July was a habitual month for me in terms of music. I found myself looking forward to — and later on embracing — highly anticipated releases, stumbled upon old relics that I'd stuffed into older playlists of mine, and excessively replayed albums released back in June — which is only natural considering the nature of this series. And while I did succumb to old patterns, I think that the month brought to us some of the most memorable records this summer. So, without further ado, let’s debrief on some of the most exciting albums released last month.
Where do I even begin? Since Gemini Rights came out, I don’t think a week has gone by without me listening to it at least twice a day. Dedicated to the rainbow of emotions that accompany break-ups, Steve Lacy used this record as a vessel to share his feelings with the world. What came of this mission was an incredibly relatable 10-track (no-skip) record worth a reservation in your ongoing list of modern classics — *knock on wood.* Filled to the brim with entertaining, Fleetwood Mac-level, narratives on breakups, soaring deep cuts featuring some of his best vocals to date, and questionably hilarious interludes, it’s hard to deny the lasting impact of this album.
Something about this record feels like the Steve Lacy record — the same way Igor is generally understood to be the Tyler album. But it’s still a bit early to tell. So, for the time being, let’s celebrate the third house and stream Gemini Rights.
Contributing to the alt-music scene as well as our growing vocabulary, Beabadoobe shared her most recent album Beatopia, last month, and it’s a gem. A perfectly imperfect collage of her musical evolution up to date, Beatopia is a multifaceted record. Exploring the sweet and the sour of romantic relationships, she patches together the theme with a well-portioned combination of scratchy guitars (check out the live version of “Talk” — you’re welcome) and sweet lullabies. Despite this familiar regiment, she still manages to squeeze in surprises like the stand-out, bossa nova-esque, track “Perfect Pair.”
One of her most well-rounded releases to date, Beatopia is one of those albums that reminds you exactly why you fell in love with an artist in the first place.
Following a string of fairly popular and devastating singles (“Fall in love with you” and “Destroy Myself for You”), Montell Fish finally released his sixth album JAMIE. Tales of love, loss, and longing, illuminated by sorrowful and distant vocals; Jamie feels like a cry from the ocean floor. Starting off the album with the title track “Jamie,” Montell Fish posits questions that later on become the driving force and the motive of most of the songs to come "Jamie, do you still love me?” From then on we see him grapple with fond memories turned sour and the highs and lows of being in your post-breakup depths. I definitely recommend adding it to your late-night rotation.
Allegra and Etta have big dreams and they plan to achieve them one song at a time. Setting their plans in motion to become indie-rock legends, they released their third LP titled Household Name. With tracks referencing both their personal and professional lives — like “Rockstar” where they vocalize their search for a new drummer — they laced the record with pleasant chords and stadium-worthy choruses. Filled with perfectly fuzzy guitars and heavy basses, Household Name deserves its own MTV Unplugged special. Reminiscent of iconic 90s rock with a modern and individualistic twist, this record is perfect for all the 90s-revivalists looking for their new favorite band.