KAYTRAMINÉ - KAYTRAMINÉ
Genre: Hip-hop, Electronic
Timed perfectly for an early summer release, this tight collaborative project between Portland, Oregon rapper Aminé and Montreal producer Kaytranada is surely a contender for soundtrack of the summer. While not strangers to collaborating, this fun new record shows the pair most in sync and having the most fun either of them having been having for a while.
Westerman - An Inbuilt Fault
Genre: Indie Rock
Soft rock that rewards you sitting down with a good pair of headphones or some crazy soundsystem. With a wonderful voice and understated but hugely detailed soundscapes, Westerman makes a folk-leading record that evokes earlier Bon Iver or Fleet Foxes, but way more indulgent in its lush soundscapes.
Folk-adjacent stuff are genres I usually only dip my toes into a little bit but I hugely enjoyed this record, one of the best sounding records of the year and one that was so easy to sink into and let wash over me. With thoughtful songwriting and smart pacing across the album, it's one that is a surefire hit and a standout in the genre, with recognisable crossover appeal to more general listeners.
JELEEL! - REAL RAW!
Slightly surprising me this month was this album by all caps rapper JELEEL! who has had some buzzworthy singles cross my path, but this album is a pretty ideal showcase for who might be a future hitmaker beyond tiktok virality.
JELEEL! is an interesting character looking like a jacked gym-bro and carrying an infectious energy that can be felt from his delivery and confirmed seeing him perform in music videos. This 17 track collection mostly runs with short songs that offer a nice hit of upbeat energy with punchy, fun lyrics. It works as a great soundtrack for the gym or driving, easy to get you pumped up and has repeat listening value.
With well placed features and undeniable energy, this ended up a big hit for me. Some tracks are proper bangers and other are melodic gems.
Overmono - Good Lies
Genre: Electronic, House
Overmono are a electronic duo from Monmouth, Wales who are bubbling under right now with some crowd-pleasing house music. Think of stuff in the vein of Bicep, suitable for clubs but leaving room for experimentation and features as much classic crate digging spirit as it does a push forward into newer dance music ideals.
Its catchy, but ghostly chopped vocal samples make a lot of these tracks a bit hit and showcase a lot of talent between the duo. Sure to be dance music headliners in the near future.
Neggy Gemmy - CBD Reiki Moonbeam
Genre: Synthpop, Electronic
It's a goooood vibe, this Neggy Gemmy (fka Negative Gemini) album. Spacey chillwave inspired synthpop, fans of Magdalena Bay will be pleased.
Hot Mulligan - Why Would I Watch
Genre: Pop-punk, Emo
Extremely solid hit of emo/pop-punk. No complaints, aside from maybe the tryhard song titles. But the existential angst is at full force and the lyrics are both catchy and tongue in cheek.
KayCyy - TW2052
Genre: R&B, Hip-hop, Techno
An expansion of the three track collaborative EP between up & comer KayCyy and French techno producer Gesaffelstein turns a curious EP into a longer and more exciting combination. Weird high-pitched R&B/hip-hop hybrid alongside Gesaffelstein's production is still exciting. The new tracks lean towards poppier, there's nothing new quite as exciting as OKAY! which mixed progressive techno with braggadocious rapping to make something fairly unique in the sphere. Though NO COLD comes close to that vibe with its industrial techno beat.
This release mostly feels more akin to Gesaffelstein's production work for The Weeknd and his pop-leaning works. But KayCyy's high-pitched melodic R&B leaning hip-hop mix really works well with the production, which is sublime. It's a shame that we've already heard three tracks from this, but if you haven't already checked them out I'd consider this a fantastic breath of fresh air for the genre.
felicita - Spalarkle
Felicita has been part of the PC Music label for a long time, collaborating with all the regular names associated with that style like A.G. Cook, SOPHIE, Kero Kero Bonito and Caroline Polachek.
This is their second album and it captures the sort of weird, fun and esoteric party vibe you associate with PC Music. It's no longer quite as mindblowing to hear music like this as back when SOPHIE was dropping their amazing set of singles back in the mid 2010's, but the production work on offer here and simply bizarre, but catchy ideas on show makes for something that's really, really fun.
SBTRKT - The Rat Road
SBTRKT emerged as a mask wearing mystery-man producing great electronic music mixed with R&B that seemed to show a new side of UK electronic music with his self-titled debut, putting on future stars like Sampha and Jessie Ware to make a great alternative club record. His overstuffed follow-up record also had some good songs but since he seemingly disappeared aside from a forgettable mini-album back in 2017.
His return seemed a bit worryingly similar to his sophmore record to me when looking at the long tracklist filled with interludes and a oddball mix of collaborators. But it's actually close to being a proper return to form. The mix of genres on show as well as ability to slip slide between tracks with the interludes does lead to a good album experience. Big highlights come from him re-teaming with Sampha and a fresh pairing with Toro y Moi just seems to fit like a glove.
