The 10 Albums We’re Most Excited About in July

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The 10 Albums We’re Most Excited About in July

July is now upon us which means summer is in full swing, so you’ll probably be needing some new tunes to soundtrack this sometimes exhilarating, sometimes woeful season. This month has plenty of records for both moods. A talented cast of musicians like Julien Baker, Craig Finn, Daughter, Lauren Mayberry and Ben Gibbard are teaming up for a Frightened Rabbit tribute album, Austin rock veterans Spoon are unleashing a greatest hits record featuring a brand new song, and most notably, Chicago’s Chance The Rapper is releasing his highly-anticipated, currently untitled “debut owbum,” what will be his first traditional release. Keep scrolling to get the scoop on all the records we’re most looking forward to in July.

July 5

Necking: Cut Your Teeth
Mint Records

Cut Your Teeth, the debut album from Vancouver quartet Necking, has too much nuanced humanity to write them off as just another punk band. Their minimal, shouty post-punk and grunge-tinted rock songs would fall flat if they weren’t performed with discernible gusto or infused with as much simmering rage or relatable sulk. Perhaps one of the reasons their emotions are so believable is that three of the four band members went through breakups while writing the album. That said, the four women that make up Necking—singer Hannah Karren, guitarist Nada Hayek, bassist Sonya R and drummer Melissa Kuipers—aren’t just howling about the usual suspects. They do so when necessary, but first and foremost, they embark on a quest to become functioning people, or whatever their own definition of that is. Their frenzied rhythms have a sense of urgency, and their twitchy, melodic guitars utter a threatening “Get out of my way” just as much as an overwhelmed “I’m losing my mind!” —Lizzie Manno

Memphis Industries

Originally a Los Angeles native, singer/songwriter Jesca Hoop now lives in the U.K. and recorded her new album STONECHILD in Bristol with producer John Parish, who’s worked with artists like PJ Harvey and This is the Kit. Kate Stables and Rozi Plain of the latter band appear on STONECHILD, as do Lucius, who offer backup vocals on album track “Shoulder Charge.” She may be an expat, but Hoop has never shied away from singing about American issues. “’Red White and Black’” is a poem, like a snapshot, set in post civil war USA when slavery was “abolished” and swiftly rebranded by the prison system,” she says of the single. “It’s a personal acknowledgement and willingness to join the conversation for change.” And that she does. On STONECHILD, Hoop sings softly and sweetly, but she leads us through dark territory. But the hope is to inspire some comfort with this record, or, in Hoop’s words: “wrap its arms around our human planet spinning in its increasingly precarious wobble.” —Ellen Johnson

More notable July 5 releases: The Soft Cavalry: The Soft Cavalry, KOKOKO!: Fongola!, Mark Mulcahy: The Gus, The Quiet Temple: The Quiet Temple

July 12

Drab Majesty: Modern Mirror
Dais Records

On their third album Modern Mirror, Los Angeles synth-pop duo Drab Majesty sound more majestic than ever. Their futuristic vocals, entrancing rhythms, bittersweet sentiments and lush guitars emit forces of woe and uplift that never feel contradictory. The record was inspired by the group’s trip to Greece, and they take influence from the ancient myth “Echo and Narcissus,” taken from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. They explore the story of the dangerously ego-driven Narcissus who falls in love with his own reflection, but it’s retold through the lens of postmodern triggers for self-obsession like technological proliferation and lack of quiet self-reflection. Drab Majesty’s lustrous synth escapades and intergalactic bleeps are just as slick as their commentary on modern day romance and personal conundrums. —Lizzie Manno

Frightened Rabbit: Tiny Changes: A Celebration of The Midnight Organ Fight
Canvasback Music/Atlantic

Instead of releasing a box set reissue with demos and rarities of his indie classic The Midnight Organ Fight, Scott Hutchison decided to ask some of his musician friends, tour openers and contemporaries to cover the songs for the record’s 10th anniversary celebration. Hutchison tragically took his own life just over a year ago when the tribute album was still being finished, so Tiny Changes: A Celebration of The Midnight Organ Fight’s takes on an even stronger meaning. Featuring artists like Julien Baker, Craig Finn, Daughter, Lauren Mayberry, The National’s Aaron Dessner, Manchester Orchestra, Sarah Silverman(!), Ben Gibbard, The Twilight Sad and many more, it may not be nearly as cohesive as the original, but it has just as much heart, a fitting tribute for one of the best lyricists of his generation. —Steven Edelstone

