15 tracks of the month’s best new music
1 RoLLiNg BLaCkoUTs CoasTaL FeveR an air Conditioned Man
We’re straight out of the traps this month with this propulsive highlight from the Melbourne band’s excellent debut, Hope Downs, reviewed on p36: think The Strokes’ post-punk energy combined with the classic songwriting of The Go-Betweens.
2 FaTheR JohN MisTY Just Dumb enough To Try
Josh Tillman’s fourth album, God’s Favorite Customer, abandons the musical grandiosity of Pure Comedy, instead distilling those lengthy piano ballads down to more manageable, and more heartbreaking, nuggets like this. The LP is our Album Of The Month, reviewed on p18, along with a lengthy Q&A with Josh.
3 TRaCYaNNe & DaNNY Deep in The Night
It’s been five years since the last Camera Obscura LP, but Tracyanne Campbell, devastated by the death of band member Carey Lander, has crafted this melancholic, majestic album in collaboration with Danny Coughlan. Edwyn Collins co-produces, with this cut beautifully recalling the Velvets’ “Sunday Morning”.
4 LeT’s eaT gRaNDMa Falling into Me
For their second album, I’m All Ears, Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth have enlisted producers SOPHIE, Faris Badwan and David Wrench to supercharge their eccentric sound. The result, as “Falling Into Me” demonstrates, is emotional, danceable and weird in equal measure.
5 MiChaeL RaULT Dream song
This Edmonton-born singersongwriter’s new album, It’s A New Day Tonight, masterfully mixes the American psychedelic folk of the early ’70s with the lysergic balladry of prime Beach Boys. Recorded at Daptone’s studio for that warm tape sound, it’s an engrossing record, with “Dream Song” one of the gossamer highlights.
6 MeLoDY’s eCho ChaMBeR Breathe in, Breathe out
The most straightforward cut from Melody Prochet’s stunning second album, Bon Voyage, “Breathe In, Breathe Out” is still something of a rollercoaster ride, taking us from Breeders garage to Stereolab-esque reveries and Air-like interludes. The LP is reviewed at length on p22.
7 The LasT PoeTs Understand What Black is (Radio edit)
Harlem’s original hip-hop troupe aren’t short of material in the Trump/ Black Lives Matter era, and the title track from their new album rails thrillingly against racial intolerance over horn-heavy reggae grooves.
8 Dave aLviN & JiMMie DaLe giLMoRe kC Moan
After decades as friends, former Blasters man Alvin has finally teamed up with Texan country singer Gilmore for the mighty Downey To Lubbock LP. The result is rootsy, raw and warm, as their stormy take on this traditional tune shows.
9 NaTaLie PRass Lost
“When you turn 30, you just don’t care any more,” Prass tells us on p35. “Make your own rules and build your own path.” The singersongwriter’s second LP, The Future And The Past, is a brave set of anthems that take in ’90s R&B and jazz-funk, with “Lost” one of the finest.
10 BoMBiNo Deran Deran alkheir (Well Wishes)
Tuareg guitar hero Bombino has recorded in the US in recent years, but his new album, Deran, finds him tracking in a Casablanca studio owned by the king of Morocco. This galloping highlight from the LP seems to show that the guitarist can do just as well on his own turf.
11 eRiN Rae Love Like Before
This Tennessee songwriter has crafted a low-key but enthralling new record, Putting On Airs. Like much of the album, “Love Like Before” is a bittersweet mix of country and folk, which can pass by pleasantly until close listening reveals hidden depths.
12 The Wave PiCTURes The Burnt Match
One of the more structured tracks from the band’s new, partly improvised album Brushes With Happiness, “The Burnt Match” displays David Tattersall’s mercurial guitar skills and his off-kilter way with a lyric, as indebted to John Hegley as Jonathan Richman.
13 Neko Case Curse of The i-5 Corridor
Seven minutes of Neko Case and Mark Lanegan will always sound a treat; with “Curse Of The I-5 Corridor”, an elegiac, hard-nosed look at the past with Lennon-esque chord sequences, Case also has the material to do the pairing justice. Turn to p68 for a Neko feature.
14 viRgiNia WiNg Be Released
Third records are often crucial, the point where a group show whether they can sink or swim. This Manc electronic duo’s new, third LP, then, pulls their strands of sound gloriously into focus, with “Be Released” riffing off Factory postpunk, Broadcast and Japanese folk.
15 JoN hasseLL Pastorale vassant
The avant-garde maven’s new record is his first for almost a decade – now 81, he’s lost none of his chops or spirit for adventure, with “Pastorale Vassant” a fidgety mix of radio static, ethnic percussion and glitchy sonics. Sublime.