Photo by Flickr user Pauline Mak.
This month has been amazing, and some of the best ones came out late in May. Quite a lot of great releases this month, and several of them are among my favourites of the year so far.
Here is a summary of the releases I loved the most in MAY.
Like last month, I have dropped the single releases here, but they can be found in the Spotify playlist.
From the singles, I especially liked the new songs from Dinosaur Jr, Lucy Roleff, Mercury Girls, Beyond the wizards sleeve, Marsheaux, Palace Winter and Patience. All of these are amazing, and should be on every Summer mixtape.
The list is in no particular order, but the ones that have meant the most to me are marked with a red |||.
A Spotify playlist with songs from this list can be found at the end of this long list.
Did you miss the other posts in this series? Click the link to view them.
ALBUMS I LOVED THIS MONTH
Whyte Horses – Pop or Not ||| OH, this is soooo good! One of my favourite releases so far this year. Psychedelic indiepop, with some amazingly catchy songs, energetic, powerful rhythms and an overall wonderful feel. Listen especially to “The Snowfalls”, “Promise I do” and the instrumental “Wedding song”. (Spotify)
Chris Cohen – As if Apart ||| I have been a bg fan of Cohen’s music, from his early days in Deerhoof, via The Curtains (I LOVE The Curtains!) and Cryptacize, and now his solo stuff. He has a unique way of writing music, and I can’t find anyone to compare him with, other than himself. I really, really like this one. Brilliant! (Spotify)
Klaus Johann Grobe – Spagat der Liebe || This is a band, not a man, and they soon became a favourite of mine after the first two singles from the album. The album followed up, and did not disappoint. Quirky pop with a healthy dose of fun. The album is with German lyrics, and on some of the songs I think I can hear that they have listened a bit to Kraftwerk, without sounding like them at all. (Spotify)
Yoni & Geti – Testarossa ||| Yoni Wolf of WHY? and Serengeti has made something as rare – at least for my taste – as an interesting and brilliant hiphop inspired album. It’s really not entirely pure hiphop either, – but more a fun fusion of many different genres. I have listened a lot to this one. Refreshing! Give it a chance, even if you don’t like hiphop. I think your conclusion will be the same as mine. (Spotify)
Little My – Beeps || The indiepop supergroup is finally back, this time with a full album! Featuring members from The School, Los Campesinos!, Silence at Sea and Sweet Baboo, to name a few, they have made a wonderful, bittersweet pop album. Wonderful melodies and harmonies, fun songwriting and simply an album it is a pleasure to listen to. Great to have them back! (Spotify)
more after the photo…
Juniore – Juniore ||| I have waited for the debut album from this French band for some time now. Their 60s inspired, but still very modern sound is quite unique. It sounds like a mix between old French pop songs, a little bit of Stereolab/Broadcast elements, a tiny bit of psychedelia and twangy guitars and all that mixed with an Ennio Morricone styled soundtrack feeling. Is that possible to imagine? You should have a listen! It’s good! (Spotify)
Big Thief – Masterpiece ||| Maybe this is a masterpiece, I am not sure, but it definitely is pretty great! This is such an emotional album, and sometimes I feel that I sit in the same room as the band playing. Most of the songs are slow and with a quiet feeling, almost perfect for evening-listening. Sometimes they push their guitars and give everything a lot of punch, though. Beautiful vocals and songs that make you FEEL something. (Spotify)
Randolph’s Leap – Cowardly deeds ||| A beautiful indiepop album from this Glasgow band. Lovely melodies, wonderful vocals, great songs, strong lyrics. Reminds me slightly of Belle and Sebastian. Slightly. (Spotify)
Highasakite – Camp Echo || Another really strong album from this Norwegian band. The band is constantly evolving, and this time they have used more electronic instruments than on their previous album. They still sound great, and the vocalist’s voice is so unique and powerful. (Spotify)
Mutual Benefit – Skip a sinking stone ||| This is just what I needed now. Warm, calming, beautiful folky pop with the loveliest melodies and vocals. Good stuff! (Spotify)
Andy Shauf – The party || A bit ambivalence here, because this is almost too nice for my taste, but his soft melodies are just impossible to not like, – not in an annoying hit kind of way, but because they are so good and pleasant to listen to. (Spotify)
Hala – Spoonfed || 18 year old solo artist from Detroit, Ian Ruhala, writes and records under the name of HALA. His new album can remind of some of the albums Captured Tracks release, and gives you lo-fi indiepop with a bit of tender melancholy. (Spotify)
Kikagaku Moyo – House in the tall grass ||| This is good! I mean, this is GOOD! This is the Japanese band’s 3rd album, and they call their style “”Feeling good music” on their Facebook. I agree. Other people may call it dreamy psychpop with influences both from folk, 60s pop, kraut and dreampop. (Spotify)
Attic Abasement – Dream News || Reminds me a lot of Pavement. Great songs, and I have been in love with some of their singles, like “Guarantee Jesus” for a long time. (Spotify)
