Jess Cornelius - photo by Rachael Pony Cassells
Stuck in a rut? July albums remind us to stay active. Start with pop-sprite E^ST‘s affirmative, “I’m Doing It” then rev things up with American panorama perfectionists TEXAS GENTLEMEN‘s non-repeating, encyclopedic, “Floor It!” Motivated yourself with possessed rock exorcists THE BLINDERS’ embroiled, “Fantasy of a Stay at Home Psychopath,” and keep your eye on the prize alongside tender, centered JESS CORNELIUS’ stormy warnings, “Distance.” If at first you don’t succeed.
Silver Scrolls - Music for Walks
Album title: Music for Walks
Record Label: Three Lobed Recordings
Intuitive moods gifted in unforced metamorphosis, “Walks,” stretches and expresses counter-culture cool, kicking psycho-tribal myths in hip sidewinder grifts with sparring guitars darting in uprooted confluence, hornet’s nest buzz turned spider-web shimmer. Zen-rock contenders, tag-team bohemians and downtown dreamers, Silver Scrolls roll in concrete canyon jams and dappled electric-folk rapture; six-string spirit-walkers straddling casual conjecture, exploratory chords and energetic calm.
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The Beths - Jump Rope Gazers
Album title: Jump Rope Gazers
Record Label: Carpark Records
Fueled by an enthralling fondness for rom-com bop-rock, The Beths jet from romantic ransom for platonic hostages to sour-grape escapes crafted in unrequited politeness and compatible compassion. Pairing jangly affairs with pivoting riffs, “Gazers,” blaze in roaring choruses past splashy backing vocals casting snake-charming harmonies into exuberant tunes and lifting superior lyrics enunciated with reckless directness into cheerful empirical delirium.
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Kllo - Maybe We Could
Album title: Maybe We Could
Record Label: Ghostly International
Swift rhythmic rivers bubbling beneath hovering ghost-lovers as whirling glitch-riddled world-beats sweeten smooth translucent grooves, “Maybe,” flavors fashionably passive contrasts with elegant well-spent intensity, alluring superlatives and exotic optics. Partnered in luscious seductions and vacuum-sealed feelings, Kllo’s silky guilty pleasures wrestle passionate tempests, out-of-reach treats surrounded by flickering vixen singing, diva high-dive descents swept into nets rescued by heavenly consent.
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Alice Ivy - Don’t Sleep
Album title: Don’t Sleep
Record Label: Last Gang
Head-turning studio connoisseur Ivy designs tantric dances sparkling in tweaked rainbow-soul, lavish post-dub love and tempting bedroom R&B; manna to famished radio-friendly pop-gods yearning for stroboscopic mojo polished in unrepentant phosphorescence. Intense blends producing ultra-groovy fusions overlapping fluid rap with hard-wired beats dipped in auto-tuned funkiness, “Sleep,” reaches for the stars, elevating commercial appeal to musical fireworks for the masses.
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Dream Wife - So When You Gonna…
Album title: So When You Gonna…
Record Label: Lucky Number
Saucy, frothy, vengeful and sensual, “Gonna,” guns for fun; happily reprehensible New Wave races painted with pit-stop thoughts raring for tasty punk-pop chases, hunting unsettled bellwether regrets with bewitching misfit sympathy. Bridge-burners, table-turners and fast-learners, Dream Wife marries fearless sneers to thick-skinned grins, hiding sensitive intentions beneath sassy tactics and actively distracting open emotions with improper propositions and incriminating persuasion.
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Lime Cordiale - 14 Steps to a Better You
Album title: 14 Steps to a Better You
Record Label: Chugg Music
Bouncy, baggy, thrift-store swagger from sweet-talking Chaucers, Lime Cordiale slings winding rhymes in smitten wingman sunshine, secret weekend love-stories scored for honky-tonk jaunts bobbing in shuffling percussion, carefree melodies and street-wise advice. Blue-eyed seaside soul, “14 Steps,” sends friendly recommendations rich in elastic toe-tapping dramatics for bold, romantic interventions vented in salty pub-crawl solace, boogie-sugared vaudeville and swinging indie carnivals.
