From indie rock to feel-good pop, the Australian albums out in July are well worth getting psyched about. The following weeks are stacked with exciting debuts and highly anticipated comebacks to look out for.
On the list are albums from up-and-coming acts E^ST, Paradise Club and Holiday Party as well as longtime favourites like DMA’S, Lime Cordiale, Cub Sport and more. Here are the Australian records that NME recommends you get across in July 2020.
Prior to their formation as Holiday Party, Mel Tickle and Luke McDonald were part of two of the most underrated Brisbane bands of all time – Little Scout and The John Steel Singers, respectively. Although they don’t shy from their indie-rock past on their self-titled debut, they don’t exactly dwell on it either.
Instead, the duo focus more on their sparkling pop hooks and pristine layers of instrumentation. Tickle sounds like she’s having the time of her life across summery swirls like ‘Let Down’ and ‘I’m Still Here’, complemented by McDonald’s groove-oriented arrangements. ‘Holiday Party’ is an album of pure, much-needed sunshine. David James Young
Holiday Party’s ‘Holiday Party’ is out on July 3.
‘14 Steps To A Better You’
In case you couldn’t already tell by their huge presence in 2019’s Hottest 100 countdown, Lime Cordiale have quickly become Australian music’s beverage of choice. The Leimbach brothers have gained considerable momentum in the last 18 months, with a string of singles striking a massive chord with an ever-burgeoning audience.
Whether it’s the rollicking ‘Getaway’ or the playful ‘Addicted To The Sunshine’, the pop-rock outfit know how to play to their strengths and write a killer hook to boot. ‘14 Steps To A Better You’ compiles all seven singles from the last two years, matching them with a fresh batch of summer-ready anthems. DJY
Lime Cordiale’s ‘14 Steps To A Better You’ is out via Chugg Music / London Cowboys on July 10.
One of Australia’s proudest exports are poised to hit a home run with their triumphant third record, six years since ‘Delete’ thrust them into the spotlight. On the ambitious album recorded over six months and three continents, DMA’S finally shake the Britpop label they’ve been saddled with since day dot, broadening their boundaries and adventuring into electronic territory while retaining everything that makes them shine.
A bold and wide-ranging album that moves coherently between slow-burning ballads and soaring, euphoric shout-along anthems, this feels like the record the Sydney trio have been trying to make since their formation. Alex Gallagher
DMA’S’ ‘The Glow’ is out via I OH YOU on July 10.
‘Fall From Grace’
As its lead single makes clear, the second full-length album from producer Grace Stevenson is not club music – at least, not in its most basic sense. Asking listeners to do more than just dance, ‘Fall From Grace’ turns the conventions of its industrial-tinged techno as a backdrop for introspection, identity and shared understanding.
Anchored by throbbing synths and hypnotic beats, Rebel Yell’s latest still offers searing, bass-heavy bangers, but underneath lies a call for vulnerability against complacency, empathy over apathy – one that resounds far beyond the dancefloor. AG
Rebel Yell’s ‘Fall From Grace’ is out via Rice Is Nice Records on July 10.
With an array of blissed-out beats, booming bass and boutique brilliance, Alice Ivy has evolved into one of the country’s strongest and most arresting producers. Her 2018 debut ‘I’m Dreaming’ simultaneously trumpeted Ivy’s arrival and showed a world of potential for her future.
This much has been realised on ‘Don’t Sleep’ – which, as its title suggests, serves as somewhat of a creative flipside to its predecessor. Once again, Ivy rolls out the red carpet for a stellar cast of collaborators: indie veteran Bertie Blackman returns, while Thelma Plum and SAFIA’s Benjamin Joseph, among others, also join in. DJY
Alice Ivy’s ‘Don’t Sleep’ is out via Dew Process on July 17.
‘Maybe We Could’
After Chloe Kaul and Simon Lam stepped away from the project to work on their respective solo endeavours, Kllo have reunited, reinvigorated, for their sophomore album. The Melbourne cousins demonstrate a confidence in themselves, with album highlights like ‘Cursed’ and ‘Somehow’ distilling the brand of tender, emotion-driven dance music they introduced with 2017’s ‘Backwater’ into its most potent elements.
A little more downtempo than its precursor, ‘Maybe We Could’ takes its time, its canvas of hazy synths, sparse piano chords and club-inspired percussion working in tandem with Kaul’s honest meditations on doubt and desire. AG
Kllo’s ‘Maybe We Could’ is out via Good Manners Records on July 17.
Paradise Club manage to make their dreamy, lush emo shimmer in a way that’s sentimental without ever feeling saccharine. On their debut album – three and a half years in the making – the Adelaide band blend warm, textural layers of guitars and synths with propulsive rhythms for an album that sways as much as it bops, soundtracking the intoxicating, heady feeling of nostalgia.
As with all great pop music, the bright, borderline-summery tones on ‘Paradise Club’ belie its thoughtful, introspective lyrics: heart-on-sleeve reflections on love and loss, death and yearning, and the fleeting passage of time. AG
Paradise Club’s ‘Paradise Club’ is out via Farmer & The Owl on July 17.
Although Tim Nelson dropped his name from the band’s moniker in order to focus on the collective, his personal journey is inextricable from Cub Sport’s music. The project has detailed everything from his greatest fears to his wildest dreams – unafraid of the darkness, but still allowing the light to shine in.
‘LIKE NIRVANA’, the band’s fourth album, takes the Cub Sport sound to even farther reaches than ever before. Their brightest, clearest pop is matched with their darkest, most experimental electronic endeavours. It’s Cub Sport’s most challenging LP yet. DJY
Cub Sport’s ‘LIKE NIRVANA’ is out via Cub Sport Records/Believe on July 24.
On his first solo album in four years, Marcus Whale – one half of long-distance pop duo Collarbones – disrupts all manner of sonic and mythological binaries. Distorting the high drama of religious tradition to imagine the fallen angel as a literal queer icon, the theatrical foundations of ‘Lucifer’ underscore its deeply personal, intimate nature.
From the warped industrial club aesthetics on opener ‘Proud and Dirty’ to the smouldering, airy synths and Whale’s mournful croon on final track ‘Everywhere’, the album takes its cues from that great tradition of subversive queer art: its most confronting moments are also its most liberating. AG
Marcus Whale’s ‘Lucifer’ is out on July 24.
‘I’m Doing It’
Recent singles such as ‘Talk Deep’ and ‘Flight Path’ have showcased E^ST’s talent for marshalling open-book vulnerability into indelible earworms. Her songs, while entirely personal, have the power to speak directly to listeners.
Having undertaken national tours and performed at arenas all before turning 20, E^ST understandably carries a huge weight of expectation into her much-anticipated debut album. Still, it’s nothing that this wunderkind can’t handle – if anything, ‘I’m Doing It’ will serve as a greater realisation of the potential shown across her previous EPs. DJY
E^ST’s ‘I’m Doing It’ is out via Warner Music Australia on July 31.