Including amazing LPs from Daniel Avery, Mabe Fratti, Backxwash and more
Here’s June’s perfect dozen: twelve of the month’s best new records we’re recommending for when the inevitable comes, and you’ll have to turn off Baddiel, Skinner and the Lightning Seeds. You may as well beat the crowds.
Artist: Japanese Breakfast
Label: Dead Oceans
What is it? An unapologetically big, bold and dazzlingly bright third LP from Michelle Zauner.
L&Q says: “It’s a celebration of joy, life, colour; of embracing feeling and living jubilantly.”
Artist: Dean Blunt
Album: Black Metal 2
Label: Rough Trade
What is it? The serene successor to 2014’s acclaimed Black Metal, swathed in lush strings and gentle guitar work.
L&Q says: “Blunt’s borderline catatonic delivery sits within the swirl of beauty around it, his temperament swaying from forlorn exhaustion to faint, distant honesty.”
Read Oskar Jeff’s full review here.
Artist: Pan Daijing
Album: Jade 玉观音
What is it? The third album from Guiyang/ Berlin sound artist, making industrial techno vulnerable and tender.
L&Q says: “There’s a journalistic quality to Jade 玉观音, as if a personal anecdote is being told through layers of misdirection and reinterpretation”.
Read Dafydd Jenkins’s full review here.
Artist: White Flowers
Album: Day By Day
Label: Tough Love
What is it? Sweeping, dark-hued dream pop crystallised by the post-punk and post-industrial past of the North.
L&Q says: “White Flowers sound, for a moment, to Preston what Charles Baudelaire was to Paris, or Frank O’Hara to New York on his lunch breaks.”
Read Tristan Gatward’s full review here.
Album: Former Things
What is it? Julie Campbell’s first new music in half a decade, swapping her Telecaster for a few synthesisers and hardware.
L&Q says: “It’s Campbell in her groove, playing with her new toys, bang in the middle of a vortex that involves you as much as it does her.”
Read Reef Younis’s full review here.
Artist: Daniel Avery
Album: Together In Static
What is it? A document of an indelibly prolific artist at his most focused, surmising the best of his recent EDM/slick tech-house explorations.
L&Q says: “Together marries kaleidoscopic, synth-laden ambient with pulsing beats in a fashion that is recognisable as the producer’s signature, echoing early Aphex Twin or Boards of Canada”.
Read Woody Delaney’s full review here.
Artist: Janette King
Album: What We Lost
Label: Hot Tramp
What is it? The Montreal singer-songwriter’s debut R&B treatise on loss, influenced by all from Erykah Badu to Jorja Smith.
L&Q says: “If there’s anything negative to say about this debut record from Janette King, it’s that it might actually sound too good for its own good.”
Read Joe Goggins’s full review here.
Artist: Throwing Snow
What is it? An audiovisually-augmented fourth album from London-based producer Ross Tones, strikingly simple for something that tries to link music back to ancestral wisdom.
L&Q says: “With this much guttural power, the sweet science of Throwing Snow continues to be an essential listen”.
Read Reef Younis’s full review here.
Album: Town’s Dead
Label: Soft Boy
What is it? A blisteringly disenfranchised, sharply poetic and potent debut album proper from Dublin rapper Kojaque.
L&Q says: “This is a visceral portrait of Kojaque’s city: a place that incites a corrosive frustration in being working class, latent with talent and subject to the grinding neoliberal forces that mean you can’t make rent on the same street you grew up in.”
Read Cat Gough’s full review here.
Album: I Lie Here Buried With My Rings and My Dresses
What is it? Harrowing hip-hop and industrial horrorcore from Montreal-based experimental artist Ashanti Mutinta, twisting the pain of her conservative Christian upbringing as a Black trans immigrant.
L&Q says: “These are songs that exist at the edge of annihilation, in demonic fever dreams of and drug binges to numb the pain.”
Read Skye Butchard’s full review here.
Artist: Mabe Fratti
Album: Será Que Ahora Podremos Entendernos?
Label: Unheard of Hope
What is it? The collaborative second album by Guatemalan cellist and composer Mabe Fratti, largely improvised at an artists’ space near Mexico City during lockdown.
L&Q says: “Every note feels carefully-placed, each movement adding something important to the intricate web Fratti spins throughout.”
Read Luke Cartledge’s full review here.
Artist: Lightning Bug
Album: A Color of the Sky
Label: Fat Possum
What is it? A bright, spacious and meditative third album / label debut for Brooklyn’s quiet shoegazers, inspired by a kite festival in Washington.
L&Q says: “The record is an oasis of calm – lie back and imagine kites floating overhead.”
Read Jessica Wrigglesworth’s full review here.
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