July’s musical titles serve summer justice in steamy judgments, delivering sensuous defenses in truthful resolutions. Cross-examine duplicitous hooligans JOYCE MANOR’s overloaded blitzkrieg, “Never Hungover Again,” interrogate psych-folk poets THE SKYGREEN LEOPARDS’ sunshine-primed, “Family Crimes,” then sentence Nickel Creek’s bluegrass-master SEAN WATKINS’ sturdy, trustworthy, “All I Do Is Lie,” while condemning ruminating troubadour MATT KIVEL’s quietly insightful, “Days of Being Wild,” and unassuming neo-psychedelic crooners THE PROPER ORNAMENTS, tranquilizing, “Wooden Head.”
John Hiatt - Terms of My Surrender
Album title: Terms of My Surrender
Record Label: New West
Not going down without a fight, “Surrender,” delivers swinging pulp-fiction prescriptions inside stinging country-blues and Cajun-flavored folk blending broken souls howling in backwater train-yards with scrappy jackals laughing at obsessive confessors. The tender-hearted Haitt assisted by his savvy touring band, slow-cooks his character-driven narratives in vinegar and molasses; each tune brimming with simmering wisdom and affectionate connections to foolish pursuits.
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Landlady - Upright Behavior
Album title: Upright Behavior
Record Label: Home Tapes
Bemused truths produce demented descents as precocious notions step lightly within the clever, mega-inventive, “Upright,” poised between grand land-mine melodies and sophisticated parlor-pop mayhem. A wild, beguiling ride micro-managing the manic alongside the meticulous, Brooklyn-based Landlady’s uncanny shenanigans demand articulate conniptions from unquenchable quests; framing the band’s elegant experiments around snazzy free-jazz calamities dipped in conflicted sympathy and delectable intellect.
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Nonono - We Are Only What We Feel
Album title: We Are Only What We Feel
Record Label: Warner Bros.
Frosted in cheeky mystique, NONONO’s arched marches and pouty pomp knit braided parades coiled in daredevil levels of mood-swing flings. Explosive pop-star parties collide beside fitful disco-queen dreams as fancy anthems pour scorching hopscotch bop over steel-edged gusto; the blissful, wistful, “Feel,” dances in Olympian victory laps coloring forthright flights from beat-featured ballads in post-romantic reds and cool neon blues.
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Turn to Crime - Can’t Love
Album title: Can’t Love
Record Label: Old Flame
Jack-hammered spooks grooving on chill-punk gotham-rock, the Detroit trio Turn to Crime’s charred barrage slithers in dank midnight sizzle; amniotic zombie soundtracks scrounging for seedy psychosis chasing impatient basement jollies. Flirting in diverting mercies, spastic gymnastics and minimalist kismet; “Can’t,” plants tattered mavericks in subterranean craniums as cage-rattling blasts poach kettle-quivering rhythms moving a mesmerizing hysteria headlong into post-modern purgatory.
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Vulkano - Live Wild Die Free
Album title: Live Wild Die Free
Record Label: Vulkanomusik
Fed in shredded unvetted energy, drenched in effervescent discontent and buoyed by devilish bubblegum crunch, “Wild,” piles tribal-pop trials onto feverish Swedish punk from swishy witches dishing delicious dirt. Gleeful banshees ransacking mad-hatter attics, Vulkano’s tangled pagan bounce pounces and denounces, piloting untamed raves, frantic chants and game-changing bangers for synth-pinched party-time in sugar-shack shin-digs hosted by giddy little anarchists.
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White Fence - To the Recently Found Innocent
Album title: To the Recently Found Innocent
Record Label: Drag City
A preening bohemian swaddled in caterwauling twang, uncurbed reverb and delicate psychedelics, White Fences’ Tim Presley blazes deeply between heady reverie and rabbit-hole reality. Dripping in mythical ripples rinsed in renaissance ruffles, “Innocent,” cements White Fences’ heightened hippie-rock senses; jamming in jagged cosmic jangle while groping dislocated ghosts and deconstructing cock-eyed looking-glass blues through sparkled chakras dressed in electric petticoats.
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Whether courting support, offering solace or wrestling refuge, July fosters positive musical options from summer’s merciless persecution. Get onboard metaphorical story-teller PETER HIMMELMAN’s rich, folk-rock parables stowed in, “The Boat That Carries,” before considering level-headed indie-rock revisionists BEVERLY’s satin-finished dissidence, “Careers.” Hide in the unstoppable symphonic-pop optimist BRIGHT LIGHTS BRIGHT LIGHTS’ vibrant, rhythm-binged assignments, “Life Is Easy,” then seek much needed relief in cosmopolitan goddesses turned cyber-ghost coddlers WOMAN’S HOUR’s mink-lined, twilight-tinted, “Conversations,” before updating and upgrading possible doppelgangers in lucid dream-soul intruders CLOUD BOATS’ plush, electro-hushed, “Models of You.”