Read about our 6 favourite new music releases for the month of August, featuring a wide range of diverse musical talent from all over the globe. With so much good new music out there, there, unfortunately, wasn’t room for our ‘in case you missed it’ feature this month. Listen to the tracks at the end of the post or download or stream these songs this month…
The Black Keys
From album: “Let’s Rock”
Sometimes things do exactly what they say on the cover. On their 9th album, and first in 5 years, Akron, Ohio’s The Black Keys dial back the blues that made them famous to bring us a cleaner rock sound. Still unmistakably a Black Keys album “Let’s Rock” witnesses the duo in fine form. Even Dan Auerbach’s normal approach to singing – a vintage and rough roar achieved with loads of filtering and overdubbing – has been mostly stripped back to his natural voice. That’s not to suggest this is tepid fare, however. Lead single Go is a typical Black Keys belter with a bold hook and nonsense seasonal road trip lyrics.
(Also download or stream from the album: Shine A Little Light, Get Yourself Together, Tell Me Lies)
Song: I’ll Provide
From album: Sinner: KDJ-48
Over a mere 7 tracks, Moodymann demonstrates huge versatility. On offer here you’ll find club bangers (I’ll Provide), sunset chill out (Got Me Coming Back Rite Now), late-night groove (If I Gave You My Love) and, in the case of Downtown, even straight-up jazz. Laconic laid back vocals from Moodymann himself (somewhere between talking, singing and rapping) adorn a number of the tracks, together with some well-chosen samples and guest artists. Moodymann himself (real name Kenny Dixon Jr) is something of an enigma. He’s been producing music since 1997 out of his home studio in Detroit for his own record labels, but not much else is known about the guy. Who cares, as long as he continues to brings us awesome stuff like this.
(Also download or stream from the album: I Think Of Saturday, Downtown, If I Gave U My Love)
From album: Remembering The Rockets
Beautiful, apocalyptic jangly indie rock. Now there’s a phrase you don’t hear every day! On their latest album Remembering The Rockets, Oregon band Strange Ranger conjures up 70s rock band The Rockets (best remembered for this). In truth it sounds like they’ve been listening to another indie band entirely; opening track and lead single Leona closes with a refrain that’s mightily close to The Cure’s Pictures Of You while the very next track, the stunning Sunday, opens with jaunty guitars not a million miles away from Inbetween Days. Remembering The Rockets is the band’s 3rd album – if you include their previous incarnation as Sioux Falls – and it’s their best and most complete. But don’t be fooled by the breezy sound. Lyrically these guys are not in a happy place. Much of the record covers ‘where is this all going’ territory, whether the state of the music industry, the state of the planet or simply the state of relationships.
(Also download or stream from the album: Sunday, Planes In Front Of The Sun, Nothing Else To Think About)
From album: Egoli
Frustrated by the lack of African artists in a Live 8 charity line up, Blur/Gorillaz’ Damon Albarn and some likeminded friends decided in 2005 to form Africa Express as a vehicle to showcase African talent in collaboration with Western stars. This has been achieved through the medium of both live events and recorded output. Over the years, Albarn has roped in numerous heavyweights to join him in the endeavour ranging from members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Franz Ferdinand and New Order together with the likes of Fatboy Slim, Bjork and Paul McCartney. Egoli is the collective’s 6th album and, as its name suggests, focuses on the music and talent of Mzanzi. Local artists include Blk Jks, DJ Spoko Infamous Boiz, Mahotella Queens, Moonchild Sanelly, Muzi, Nonku Phiri, Phuzekhemisi, Sho Madjozi, Zola 7 and Zolani Mahola recorded the album together with Albarn and co. over 7 days in January in Jozi. Standout track Johannesburg features Gruff Rhys of the Super Furry Animals paired up with Morena Leraba, Radio 123 and Sibot.
(Also download or stream from the album: Become The Tiger, Bittersweet Escape, City In Lights)
Song: Keep The Change
From album: Satis Factory
On Mattiel’s 2017 album Whites Of Their Eyes (reviewed in our August 2018 edition) Mattiel Brown is there on the cover standing atop a horse in some nondescript scrubland. On latest offering Satis Factory she’s there again, only this time in a setting that looks like a combination of disused playground and industrial plant. So you’d be forgiven for thinking that her sound may have modernized from the 1950s blues of her previous outing. Not so. If anything she’s gone even further into vintage territory. The backing has become more sparse and her voice now sounds like she’s singing through zinc piping. She’s also developed a liking for Johnny Cash’s almost-laugh vibrato. Fun and unique.
(Also download or stream from the album: Food For Thought, Til The Moment Of Death, Je Ne Me Connais Pas)
From album: Hiide
Nothing much is known about the artist behind Babii other than that she is from England, writes, plays and produces all of her music, makes her own videos and designs all her own cover art. Oh, and that she evidently has a problem with the letter ‘i’. What we can tell you is that her music is amazing. Complex but still tuneful electronica over which she sings in an elf-like voice, sometimes in clear words, other times gibberish in the Bjork or Cocteau Twins vein. Carniivore is the most immediately catchy tune on an excellent collection. One to watch.
(Also download or stream from the album: Phantom, Seiizure, Skiin)
LISTEN TO OUR PLAYLIST
You can listen to previews of each track by clicking on the icons next to the song titles below.
If you have iTunes and an Apple Music account, you can listen to the full songs and add the playlist to your library. Simply click on the grey Apple Music icon.
See more of our music reviews and playlists here.