Homecomings – Sale of Broken Dreams || Shiny, sparkling, fun indiepop from Japan, with lovely melodies that easily brings you in a good mood. (Spotify)
Jealous of the birds – Parma violets ||| Folky, mostly acoustic album with a warm, airy atmosphere. The vocals are so beautiful. (Spotify)
Yes, I see that there are a lot of albums I liked in May – but May has been so generous when it comes to great music. I just can’t stop…
Even more after the photo…
Cat be damned – Daydreams in a roach motel ||| This is an AMAZING album, and quite a surprise for me, – I had never heard about this band before now, and I absolute love their music! (edit: Actually, it seems to be a one man band). The music has some kind of uplifting melancholy to it, and reminds me of some of the Elephant6 bands, like Belulah, but maybe with a finer touch. (Spotify)
Supermoon – Playland ||| A very pleasant lsten, with lots of great songs and beautiful melodies. Their sound is somewhere between jangly indiepop and dreampop, with Cure-ish guitars, especially on “Bottleships”. (Spotify)
Tiger Waves – Southern Boutique || Wow, TWO wonderful albums released by this band in 2016! Their “Tippy Beach” album is one of my favourites this year, and this one is wonderful too. Dreamy, slightly psychedelic indiepop with a touch of both The Beach Boys and The Beatles, (Spotify)
Bird of Youth – Get off || This is Brooklyn’s Bird of Youth’s second album, if I am correct, and it is a great listen. Very nice, melodic indiepop. For some reason, I am thinking that this is how The Smiths would sound like if Morrissey was replaced with a female singer. I wouldn’t be sad if The Smiths reunited, and replaced Morrissey with Beth Wawerna of Bird of Youth. Not at all. (Spotify)
Beverly – The Blue Swell || Brooklyn duo Beverly have released their new album on one of my favourite labels, Kanine Records. It sounds swell. Well produced and composed indiepop, with chiming guitars, great melodies and harmonies, and beautiful vocals from Drew Citron. (Spotify)
Astronauts – End codes ||| When someone who once played in the fabulous Dark Captain makes new music, it is almost always brilliant. I have loved Firestations and Chin of Britain’s releases, and I love Astronauts’ music. Folky, dreamy, with some subtle electronics added. It is not so far from what Dark Captain once did. He’s a master at making me forget all my problems, and just be one with the wonderful musical atmosphere he creates. (Spotify)
The smoking trees – The archer and the bull ||| They sound like a 60s band that somehow have stumbled into a time-machine, had a few stops in the 80s and 90s, and ended up in the present time. A good bit of psychedelia, backwards guitars, tape delay, layered vocals and melodies to fall in love with. I really enjoy this album. Close to perfect. (Spotify)
Young Magic – Still life || An at times stunningly beautiful, dreamy electronic pop album. Higly reverbed and a bit distant female vocals combined with interesting electronics. This will be part of my soundtrack for the summer. If Cocteau Twins were an electronic pop band, they would have sounded something like this. (Spotify)
Robberie – Beneath your city: as you dream || I love this band, and they have given me wonderful experiences from listening to their EPs and singles. The album is more of the same, – wonderful, acoustic indiepop. Great songs and fun, interesting lyrics. Very nice! (Spotify)
EPs I LOVED THIS MONTH
Laura J Martin – I can’t bear to feel myself forgotten ||| If I had to choose an “EP of the month”, this would be it. Thankfully, I don’t need to choose only one, but this one’s great, great, great! Laura J Martin has a wonderful voice and her way of composing is unique. Style? I don’t know, really, because she blends in so many elements from different genres, – but I guess folky pop is my best suggestion here. (Spotify)
Colour Me Wednesday – Anyone and Everyone || This summery indiepop EP was released late in March, but I found it recently, and I love it! 4 wonderful songs, and especially the last one, “In your shoes”, where they strip it all down, is so good. (Spotify)
The Clientele – A Sense of Falling (Strange Geometry Outtakes)|| “New” music from The Clientele is always good, even if these songs were released after they split up. These are outtakes from the recordings they did for the Strange Geometry album, and the EP shows just how good the band was. Nothing here sounds like songs any band would have scrapped for an album release. Very nice to hear them again. (Spotify)
A Novel Resort – Island of Atlas || Denmark’s A Novel Resort is Michael Kornbeck, who also plays in Eardrums Music-favourites Northern Portrait. His own music is not too far from NP. Distant vocals, softly jangled guitars and big synths. (Spotify)
DISAPPOINTMENTS OF THE MONTH
The Stone Roses – all for one || I expected something great, but got a song made of one long chorus, with hippieish “let’s stand together” lyrics and a far too long guitar solo, from a guitarist who think he is Jimmy Page.
James Blake – The colour in anything || I like James Blake. He makes me fall asleep quickly. This album is the best sleeping pill ever. He should get a grant from a medical company. You may like it too, if you enjoy a good nap.
Did Primal Scream release anything this month? Not sure, but if so, it’s also on the disappointment list. Ever since their second album, they always disappoint.
Listen to most of the songs from this list on Spotify: