The first months of 2016 has been quite amazing when it comes to new music releases, and also this month I have found some I really, really like.
Here is a summary of the releases I loved the most in JUNE.
Like the last months, 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 Burning Hearts, Space Daze, Hater, Jay Som, Tiny Ruins, Lucy Roleff, Beautify Junkyards and Chook Race. All of these are amazing, and I am sure at least a couple will stay with me through the year.
The list is in no particular order, but the ones I loved the most are marked with a red ||.
A Spotify playlist with songs from this list can be found below.
Did you miss the other posts in this series? Click the link to view them.
ALBUMS I LOVED THIS MONTH
Marsheaux – Ath.Lon || This is simply GREAT! Retro synthpop with a modern touch. You can hear references to the sound of bands like OMD, Depeche Mode and Yazoo in their songs. The opening track is so powerful that I want to jump around, and the single “Safe tonight” is one of my favourite songs this year. (Spotify)
Lake Ruth – Actual Entity || One of my favourites this month, and maybe also this year? Baroque pop, with some psych elements. These are stunningly beautiful songs. The only bands I can compare them with are Broadcast and Stereolab, but they sound pretty unique. Very, very good album. (Spotify)
Steady Holiday – Under the influence || I really like this album! Lush, textured dreamy pop, almost like lullabies, timeless and at the same time “old-fashioned”, with a tiny bit of that 60s French pop sound. Love that muted bass sound on some of these songs. Brilliant! (Spotify)
Amber Arcades – Fading Lines || Wonderful dreamy indiepop from Utrecht. The first singles released before this album were amazing, and I had great expectations for the album. Thankfully they were met. Great album, great songs! (Spotify)
California Snow Story – Some Other Places || A very welcome return of Glaswegians California Snow Story . The album is perfect for Summery evenings, – calm, blissful indiepop, with the lovely, almost whispery vocals of David Skirving (ex Camera Obscura) in perfect duets with Sandra Belda Martinez’ beautiful voice. What can I compare this to? Maybe The Softies or Belle and Sebastian or some of their label mates on Shelflife Records? (Spotify)
Cat’s Eyes – Treasure House || I must admit that I haven’t spent enough hours listening to this one, but I have very much enjoyed listening to it. Their orchestral pop combined with Rachel Zeffira’s perfect vocals is both calming and interesting for the ear. (Spotify)
die Heiterkeit – Pop & Tod I & II || My favourite German band (maybe after Kraftwerk). They write wonderful songs, and the voice of the singer is so strong, powerful and unique. A bit like Nico, if I can compare it to anyone. A beautiful album. (Spotify)
Fear of Men – Fall forever || Beautiful and interesting album from Fear of Men, where they take a new musical direction with more electronic instruments. Very good vocals and the same dreamy atmosphere and strong melodies. Indiepop/ dream pop. (Spotify)
Lucy Dacus – No burden || A very nice debut from Lucy Dacus. If you like artists like Eskimeaux, Florist or Frankie Cosmos, I am sure you will love this. I love her voice and her storytelling, and when the songs are this good too, there is much to love here. (Spotify)
Chris T-T – 9 Green Songs || This album actually contains 10 songs, and I don’t know what colour the last one is. The album came as a pleasant surprise for me, since I hadn’t heard Chris T-T’s music before. It reminds me of artists like Billy Bragg, Darren Hanlon, The Blue Aeroplanes, The Go-Betweens and to some extent also Badly Drawn Boy. Sometimes very political and critical of society, other times about observations and relations. The songs are very emotional and so beautiful. (Spotify)
M. Craft – Blood Moon || A lot has happened with M. Craft’s music since his debut in 2006. I loved that one, but then I lost track of him until now. This is his third album, and it is full of tender, delicate “night time” songs. Perfect for listening to after dark. The title track is AMAZING. (Spotify)
Aidan Moffat – Where you’re meant to be || I usually stay away from live albums. They rarely manage to transfer the live experience to record, and the sound is not that good. This one: Wow! It’s fun, beautiful, tragic, interesting… The songs from this Scottish musician sounds like traditional folk songs, but the lyrics mix old with new. His stage banter is hilarious. If you don’t like swearing, stay away. If you’re ok with that, you should definitely listen to this. One of the best live albums I have heard. (Spotify)
Red Sleeping Beauty – Kristina || I haven’t been very happy with the latest releases from one of my favourite labels, Labrador Records, but with their new release from Red Sleeping Beauty, my hope and faith is restored. “Kristina” is a great album where synthpop meets classic indiepop, – full of really nice, summery popsongs. (Spotify)
Rapid Results College – In city lights || Rapid Results College is a band formed in 2013 from the ashes of one of my favourite indiepop bands, The Hillfields. I am so happy to hear that the quality pop that The Hillfields offered is continuing in this project. Great songs, big sound, lovely melodies. Songs that really bring out the big emotions, and they are a delight to listen to. Powerful music. Strong songwriting. One of my favourite indiepop releases so far this year. (Spotify)
Mi and L’au – Four pair of wings || A duo from Finland (Mi) and France (L’au). Their music is fragile and folky, and sometimes intensely beautiful. When I say fragile, it’s because it feels so “close” that you almost expect to hear the floor creak or the sounds of the room in their music. Maybe not for everyone, but definitely for me. (Spotify)
Big Deal – Say yes || This is the 3rd album from Big Deal, if my counting is correct. Very enjoyable and melodic powerpop from London. (Spotify)
Samaris – Black Lights || I was pretty sure that I would not like Iceland’s Samaris’ music after they changed from singing in Icelandic to English. I did not like the first songs I heard after the change, and thought they had lost some of what made them so special. But this album is good, and definitely unique. I enjoy their dark, icy, atmospheric electronic pop a lot, especially the vocals. (Spotify)
Math and Physics Club – In this together || This is a compilation of EPs and B-sides, and it also feature a couple of new songs from Math and Physics club. Some of the songs compiled here, are among my favourite songs of theirs, like “Sixteen and Pretty”, “Graduation Day” and “Movie Ending Romance”. A brilliant compilation from a brilliant band. (Spotify)
EPs I LOVED THIS MONTH
The Beths – Warm Blood || I have really enjoyed this one. The Auckland 4 piece make irresistible and super-catchy indiepop/powerpop with choruses you want to sing along to. Great energy and good songwriting! (Spotify)
Citizen Helene – How can you find someone to love/Bridges || WIAIWYA have a new single out in their singles-club from Citizen Helene. Her music is smooth, sunshiny pop with a touch of jazz elements. I especially love the second track on this EP, “Bridges”, which is really, really good. What can I compare this with? A mix between The Carpenters and Laetitia Sadier? (Spotify)
The Close Lobsters – Desire and Signs || They’re back! I used to listen to their albums a lot in my teens, and some of their songs have been so important to me. This EP shows an older and maybe rustier band, but they still make great songs. “Under London Skies” is good jangly indiepop! (Spotify)
DISAPPOINTMENTS OF THE MONTH
Except for The Stone Roses showing us again that they have developed into the worst band from Manchester, this month hasn’t been full of musical disappointments. The month have instead been full of disappointments in society and the human race. A horrible, horrible month. Can we get that huge asteroid collision now, please?
Listen to most of the songs from this list on Spotify: