JULY is a very relaxed month in the music industry, and there have been fewer releases than usual. I found some real good ones for you also this month.
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 or via this link.
If you want ALL the good stuff from 2019, there is a huge list for that too.
Did you miss the other posts in this series? Click the link to view them.
SINGLES I LOVED THIS MONTH
From the singles this month, I especially liked the new songs from:
Vivian Girls – “Sick” They are finally back, surprisingly. The new song is a really good popsong, drenched in fuzz. (Spotify)
Queen of Jeans – “Get lost” “crockpot pop, denimcore, “estrogen on ice”” is what the trio call their style. In translation, that means brilliant pop, strong lyrics and a lovely melody. Their influences range from Camera Obscura and Fiona Apple to St. Vincent. I love this so much! (Spotify)
Bdrmm – “Question Mark” A beautiful, dreamy pop song that goes from pretty calm to a massive take-off and back again. Lovely. (Spotify)
Terry vs Tory – “Cascais”/”Chambré” A cool summery indiepop track with a gorgeous melody from the Spanish quartet Terry vs Tori. (Spotify)
The Hector Collectors – “It takes a lot to laugh, it takes a 25-minute response video to destroy your argument” The longest title this year, maybe. Rough, fun and jangly, – and intensely catchy, with lovely lyrics. The single also includes the brilliant B-side “Take me back to web 1.0”. – Please allow 10 minutes for the page to load -. (Spotify)
The Royal Landscaping Society – “Clean” Another really good single from the Spanish indiepop duo. The A-side “Clean” is probably the best I have heard from them so far. Warm, catchy and with a very strong melodic focus. On their previous single, they had a cool cover version of Adorable’s “A to fade in”, and the style of the main track is actually not too far away from Adorable in. The B-side on this one is also a cover, – this time of The Softies’ “I love you more”. (Spotify)
(more singles after the photo)
Mousey – “Take me to Harley street” This may be a bit different from what I usually present here, but WOW, so beautiful this is! Only piano and voice, and it is mesmerizing. Time stops when I hear this song. Listen to her other single too, “Extreme highs”. It’s quite different from this, but just as good (upbeat, catchy guitar-based indie pop),. (Spotify)
Mystic Braves – “I can’t grow peaches on a cherry tree” A classic popsong with a songwriting-style that reminds of both the 50’s, 60s and early 70s. I can’t resist singing along to this one. (Spotify)
Heavy Heart – “Cry Ice” This is a gem with so many fascinating layers. It is a beautiful, dreamy song, with kind of a late Cocteau Twins vibe. The first thing that made me re-visit this song over and over again, was the clever synth part that goes on and on through the whole song, with only a few changes. They also dare to add some edges in the beauty, with some cool dissonance and roughness towards the end of the track. (Spotify)
Jenny Hval – “Ashes to ashes” Norwegian Jenny Hval is a unique and many-sided creative artist. In some ways, her music has something in common with another artist often mentioned here, Julia Holter, who does not seem to have any boundaries to what she can do with her music. Sometimes Jenny Hval’s music is very experimental, and sometimes the songs are catchy and more pop, like this one. (and no, it is not a Bowie-cover). (Spotify)
You will find even more of my other favourite singles in the Spotify list.
ALBUMS I LOVED THIS MONTH
Jesca Hoop – STONECHILD || If this album doesn’t end up among my 3 top favourites of the year, I will be surprised.
