While you were busy watching Love Island and the World Cup, these 13 brilliant albums slipped out this month

June 2018 - what a ripper

As the Great British weather once again demonstrates that when it isn’t snowing or raining too heavily to do anything, it instead gets far too hot to do anything, we come to the mid-point of this year of music. June 2018 may not have scored quite as high as last month for overall 9/10s, but our ears were treated to astounding releases from the future heroes of UK pop (Virginia Wing, Let’s Eat Grandma, SOPHIE), as well as the same stateside (serpentwithfeet, Natalie Prass), and more than a few great releases from seasoned veterans (Gruff Rhys, Father John Misty). Keep ’em comin’ 2018.

Artist: Father John Misty
Title: God’s Favourite Customer
Label: Bella Union
What is it? This is the reckoning of Joshua Tillman, everyone’s favourite arsehole.
L&Q says: “The most telling moment of the album comes on ‘The Palace’; the closest Tillman gets to breaking character. The humour of lyrics like, ‘I must have been in the poem zone’ gives way to crushing realisation – ‘I’m in over my head’.
Read Mike Vinti’s full review

Artist: Natalie Prass
Title: The Future and the Past
Label: ATO
What is it? Purveyor of indie pop confessionals gets funky all of a sudden.
L&Q says: “Perfectly combining vintage hues and hazy vocal melodies with slick synth sounds and Janet Jackson drum machines, Prass succeeds in creating old-meets-new funk-soul flawlessly.”
Read Rosie Ramsden’s full review

Artist: Lykke Li
Title: So Sad So Sexy
Label: RCA
What is it? Swedish indie popstar makes good on a longstanding promise of hip-hop.
L&Q says: “Actually, the main surprise on this album is less the change in musical direction and more that she didn’t take it sooner.”
Read Joe Goggins’ full review

Artist: Virginia Wing
Title: Ecstatic Arrow
Label: Fire
What is it? Manchester duo get monotonous on one of the year’s most exciting records.
L&Q says: “The voice of Alice Merida Richards takes on its most robotic self in ‘Glorious Idea’ and ‘Relativity’, the latter a bastion of the deadbeat disco with vacillating synth pop sitting above the propulsive off-beat percussion.”
Read Tristan Gatward’s full review

Artist: Gruff Rhys
Title: Babelsberg
Label: Rough Trade
What is it? Welsh weirdo does a Jarvis Cocker with the help of an orchestra.
L&Q says: “‘Babelsberg’ is the cinematic soundtrack of one man’s minor failures and awkward episodes, delivered with a shrug and a rueful smile.”
Read Liam Konemann’s full review

Artist: serpentwithfeet
Title: soil
Label: Tri Angle Records
What is it? Baltimore rising star offers a destructively personal work of erotic religiosity.
L&Q says: “This dichotomy between the black, gay existence and one of Christianity is present throughout the whole, intensely spiritual album as mantra-like abstractions fill its repertoire.”
Read Alex Weston-Noond’s full review

Artist: Hilary Woods
Title: Colt
Label: Sacred Bones
What is it? Fire walks with the JJ72 bassist on her solo debut.
L&Q says: “Despite its claustrophobic tendencies – due to this overwhelming exploration of loneliness and solitude – ‘Colt’ is a healing, empowering, human record.”
Read Hayley Scott’s full review

Artist: Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
Title: Hope Downs
Label: Sub Pop
What is it? Aussie seaside band produce an expectedly jangly, lo-fi debut.
L&Q says: “As things heat up it’s good to get away for a while, and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have pressed the ideal mini-break into an LP.”
Read Liam Konemann’s full review

Artist: Melody’s Echo Chamber
Title: Bon Voyage
Label: Domino
What is it? The psyche-pop of Melody Prochet returns after a difficult five-and-a-half years.
L&Q says: “Prochet has never couched sadness or despair in maudlin melodies or minor chords, and when she does let the sun shine through the gloom the results are intoxicating.”
Read Derek Robertson’s full review

Artist: Yuno
Title: Moodie
Label: Sub Pop
What is it? A chance meeting of HIM’s ‘Razorblade Romance’ and Len’s ‘Steal My Sunshine’.
L&Q says: “The common thread to everything on here is in the title. There’s a tangible moodiness to everything here, regardless of whether its subdued by spritely beats (‘Amber’) or pummelled by furious indie rock guitar (‘Why For’).”
Read Tom Walters’ full review

Artist: SOPHIE
Title: Oil of Every Pearls Un-Insides
Label: Transgressive
What is it? The once anonymous beatmaker, now in-demand mainstream producer, remerges as tangible human being on her debut.
L&Q says: “The sleek, hyperreal pop bangers that she became known for are certainly present here, but clever sequencing and memorable lyrical mantras form together to create something utterly cathartic.”
Read Stephen Butchard’s full review

Artist: Sink Ya Teeth
Title: Sink Ya Teeth
Label: Hey Buffalo
What is it? Inveterate Norwich DIYers make more than a mere Hacienda heyday period piece.
L&Q says: “Accompanying the splodges of early Chicago house smudged into New Order-esque one-finger guitar is a series of rather timeless melody hooks that suggest lingering pop fondness lurking behind the motorik machine funk.”
Read Sam Walton’s full review

Artist: Let’s Eat Grandma
Title: I’m All Ears
Label: Transgressive
What is it? After a lauded debut, Norwich wunderkind duo conjure something equally beautiful and twisted on their second outing.
L&Q says: “Instead of writing in tacky, faux-deep sloganeering that has often plagued people who attempted to write for a generation, they decide to write for themselves, and their clear voices create a gorgeous reflection of your own experiences.”
Read Stephen Butchard’s full review