Editor's Pick of New Releases, June 2010
Forgive the slightly belated arrival of this blog. You know how it is. I wish I could say I had Glastonbury as an excuse, but the truth is I didn't attend (ten years since my last visit, now - I'm overdue a return). I was able to follow the festival through the BBC though - and there's still plenty of Glasto content available across these music pages, so do have a rummage. The truth of the matter is that I have simply been too deafened by the World Cup's vuvuzela onslaught to properly assess what my favourite new albums of June were. That, and I've been absolutely suckered by the HD television coverage, often watching highlights of a game I caught in full only minutes earlier just for those fantastic slow-mo replays. Really, just how brilliant did Dutchman Demy de Zeeuw's boot in the face during the match against Uruguay look in HD? Superb stuff, if not a little grizzly.
But I digress. Here are my picks of June's new album releases. (It's fairly chilled this month, a couple of exceptions aside.)
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Before Today
(4AD, released 7 June)
"Every track on this superb album is a winner - and, draped in the quiet glamour, fun and stateliness of bygone radio pop-rock, it offers evidence that Ariel has emerged from his bedroom to exact his revenge on Hollywood's Hills."
Here We Go Magic - Pigeons
(Secretly Canadian, released 7 June)
"Redraw those best music of 2010 lists because Pigeons, the second album from Here We Go Magic, will be alighting somewhere near the top of them. This is the sound of a smart, talented band carving out their own uncommon, enchanting space."
"On Further, The Chemical Brothers show no signs of fatigue, and the absence of any star names matters not a jot. It's better to continuously explode than fade away, or something. Really rather wonderful indeed."
"Virtually a concept album about the loneliness and lovelessness of the successful celebrity, a sort of sequel to Kanye West's 808s and Heartbreak, only more audaciously dolorous because Drake has only just started. Yet it ranks with the year's best."
Washed Out - Life of Leisure
(Mexican Summer, released 14 June)
"Chillwave, dream-pop, glo-fi, whatever - sub-genre classifications count for nothing if the music they describe isn't up to much. Fortunately for Georgia-based solo artist Ernest Weatherly Greene, aka Washed Out, his output is of a refined quality."
(Okay, this is an EP. But I had to include it for the track below - the best I-want-a-holiday-NOW video of the summer. And the song is beautiful.)
"The great live band has somehow managed to create a record so brilliantly brutal and fizzing with ferocious energy that it feels, from the first track onwards, like you're plonked face-down in grime and battered relentlessly with beer. This is a very good thing."
"Catching a Tiger is a debut that dreams beyond typical new artist parameters. Lissie already sounds like one of the greatest female vocalists of a generation. Give the girl a second and she'll steal your heart; give her another album and she will, quite possibly, become untouchable."
Perfume Genius - Learning
(Turnstile Music, released 21 June)
Recommended by Huw Stephens
"Though deeply melancholic, so sublime are these ten spectral soundtracks to the minutiae of a modern lover's tribulations that their sorrow is translated into something more uplifting than unsettling. Optimism might seem in short supply, but there's light at the end of the tunnel."
Wild Nothing - Gemini
(Captured Tracks, released 28 June)
6 Music Album of the Day 1 July
"A comment akin to 'believe the hype' would suit, if there was much to confirm. There isn't a whole lot out there yet - but what's here is so perfectly formed, albeit with material misery accompanying apologues of love, that it sells itself without the need for attention-grabbing overstatement. (Whoops.)"
The Roots - How I Got Over
(Def Jam, released 28 June)
Recommended by Benji B
"While socially conscious rhymes are the order of the day, it's impossible not to be reminded of Mayfield's Superfly soundtrack. The message is, essentially, 'Times are hard, but let's make things better'. As honest and uplifting statements of intent go, it's hard to fault - just like this album."