From Florence & the Machine’s hugely anticipated third effort to Wolf Alice’s run-away success of a debut, it’s been a good month for albums. But, as ever, it’s not just the big guns that are worthy of a listen. Here are June’s best of the rest.
Theo Verney – ‘Brain Disease EP’: Continuing on from 2013’s ‘Heavy Sunn’, Brighton riff-monger Theo Verney returns with a new slice of scuzzy, growling psych-rock. With audible Sabbath influences and newly polished production, it’ll leave you itching for a full length LP to finally manifest itself.
Institute – ‘Catharsis’: Hailing from Austin’s thriving punk scene, Institute’s debut takes the clatter of Parquet Courts and the ominous atmosphere of Savages and combines them into something dark, dense but energetic. DIY to the core, it’s a punk LP with all the right spirit.
Communions – ‘Summer’s Oath EP’: Tough love signings Communion are one of a raft of new acts on the London label doing exciting things at the moment (see also: Danish oiks Yung and punk-tinged outfit Cruising) and ‘Summer’s Oath’ is a good taster of why. With a large hint of The Cure’s brooding noir-pop, their sound is hooky but hard-edged.
Elvis Depressedly – ‘New Alhambra’: Starting out life as the bedroom project of South Carolina musician Mat Cothran, Elvis Depressedly (A* for that name) has released six EPs of lo-fi melancholy in the vein of Alex G to date, but it's with newest offering 'New Alhambra' that he's starting to fully hone his sound. Fiancée Delaney Mills is now in on Depressedly's musical action too.
Fufanu – ‘Adjust To The Light’: Championed by Damon Albarn and selected to support Blur at their Hyde Park show, Fufanu come highly recommended and you can see why. ‘Adjust To The Light’ is intelligent indie that combines tricksy timings with electronic clatter and a decent slab of rock’n’roll too. Proof that you don’t argue with Albarn.
White Manna – ‘Pan’: California psych troupe White Manna return with their second LP following 2012’s self-titled debut and the results are no less gloriously sludgy. Most tracks clock in over the seven-minute mark, while the pervading atmosphere is of sitting in a stoner’s bedsit with the curtains shut forever. In a good way.
Grimm Grimm – ‘Hazy Eyes Maybe’: Grimm Grimm (real name: Koichi Yamanoha’s) used to front psych oddballs Screaming Tea Party, and has since gone on to release on My Bloody Valentine lynchpin Kevin Shields’ label and collaborate with Bo Ningen. No wonder, then that his full length debut reads like a sometimes heavy, sometimes hazy patchwork of off-kilter influences.
No Joy – ‘More Faithful’: For their third full-length, Canadian shoegazers No Joy decided to bring in Ariel Pink and Chairlift producer Jorge Elbrecht in and the result, as expected, is something that takes the duo down a new sonic path. Rather than the gauzy dream pop of Ariel, however, ‘More Faithful’ hits hard.
J - Fernandez – ‘Many Levels Of Laughter’: Arkansas-born, Chicago-based J Fernandez’ debut veers between baroque pop, improv jazz and stream of consciousness lyricisms. But rather than the head fuck listen that those combined elements imply, there’s a string of melodic sweetness that threads ‘Many Levels Of Laughter’ together into an easily palatable whole.