Month In Music – Best Thing You Heard In June?

Time to stop all the mithering about having a large, Worthy Farm-sized hole in our lives this June: Glastonbury may be taking a year’s hiatus, but there’s been plenty of other things to get excited about this month. And, accordingly, we’ve compiled a list of the best albums, songs and other sonic treasures the last few weeks have given us. Read on to relive the joys that June has brought us – and don’t forget to let us know your highlights, too, by leaving a comment below.

Maximo Park returned
Like drizzle-marred summers, sleazy Conservative politicians and England crashing out of major football tournaments, it’s comforting to know that some things never change. And so it is with Maximo Park’s latest, ‘The National Health’, which saw Paul Smith and co sneer at radical reinvention and just go back to what they do best – crafting high-NRG, indie-pop bangers – and nabbing an 8/10 review from the mag in the process.

Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs unleashed his belting debut

All bow down to (the splendidly named) Orlando Higginbottom, for the producer’s self-titled LP is one of the year’s finest debuts thus far: a sprawling journey touching from synth-pop to vintage acid and everything in-between, but still sounding utterly his own creation.

The Flaming Lips introduced their cast of wacky collaborators
Roping in such an eclectic range of guest stars – Nick Cave, Yoko Ono, bloody Ke$ha – could have created a total dog’s dinner. Fortunately, Wayne Coyne channeled the madness into a fine, collab-spotted LP – just nobody mention Erykah Badu…

Friends released the perfect pissed-up party soundtrack
“When it comes to fun, would you want some clever-clever try-hards for company or just some pretty brilliant Friends?” asked Lisa Wright in her 8/10 review of the Brooklyn bunch’s debut ‘Manifest’. If you’re after some joyous larks rather than highfalutin’ hijinks, then this lot should be your new, most-cherished pals.

The Smashing Pumpkins came back

Lo, a new chapter in the continuing Madness Of King Billy Corgan! And while ‘Oceania’ may not have been the humdinger we were expecting, the novelty of a new Smashing Pumpkins record’s not to be sniffed at. Other biggies released this month included new wares from Hot Chip, Dexys, Two Wounded Birds, Peaking Lights, Metric, Fiona Apple, The Walkmen and Luke Abbott – give them a spin in our Best Of June Spotify playlist below.

Muse unveiled their official Olympics single
The titanic Teignmouth trio gave us a taste of their forthcoming new album ‘The 2nd Law’ with ‘Survival’ – the official song of the London 2012 Olympics. It’s going to be played ENDLESSLY this summer, isn’t it? Read NME’s review of the track here.
Biffy Clyro showcased their new wares

It’s been a damn long wait for a new Biffy Clyro LP, hasn’t it? Fret ye not, though, because their eagerly awaited double-album will finally be out later this year – and the Scottish rockers have started showing off some of the new tracks. You can see some fan-footage of one of them, titled ‘Modern Magic Formula’, below.

Lana Del Rey joined forces with A$AP Rocky

Bit of déjà vu, here: this track, which was once-upon-a-time called ‘Ridin’, was previously snuck out on a mixtape and then promptly removed from the ‘net. But now its back and renamed as ‘My Bitch’ – and you can listen to it as many times as you like, without having to fear it’ll be eviscerated from the web by shady record label types.