Heat Index: The 10 Summer Album Releases We're Sweatin' the Most

Categories: 1-2-3-4!

He's not big on forgetting, either.
Most places in the world, summertime is easy living: No school, no snow and no real responsibilities beyond mowing the lawn every couple of weeks. Here in Houston, summer is a little more intense. Triple-digit temperatures, hurricane warnings and Astros baseball present an annual threat to our city's sanity that it's important to take seriously.

Naturally, Rocks Off turns to music to eliminate summer stress. New music, especially -- it's fresh and exciting, and listening to it makes us feel younger and hipper, even when the artists are old and dorky.

From the air-conditioned comfort of the great indoors, we've helpfully compiled the following list of ten new music releases scheduled for this summer that will be our first line of defense as the thermometer and Astros' loss column both creep past 100.

Think of these tunes as sonic sunblock:

10. Nas, Life is Good
Release Date:
July 17

The cover art alone for Nas' new record, "Life is Good," is provocative enough to have us salivating over this release. It pictures the hip-hop legend sitting alone in the club with what appears to be ex-wife Kelis' wedding dress, lost in thought.

"Introspective" is a good look for Nas, and it's got us pretty excited to hear what he has to say. Life is Good promises to be a mature effort that confronts both the past and the future. Meanwhile, we're stuck in the present, waiting for it to drop.

9. Toadies, Play.Rock.Music
Release Date:
July 31

Ft. Worth's favorite sons proved they've still got it during a couple of Houston performances last year, and now we're ready for more. That works out nicely, too, because the Toadies have a new album, Play.Rock.Music., due out at the end of next month. Judging by the record's first single, "Summer of the Strange," it'll deliver a welcome dose of the group's inimitably dark, heavy, and hooky grunge to help us through the heatwaves.

Seems reasonable to expect that we may get a preview of some of the new material during the band's co-headlining tour with Helmet, which kicks off here at House of Blues on July 20.

8. A$AP Rocky, LongLiveA$AP
Release Date:
July 4

Harlem's A$AP Rocky took his love for the Houston sound nationwide last year with his monster mixtape, LiveLoveA$AP, and was rewarded with his very own screwed-up version chopped by OG Ron C. Now it's time to see if he can successfully spread his appreciation for all things slowed n' thowed to his major-label debut.

If the rest of the disc is anything like his single "Goldie," which dropped in April, it's going to be banging in a lot of trunks 'round these parts real soon. Get ready to put your 'H' up... for Harlem and Houston. A$AP makes it hard to tell 'em apart sometimes.

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Nathan Smith
Nathan Smith

I wanted at least one "metal" album on the list, and Baroness is the one I'm looking forward to the most. Shouldn't be long before they head back through Texas.


Baroness!! Surprised and pleased that they made the list.


And Dino Jr. is hitting up Texas later in the year.  Good times.

John Seaborn Gray
John Seaborn Gray

That Future of the Left album that came out last week is AMAZING. I guess it wasn't technically a summer album, though.

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