Summertime aside, June albums go dark this year. Emotional shade comes from posh goths COLLAPSING SCENERY’s cyber-shadowed love-letters, “Stress Positions,” soft-spoken gonzo-folkie TIM HEIDECKER’s, astute, white-boogie, “What the Brokenhearted Do…” and power-pop veterans SALT’s rainy, paisley thunder, “The Loneliness of Clouds.” Meanwhile, literal darkness parks beneath stalking indie-rocker STEF CHURA’s full-moon croons, “Midnight,” Americana foot-soldier JAKE XERXES FUSSELL’s roots boot-camp, “Out of Sight,” and astral-blasters PELICAN’s interplanetary anvil-splitters, “Nighttime Stories.”
Palehound - Black Friday
Album title: Black Friday
Record Label: Polyvinyl
United in jaunty indie-pop conjugation and earnest, burgeoning soul-searching, Palehound’s multi-tasking aspirations connect reflective second-guesses to thirsty curiosity where timid self-image tends tender envy with verbal caresses redressing fleshy blessings. Demonstrable confidence celebrating fragile valor through visceral descriptions hip to shared joys, the tangibly candid, “Friday,” transforms humble, home-demo authenticity into sophisticated engagements balancing patient postmortem refrains alongside full-bodied rebuttals.
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Froth - Duress
Album title: Duress
Record Label: Wichita Recordings
Lacerated dashes crash pneumatic jags in effervescent post-rock shoe-gaze as, “Duress,” resets machine-pressed anomalies exploring microtonal drone-pop with tasty abrasive glazes and tart narcotic whispers coiled around stoic hypnosis. Engineered eeriness flows over Froth’s ominous somnambulists, liberating conflicted instincts tinged in methodical madness from mechanical hearts embracing industrial serenity. Froth along with Seattle heavyweights Versing play UW’s Terrace June 28th.
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Dressy Bessy - Fast Faster Disaster
Album title: Fast Faster Disaster
Record Label: Yep Roc
Armed to the teeth with svelte belters, double-shot taunts and slash-and-burn purrs, Dressy Bessy’s arresting endeavors spawn con-artist angels avenging club-house outcasts stripping pompous romps down to skin-tight skirmishes. Rabid doo-wop ballads trapping jagged scat-rap chit-chat, “Disaster,” matches fussy shrugs and feigned disdain to sweet-tart alt-rock cabaret, lusty tussles primed for devilish rebellions schooled in institutional foolishness and risk-free teases.
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Mike Adams At His Honest Weight - There Is No Feeling Better
Album title: There Is No Feeling Better
Record Label: Joyful Noise
Gentle intentions washed in romantic nostalgia and spun-dried with beat-driven finishes and hook-happy after-thoughts, “Feeling,” reels in love-sick folk-rock, adrift in half-forgiven bygones, soul-mate daydreams and self-indulgent sympathies. Wrapped in casual harmonies, subtle bluster and spangled jangle, the exquisite MAAHHW riff on near-misses and forever-kisses to make persuasive vacations for world-weary peers; forward-facing escapes into trusted tropes and free-floating anecdotes.
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Mariee Sioux - Grief in Exile
Album title: Grief in Exile
Record Label: Night Bloom Records
Minstrel reminiscences quivering in glimmering intricacy, Sioux’s bewitching folk pitches pastoral allegories in cantering tempos, bird-call melodies and laced arrangements, tumbling somewhere between grazing fables and intimate myths. Flitting about in drum-less propulsion from supple wrists across finger-picked guitar, “Grief,” befriends darkness radiating calm, illuminating doubts and grounding fears, sprinkling discreet cheek-to-cheek incantations with courtly dormouse flourishes and unconditional kindness.
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French Vanilla - How Am I Not Myself?
Album title: How Am I Not Myself?
