These 12 albums brought the heat in August

The month's standout new LPs – from bedroom rap to killer porcupines

We’re coming to the end of an historic month for magazine collectors everywhere; Loud And Quiet is back in print – thanks for waiting. The 12 best albums from August 2020 are a varied bunch, from the sounds of melting ice to porcupines on a killing streak, and another easy ride into the hive mind of UK jazz. You really don’t have much of an excuse not to be into it now, do you? Press play and find something new.

Artist: Nubya Garcia
Title: Source
Label: Concord Jazz
What is it? A long-awaited debut and radio-friendly gateway into the ever-thriving collaborative ecosystem of UK jazz.
L&Q says: “Dipping and diving between dub and jazz, Source weaves an intricate tapestry, connecting the influences that surround the community into an expansive history.”

Read Chris Taylor’s full review here, or Sam Walton’s “The Rates” interview with Nubya Garcia here.

Artist: Jeremy Tuplin
Title: Violet Waves
Label: Trapped Animal
What is it? A mind-bending series of oddball space-folk stories from Somerset, taking on everyday mundanity, but also chinchilla love triangles and killer porcupines.
L&Q says: “The listener is kept on their toes throughout – lines that sound like the start of a wistful muse may end up providing the set up for a punch line.”

Read Jamie Haworth’s full review here.

Artist: Tkay Maidza
Title: Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 2
Label: 4AD
What is it? A second mixtape from the 23-year old Australian-Zimbabwean all-rounder, packed with big name features and heavy trap/ R&B grooves.
L&Q says: “There isn’t anything as audacious as the reggae-like rhythm of ‘Big Things’ here, but Maidza’s more outlandish tendencies have distilled themselves into a release stuffed with straight party tunes.”

Read Dafydd Jenkins’s full review here.
Tkay Maidza is on the cover of Issue 142, pick up a copy here.

Artist: Kelly Lee Owens
Title: Inner Song
Label: Smalltown Supersound
What is it? A masterful sophomore, picking at her techno and dream-pop roots to forge a mesmeric, artistically definitive, even glacier-sampling opus.
L&Q says: “This album is a leap in artistry that sees Kelly Lee Owens return fully-formed, hopefully more fulfilled, and damn near flawless.”

Read Reef Younis’s full review here, or Stuart Stubbs’s interview with Kelly Lee Owens here.

Artist: Widowspeak
Title: Plum
Label: Captured Tracks
What is it? A timeless album of two equally-compelling halves, from ‘90s dream pop to ‘60s psych rock, built on the rich creative relationship of its players.
L&Q says: “Their music’s own unassuming humility since 2011’s self-titled debut has always been half-awake in its allure, but there’s a rumbling, phantom thread in the strata of Plum that elevates their fifth effort to a vantage point above their previous releases.”

Read Tristan Gatward’s full review here.

Artist: Bent Arcana
Title: Bent Arcana
Label: Castle Face
What is it? The self-titled debut from an all-new John Dwyer-led prog-kraut supergroup, joyously traversing spacey jazz, motorik psychedelia, and everything in between.
L&Q says: “Ten-minute opener ‘The Gate’ features a terse, stony Can shuffle on the percussion, as sax and guitars noodle freely and spontaneously, like Sun Ra on a hot tin roof”.

Read Cal Cashin’s full review here.

Artist: Angel Olsen
Title: Whole New Mess
Label: Jagjaguwar
What is it? The skeletal companion piece to Olsen’s sweepingly cinematic album All Mirrors, reimagining her orchestral works with a few guitars, a microphone and an isolated church in the Pacific Northwest.
L&Q says: “Once again, Angel Olsen has managed to create an intensely personal album that will illuminate what you’re already feeling but didn’t know how to say.”

Read Isabel Crabtree’s full review here.

Artist: Still House Plants
Title: Fast Edit
Label: Bison
What is it? Intimate, discordant and twisted art rock made between South London and Glasgow.
L&Q says: “Something special is going on here, but as the group tumbles over itself, entangling itself chaotically with every movement, it’s hard to put your finger exactly what that ‘something’ is.”

Read Cal Cashin’s full review here.

Artist: Vintage Crop
Title: Serve To Serve Again
Label: Upset! The Rhythm
What is it? Surreal Aussie punk more than worthy of the albeit easy comparisons to compatriots Amyl & the Sniffers and The Chats.
L&Q says: “…whilst Vintage Crop do share the former’s high-octane performance style and the latter’s lyrical wit, Serve To Serve Again reveals them as a band deserving of recognition well beyond the Australian scene.”

Read Jessica Wrigglesworth’s full review here.

Artist: Jyoti
Title: Mama, You Can Bet!
Label: eOne / SomeOthaShip
What is it? Georgia Anne Muldrowe’s third album under the name she reserves for her jazz-leaning projects, recalling free jazz greats and reshaping them for her forward-looking spiritual mission.
L&Q says: “This isn’t a space to get too comfortable in; usually a calming force, the debut of Muldrow’s own voice within her Jyoti project is startling in its spiritual clangour.”

Read Tristan Gatward’s full review here.

Artist: Liv.e
Title: Couldn’t Wait To Tell You…
Label: In Real Life
What is it? A remarkable debut skittering through woozy soul, southern rap and downtempo with enough virtuosity to create its own niche.
L&Q says: “Holding it all together are her mercurial vocals – by turns smooth and smoky, and, like Badu’s, telling stories littered with her own idiosyncrasies.”

Read Joe Goggins’s full review here.

Artist: Jimothy Lacoste
Title: The Safeway
Label: Spinnup
What is it? The 17-track debut full length from the Camden Town bedroom rap breakout, in part filled with effortless beats, but still potentially just a really long meme.
L&Q says: “Built on a relentless DIY ethos, The Safeway feels like an entirely singular vision; every song dancing around effortlessly cool beats with Jimothy cooking up choruses that stick for days.”

Read Robert Davidson’s full review here.