Dashed dreams sabotage July albums. Witness prismatic sound-architect BOOKER STARDRUM’s cyber-tidal spiderwebs, “Crater,” and clear-eyed balladeer ANTHONIE TONNON’s sonorous discourse, “Leave Love Out of It.” Circle the drain with thoughtful indie-pop rockers RUNNNER’s vibrant, “Always Repeating,” or post-industrial environmentalist EVAN ZIERK’s flotsam sonics, “Endless Gesture,” before landing between country-folk road-warrior CHARLIE PARR’s incomparable swamp mythologies, “Last of the Better Days Ahead,” and L.A. minor-key devotees TASHAKI MIYAKI’s soft subterranean, “Castaway.”
Dot Allison - Heart-Shaped Scars
Album title: Heart-Shaped Scars
Record Label: SA Recordings
Tranquil tasteful banquets serving weightless graceful sustenance with delicious wit, “Heart-Shaped,” hosts magical musical tea-parties summoning raindrop piano singed in firefly violins, balmy harmonies and nylon-string acoustics; dew-soaked chamber-folk subtly fluttering and hovering over dark gardens. Beckoning reckonings spun in light electronics, Allison’s delicate gossamer text evoke baroque emotions, sweet suites infused with playful teases, deep secrets and spooky conclusions.
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Bobby Gillespie and Jehnny Beth - Utopian Ashes
Album title: Utopian Ashes
Record Label: Third Man Records
Passive rock theatrics roasted in seething soul and rinsed in restlessly desperate gestures, Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie and Savages’ Jehnny Beth concoct fawning belladonna ballads spiked in devious intrigues and trimmed in heartbreak hymns. Brave, estranged confessions, “Ashes,” rehash past romantic obsessions with moving tributes; patient condemnation mingled in shimmering regret building into anthemic contempt, bittersweet relief and cavalier weariness.
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Rodrigo Amarante - Drama
Album title: Drama
Record Label: Polyvinyl
Blessed in carefree flair and silky lilting visions, the infectious, caressing “Drama,” sparkles and lulls, seducing in flirtatious engagements and fleeting appeasements through a cinematic pallet chilled in Brazilian skills. A multi-instrumentalist whose collaborative career extends decades, Amarante’s second solo album flows in casual imagination as understated arrangements merge intimate simplicity into shifting rhythms, lifting whispered wisdom into starry carnivals.
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Royal Canoe - Sidelining
Album title: Sidelining
Record Label: Paper Bag Records
Electro-funky bump and grinds dancing in sunshine art-pop gospel, Royal Canoe’s seamless digital demons romp in rubbery feelgood tumbling, skulking double-talk moxie and warm flower-power flash. Swept into flexible up-tempo temptations, “Sidelining,” moves from mellow hellos to bright family affairs in a hop, skip and a jump; syncopated pleasure cruises gleefully gliding through intriguing beats, synth-soul love and sampler jams.
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Piroshka - Love Drips and Gathers
Album title: Love Drips and Gathers
Record Label: Bella Union
Cosmopolitan cotton-candy covering engaging phrases with trippy riffs and percussive muscle, “Drips,” exhibits effervescent intelligence through slithering opinions, melodic pre-dawn knowledge raised on battered plastic shoegaze and woozy neon synth-rock. Subdued truths melted into glamourous analogue fantasies, Piroshka’s posh Britpop roots conjure perceptive reflections whose easy demeanor leans on watery narcotic optics where reverent tenderness blends into groovy space-age bliss.
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Desperate Journalist - Maximum Sorrow!
Album title: Maximum Sorrow!
Record Label: Fierce Panda
Stern, surging Desperate Journalist’s unleashed jailbreak chic seethes in languid anger before detonating glorious New Wave mayhem, acid-splashed purrs, cooing accusations and egregious sneers stirred into swirling turbulence. Pulsating mirror-ball ballistics basking in backstreets, “Maximum,” captures demure uncertainty and frustrated displacement with ravenous appetites and fashionable grandeur, a brooding view into a garish paradise whose guarded facades hide dangerous derangements.
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Rebuilding wills occupies roadhouse show-boater JIM LAUDERDALE’s outlaw rock-a-billy, “Hope,” and cool chanteuse ANIKA’s palatable salvation, “Change,” drawing strength from smart solemn songsmith ANDREW BRYANT’s paternal, “A Meaningful Connection,” harmony-hammered rockers CLOUDLAND’s up-tempo empathy, “Where We Meet,” and Americana-pixie picker CAMERON KNOWLER’s mesmerizing meta-minuets, “Places of Consequence.” Get that mojo working with adventurous indie-rock sensualist TORRES’ penetrating gazes, “Thirstier,” and rakish maven MOLLY BURCH’s compelling spells, “Romantic Images” before tackling funky dance-punks MUSEUM of LOVE’s eerie hearsay, “Life of Mammals,” or intellectual thespian MEGA BOG’s poly-sprawling scenarios, “Life, and Another.”