Record Label: Danger Collective
Pogo-brash No Wave sax ricochets throughout, “Myself,” serving pumped punk-ska sabotage around unvarnished dance-friendly ear-benders bristling with testy intellect. Democratic rapscallions, French Vanilla packs people-backed politics into flash-mob mosh-pits, interpersonal dervishes slurping down street-savvy attitude where sweaty expressions, thrashy passion and hollered logic bounce around road-rage crusades fueled by funky grass-roots pursuits. Catch them Aug 10th at Milwaukee’s Back Room.
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Big Thief - U.F.O.F.
Album title: U.F.O.F.
Record Label: 4AD
A ringing, raspy dreamworld, both unearthly and rustic, “U.F.O.F.” overflows in breezy medieval creepers winding chordal vines among curious murmurs and wistful riffs. Knapsack saints lurking in passive fascination and feral innocence, Big Thief harnesses grainy flames flickering in fancy transience; organic enchantments dancing around nesting indie incantations, circled in scrappy faux-folk passions mastering sand-castle pastels crumbling into tidal-pool rainbows.
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Truth Club - Not An Exit
Album title: Not An Exit
Record Label: Tiny Engines
Brittle art-rock assailants regaled in beatnik spit and ripped with cranky angst, Truth Club rallies beneath burnt-out social maladies, channeling the so-called banal into banzai guitars, bursting in python brawn and venturing down dark urban ennui. Full-moon confusion depleting meaning in philosophical all-nighters, the reckless, “Exit,” exhibits deadpan stamina around spastic collapse for braided mayhem rancid with jittery post-punk trances.
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Hælos - Any Random Kindness
Album title: Any Random Kindness
Record Label: Infectious Music
Sensual leopards riding coded messages over aerobic kaleidoscopes, “Random,” panders, flexing expectations and tempting chance connections with purring exertions flaunting rhythmic charisma in steamy bedroom overtures under night-fueled mirror-balls. Near-tribal street-parties fading into cosmic flotsam, Hælos mixes musical mosaics from fluid tug-of-war dialogues, promenading prayers whose receding pleads ebb and flow, stretched over synth-pop chasms and sprinkled in lyrical catch-phrases.
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Matt Kivel - Last Night in America
Album title: Last Night in America
Record Label: Cascine
Beautiful desolation wafts through Matt Kivel’s vapor-haunted alt-folk minimalism, steel strings plucked among lulling sound-covens shift with distant intimacy, tone poems wandering among severed memories cast from hallowed shadows and impassable fragments. Catspaw calls into neon fogs humming in electric incandescence, spectral echoes and stark mirages, “America,” combines world-weary queries funneled into wonder with monitored electronics steeped in fleeting mystery.
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Boogarins - Sombrou Dúvida
Album title: Sombrou Dúvida
Record Label: OAR
Cyber-soupy grooves doused in water-born Diaspora saunter seaside inside heady sighs and sleepy guitars while, “Sombrou,” simmers in woozy driftwood nuance oozing casual jet-lagged jazz peppered with galactic prog-rock magic served over slow-broiled psychedelic elegance. Hypnotic astral operators, the sultry Boogarins inhabit diaphanous afternoons basking in Latin sizzle, capturing classic twilight appetites in phantom romance, sunset regrets and fickle rhythms.
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Charly Bliss - Young Enough
Album title: Young Enough
Record Label: Barsuk
Scamp glam-rock subplots sport telegraphic New Wave power-pop spinning Cheshire cat grins in merry-go-round calliopes for wide-awake lullabies; Charly Bliss’ hi-voltage ballads glow in bittersweet speech baked in cotton-candy glaze. The cunning, “Young,” lounges on wicked thin ledges perched to pounce on curated grace baiting booming beats as laser-saber solos weld bell-like melodies to cast-iron wills looking for dance-partner thrills.
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Lady Lamb - Even in the Tremor
Album title: Even in the Tremor
Record Label: Ba Da Bing
Gospel-polished indie-rock waltzes scale emotional heights while, “Tremor,” unearth deep-seated dreams leaning into groovy crusader-flavored closure for potent proactive unpacking excavating universal statements from autobiographical chapters. Humble rumblings teasing seething Phoenix pleads, Lady Lamb enlists simmering soul-kitchen brass and maypole folk-singer strings in a rich blustery production that impresses as it caresses, yielding bold philosophical control over lively existential pleasures.