It is so good. You have to listen! That is all I have to say. Now I need to listen more. Amazing. (Spotify)
Glok – Dissident || If you just listen to this without knowing anything about the artist, you would not at all think of guitarist Andy Bell of RIDE. In his solo-project Glok, he makes very rhythmic and dreamy instrumental electronic music, inspired by both Andrew Weatherall, Brian Eno, Mr. Fingers, kraut-rockers Neu! and experimental composer William Basinski. I really like this. RIDE also have a new, fine single out these days. (Spotify)
Florist – Emily Alone || Melancholic, beautiful , calm songs that sounds like they are recorded in a bedroom. Not because the sound is bad, – it is excellent, – but because everything feels so close and so fragile, – like you are there. Lovely. (Spotify)
The Soft Cavalry – The Soft Cavalry || Another side-project from a shoegazer. Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell and her husband Steve Clarke are The Soft Cavalry, a mix between dreampop, shoegaze, post rock and more accessible and radio-friendly pop. It’s Steve who does the main vocals on most of the songs. Rachel sings on the beautiful “Passerby” and harmonizes in the background on the other songs. (Spotify)
Trash Kit – Horizon || Rachel, Rachel, Ros and Gill are the London band Trash Kit. Their style is a fun and very rhythmic mix between post-punk and afro-beat. They have more than the sound and style in common with bands like Sacred Paws and Shopping. Members of Trash Kit have been involved in both those bands, plus a lot of other interesting bands, like Electrelane, Bas Jan and Golden Grrrls. (Spotify)
(more releases after the photo)
seablite – Grass stains and novocaine || This album was released in June, but I missed it for my June-post. This will probably also end up on my favourites of the year-list. The San Francisco fuzzy indiepop quartet has made a brilliant album with irresistible pop songs. The first time I heard this, I was stunned, and just sat there, listening all through. Since then, it has been my walking companion on sunny days. They describe their music pretty accurate in their bio: ” a confident mix of shimmering and weightless female vocal melodies and blissed out guitar pop, providing a mix of UK ‘80’s DIY-indiepop coupled with an updated take on many of the greats of the shoegaze era, such as Lush, Pale Saints, and MBV.” (Spotify)
Various artists – Brought to light || This is a very interesting compilation from one of my favourite labels, FatCat. The release is a collection of demos, curated by the label, who have deemed them some of the finest submissions they’ve received over the last few years. This is the first in a trilogy. Lots of fine bands and songs here, and I think all of the songs are previously unreleased. The demos are brought to light by the FatCat label. (Spotify)
Strange Ranger – Remembering the rockets || The second album from the trio Strange Ranger from Montana,- now based in Philadelphia, is full of warm, melodic indie pop. The best songs are on the first half of the album, but it is all pretty good. Hopefully I will be able to avoid reading “Stranger Ranger” after listening more to the album. I still have some problems with that now… Sorry, Strange Ranger! (Spotify)
(more releases after the photo)
Penelope Isles – Until the tide breaks in || This is one of my favourites this month. The Brighton quartet’s debut album on Bella Union follows several great singles, and the album is just as great. Lovely vocals, melodies and songs. It’s not easy to force into a genre, because this album is a lot. Just trust me when I say that you will love it. (Spotify)
Emma Russack – Winter Blues || Melbourne artist Emma Russacks’s 4th (?) album was not an instant hit for me, but after several listens, it became an album I really enjoy. Calm, lovely songs, with interesting lyrics. (Spotify)
U.S. Highball – Great Record || Naming a record “Great Record” is bold. Reviewers may make fun of you, if they don’t like your music, or use it as an easy way to start a review. I choose the latter, both because I am lazy and because I think this is a great record. The Glasgow duo Calvin Halliday and James Hindle also play in The Pooches, – another of my favourites -, and this debut album from U.S, Highball is full of perfect, jangly, catchy, irresistible pop songs. (Spotify)
Bill Ryder-Jones – Yawny Yawn || A calmer, piano-based version of his previous album “Yawn”. The same songs, but they sound so different. I like both of these albums. (Spotify)
Smaller Hearts – Honestly || The Canadian electronic pop duo were featured here last month too, with their fabulous single “Circuitry”, and the album is just as amazing. Very clever arrangements and great melodies. I guess the closest comparison I can come up with is Postal Service, but they are kind of far away from them too. A unique sound, maybe? They sound great, and this is an album I will listen to a lot this year. (Spotify)
(more releases after the photo)
