August albums extrapolate and speculate. Whether it’s cyber-astral spellcaster QUICKLY, QUICKLY’s mind-boggled beat-toffee, “The Long and Short of It,” circular-breathing demon BENDIK GISKE’s burrowing vertigo, “Cracks,” or Southern soul-man ANDERSON EAST’s renegade serenades, “Maybe We Never Die,” tentative guesses get tested. Go optimistic with even-keeled deep-feeler MAE POWELL’s subtle comforts, “Both Ways Brighter,” or dark with torrid oracle LINGUA IGNOTA’s chilling visions, “Sinner Get Ready.” What will be will be.
The Joy Formidable - Into The Blue
Album title: Into The Blue
Record Label: Enci
Sparks fly as champion rampages steeped in vaporwave masonry form alt-rock cauldrons cooking cauterized dream-pop inside the bulletproof, “Blue,” a crispy blitz hammering industrial phantoms into rhythmic submission and inflicting risky wishes with unblinking intimidation. Armor-plated enablers orbiting dangerous liaisons, The Joy Formidable’s sinister syllabus enlists illicit prescriptions beneath hallucinogenic menace, courting distorted sport with courageous rapport and stun-gun force.
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Marisa Anderson and William Tyler - Lost Futures
Album title: Lost Futures
Record Label: Thrill Jockey
Honed tones mosey from melancholy Spanish ambience to sober rodeo overtures in guitarists Marisa Anderson and William Tyler’s imaginative hands; haunted and hounded, the partnership’s nomadic riffs unloose aloof ruminations occasionally joined by floorboard drums and spiraling violin. Thoughtfully cautious and firmly assertive, “Lost,” fosters vigorous mystical road-trips, curious gypsy journeys seeking frontier peace in lonely crossroads and starlit side-streets.
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Indigo De Souza - Any Shape You Take
Album title: Any Shape You Take
Record Label: Saddle Creek
Upfront, wonderfully blunt and deliciously unambiguous, “Shape,” makes affectionate directness a desirable connection; personal lifeline reminders keeping it real with strong bonds popping melodic swagger onto utopian openness and emotional devotion. An unflappable wingman, De Souza’s hard-hitting indie-rock gifts swing in effortless depth as tactile facts backed by mega-electric guitars, bracing bass and clutched percussion beautifully fuse into magnanimous calamities.
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Roy Montgomery - Rhymes of Chance
Album title: Rhymes of Chance
Record Label: Ba Da Bing
Draped in clanging delays, possessed compression and submerged reverb, half-dissolved altercations permeate Montgomery’s laconic trance-goth sonics, restless fishnet experiments where methodical wallowing drenched in hesitant adventure evolves into penetrating meditations capturing aqueous tapestries. The nebulous narrative woven into, “Chance,” micro-manages chain-link fence tension and generative trembling facing an unflinching abyss; random abandoned memories sink in siren-calling slumber on galactic mattresses.
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Madi Diaz - History of a Feeling
Album title: History of a Feeling
Record Label: Anti-
Lessons gathered, scattered and battled, “Feeling,” peels revelations from regrets correcting weaponized missteps while mastering classic ballad disclosure through discrete self-exposure, willful lyrics and minimal instruments cradling hidden rage among rational reactions. Tender and tempestuous, Diaz weave songs around private concessions, attempted redemptions, venomous amends and honest intentions, confronting hard truths with bruising review and unavoidable choices with lusty rebuttals.
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Martha Wainwright - Love Will Be Reborn
Album title: Love Will Be Reborn
Record Label: Cooking Vinyl
Compassionate rapture encapsulated in volatile country-folk opuses, voracious vocalist Wainwright ventures past preening bleeding hearts, vanquished anguish and ravenous tragedies into transformative warnings adorned in transcendent magnificence; brutal beauty shining in uncompromising defiance. Orchestrated in divine rip-tide flourishes, the gorgeous, “Reborn,” cleanses weathered contentions, writhing, conspiring and prying open consuming wounds while piecing together tenuous remnants replenished in ephemeral remembrances.
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Summer’s multiple problems run from modern-pop space-hopper NITE JEWEL’s psychedelic discotheque, “No Sun,” to thoughtful caustic indie-rockers WEDNESDAY’s cathartic, “Twin Plagues,” and sunny siren COTS’ beach-town bop, “Disturbing Body.” Combine melodramatic masterminds OCCURRENCE’s computer-groomed show-tunes, “I Have So Much Love To Give,” with torch-singing minimalist MORLY’s smoky ambient-folk, “Til I Start Speaking,” add uber-musical VILLAGERS’ cozy multi-layered parade, “Fever Dreams,” then end things with stroboscopic synth-pop operators CHVRCHES’ plugged-in, “Screen Violence” groovy crooners FLEECE’s upbeat teasers, “Stunning and Atrocious,” or lacerating narco-punks LOVELORN’s submersible tourniquets, “What’s Yr Damage.” Buyer beware.