Photo by Flickr user erika dot net.
The summer months are rarely good for new, great releases. Most artists wait until the autumn months for releasing music, because sales and promotion are difficult during the hot summer days. In spite of this, I have found some really great ones also this month. So, Here is a summary of the releases I loved the most in JULY.
The single releases I loved are not listed here, but they can be found in the Spotify playlist. From the singles, I especially liked the new songs from Anti Pony, Boys Forever, Gurr, Drugdealer/Weyes Blood, King Creosote and The Wedding Present. 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 ||.
ALBUMS I LOVED THIS MONTH
Lucy Roleff – This Paradise || A very fine surprise this month. I have liked her singles released earlier this year, and the album is a masterpiece. So beautiful, both the songs, her voice, her harp, her guitar and the atmosphere she manages to create. This is more an autumn record than one that fits for the warm summer days. Calm, acoustic, night-time mood throughout. One of my favourite songs on the album is “Jessica”, and for some reason I am reminded of This Mortal Coil’s beautiul“Mr. Somewhere” when I listen to it. I absolutely love this album. (Spotify)
Bat for Lashes – The Bride || I have liked – but not loved – Bat For Lashes earlier releases, but this one is fantastic. Lovely atmosphere and the melodies are so beautiful. (Spotify)
Beyond the Wizards Sleeve – The Soft Bounce || Earlier this year, they released one of the best singles I have heard so far in 2016, “Diagram Girl”. The duo of The Grid’s Richard Norris and electro DJ Erol Alkan have made a very organic, psychedelic pop album, with lots of melancholy and retro elements, – especially sounds inspired by 60s psych pop and the 70s krautpop. The album demands the listener’s attention a bit more than the first single, but you get a whole lot back by giving it a chance. (Spotify)
MJ Hibbett & The Validators – Still Valid || An album by MJ Hibbett & The Validators is usually full of fun observations, sometimes lyrics with nostalgic memories and sometimes hard kicks critical to the society combined with great indiepop melodies. So is this new album, and I like it a lot. I love this band. (Spotify)
Wolf Girl – We Tried || Tight, garagy, jangly popsongs with great lyrics, lovely melodies and harmonies. It also helps that their two vocalists do a brilliant job. Love their voices! A very, very good album! (Spotify)
Soft Hearted Scientists – Golden Omens || I have a soft spot in my heart for Soft Hearted Scientist’s weird popsongs. Their imaginative and psychedelic lyrics are almost like a children’s book with colourful stories, and so is their music. This is a huge album, 26 songs, 1 hour and 5 minutes long, and not everything is great, but a lot of of it is. (Spotify)
Bess Atwell – Hold Your Mind || Very nice album! I hadn’t heard Atwell’s music before, but wow, this is beautiful! What an amazing voice! Style: Folk/acoustic. (Spotify)
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Martha (Photo by Steven Landles Photography)
Martha – Blisters in the pit of my heart || I love this album. Simple as that. Rough, punky indiePOP with perfect melodies and great energy. “Ice Cream and Sunscreen” is my favourite song just now. This is one of those albums where the songs refuse to leave your ears, and you are very much ok with that. (Spotify)
Community Radio – Look now you’re cursed || If you like good guitarbased pop, this is a band you should keep your eyes and ears focused on. This is – as far as I know – their second album, and it includes some really good songs. (Spotify)
Black Market Karma – Animal Jive || Black Market Karma is a new discovery for me in 2016, and I absolutely love their sound. This is great psych-pop with wahwah guitars, reverbed guitar solos (I hate solos, but these are of the good kind), lots of slow grooves, repetitiveness to really get you into the sound and hazy vocals. Great songs too!!(Spotify)
Starry Eyed Cadet – Places we don’t belong || This album is a delight to listen to! The songs are great, full of sweetness and light, and the production makes it a release that your ears will want to listen to again and again. (Bitter)Sweet 60s-inspired indiepop with the most wonderful melodies. (Spotify)
Psalm Zero – Stranger to Violence || Metal is not my style, definitely not, but when Charlie Looker from my old favourites Extra Life makes music, I listen. Looker has his background in dark medieval folk-styled experimental indie with rougher guitars, and in this project he works with metal musicians, and the result is some kind of strange hybrid. Spin Magazine described Looker’s voice as a “medieval Bernard Sumner”. Add metal to that + probably some shoegaze + maybe a dose of industrial synth. (Spotify)
City Yelps – City Yelps Half Hour || Rough and noisy indie on Odd Box Records. It’s not a live album, but it sounds like an awesome concert I would have loved to be at. So much energy and drive! (Spotify)
T.O.Y.S. – Sicks || How much sound and energy is it possible to get out of a trio with only drums, bass, a keyboard and vocals? A lot. When I think about their instrumentation – no guitars – it amazes me how much energy and roughness they are able to produce. Their sound is very melodic, danceable new-wave-ish indiepop with B52s-keyboards and rough basslines. I want to jump around to these songs! (Spotify)
Tape Waves – Here to Fade || You will like this, I am sure. Very melodic indiepop with dreamy female vocals and chiming guitars. I love these songs. (Spotify)
Sunny Intervals – Sunrise || Wonderful summery indiepop from London’s Sunny Intervals. This is Andy Hudson’s (ex Pocketbooks) solo project, and when I listen to it, I often think of an early version of Belle and Sebastian with a smaller budget, recording their songs at home. And the songs are really, really good. (Spotify)
EPs I LOVED THIS MONTH
Bubblegum Lemonade – Beard on a bike EP || New music from Bubblegum Lemonade is always welcome here in my house. Now I am waiting for a new album, because this music is highly addictive! The 4 track EP starts with the catchy indiepop title track, but my favourite is “Saturday Girl”, which in some ways remind me of a more well-produced version of the very early Primal Scream, back from the days when they still made great songs. A lovely EP! (Spotify)
Featherfin – Helen Richey EP || My own project and my own EP, – added just because I can and because I want you to listen to it! The title track features vocals by Jeremy of The Very Most and bass by Michaël of Watoo Watoo and it’s rougher than I have ever been. I have been told that this is indie, 90s style. Please listen and share – that would make me very happy! (Spotify)
Hater – Radius || One of my favourite new bands this year, is Hater from Sweden. Their name sounds like some punk- or metalband, but this is definitely not any of those styles. Beautiful, unique, jangly indiepop with amazing, heartbreaking vocals. You MUST listen to this EP. (Spotify)
Deerful – Staying Still || Deerful makes the most wonderful synth-pop tunes combined with lovely vocals and great lyrics. Her song “Better” is among the most beautiful songs/lyrics I have heard/read this year. Stunning. (Spotify)
Space Daze – Down on the ground || Danny Rowland’s (ex. Seapony) project Space Daze has already given me many great musical moments. This time too. He creates dreamy, magical atmospheres with his guitar and his calm vocals. Very nice EP! (Spotify)
The Fireworks – Black and Blue || New 4 track EP from The Fireworks on Shelflife Records. The EP starts great with the powerful noisepop track “All the time”, but it’s when they turn down the noise on songs like “The Ghost of You” and “Go go slow” that I like them best. This band is so good at writing great melodies and vocal harmonies that I wish they had turned down the noisy guitars and the high energy on more songs. (Spotify)
Young Scum – Zona || This is GREAT! This EP really blew me away with its gorgeous indiepop melodies. Perfect late summer pop! I love how they manage to create guitar melodies that are different from the vocal melodies, but still equally catchy. Clever, – and a real pleasure listening to. Listen to “Sun Drop”. Magic. (Spotify)
Listen to most of the songs from this list on Spotify: