the fact that Heads or Heads has become a four or five member band after doing some collaborative work with a local rock band from KC, Big Man On Campus. The two artists have appeared to merge over the summer and brought varying influences into their work when creating “Nightfall”.

“Nightfall” makes me excited just because of the hints it gives at where the artist will take things when he releases his next album Low Angles. While I was definitely a fan of his original sound and work as a solo artist, I think the merger with members from Big Man On Campus have created something that will draw in a lot of new listeners. “Nightfall” has the sound of an alternative classic, something that anyone can listen to enjoy for a lot of different reasons. It’s rolling, constant percussion gives a soothing feeling as airy vocals and light keyboards move the song along to a satisfying climax. 

Even though Heads or Heads is relatively small compared to other local artists featured at 91.9., I see this group continuing to grow. It “Nightfall” is anything to go by, Long Angles will one of my favorite albums of the fall semester. 

Trace Salzbrenner – Production Director 

Billie Eilish “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?”: Billie Eilish seemingly stormed the pop music scene with the release of this, her debut studio album. After the first single off the album “You Should See Me In A Crown” was released, almost everyone waited to see what was coming next from the singer. 

The album is an amalgamation of art-electro-alt pop that flows in a surprisingly good way between each song, but each is different enough that you won’t get bored while you listen. I cannot wait to see what Billie releases next.

Flume “Hi This is Flume”: Flume stepped away from his comfort zone of future bass electronica and learned heavily into experimental and hip-hop in this album and it is amazing. The flume style of immersive ambiance is still there but it’s a new journey than you would not have found on his previous album “Skin.” 

The producer and DJ invited guests such as SOPHIE, JPEGMAFIA, and slowthai to give vocals to this audio experience. However, the guests are very much just a seasoning to the overall album and what really shines is the music that Flume crafted on this album.

The producer and DJ invited guests such as SOPHIE, JPEGMAFIA, and slowthai to give vocals to this audio experience. However, the guests are very much just a seasoning to the overall album and what really shines is the music that Flume crafted on this album. 

Kevin Abstract “ARIZONA BABY”: I’ve been craving a Kevin Abstract solo album since American Boyfriend and he did not disappoint me with this release. This album features a lot of music that pulls from various genres and ties them together with Abstract’s vocals and pulsing lyrics. 

Kevin Abstract has never shied away from talking his mind and using his music as a way to express his thoughts and “ARIZONA BABY” is no exception. This album deals with sexuality, depression, fall out from fame, and even how Abstract is processing Ameer Vann being kicked out of BROCKHAMPTON after Vann was accused of domestic abuse. 

This album also has one of my favorite progression of lyrics in the song “Big Wheels” where Kevin Abstract raps:

“They think I’m a b*tch just queerbaiting

Quit being a b*tch and quit hating

Y’all pump faking, I’m a power bottom

Like a Free Mason, y’all stuck playing

That’s complacent, I’m cum chasing.”

Lizzo “Cuz, I Love You”: Let’s talk about Lizzo. I first heard this woman sing when she first released the title track off this album and the first thought in my mind was “I have to hear more.” 

Her voice is amazing, her lyrics are fun, she has a great social media presence, she can play the flute, and she’s not afraid to speak out at injustices. In short, she is my queen and this album has been on my playlist since the moment it dropped. 

YUNGBLOOD’s “Hope For The Underrated Youth” is a punk rap anthem that makes me feel like the emo teenager I am inside and I love it. The vocals border and screamo and the lyrics talk about hope, something we all need right now. 

girl in red’s “there’s a dead girl in the pool.” is such a fun and whimsical alt song that I played way more times than I’d like to admit. It sounds grim but it’s more of a sci-fi thriller in the form of a song rather than a sad ballad. 

“July” by Noah Cyrus is an amazing song. It’s sad, emotionally raw, and wonderfully produced. It talks about a person who has been abused in their relationship but can’t find themselves walking away. It’s a situation that I’ve heard all to many women fall into, and it resonates with me personally. 

Zach St. Clair – Program Director

BROCKHAMPTON, “GINGER”: Hot dang, look at this album making this list after existing for less than a week. You go, album !!

Ginger feels, appropriately, like a BROCKHAMPTON that’s growing. While thematically it shares a lot with the group’s previous albums, tonally, it is much more melancholic than its predecessors– especially those in the “SATURATION” Era. With “iridescence” as a stepping stone, GINGER walks with America’s Favorite Boyband as they mature and take a breath from a busy, and generally raucous, past two years. 

It feels especially reflective, a fitting album to come to an end with as the summer wraps up. I, admittedly, have only had so much opportunity to listen to it thus far. I look forward to having this on repeat for a while and digging into it more and more.

BriamGilbert, “Castle Chase Music”: Now, you may be saying to yourself, “this… isn’t an album…? Isn’t this whole thing about specifically albums? Does this not compromise the journalistic ethos of this entire endeavour? If not the truth, then what do we have to live for? I stare into the void and it back into me, is this nothingness my forever? And to that I say: 


This wonderful collection of songs has been a staple of my summer. It is truly, as the description states, the perfect music for being chased through a castle. What more could you ask for? 

Hippo Campus, “Demos II”: A mainstay of Wildcat 91.9’s heavy rotation this summer, Alt-Pop Sweethearts (at least, they’re my sweethearts <3) Hippo Campus graced us all with a peek into their studios and their process. Following their release of “Bambi,” Hippo Campus released two albums of demos, and let me tell you, they’re a gift. 

Some songs are similar to the final forms we know and love from the regular albums, while others show you a progression of their music– what a song in its infancy can become. “Demos II,” released July 10th, may only have been here for half of my summer, but “Chapstick” was easily top of my most listened.

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