f you’ve made it to August ’22 without hearing the name King Stingray, there’s a good chance you’ve spent the past two years living under a rock – congratulations on your return to society. The Yolŋu surf-rockers (and current NME Australia cover stars) have earned incalculable buzz for their jaunty and jammy tunes, laidback personas and ardent connections to country and community – and, in just a few days, they’ll be releasing their self-titled debut album.
That’s just one of the many, many Australian albums to keep an eye on in August. This week also brings us the silky debut from neo-soul up-and-comer Felivand, while next week’s slew of drops includes the first record from Grazer, the second from WAAX and Kat Edwards, and a six-track ode to Meanjin (aka Brisbane) from Thelma Plum. The week after brings us the second albums from CLAMM and The Chats, and the next EP from Telenova.
Once we’ve settled from the surge of adrenaline that all of those records are sure to deliver us, our August slate is rounded out by a third album from Julia Jacklin that’s a little more on the calm side, musically, but still intense on a thematic wavelength. Of course, there’s plenty more to keep an eye out for in the local scene – among them new records from Stella Donnelly, Ben Lee, Alpha Wolf and Gordi – but for now, here’s 10 of the records we’re most looking forward to in August. Dive in:
“I have never felt more aligned with or proud of anything,” Felivand (aka Felicity Vanderveen) said upon the announcement of ‘Ties’.
The Meanjin up-and-comer cites artists like Solange, Kali Uchis and James Blake as key influences, but if the singles we’ve heard so far (like ‘Where Were You’ and ‘Not My Way’) clue us in on what to expect from the full effort, Felivand’s debut album will shine with a sound entirely of her own: one that meshes buzzy bedroom pop and spacious neo-soul with grandiose aplomb. Ellie Robinson
Felivand’s ‘Ties’ is out August 5 via Sweat It Out.
Two years later, their self-titled debut album more than justifies the hype. From triumphant opener ‘Lupa’ to disco-tinged groovers like ‘Milkumana’, to acoustic, slow-burning closer ‘Life Goes On’, the band weave across genre and language, singing in both English and Yolŋu Matha. One of the year’s most captivating rock records. Alex Gallagher
King Stingray’s self-titled album is out August 5 via Cooking Vinyl.
While the Melbourne band’s debut album immediately calls to mind terms like ‘lush’ and ‘atmospheric’, a deeper listen makes it clear their dream-pop and shoegaze influences are a jumping-off point, not a guidebook.
There’s a darker, more intense edge to cuts like ‘Subverse’, while the pronounced basslines and crystalline guitars on standout ‘These Days (Pass Me By)’ anchor the duo’s gorgeous vocal interplay. AG
Grazer’s ‘Melancholics Anonymous’ is out August 12 via Cascine.
‘Best Bad News’
Kat Edwards’ sophomore EP sees her reckon with growing pains in the best way she knows: with silky, groove-laced indie-rock that nods to the dive-bar grit of the ’80s and ’90s while wholeheartedly embracing the ultra-crisp, melodically charged pop sensibilities of the present day.
Bookended with emotive slow-burners, highlights of the EP come in the viciously catchy title track, where glittering synths collide with swaggering bass guitars, and in the soaring haziness of the earworm ‘Pretty Dancer’. ER
Kat Edwards’ ‘Best Bad News’ is out August 12 via BMG.
Thelma Plum’s six-track ode to the city that shaped her is a compelling listen from start to finish, as the singer-songwriter weaves a rich and riveting tapestry of Meanjin – also known as Brisbane – with considered nods to her most formative experiences, the characters that drove them, and the local flora and fauna that coloured them.
The soundscape is impressively dense for an EP, too, spanning everything from bubbly indie-pop (‘The Brown Snake’) to heartrending balladry (‘Baby Blue Bicycle’). ER
Thelma Plum’s ‘Meanjin’ is out August 12 via Warner Music Australia.
‘At Least I’m Free’
The first WAAX album (2019’s ‘Big Grief’) played strictly to the Meanjin punks’ strengths, and as a result sounded tight, but inevitably safe and predictable. By throwing caution to the wind on LP2, they’ve created something that will truly stun their fans, but also have them hitting replay for hours on end.
There are glimmers of melodic indie-rock on ‘Read Receipts’ and ‘Same Bitch’, summery pop on ‘No Doz’ and colourful synth-work on ‘A Man Like Me’, while ‘Dangerous’ nods to ‘90s piano-pop and ‘Jeff On The Streets’ allows the band’s two guitarists to unleash their freaky sides. ER
WAAX’s ‘At Least I’m Free’ is out August 12 via Dew Process.
The Queensland punks’ second album relentlessly thrashes at breakneck speed – the illusion that the wheels could fall off at any moment – ripping alongside frontman Eamon Sandwith’s point-blank poetry of the everyday (‘I’ve Been Drunk In Every Pub In Brisbane’, ‘The Price Of Smokes’, ‘Paid Late’). AG
The Chats’ ‘Get Fucked’ is out August 19 via Bargain Bin Records.
The Melbourne band‘s second album – and first to feature bassist and vocalist Maisie Everett (of Belair Lip Bombs) – channels the anxiety and uncertainty of trying to navigate fucked-up times, coalescing the political and personal.
From the tense, bracing discordance of ‘Something New’ and ‘Fearmonger’ to the scrappy, breakneck power-punk of ‘Monday’ and ‘NRG’, the songs on ‘Care’ build up the collective frustration of recent years, exploding in cathartic release. AG
CLAMM’s ‘Care’ is out August 19 via Chapter Music.
‘Stained Glass Love’
‘Stained Glass Love’ takes those nascent idiosyncrasies – the intoxicating, neo-nostalgic production, frontwoman Angeline Armstrong’s charismatic presence, the high drama of it all – and leans in, stepping away from those comparisons and presenting a band that have well and truly come into their own. AG
Telenova’s ‘Stained Glass Love’ is out August 19 via Pointer Recordings.
Julia Jacklin has always had a keen ear for extremes, bounding between soundscapes lavish or barren, and lyrics either reserved and vague or profoundly direct.
‘Pre Pleasure’ sees Jacklin find a comfortable balance on the musical side – she deals astute and meticulous runs of dusty fretting and glassy keys, laced with angelic strings and cool atmospherics – but lyrically, the material here is some of Jacklin’s most intense, never holding back with her gut-punching ruminations on religion, sex and trauma. ER
Julia Jacklin’s ‘Pre Pleasure’ is out August 26 via Liberation Records.