5 albums you should listen to this month
Find your new summer hits before the sweltering season arrives and lucky for you 4 of the 5 albums have been out since last month, making them very easy to get your hands on.
Before The World Was Big by Girlpool, 2 June 2015
Wichita Recordings has now become a personal favorite since Iâ€™ve realized they produced both Waxahatcheeâ€™s Ivy Tripp (recommended earlier this year) and Girlpoolâ€™s Before The World Was Big. The debut album from Los Angeles natives, Cleo Tucker (Guitar) and Harmony Tividad (Bass), though simple is extremely relatable and screams with energy that starts as a slow simmer, but finishes with an overflowing boil. The songs often tackle that moment when the illusions weâ€™ve fostered for much of our life come up against the hard wall of reality. At only tens songs and each rarely reaching three minutes in length, the album lends itself to multiple replays and singalongs.
I was always taught to keep my cards close to my chest and never show my entire hand, but with this monthâ€™s recommendations it couldnâ€™t be helped. Whether itâ€™s Megan James from Purity Ring, Simbi Ajikawo as Little Simz, Tahliah Debrett Barnett as FKA Twigs, Amelia Meath from Sylvan Esso, or any number of the other female vocalists, an overwhelming number of women are bringing new and unique talent to their respective genres on a scale not matched by their male counterparts. This goes for my second recommendation this month and another debut album. Whereas the abovementioned Girlpool often brings their listeners into their arms through slow build ups, Feels Like from Bully goes with the in your face approach, backing down at times as if to assess the damage before starting up again. However like Girlpool, Bully keeps it short and the albumâ€™s songs are best for those who need a quick pick me up from the daily grind. Listen to â€œMilkmanâ€ or their single â€œTryingâ€ for a small, but representative taste.
At a time when we find ourselves surrounded by pop, rap, and rock stars and their big budget exploits, one might stop to think whether thereâ€™s a place in todayâ€™s musical environment for soul and its characteristic simplicity. Leon Bridgesâ€™s Coming Home reveals that answer to be an unequivocal yes and makes the person who even thought of asking look like a damn fool. Much like the previously mention recommendations this is a debut album, with only ten songs at about three minutes each, but thatâ€™s about where Coming Homeâ€™s similarities end with the albums by Bully and Girlpool. Bridges sugary voice will make even the casual listener swoon and eyes flutter as he takes you back to a simpler time and washes every worry from your mind.
After five years Mike Shroud and Evan Mast, the duo known as Ratatat return with their fifth album Magnifique. Their singles â€œCream On Chrome,â€ which was first performed at this yearâ€™s Coachella and â€œAbrasiveâ€ donâ€™t seem to promise anything extremely new, but if youâ€™re a fan thatâ€™s not necessarily a bad thing. The lightness of these songs, if not all their songs, with their tinge of 70s and 80s beats makes it nearly impossible for any listener to stay still.
Maybe one of the hardest working and busiest vocalists with numerous group and solo projects, Conor Oberst once again forms Desaparecidos after a thirteen year break. For those who enjoyed the first album Read Music / Speak Spanish, Payola keeps it fast and politically-oriented. You wonâ€™t find much of the slower and sadder tones that are often present in Bright Eyes or his solo work, instead there is frustration emanating from both Oberstâ€™s raw vocals and those of supporting vocalist and bass guitarist Landon Hedges. Tackling racial or income inequality, government spying, the continuous failings of modern capitalism, and many of the other issues we find ourselves becoming increasingly disillusioned with, Desaparecidos offers a focused sophomore album that speaks clearly to its audience.