Black Belt Eagle Scout
From absolving proggers MAJOR STARS’ epic frenzy, “Roots of Confusion Seeds of Joy,” to tenuous dreamer BLACK BELT EAGLE SCOUT’s, folk-soul hopes, “At The Party With My Brown Friends,” August albums distill social motives. Interact or take a pass with cybertronic love-children GOOD IN THE DARK’s savage disco-chic, “If You Feel It,” snakeskin digi-swinger THE ROCKET SUMMER’s shadow-addled, “Sweet Shivers,” or insurgent metallurgists BLANCK MASS’ electro-catastrophic mosh-rock, “Animated Violence Mild.”
Modern Nature - How to Live
Album title: How to Live
Record Label: Bella Union
Combining the creative forces behind Ultimate Painting and Beak, Modern Nature deploys calm post-rock opuses, embroidered maps hosting python sax and whispers draped over ubiquitous bass swimming in rambling trance; jazz-dappled appetizers bobbing in Krautrock punchbowls. A fluid, nuanced fairy-tale, “Live,” lives in backwater bliss, minimalist Zen head-trips circling feudal fields and pagan forests with unflinching mystery and intuitive moods.
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Esther Rose - You Made It This Far
Album title: You Made It This Far
Record Label: Father/Daughter Records
Genuine, sunny, quilting-bee dance-hall, “Far,” swings from mountain music to bayou folk peppered in Texas do-si-do doo-wop and rockin’ hillbilly twang; lazy Cajun fiddle whittling charming figures and Hawaiian slack adding to the effortless festivities. An old-school Grand Opry throwback, Rose goes for golden-throated nostalgia with clear rhymes, cantering cadence and classic heartbreak baptized in dandelion ear-candy and sisterly wisdom.
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Electric Youth - Memory Emotion
Album title: Memory Emotion
Record Label: Last Gang Records
Powder-puff purrs from silicon-chip mistresses and motion-sensitive sequences tweaked by studio-grooved gurus, Electric Youth pursues posh robotic blossoms plunged into plush narcoleptic luxury, curled vertigo inverted into moody, futuristic visions whizzing past opulent propositions. Slick, civilized seductions sprouting stainless angel-wings and soaring over palatial constructions, “Memory,” blends synthesized whimsy into uplifted artifice for voyeuristic insistence, tempting exemptions and sparkling exhibition.
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Possible Humans - Everybody Split
Album title: Everybody Split
Record Label: Trouble In Mind
Splintered six-string acrobatics barreling through estranged jangle as militant rhythms charge toward sordid destinations, “Split,” rips and sniffs garage-rock riffs with anxious disdain and scholarly mockery, terse head-first affronts by tough punks flexing jam-band flair. A churning whirling finely-tuned unit, Possible Humans scatter a basket packed in flashy influences, spicing up simmering opinions with live-wire pig-piles and rambling carny double-talk.
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Marika Hackman - Any Human Friends
Album title: Any Human Friends
Record Label: Sub Pop
Brawny, chameleonic pop asserting strong-worded verse into sultry declarations, Hackmann back-hands the establishment expressing diabolical gender politics whose smooth moves hide hard truths. Harmonies harboring cultivated barks dance beneath torch-song longing while cosmopolitan pondering flutters in overt flirting, turning, “Friends,” into frank, sweet menace colored in slow-burning funk; mutual-consent temptations bathed in tuneful ingenuity, coaxing emotional resonance from heady hallucinations.
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Ainslie Wills - All You Have Is All You Need
Album title: All You Have Is All You Need
Record Label: Ainslie Wills
Savvy ballads powered by subtly tumultuous sophistication, “Need,” sneaks fleeting details into tender heart-wrenching chemistry, taming multiple hungers through rich, empathetic vocals and smart, spirited lyrics, driving heartbeat percussion and lofty chamber-pop arrangements. Blessed in expressive restlessness, Wills builds teasing intrigue from intimate simplicity with grand candle-lit piano and head-spinning synths bursting into thirsty dance-floor grooves from lush, hypnotic solace.
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Family is where social motives begin and summer’s musical harvest reflect those roots with volatile indie song-cobbler OH ROSE’s perceptive street-cred dread, “While My Father Sleeps,” and back-road rhinestone poet JESSE MALIN’s narrative parables, “Sunset Kids.” Introduce angelic skywriter JAY SOM’s embracing alt-pop fantasia, “Anak Ko,” (My Child) to corn-fed court jester TAYLOR HOLLINGSWORTH’s wry, half-baked boogie, “Tap Dancin Daddy,” and it’s all relatable. Further extend the connection with carefree daydreamers PARSNIPS’ cross-eyed kinderpop, “When the Tree Bears Fruit,” and Aussie-pop supergroup SEEKER LOVER KEEPER’s nurtured panoramic urgency, “Wild Seeds.”