July blossoms with music to grow by. Whether literate indie-sprite SPRING SUMMER’s thoughtful, “T.E.A.R.S.” or space-jamming ramrods HOOVERIII’s psycho-fuzzy boogie, “A Round of Applause,” summer albums thrive and survive. Plant yourself alongside cataclysmic wizards PARTY DOZEN’s rip-roaring magilla, “The Real Work,” or molten manipulator LONELYTWIN’s limber synth-pop, “This End Has No Beginning,” before reaping math-punk ravagers BLACK MIDI’s eclectic tempest, “Hellfire,” and trippy folktronica songsmith RUSTY SANTOS’ funhouse, “High Reality.”
Standards - Fruit Town
Album title: Fruit Town
Record Label: Wax Bodega
Razor-sharp guitars kickstarting cross-stitched syncopation with prime number rumbles, pivoting duo Standards splinter thinking man’s panic, joyriding high-fiving and machine-tooled tomfoolery over pummeling thunder and dazzling flash. Whether cantering banjo somersaults or electric whammy-bar cartwheels, “Fruit,” produces fluid, flexible, prog-rock calisthenics; gracefully racing from collaborative lab-rat spasms to meticulous prog pop-quizzes firing surprising sparks with dizzying fissures riddling reliable designs.
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Alex The Astronaut - How To Grow A Sunflower Underwater
Album title: How To Grow A Sunflower Underwater
Record Label: Nettwerk
Happy bombast dashes in poppy puppy-dog philosophy as, “Sunflower,” gleefully releases mirthful bursts furnished in sturdy wording stirring cavalier feelings with feverish rhythms and ferocious whimsy. An infectious collector of monumental events born from ordinary discourse, ATA embraces day-to-day vitality, infusing adolescent ballads with ear-candy grooves, conversational melodies embellishing simple things with metaphysical court-jester grins, precocious hope and grand humanity.
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Naima Bock - Giant Palm
Album title: Giant Palm
Record Label: Sub Pop
Lit in tropical sauntering and baroque folk, Naima’s inquisitive indie-pop depictions delight in bright curios, cerebral themes seasoned in sensual connections and melodic narcotics. Bossa nova woven from placid jazz and infused in chamber-music nuance, “Palm,” lifts and lilts, breathing easily from yawning symphonics to flighty sighs, a casual mastery playfully majoring in simmering mysteries, moody perusal and measured pleasures.
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Elf Power - Artificial Countrysides
Album title: Artificial Countrysides
Record Label: Yep Roc
Subtle chords poured over chiming timebomb rhymes, “Artificial,” imparts strangely pragmatic magic with soft prophecies monitored in indie-rock objectivity, earnest doubt sensing ephemeral peril and spouting concrete lyrics hiding oblique secrets. Generated from structured percussion, hounded bass and synchronized synthesizers, Elf Power’s deadpan candor lands methodical thoughts caught in unstoppable clockwork swarming around elusive proofs, descriptive lists and existential chemistry.
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Stephen Peter Rodgers - Speck On A Clover
Album title: Speck On A Clover
Record Label: Unfinished Hearts Records
Level-headed perspective and unflappable affirmations glide in effortless epitaphs and sensible aphorisms while Rodgers unlocks smart hearts with cautious pop-rock optimism and folksy stoic motivators; well-tended scenarios whose sensitive cleverness yield common sense served with disarming charm. Wise advice dispensed in catchy choruses lecturing from precipices, “Clover,” hones tender empathy through various tuneful ruses, playing observer, participant, mentor and friend.
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Florist - Florist
Album title: Florist
Record Label: Double Double Whammy
Suspended in low-gravity ambience, the self-titled, “Florist,” explores musical feng sui, twinkling trinkets sequenced between golden electro-folk, precious bubbles of breathless beauty insinuating patient cadence casting willowy silhouettes capturing elaborate artisan facets in poised minimalism. Adept at modular process and acoustic maneuvers, Florist consorts with alien organics, unflinching glitches in contemplative savoring as isolation and communion mingle in tentative gentleness.
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Heal and regenerate with sweet pop beacon LAURA VEIRS’ shimmering, “Found Light,” First Nations MEDICINE SINGERS’ rocking cross-pollinating, “Medicine Singers,” and elastic rabbit-hole programmer ARP’s pixelated, “New Pleasures,” then be all you can be alongside smooth operator PATRICK HOLLAND’s immaculate compassions, “You’re The Boss,” torch-singing circuit-purger ATTIA TAYLOR’s digital fantasies, “Space Ghost,” or Southern Gothic chronicler TAMI NEILSON’s sassy, “Kingmaker.” Gather your strength to battle trap captain WU-LU’s confrontational grab-bag, “Loggerhead,” clear-eyed roots-rockers DAWES’ everyday fables, “Misadventures of Doomscroller,” and lunging polymorphic punks OOG BOGO’s incendiary. “Plastic.” Excel and succeed!