THE LAST three months have been killer when it comes to album releases. We’ve seen some really high profile releases, from the likes of Blur, Brandon Flowers and Mumford and Sons, amongst others. But you won’t find any of them here. Here, you have SCM Music’s choice picks for albums from April to July. Did we miss any out? Drop us a comment in the section at the bottom of the article.
Waxahatchee – Ivy Tripp
Ivy Tripp finally brings Waxahatchee (aka Katie Crutchfield) firmly out of the Lo-Fi phase and into a clean produced Folk/Alt Rock crossover album. Does that mean that Crutchfield’s songs have changed for the worse? Hell no! Even as the deep bass of opener ‘Breathless’ takes hold, it’s clear Waxahatchee has upped her game some. She keeps her songs brief and to the point, with some lovely vocal harmonies and a smattering of electronics and keys to accompany the Garage Rock guitar/bass/drum trio. Ivy Tripp keeps it simple without losing any enjoyment.
Jackson Scott – Sunshine Redux
Clocking in at just 32 minutes, Jackson Scott’s psychedelic pop second album is the shortest record on this list. Whereas Scott’s debut, Melbourne, produced very solid songs, Sunshine Redux shifts tempo, time signature, volume and, dare I say it, genre over the course of one track, let alone the entire album. With My Bloody Valentine vocals and reverb laden guitars, this album still manages to create a very clear atmosphere, even under layers of effects.
Django Django – Born Under Saturn
Sprawling. Vast. Massive. Just three words you could use to describe Django Django’s second album. Born Under Saturn is a long album, but without a doubt an ‘all killer-no filler’ affair. Every track drips with enjoyable rhythms and harmonies, with every bass line, organ key and drum snare placed exceptionally well. It teeters on the brink of Electro-Pop but stops itself with the odd guitar riff or chunky bass part. But whatever it’s genre, Born Under Saturn is accessible, and a damn good listen.
Gengahr – A Dream Outside
Following a long line of new British Indie bands, Gegahr’s A Dream Outside did a grand job of defining itself against a backdrop of imitation. ‘Heroine’ and ‘She’s A Witch’ work excellently as lead singles while the band explore deep sounds on ‘Dark Star’ and ‘Fill My Gums With Blood’. If they continue producing music as good as this, big things await this up and coming band.
Jamie XX – In Colour
To come from one of Britain’s most popular Electronic/Indie groups and create something as good as either of their releases is quite a feat, but Jamie Smith (aka Jamie XX) achieved it. In Colour is a wonderfully moving, diverse and danceable record. Songs range from emotional, heart pounding numbers like ‘Loud Places’ (a live performance of which is linked below) to classic club vibes from ‘Gosh’ and ‘Obvs’. Jamie XX takes his Indie experience and combines it with Electronic music to make something truly fantastic.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Multi-Love
Portland based Unknown Mortal Orchestra have already given us two very enjoyable albums. But with Multi-Love, the band pushed more in the direction of Pop and Funk music. The result paid off; Multi-Love is perhaps the bands catchiest and most infectious yet, a perfect example being the song ‘Can’t Keep Checking My Phone’ and the title track. Only stretching to nine tracks as well, Unknown Mortal Orchestra have the power to explore their sound further while keeping the listener focussed on the music. A must have for anyone caught up in this Funk resurgence.
Young Fathers – White Men Are Black Men Too
The title itself screams of political statements, but there’s something incredibly upbeat about White Men Are Black Men Too. Young Fathers produce an album infused with European Hip-Hop and African roots, with lyrics that dig deep into current issues. But beyond all of that, this album is quite simply a really enjoyable album. It flows easier than the group’s Mercury winning debut and somehow creates an interesting ambience while maintaining a listenable tone.
Wolf Alice – My Love Is Cool
Wolf Alice have been hyped up by the mainstream music press for a while now, but nothing has totally justified that hype. That is until My Love Is Cool came out. This album sparkles with an Alt-Rock sensibility not seen in all its glory since the early 2000s. Old favourites ‘Bros’ and ‘Fluffy’ are given a new lease of life, while new songs such as ‘You’re A Germ’ and ‘Turn To Dust’ are delightfully refreshing, especially in a genre that can so often become stagnant. Forget Mumford and Sons, this is the kind of Alt Rock you should be listening to.
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