THE BEGINNING

Get an ear full of this lot.

july-comp

July: not much better than June in the end was it? At least we finally managed to get some sun on our pasty shins.

But let’s not dwell on all of that. July, it won’t mind us saying, isn’t usually the strongest month for releases. People are too busy taking their kids to Legoland or catching Pokémons in the local rubbish dump to put a record out. But, you’ll be pleased to hear, this month actually housed some crackers. From the more obvious, bigger artists who delivered (The Avalanches, Bat For Lashes, Metronomy) to the stuff that’s just emerging (Omni, Kelsey Lu).

And here’s a message to August: let’s have some good news, please.

Artist: Roisin Murphy
Title: Take Her Up To Monto
Label: Play It Again Sam
What is it? The companion album to 2015’s Mercury Prize nominated ‘Hairless Toys’, Murphy mixes dark cabaret, joyful disco and left-field pop.
L&Q says: “Murphy rarely puts a foot wrong, imbuing each style and song with her own wit and intelligence.”
Read the review

Artist: Stephen Steinbrink
Title: Anagrams
Label: Melodic
What is it? The Oakland, California, songwriter has spent 10 years home-recording albums, quietly becoming an indie underground hero.
L&Q says: “I don’t know how Steinbrink could improve what he’s done here. I’m smitten.”
Read the review

Artist: Omni
Title: Deluxe
Label: Trouble In Mind
What is it? Atlanta trio play lo-fi early-80s inspired pop on their gritty debut album.
L&Q says: “It’s this ability to take from various influences without a hint of contrivance that makes Omni a welcome addition among the less convincing proponents of lo-fi.”
Read the review

Artist: BadBadNotGood
Title: IV
Label: Innovative Leisure
What is it? The Canadian jazz, hip-hop experimentalists deliver a fourth album divided into two parts.
L&Q says: “Stylish, sensitive and expressive throughout.”
Read the review

Artist: Clams Casino
Title: 32 Levels
Label: Deviation Records
What is it? Vince Staples, Kelela, Samuel T. Herring (Future Islands), Joe Newman (alt-J) and A$AP Rocky guest on producer’s debut.
L&Q says: “A solid collection that, significantly, sounds like an album, cleverly straddling pop and hip-hop while weaving a coherent thread.”
Read the review

Artist: Metronomy
Title: Summer 08
Label: Because
What is it? The sound of Joe Mount’s fifth album returns to the electronic feel of their breakthrough ‘Nights Out’.
L&Q says: “‘Summer 08’ features some lovely easter eggs that ‘Nights Out’ fans will appreciate.”
Read the review

Artist: Bat For Lashes
Title: The Bride
Label: Parlophone
What is it? Natasha Khan tells the story of a doomed wedding on her most complete (and slowest) album yet.
L&Q says: “BFL’s most downbeat work to date but, in it, there’s also a message that hope and strength can crawl out of even the most tragic of situations”
Read the review

Artist: The Avalanches
Title: Wildflower
Label: XL
What is it? The difficult second album to end all difficult second albums.
L&Q says: “One of the most tender, peerless and genuinely strange albums of recent times.”
Read the review

Artist: Beyond the Wizards Sleeve
Title: Bounce
Label: Phantasy
What is it? The debut album from Erol Alkan and Richard Norris has been brewing for a long time. But it’s worth the wait.
L&Q says: “A brilliant distillation of everything Beyond the Wizards Sleeve stand for: a trip in every sense of the word.”
Read the review

Artist: Kelsey Lu
Title: Church
Label: True Panther
What is it? Debut EP from the North Carolina born New York-based cellist.
L&Q says: “Recorded in one take in a church in Greenpoint, Brooklyn this is a haunting introduction to an artist admired by the likes of Grimes and Blood Orange.

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