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Gordi - Our Two Skins
Album title: Our Two Skins
Record Label: Jagjaguwar
Subtle, vulnerable touches climbing behind deep-feeling pop-soul weariness and aspiring folk-tronic fire, “Skins,” swim in warm embraces, nurtured by determined searching purging confidential mentions with fluid communion. Lasting passion grasping gilded lyrics, Gordi implores and restores; her vocal’s expressive faith breathing life into songs trimmed in minimal instruments restlessly coalescing into formidable storms; humanity’s poignant calamities placed beneath piqued beats.
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Sondre Lerche - Patience
Album title: Patience
Record Label: PLZ
Stymied irony underlines Sondre Lerche’s foppish playboy-pop; frivolous and meticulous with gorgeous chords supporting Proustian fountains cascading inner thoughts into contemporary fairy-tales; fair-weather fanfares commanding tender amends with savvy cabaret. Polite advice from timely hindsight, “Patience,” unfurls tap-dancing tempos gliding over cosmopolitan overtures as delicate shrugs, cavalier strolls and polished melancholy frolics in fashionable jaunts, respectful reflections and cooing preludes.
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BOYO - Where Have All My Friends Gone?
Album title: Where Have All My Friends Gone?
Record Label: Park The Van Records
Glossy claustrophobia convincing drifting semi-charmed harmonies to rock out to sleep-walking prophecies, “Gone,” spawns air-tight alibis served over ice-breaking aches with cool logical grooves producing drowsy pronouncements lifted in billowing micro-riffs. Steadily ascending meditations, BOYO’s lush alt-rock textures envelope hook-filled haikus flying through scissor rhythms propped in narcoleptic affection; abbreviated verses surfing unexplored shores with lazy patience and boyish buoyancy.
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Ohmme - Fantasize Your Ghost
Album title: Fantasize Your Ghost
Record Label: Joyful Noise
Sweetly off-beat modern-rock teased in clinical wizardry, Ohmme’s staggering imaginations push measured perfection into jagged pageantry; fussy crushes crackling with electric pleasures, seductive rebuttals and nimble collisions. Tirelessly engaging, “Ghost,” glows in gleeful gambles, leveraging dolled-up feminism inside radicalized trash-talking; coy, caffeinated laughter brewing sly, funky pedal-board orgies with chrome-plated rage and unrepentant torch-song eloquence drenched in sharp, double-parked harmonics.
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Tenci - My Heart is an Open Field
Album title: My Heart is an Open Field
Record Label: Keeled Scales
Intimate invitations addressing simple bedroom-folk apparitions, the beautifully unassuming, “Open,” offers honest confidence in wandering songs, sharing private performances coddled in sincere inquiry and hospitable synergy. Sturdy melodic purity guided by bold, intuitive curiosity, Tenci’s debut wanders into strange chamber arrangements, cozy disposable moments turned relevant and indispensable; relaxed distractions becoming catchy after-thoughts framed in anchored bass and sparkling guitar.
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Tengger - Nomad
Album title: Nomad
Record Label: Beyond Beyond is Beyond
Dawn wanderers fleeing sleepy beacons, Tengger blends dimpled ripples, grazing radiance and ambient organics into trippy bliss and mesmerizing effervescence; tidal fly-bys weaving wavering vapor-trails into fondled electronics from passive satellites. Secret sequences frequenting spacey places, “Nomad,” tranquilly zig-zags in astral patterns while etherized voices and delayed fades trade glazed gazes from serene submarines lighting mental trenches with psychic sunshine.
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Car Seat Headrest - Making A Door Less Open
Album title: Making A Door Less Open
Record Label: Matador
MIDI-triggered sizzle bolsters throaty indie-rock neuroses inside the bipolar, “Open;” whose plastic masks cast throbbing insomnia born from troubled struggles and societal trials. Half rash reactions to impatient paralysis and half obsessively clever kvetching, Car Seat Headrest channels manic challenges through cathartic artifice, taming stinging instincts in articulate schizophrenia, a language-filled meringue connecting tart emo-slacker jive to convulsive digital digressions.