A Beacon School – Cola || This took me by surprise, – a very nice surprise. I hadn’t heard of A Beacon School before, but now I am a fan. “Cola” is his first album, and it is really good. I would say it is a good mix between guitar based indie pop and more electronic and loop based music. His soft voice lifts the songs, and it’s all beautiful and very interesting to listen to. (Spotify)
Darren Hayman – 12 Astronauts || Darren Hayman is out with another concept-album, this time about the 12 astronauts who have been on the moon. Hayman tells the story of all of them, in 12 songs. It’s a very interesting album, both musically and lyrically, and this time I also find the details in sound and production very interesting. (Spotify)
Surf Friends – Doing your thing || This album from the duo Surf Friends will make you nod your head or move your body. The forward-driving motorik rhythms are hypnotic. Fuzzy guitars, repetitive phrase-based lyrics and lots of power. Surfy? They say so. I didn’t. Psychedelic? Definitely. Their single “Outdoors” is amazing, and so are many of the other songs here. (Spotify)
(more releases after the photo)
Cat Apostrophe – Lifelong Amateurism || Oh, I really like this! Rough, melodic and jangly guitar-pop. The Leeds band play, according to Kirsty, Jack, Alex, Kate and Julia, “radical soft and salty pop” and their songs are “giant sad pop songs about surviving, eating and depression”. Sad songs, yes, maybe, but I get lots of energy from listening to this. It’s just wonderful. (And they have the best band-name so far this year). (Spotify)
Vilde – Fidget at the podium || Melbourne born, Stockholm based Thomas Savage is Vilde. The album is mostly electronic based, but feels very organic. He has something in common with Thom Yorke’s solo albums (but better) and Efterklang, with his unusual song structures and experimentations that still definitely end up in the pop category. (Spotify)
Fashion Brigade – Fvck the heartache || This is the former Scotland Yard Gospel Choir member Elia Einhorn’s new collaborative project, and most of the songs on their debut album are brilliant. The album features special guests Frankie Cosmos, Shamir, X’s Exene Cervenka, Thor Harris and members of LCD Soundsystem, Dirty Projectors, Icy Demons, Prince Rama, Phosphorescent, and loads more. Every song has at least one collaborator, some a handful. All the songs are really good. Some of the songs remind me a bit of The Magnetic Fields, – and some definitely do not. The diversity here is refreshing. (Spotify)
Burning House – Anthropocene || If you ever get the chance to see Burning House live, which I haven’t, I am pretty sure that I already now can advice you to wear ear protection. This can be loud. The Southampton trio remind me of a mix between My Bloody Valentine, Dinosaur Jr, Revolver and Swervedriver. The new album is noisy, dreamy and full of feedback. It is very beautiful with all its rough edges. (Spotify)
EPs I LOVED THIS MONTH
mxmtoon – Masquerade || mxmtoon is 18 year old maia from Oakland. On this EP she plays some very nice and catchy songs, often with ukulele as the lead instrument. On the EP you will find powerful songs about depression and difficult love. Worth listening to. (Spotify)
Someone – Airspace || I really like the artist Someone. She has something in common with Goldfrapp, Morcheeba, Lamb and … Air. In fact, all of these songs are covers of Air’s songs. She does it beautifully. (Spotify)
Summer Salt – Honeyweed || Summer Salt definitely have the sound of summer in their songs. Just listen, and you will get the summery, sunny feeling, even if it’s raining and cold. At times it’s almost jazzy, crooning and 60s inspired. Very nice to listen to, and the songs are all very catchy and good. Cool songs! (Spotify)
L I P S – L I P S EP || Falmouth, Cornwall dream pop four-piece L I P S make really good pop songs, often with a shoegazy take-off close to the end. Lovely female vocals and shimmering guitars. I want to sing and dance to these songs. (Spotify)
Telepathy Club – Triple Cancer || Is this an album or an EP? 7 songs, 32 minutes. You decide. This EP (or album) is warm, rough, lo-fi, and with a good mix between the catchiness and the bold experimental weirdness. Jangly, dreamy, psychedelic pop. (Spotify)
John Dredge and the Plinths – The Plinthsmania EP || Writer, actor, radio presenter/podcaster and comedian John Dredge has teamed up with among others Eardrums-favourite MJ Hibbett, and this is their second EP. It’s smart, fun, clever, catchy and also bit sad.
A modern, lo-fi version of The Housemartins? (Spotify)
Common or Garden – Trust Everyone || Common or Garden is the solo-project from London based, Australian born Hannah Winter, who also is (or maybe was?) a part of one of my favourite bands, Owl & Mouse. While Owl & Mouse play mostly acoustic indiepop, her new project is synth pop. Her songwriting is as good as it was in Owl & Mouse, – which means great. The sound is very different and refreshing. (Spotify)
Listen to most of the songs from this list on Spotify, and please share if you like theses post. Thank you!