The summer is never exactly a bumper time for record releases, but still, there’s enough of interest in July 2013 to prevent this month’s schedule from being a sort of post-apocalyptic sun-blasted wasteland. Rejoice! As ever, Flavorwire has pored over said schedule to pick out the albums you need to hear over the next month, along with a roundup of everything else of note, be it good, bad or ugly. Yes, even Chris Brown.
Kirin J Callinan — Embracism (July 2)
I’ve written extensively about this album in the context of our recent interview with Callinan, so suffice it to say here that this is a) weird, b) fascinating, and c) many kinds of awesome.
Jay-Z — Magna Carta Holy Grail (July 4)
You may have heard something about this. At this point much of the analysis of the lyrics that we’ve seen so far has focused on the way the album appears to be shaping up as a curious homage to ’90s alt-rock, but a closer reading reveals just how bleak both “Magna Carta” and “Heaven” are. The former, in particular, seems to talk an awful lot about the price of fame and also the state of what sounds like a pretty dysfunctional relationship. Hmmmm.
Midnight Juggernauts — Uncanny Valley (July 9)
If you like lushly melodic electro-pop, look no further. Curiously, it’s also not the only Uncanny Valley due out this year — The Dismemberment Plan have an album of the same name due out in October. (If you’re wondering what the title means, all the answers you need are here.)
David Lynch — The Big Dream (July 15)
Look, if you’re wishing he’d just get on with making another film, you’re not the only one. But since that’s appearing ever more unlikely, let’s just celebrate the fact that we’ve got something new from David Lynch, and that on the strength of what the world’s heard so far — especially the decidedly Badalamenti-esque Lykke Li collaboration “I’m Waiting Here” (above) — this sounds like it won’t be bad at all.
Pet Shop Boys — Electric (July 15)
Our learned comrades at The Quietus have been raving about this record for quite some time, and happily the album’s now making its way across the Atlantic. It finds Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe working with Stuart Price, who’s also sprinkled magical pop dust all over albums by Madonna, Scissor Sisters, and various others, and it’s their first album away from longtime label Parlophone. And it’s a whole lot of fun.
Soft Metals — Lenses (July 16)
They’re citing Chris Carter as an influence, which is always a good sign, and lead single “Tell Me” (above) certainly has a whole lot of “Ab/7A”-ish sparkly synth action.
Scott & Charlene’s Wedding — Any Port in a Storm (July 22)
If it looks to you like this month’s selection contains a lot of music from Australia, well, you’d be right — but rest assured it’s not just your correspondent’s homeland bias coming into play. This is the second album from Adelaide-born, NYC-based singer/songwriter Craig Dermody, who operates a sort of ever-changing collective under the name Scott & Charlene’s Wedding (the name’s a reference to this, if you’re wondering) and specializes in writing songs that are both simple and yet full of profound emotion and meaning, something that’s a lot more difficult than it sounds.
Hunx and His Punx — Street Punk (July 22)
Our new advice columnist returns with a new record! Don’t forget to send him a question.
Fuck Buttons — Slow Focus (July 23)
An entirely welcome return for the UK electronic noise duo, whose first two albums were both ace in very different ways — their debut Street Horsssing is a full-on assault on your poor little eardrums, while its follow-up had a sort of slow-burning cosmic grandeur. (And Benjamin John Power’s solo project Blanck Mass was different again, sounding pretty much exactly like its title might suggest — i.e., dark, seductive, and somewhat terrifying.) Quite where they go with this album will be fascinating to hear.
Master Musicians of Bukkake — Far West (July 23)
Their name is still the sort of joke that probably seemed ace in high school, but nevertheless, there’s always been a lot to like about mysterious Pacific Northwest noisenik supergroup, so it’s a pleasure to see them back with a new record. There’s a distinct echo of Pink Floyd’s “Welcome to the Machine” about first single “White Mountain Return” (above), which is entirely OK as far as Flavorwire is concerned.
Also out this month:
Editors — The Weight of Your Love (July 1) Remember when this band were tipped for great things? Um. Yeah.
Mount Eerie — Live in Bloomington, September 30, 2011 (July 9) Yayyyyy for new Mount Eerie, even if it’s a live album rather than a new studio record.
Thundercat — Apocalypse (July 9) Bring the bassssssssssssss.
Eric Copeland — Joke in the Hole (July 16) Black Dice dude and Brooklyn experimental royalty.
Mayer Hawthorne — Where Does this Door Go (July 16) White boy ne0-soul FTW!
Chris Brown — X (July 16) Sigh.
Grant Hart — The Argument (July 22) New solo album by ex-Hüsker Dü veteran.
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros — Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (July 23) Wait, didn’t the Polyphonic Spree just release a record?
Gogol Bordello — Pura Vida Conspiracy (July 23) Their albums have never quite matched the joys of their anarchic, all-action live show, but still, this should be good fun for the summer.
Weekend — Jinx (July 23) Not The Weeknd.
AlunaGeorge — Body Music (July 29) Their names are, yes, Aluna and George. They’re tipped for big things. They’re, y’know, alright.
Backstreet Boys — In a World Like This (July 29) What kind of a world is this, indeed?
Earl Sweatshirt — Doris (July 30) It’s been three years since his last record, which is an eternity in the short-attention-span world of Odd Future.