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Diet Cig - Do You Wonder About Me?
Album title: Do You Wonder About Me?
Record Label: Frenchkiss Records
Clear-eyed slop-pop misfits balancing emotional avalanches and knotted logic, Diet Cig twist, bop and swoon bouncing from earnest word-salad ballads to headstrong bittersweet love-songs; perceptive punks crunching irrepressible face-melters among soft-spoken alt-folk heartbreakers. Rummaging among complicated feelings with percussive fuzz and relentless tenderness, ”Wonder,” plunges in tattletale details, defeated sleepers and upstaged players song-journaling from bedroom outposts and carpeted garages.
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Chicano Batman - Invisible People
Album title: Invisible People
Record Label: ATO Records
Sun-baked funk itching and flinching in lazy summer rhythms, “Invisible,” reveals ticklish metaphysical epiphanies and polyester flower-power philosophy squirming under candy-coated soul. Sweet-talkin’ sonic saunas whose pliable grooves sashay in bottom-heavy euphoria, Chicano Batman’s slow pastel jams, beach bodega boogie and glittery street carnival vibe light bright R&B breezes beneath psychedelic seaside flights; a slick, frisky discothèque dispensing sensuous transcendence.
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Houses of Heaven - Silent Places
Album title: Silent Places
Record Label: felte
Whirlwind warlocks, fallen hobgoblins and metallic talisman circle hard-wired bonfires as Houses of Heaven’s drugged spark-plugs ride reckless techno-pagan waves sprayed in rattling factory malice and etched in rampant interplanetary anvils. Subterranean synths pinned in solemn robo-pulses dance around thunder-dome percussion piloted by glacial masons, plummeting, “Silent,” from elusive pursuits to ambient panic, half-cocked stalker-rock wrapped in urgent, nervous worry.
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Man Man - Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between
Album title: Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between
Record Label: Sub Pop
Flamboyant stories whose core reinforces simple human flaws in buoyant poignancy, zany complaints and zinger wisdom, “Hunting,” guns, puns and stuns reassembling baroque folk, circus klezmer and power-pop lounge into marimba-driven whimsy and sinister loony-bin precision. Cheeky uber-musical court-jesters, Man Man tackles cackling theatrics, creating dazzling magic stitched in acerbic wit and curried wordplay; idyllic mischief riddled with smart-ass panache.
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Deathlist - You Won’t Be Here For Long
Album title: You Won’t Be Here For Long
Record Label: Xray Records
Armored martyrs reincarnated, wedged between midnight insights anchored in severed memory’s embers and thick rich cyber-rock fissures, the deliciously demonic Deathlist manifest gothic operatives dredged from granite trances and refined in grinding mindfulness. Flood-gates tease check-mates with industrial maelstroms washing ”Won’t,” in rigid insistence and cataclysmic opinions, mountain-climbing caution scaling skyscraper impatience with gritty riffs, cloaked vocals and crooked hooks.
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Rising to the occasion, July music outdoes itself. Going above and beyond, incendiary dignitaries PROTOMARTYR‘s prowling woke-punk industry, “Ultimate Success Today,” and uplifted introverts DEHD‘s smoldering, tremolo-dosed, “Flower of Devotion,” shine bright. Divine alignment finds oceanic phantom JULIANNA BARWICK‘s horizonless bliss, “Healing Is A Miracle,” Ethiopian jazz-rap fusionists MULATU ASTATKE AND BLACK JESUS EXPERIENCE‘s exhilarating, “To Know Without Knowing.” and feelgood hip-swivelers DMA‘s blockbuster rock, “The Glow,” while octave-vaulting philosopher RUFUS WAINWRIGHT‘s selective art-barbershop recollections, “Unfollow the Rules,” and cautious modern-popper MADELINE KENNEY‘s jazz-flecked treks, “Sucker’s Lunch,” outperform in non-conformity.