June was a great month for new music because the new Appleseed Cast record came out at the end of the month, and so that automatically tops everything. I also checked out a full album by Red Animal War which instantly became one of my favourite albums ever. How has it taken me so long to listen a full album by that band?
I’ve been doing a lot of listening on my itunes recently, so there was a lot of listening to albums that I hadn’t heard in a while, whilst the rest of my listening was generally taken up with checking out some new releases from this year.
If you’re curious to know what else I’ve listened to so far this year, you can scroll through my previous posts. Otherwise, here’s everything I listened to in June which I haven’t already blogged about.
Albums and EPs
The War On Drugs, ‘Lost In The Dream’ – Somewhere between Dylan, Springsteen, and the syncopation of krautrock stands The War on Drugs with a euphoric infectiousness that will make you laugh and cry at the same time. Highlight: ‘An Ocean Between the Waves’.
Connan Mockasin and Devonte Hynes, ‘Myths 001’ – As part of a recording residency at Marfa Myths festival, Mexican Summer have been putting a couple of artists together each time to record a limited edition EP. This one fuses the pair’s individual influences of R&B, funk, soul, indie, psychadelic pop, post punk, and more to produce three varied tracks that just begs for them to produce a full length together. Highlight: ‘La Fat Fur’.
Woahnows, ‘Young and Cool’ – A whirlwind of indie, punk, and pop. As with previous albums, there’s a lot of fun to be had on this 2019 release. Highlight: ‘I Know I Knooow’.
Sun Kil Moon, ‘I Also Want to Die in New Orleans’ – Mark Kozelek’s trajectory seems to be about making his lengthy, talky Americana more and more inaccessible. Thankfully, this doesn’t apply to everyone, and this album currently stands at No. 10 in my top ten of 2019 releases. Against the odds, ‘Couch Potato’ manages to be one of his catchiest songs since his ‘Benji’ output. Highlight: ‘Couch Potato’.
The White Octave, ‘Style No. 6312’ – Amidst leaving Cursive, going to law school, and starting Criteria, Steve Pedersen founded The White Octave, playing ballsy emo that cried out for a place on the Deep Elm roster. Highlight: ‘Appeals for Insertion’.
J. Robbins, ‘Un-Becoming’ – The debut solo album from ex Jawbox and Burning Airlines frontman is punchy and full of hooks. Highlight: ‘Un-Becoming’.
Owls, ‘Two’ – Their second album, some thirteen years after their debut, brings the same scatty math rock to the table, as if they had never the left, with the only acception of these songs being a little more focused and polished. Highlight: ‘Ancient Star Seed…’.
The Mountain Goats, ‘In League With Dragons’ – I’d heard the Mountain Goats mentioned a lot, so thought I’d check them out but I really don’t get it. This album was inspired by Dungeons and Dragons apparently. I can’t find a highlight as such, but this song is the closest to going anywhere: ‘Cadaver Sniffing Dog’.
Everything In Waves, ‘Echoes’ – ‘Emotronic’. I didn’t like it. No highlights, but here’s a taster: ‘Looper’.
Red Animal War, ‘Black Phantom Crusades’ – I loved the few RAW songs I heard on Deep Elm compilations back in the day. I am so upset with myself that I slept on this incredible album for so long. Every song’s a hit. Highlight: ‘Mouse’.
Astronoid, ‘Astronoid’ – Post-metal enthused with dream pop, with beautiful, ethereal vocals. Highlight: ‘I Dream in Lines’.
Old Solar, ‘SEE’ – Everything you want from a instrumental post rock record. Highlight: ‘Summer Solstice: Dancing Days in the Garden Well-Watered’.
American Football, ‘LP2’ – Coming seventeen years after their debut, LP2 brings a more mature bite to the twinkly emo that built them a cult following after splitting up. Highlight: ‘My Instincts Are The Enemy’.
Modest Mouse, ‘Strangers to Ourselves’ – Increasingly criticised with every album by OG fans for straying from their more lo-fi roots, personally I love both eras of Modest Mouse, and this album is no exception. Highlight: ‘The Best Room’.
Fresh, ‘Withdraw’ – I really enjoyed the title track on this indie-punk record, but the rest didn’t do it for me. Highlight: ‘Withdraw’.
Dark Blue, ‘Pure Reality’ – I thought I’d check this out based on the one track I’d heard. They’ve got a really cool post punk sound, but theirs not enough dynamics between the songs to really tell them apart. Highlight: ‘Never Afraid / Never Alone’.
Youth Pictures of Florence Henderson, ‘Youth Pictures of Florence Henderson’ – Delicate and dreamy post-rock from Norway that’s not afraid to go into bolder territory when needed. I really liked this. Highlight: ‘Puzzle: I’d Rather Listen to Weston’.
Haim, ‘Days Are Gone’ – Unabashed pop rock with an undeniable penchant for a great pop hook. Highlight: ‘Don’t Save Me’.
The Appleseed Cast, ‘The Fleeting Light of Impermanence’ – On their new synth-heavy record, there’s elements of their previous albums ‘Two Conversations’, ‘Sagarmartha’, and ‘Peregrine’ all wrapped into one. Clearly a contender for album of the year. Highlight: ‘Reaching the Forest’.
Coheed and Cambria, ‘Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness’ – A few years ago I realised that I still love the first few Coheed records and only owned one of them, so I bought the other two. Prog rock for pop fans/pop for prog rock fans. Highlight: ‘The Willing Well III: Apollo II: The Telling Truth’.
A Classic Education, ‘Hey There, Stranger’ – 3/5s of Settlefish went on to form this more chilled indie band, still retaining a continental and organic influence. Highlight: ‘Devilish Coast Sway’.
Individual songs I hadn’t heard before
Brandtson, ‘Nobody Dances Anymore’ – Nobody told me Brandtson did dance punk.
Viagra Boys, ‘Sports’ – I enjoyed the novelty of this, but not sure I’d listen to a full album.
Ada Lea, ‘Mercury’ – Very cool, brooding indie rock.
Pixies, ‘On Graveyard Hill’ – Picking up from where ‘Head Carrier’ left off, with a touch of goth on this one.
Lightspeed Champion, ‘Waiting Game’ – As someone who was sure he’d heard every Lightspeed Champion song, I’m not sure how this one eluded me for so long.
The 1975, ‘Love It If We Made It’ – Sometimes you just have to scratch that itch for some pop jams.
The 1975, ‘I Like America & America Likes Me’ – And again.
Black Midi, ‘Talking Heads’ – Insane post punk put through an odd pop blender.
Blink 182, ‘Generational Divide’ – Frantic, and I was going to say relentless, but it ends after 50 seconds.
Phoenix – ‘Entertainment’ – Great indie pop song with Japanese vibes. Need to listen to more of this band.