I guess you could say that the Lorde has delivered us a spectacular bunch of new tunes in what has been another pretty exciting month in the music world. June/July has arguably been a standout month with more new album releases than you could possibly listen to. From big names like Lorde, Phoenix, Katy Perry and Alt J, all the way to some of the blossoming Aussies like Kilter, Crooked Colours and Tora. We’ve had a bunch of great records hit our mailing list and without putting a dent into that list, here’s a wrap up of some of our most loved for the month ahead. This is a Month In Music – July.
Toro Y Moi – Girl Like You
American singer/songwriter Toro Y Moi has made a brilliant return with his new single ‘Girls Like You’. Taking a slightly more RnB approach than usual, the single seems to ditch some of the raw indie elements of his previous material for a soft, lush 80s groove. While Toro Y Moi has established his sound in his own right, ‘Girls Like You’ could almost pass as an impossible collaboration between Drake and Phoenix.
SZA – Drew Barrymore
If you haven’t come across neo soul singer SZA (pronounced ‘Siza’) over the past month or so, she’s about to rule your world. After gaining some well-deserved attention in 2014 for her ‘Z’ EP, she’s returned a few years later with a debut album featuring the convenient label-mate Kendrick Lamar. Among an overall incredible album, it is ‘Drew Barrymore’ that’s an instant favourite on the record. There’s something about SZA that delivers both confidence and vulnerability in each and every song, and it’s this that makes ‘Drew Barrymore’ so likeable. We’re already calling this one a contender for one of the best albums of the year.
Flight Facilities – Arty Boy feat. Emma Louise
Sydney producers Flight Facilities are widely known for slow-dripping their music, but when they do, you know it’s going to be something special. The guys had previously been busy touring the globe supporting their album, all before playing a couple of massive shows with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. While it’s been 3 years since we’ve heard new material, it seems they’ve finally found the time to work on the next phase of their journey. Recruiting Emma Louise who featured on their previous album and on stage, ‘Arty Boy’ follows the Flight Facilities mould, allowing room for commercial appeal.
Portugal. The Man – Rich Friends
So you’ve scrolled through the first few tracks and nothing is quite gritty enough for your liking…well here is what you’ve been looking for. Alaskan band Portugal. The Man have been slogging it away, delivering their 8th album in over 10 years, and this might be their best fan album yet. ‘Rich Friends’ is the safe-bet track on the album, that’s not to take anything away from the highly appealing guitar riffs and easy flowing chorus.
The Killers – The Man
Okay, let’s get things straight to avoid any disappointment. This is not the ‘Mr. Brightside 2.0’ you were hoping for, but The Killers have returned with ‘The Man’, a fast paced, highly addictive stomper that rekindles all the lost love for The Killers. Combing electronic elements, funky bass guitars and a punchy Brandon Flowers, The Killers are back at their adventurous best. Speaking to BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac, Flowers desrcribed the track as “Sonically, it’s pretty funky, funkier than we’ve ever done before,” Flowers said of the new tune. Looking back at The Killers discography, there has always been some second guessing after a new album single is launched, and this is no different – and as always, over time the good music prevails.
Parcels – Overnight
It’s not everyday an Aussie band teams up with French electronic powerhouse Daft Punk. Made up of 5 Berlin based Aussies, Parcels who have been putting out some great music over the past year, even earning a slot to open for French powerhouse Phoenix, have gone one better and ticked off a major dream collaboration. ‘Overnight’ was co-written and co-produced by the masked duo, and their influence is immediately noticeable in the opening notes of the track. We’re not jumping on the Daft Punk hype-train on this one, but the track is a genuine pleasure to listen to.
Lanks – Comfortable
You may have heard the mature tones of Lanks recently after featuring on Kilter’s ‘Count On Me’. Now the Melbourne based singer has stepped up with a new solo single in almost a year with ‘Comfortable’. The track supposedly tackles the misconceptions and struggles of mental illness from the perspective of a close friend who works in mental health. Having previously been influenced by more electronic sounds in his music, ‘Comfortable’ flips the script to showcase his indie side. The maturity in production and delivery clearly propels this young talents recognition as a singer/songwriter into the big time.
Teeks – Never Be Apart
Listening to NZ artist Teeks, it’s hard to believe that something so deep, soulful and beautiful is coming from a 23 year-old artist. ‘Never Be Apart’ is a soulful bop characterised by guitar plucks, a gospel organ and Teek’s instantly signature vocals. His EP ‘The Grapefruit Skies’ is a worldly debut, and we’re pretty sure we’ll be hearing a lot more of this youngster in the years to follow.
Crooked Colours – Plymouth
Another ‘Album of the Month’ contender is from Aussie electronic trio Crooked Colours. The lads balance the fine line of electronic dance and indie throughout the album, offering something as emotional as it is boppy. By now you may have heard ‘Flow’ doing the rounds online or on the radio, but it’s ‘Plymouth’ that’s our pick of the bunch. ‘Plymouth’ is a certified crowd pleaser made up of a smooth fusion of indie songwriting and plucky guitars with electronic basses and a re-pitched vocal riff. What makes this album so great is the versatility of each and every track, which somehow seamlessly converts into their exciting live shows.
Album of the Month: Lorde – Melodrama
If you’ve been anywhere near planet earth for any part of the past few weeks, you would have been aware that Lorde has dropped her highly anticipated album ‘Melodrama’. With a highly acclaimed album under her belt, the release of mega-hit single ‘Green Light’ gave us the reassurance we needed, proving that this album wasn’t going to be victim of the second album syndrome. Keeping in mind that she’s only 20 years old, the New Zealand Singer/Songwriter is proving her originality and capabilities to record a hit under her own terms, not selling out with fancy collaborations or conforming to the pop norm. The highest of highs meet the lowest of lows as confidence and celebration meets vulnerability and mystery. Lorde plays it safe on uplifting pop ‘Homemade Dynamite’ and ‘Perfect Places’, but it’s risky ballads like ‘Writer In The Dark’ that no longer solidify Lorde’s presence as that mysterious teenager, rather a future icon of pop. Is it too early to call this Album of the Year?