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Tim Baker - Forever Overhead
Album title: Forever Overhead
Record Label: Arts & Crafts
Stepping away from Hey Rosetta, frontman Baker’s solo debut inserts trade-wind sway into sensitive reflections, leveraging unrequited insights and celebrating swift, uplifting attitudes with tranquil choirs, contrapuntal gumption and unaccompanied honesty. Fortunate tourniquets to melodic memories whose resting heartbeat hugs simple wisdom, “Overhead,” visits missed opportunities with transformative discourse touring fearless interior dialogues and soft-shoe moves partying in hardy camaraderie.
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Weyes Blood - Titanic Rising
Album title: Titanic Rising
Record Label: Sub Pop
Lush, air-brushed constructs papered in three-layered prayers and cross-stitched wishes, the radiant, “Rising,” reaches for embraceable transcendence past unseen horizons warmed in weather-beaten sunbeams and pitch-bent redemption. Forward-looking and nostalgic, Weyes Blood’s comforting bell-bottom ballads, tweaked in sweetheart country-rock and frosted in seventies ballroom pop, gently envelope sumptuous swirls with breathless momentum while guiding climbing song-lines into sublime musical design.
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Wand - Laughing Matter
Album title: Laughing Matter
Record Label: Drag City
Exploratory story-tellers, L.A.‘s Wand rock jam-band bangers and space-folk head-trips, spreading electric medicine by mashing heavenly frenzy from math-rock flash into epic splash-down psychedelia spanning grand, mechanical fantasies and anxious, impatient improvisations. Lost inside friendly schizophrenia, “Matters,” rattles, straddles and roars with stammering mantras building into sizzling six-string siroccos only to fade quietly among cryptic wizard’s riddles riding long-distance bliss.
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Rozi Plain - What A Boost
Album title: What A Boost
Record Label: Memphis Industries
Ghost-jazz serenity coasts in seamless tonal flows painted bright with uncanny poise superimposed over immaculate alien fairy-tales; “Boost,” boots soft narcotic software rinsed in whispered swinging, manicured splurges and game-maker restraint. Hushed, art-pop hymns sprout horns in formal proportions as tactful mastermind Rozi Plain plots, flip-flops and slow-bops, hosting tasteful, post-modern world-beat roaming in golden ratios, raving beneath well-behaved races.
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Ralph Heidel - Moments of Resonance
Album title: Moments of Resonance
Record Label: Kryptox Records
Germany’s Heidel leads the collective Homo Ludens into knitting-needle cathedrals housing sharp scissoring rhythms, spacious chamber-music infusions and crashing cinematic windfalls. Fashioned from brooding jazz, sweeping classical bombast, collapsible ballet and Geiger-counter trance, “Resonance,” pounces in pondered reconnaissance; intuitive movements chasing break-through conclusions through enigmatic rapture, heralding swelling peril lurking in prog-rock preludes and trick-or-treat suites livid in devilish relish.
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Countering the darkness, June offers hippie-jam space-rangers DIRE WOLVES trance-folk caravan, “Grow Towards the Light, rock stalwart KIRIN J. CALLINAN’s crafted theatrics, “Return to Center,” auto-modulators TENGGER’s absorbing cosmic floss, “Spiritual 2,” and ultra-smooth MATTSON 2’s jazz-infused soul-grooves, “Paradise.” Elsewhere, electro-pop glitterazzi HOT CHIP’s catwalk gala, “A Bath Full of Ecstasy,” alt-country chroniclers FRUIT BATS’ sunny-side highway symphonies, “Gold Past Life,” and savvy rabble-rouser MATTIEL’s cowpunk slam-dunks “Satis Factory,” keep things upbeat. Even Afro-Cuban psycho-fusionists DIVINO NINA’s woozy, sun-ripened, “Foam,” and synth-pop rhythmicist NAYTRONIX’s multi-tracked alchemy, “Air,” lighten our load.