Cochise - NO ONE'S NICE TO ME
Firstly, cool album art! Cochise initially came off slightly derivative to Playboi Carti's era of sugar-rush wacky take on trap music. Though it quickly grew on me given how Carti went in a different direction towards aggressive "rage" music. This EP is a pretty quick dose of a more focused and aggressive, but nonetheless goofy Cochise. Its transition from the opener to the hard-hitter YAKUZA TIES is a big hit and generally the project offers what you'd want from Cochise. It's consistent, light and entertaining.
Frost Children - SPEED RUN
Genre: Hyperpop, Electronic
It's like 100 Gecs but more accessible and slightly less 'memey' if you can believe. But also not as interesting. BUT the hits here are big hits like FLATLINE which channels silly 3OH3! still angst with fun electronic music / hyperpop blueprints.
Panchiko - Failed at Math(s)
Genre: Indie Rock
The tale behind Panchiko is so unlikely that a lot of people assumed it was a novel hoax and viral marketing for an album. They were one of many forgotten bands, until a random 4chan user picked up their CD in an Oxfam charity shop and uploaded it in 2016, plagued by disk rot. Curiosity regarding the record caused enough of a stir to catch the attention of the band's members back in 2020, long since disbanded but surprised by the new popularity of the record, uploaded a remastered version of their piece of art they assumed was long forgotten.
The story behind Panchiko is amazing, but the music is also pretty good! Now 23 years after the initial release and 7 years after its resurgence via the internet, they have a follow-up record. It's pretty good!
Jessie Ware - That! Feels Good!
Jessie Ware makes the best disco music around if you want purely throwback stuff that is endearing and mature, never really stopping to cheesy levels of nostalgia bait like she easily could lean onto. For me, this doesn't really build in the directions that I find personally exciting, but objectively this is top of the genre, with great song-writing, singing and authentic production. I prefer her previous effort a bit more, but this is something you can't really go wrong with, especially if you're already a fan.
yunè pinku - BABYLON IX
After a great debut EP last year, it's a quick turnaround for another one from the young producer, this one feeling like it wears its influences a little less obviously on its sleeve and features even stronger vocal performances from yunè pinku. Clearly a future star in this genre, her takes on modern electronic music as well as stuff that isn't afraid to turn back the time abit, without getting overly bogged in nostalgia.
Airy electronic that is paired with a great voice means this is a top EP and an improvement on the already promising work of yunè pinku.
Destroy Lonely - if looks could kill
After releasing his debut album last year and gaining momentum as a big player on Playboi Carti's 'Opium' label, Destroy Lonely is back with a huge second album that takes the namesake of a buzzworthy single released earlier in the year.
As someone who is a huge fan of Playboi Carti, Destroy Lonely has always been a curiosity given he's an artist who Carti has taken to co-signing and clearly acts as a direct influence. Problem is, releasing a feature length 1 hour and 23 minute album when you don't really have the stylistic diversity to push yourself over 40 minutes (especially with such a lack of variety of production and no features aside from the other Carti protégé Ken Carson on a bonus track).
There's a few good tracks here but somebody needs to help this man with quality control, this feels like one of those super deluxe bonus albums with so many tracks covering the same redundant topics with samey beats. Some good stuff here, but it's hard to really get a feeling for the album as a whole when it muddies itself in such a lack of diversity of sound.
Yot Club - amateur observer
Genre: Bedroom Pop
Yot CLub makes consistently pleasant summery indie music for the Mac DeMarco fans of the world, his debut album released last year went a bit weirder in a way that didn't always work but this feels right in line with his other EP's. Quick hits of sunny indie, including a nice cover of Kid Cudi's classic track Mr. Rager.
Flume - Arrived Anxious, Left Bored
Following the surprise release of the odds and ends collection Things Don't Always Go The Way You Plan comes essentially another volume of Flume b-sides.
All scrappily labelled as vague work in progress .WAV files. It's mostly a curiosity, but Flume's production work is so exciting and distinct that it's again, a lot of fun to receive more of his stuff and despite some of the stuff on offer clearly being ideas that were never fully fleshed out, this stuff sounds great and allows some of his weirder experiments to see the light of day.
Jean Dawson - "XCAPE", PT. 1 JEAN DAWSON AS "PHOENIX"
Genre: Alternative Rock
Two tracks which are part one of a trilogy of singles(?) from Jean Dawson. Entertaining as usual though I'm confused as to his intentions with releasing this series of singles and his apparent new character. It's intriguing, but the songs sound like Jean Dawson songs and it's not immediately clear from these two tracks what makes "Phoenix" different from Jean Dawson.