I’ve distilled the month’s new releases down to the ear-worthy for you my friends because I like you.
Jamie Smith, a.k.a Jamie xx, is a producer-musician from London that is most famous for his work with the xx. Jamie entered his musical life as a percussionist. He swiftly turned his innovative rhythm-making skills towards the Electronic genre with fantastic results. His debut album released this month, In Colour, is his first full length album as the headliner, but he is far from alone. Romy Madley Croft (the xx), Oliver Sim (the xx), Kieran Hebden (Four Tet), Popcaan, and Young Thug all support.
- Genre – Electronic, Garage, Dubstep, Club Dance
- From – London
- Fav Tracks – Gosh, Loud Places, I Know There’s Gonna Be, Girl, Obvs, The Rest Is Noise
- Recommended Tracks – Gosh, Sleep Sound, SeeSaw, Obvs, Stranger In A Room, Loud Places, I There’s Gonna Be, The Rest Is Noise, Girl
- Singles – Girl, Gosh, I Know There’s Gonna Be
Florence + The Machine provide belted-out arena rock for the 21st century. Prepare your self for swelling crescendos, horns and nonstop hooks. Welch’s impressive voice carries the album. Don’t miss the Fleetwood Mac-esque track, “Caught” for a nice change-of-pace.
- Genre – Alternative Pop
- From – London
- Fav Tracks – Delilah, What Kind of Man, Ship To Wreck, Caught
- Recommended Tracks – Ship To Wreck, What Kind Of Man, How Big How Blue How Beautiful, Queen of Peace, Various Storms & Saints, Delilah, Caught, Third Eye, St. Jude, Mother
- Singles – What Kind of Man, St. Jude, Ship To Wreck, Delilah
Best Dance Pop
Zhala has emerged from under the nurturing wing of Robyn, to take her place as Sweden’s next force in Dance Pop.
- Genre – Dance Pop
- From – Stockholm, Sweden
- Fav Tracks – Prophet, I’m In Love, Slippin’ Around, Aerobic Lambada
- Recommended Tracks – Prophet, I’m In Love, Slippin’ Around, Aerobic Lambada, Holy Bubbles
- Singles – Prophet, I’m In Love, Aerobic Lambada
Best Coming-of-Age Album
Minnesota-native Alicia Bognanno fronts a Nashville 90’s nostalgic band called Bully. Feels Like is their debut album.
- Genre – 90’s revival Indie Rock
- From – Nashville
- Fav Tracks – Trying, Brainfreeze, I Remember, Reason
- Recommended Tracks – Trying, Brainfreeze, I Remember, Reason, Milkman, Bully
- Singles – Milkman, Brainfreeze
Best Protest Album
Conor Oberst rejoins his band for punk-inflected protest album. Topics range from Wall Street to the treatment of undocumented immigrants in Arizona.
- Genre – Post-punk
- From – Nebraska
- Fav Tracks – The Left is Right, City on the Hill, Golden Parachutes, MariKKKopa
- Recommended Tracks – The Left is Right, City on the Hill, Golden Parachutes, MariKKKopa, Radicalized, Te Amo Camila Vallejo Backsell, Slacktivist, 10 Steps Behind
- Singles – City on the Hill, The Left is Right, The Underground Man
(Second) Best Alternative Dance
The duo Leftfield (Neil Barnes and Paul Daley) were trailblazers of progressive house back in the 1990’s. Barnes revived Leftfield in the 2010’s albeit without Daley. It’s best when loud enough in the car that the bass seeps through your seat to rattle your rib cage.
- Genre – Alternative Dance
- From – London
- Fav Tracks – Bad Radio, Bilocation
- Recommended Tracks – Bad Radio, Universal Everything, Bilocation, Head and Shoulders, Storms End, Shaker Obsession, Levitate For You
Best Brit Rock
- Genre – Alternative Rock
- From – London
- Fav Tracks – Moaning Lisa Smile, You’re a Germ, Bros
- Recommended Tracks – Moaning Lisa Smile, You’re a Germ, Bros, Giant Peach
- Singles – Moaning LIsa Smile, Giant Peach, Bros
- Genre – Experimental Rock
- From – Georgia
- Fav Tracks – Black Eunuch, Black Eunuch (Liars Remix), Old Girl, Irony Utility Pretext
- Recommended Tracks – Claudette, And When You Fall, Blood, Irony Utility Pretext, But She Was Not Flying, Black Eunuch, Games, In Parallax
- Genre – R&B
- From – California
- Fav Tracks – face the sun, Hollywood Dreams
- Recommended Tracks – face the sun, coffee, Hollywood Dreams, goingtohell, FLESH
Best Experimental Electronic
- Genre – Experimental Electronic
- From – Glasgow, Scotland
- Fav Tracks – Very First Breath, Scud Books
- Recommended Tracks – Very First Breath, Scud Books, Warriors, Ryderz, Deepspace
Best Indie Folk
Sharon Van Etten released an EP that feels like a coda to her last album, Are We There Yet.
Sharon Van Etten – I Don’t Want To Let You Down EP
- Genre – Indie Folk
- From – New Jersey
- Fav Tracks – I Always Fall Apart, Pay My Debts, I Don’t Want to Let You Down
- Recommended Tracks – I Don’t Want to Let You Down, Just Like Blood, I Always Fall Apart, Pay My Debts, Tell Me