The 8 best albums released in August

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Everyone’s been on holiday in August. Depending on which end of the music industry spectrum you occupy that means you’ve either been on board a yacht moored near uncle Clive’s Ibizan beach house or you got pissed on in a tent somewhere near Cornwall but not Cornwall because Cornwall’s too expensive. Either way, we’re all pretty much back now – even the snotty school kids cluttering up the bus with their chips and gym bags.

August, then, is usually dead for albums, but this year it’s actually not been too bad. In fact, we’d go so far as to describe it as “good”. Here were our favourites from the past four weeks.

Artist: Hype Williams
Title: Rainbow Edition
Label: Big Dada
What is it? Well, it’s a new album from Hype Williams, but the new people who aren’t the original Hype Williams who are now Hype Williams sound like them. Got it? Good.
L&Q says: “The mystery of the music dovetails with the puzzle of Hype Williams as perfectly as it ever has – 20 weird ideas of hypnagogic pop.”
Read Stuart Stubbs’ full review

Artist: Liars
Title: TFCF
Label: Mute
What is it? Liars – yes Liars – have made an album with acoustic guitars all over it. But…
L&Q says: “If any of you Turin Brakes fans out there are starting to salivate, look away now. ‘TFCF’ feels like a greatest hits of all the sounds Liars have been honing since the back-end of the ’90s.”
Read David Zammitt’s full review

Artist: Jack Cooper
Title: Sandgrown
Label: Trouble In Mind
What is it? The Ultimate Painting member’s debut solo LP, a lot of which revisits his youth in the Blackpool area renting out deckchairs.
L&Q says: “This record is awash with that timeless brand of classic songwriting that runs through the ages.”
Read Chris Watkeys’ full review

Artist: Nadine Shah
Title: Holiday Destination
Label: 1965 Recordings
What is it? The third album from the South Shields songwriter sees her look out onto the world with songs about immigration, the Syrian civil war and mental health. It’s not as preachy as it sounds.
L&Q says: “A bold, heartfelt beast that wears its politics and defiance firmly on its sleeve.”
Read Derek Robertson’s full review

Artist: Ghostpoet
Title: Dark Days And Canapés
Label: Pias
What is it? Obaro Ejimiwe spikes his fourth album with some swirling political undercurrents.
L&Q says: “These songs are darkly epic, with a foreboding musical bed of piano and spidery guitar.”
Read Chris Watkeys’ full review

Artist: Downtown Boys
Title: Cost of Living
Label: Subpop
What is it? The Providence band’s third album takes aim at fascism, queerphobia, capitalism and racism in a howl of cathartic energy.
L&Q says: “Underneath the wailing, split-lip vocals is a crispness that defines the record, turning the frenzy into something more than just musical rebellion.”
Read Liam Konemann’s full review

Artist: Girl Ray
Title: Earl Grey
Label: Moshi Moshi
What is it? We can all stop talking about how terrifyingly young Girl Ray are now that we’ve heard their debut LP – or not.
L&Q says: “The thing that’ll really hit you about ‘Earl Grey’ right across the board is how assured it sounds.”
Read Joe Goggins’ full review

Artist: James Heather
Title: Stories From Far Away On Piano
Label: Ahead of our Time
What is it? An album of moving piano instrumentals each inspired by a major world news story.
L&Q says: “The contemporary pianist has made nine incredibly emotive pieces, where his early love for Debussy is evident.”
Read Stuart Stubbs’ full review