Palace: Life After
Fiction Records

Chances are you’ve forgotten about Palace, the London rock trio whose 2016 debut LP So Long Forever landed not with a thud, but floated quietly across the Atlantic in a cloud of potential streams. Thanks to singles like “Live Well” and “Bitter,” the band have more than 400,000 monthly Spotify listeners—yet, they’d never be the first “British rock band” you’d name if prompted at a party. Unlike so many of the biggest English exports, they’re not punk. They’re something quieter and broodier, and their latest singles even seem to recall their poppier, acoustic beginnings, not too far off from Hozier’s roots-rock debut. It’s been a mysteriously silent few years for the band, but it sounds like our patience may have paid off. —Ellen Johnson

More notable July 12 releases: New Order: ?(No,12k,Lg,17Mif) New Order + Liam Gillick: So it goes.., Bloc Party: Silent Alarm Live, Metz: Automat, Penelope Isles: Until the Tide Creeps In, Bleached: Don’t You Think You’ve Had Enough?, Gauche: A People’s History of Gauche, Torche: Admission, Khruangbin: Hasta El Cielo

July 18

Saul Williams: Encrypted & Vulnerable
Pirates Blend

Saul Williams is nothing short of a hip-hop Renaissance man. The poet, rapper, actor, playwright and incredibly important thinker’s seventh release is somehow the first one he’s declared to be a “spoken word” album. Williams’ art has always flirted with spoken word, always fabulously blurring the line between rap and poetry. On Encrypted & Vulnerable, Williams looks to further the futuristic and cinematic world he created on the groundbreaking Martyr Loser King. In fact, the new album serves as the score to the Williams-directed Neptune Frost musical, executive-produced by Lin-Manuel Miranda. In a statement, Williams said Encrypted & Vulnerable is “simultaneously a personal and intimately optimistic takedown on struggle, defiance, awareness, aloneness, and a takedown of heteronormative capitalistic patriarchal authoritarian politics in topics ranging from love, technology, religion, war, to migration.” As one of the most eloquent and distinguished hip-hop minds of our generation, we get the feeling he’ll achieve exactly what he’s setting out to do. —Adrian Spinelli

July 19

Smoking Room

Tony Molina has never needed long to make an impression—his songs typically cut off after a minute or so anyways. On SONGS FROM SAN MATEO COUNTY, a rarities record the Bay Area-based Molina describes as “a bunch of songs that were supposed to come out but never did,” he largely ditches the Beatles-esque acoustics of his previous two albums in favor of in-your-face power pop, complete with loads of face-melting guitar solos throughout. Essentially, Molina went out and released the best Weezer album since Pinkerton, the kind of record Rivers Cuomo would’ve killed to write. —Steven Edelstone

More notable July 19 releases: Goon: Heaven is Humming, Ada Lea: what we say in private, HUNNY: Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes., Generationals: Reader As Detective

July 26

Angie McMahon: Salt
Dualtone/AWAL Records

One of our standout discoveries at this past South By Southwest, Australian artist Angie McMahon is now releasing her debut LP on Dualtone Records, a partnership she announced during the festival where she was awarded the Grulke Prize for Best Developing International Act. Considering she has only released five or six tracks for us to spin incessantly since then (and they are, by all means, each incredible) we’ve been ready for this album since first hearing McMahon’s guitar fill the vaulted ceilings of a church in Austin. McMahon’s gorgeous vocals range over somber folk melodies, evoking passionate emotions in anyone within earshot. Look no further than the stunning energy of “Keeping Time,” for the essence of one of the finest vocalists and songwriters we’ve had the pleasure of discovering this year. —Adrian Spinelli

Spoon: Everything Hits At Once: The Best of Spoon
Matador Records

Spoon may not have traditional “hits”—they’ve never had a Billboard Hot 100 single, after all—but they’ve become one of America’s most consistently great rock bands over the past 20 years or so, with each new release somehow one-upping its predecessor. In a major flex to show off the incredible run they’ve been on, the legendary Austin band is gearing up to release a greatest hits album, one that includes at least one song from each of their last seven albums. The record also features a new song, “No Bullets Spent,” that will surely whet your appetite for new music in the near future. —Steven Edelstone

More notable July 26 releases: B Boys: Dudu, Caamp: By and By, Strange Ranger: Remembering the Rockets, Florist: Emily Alone, Of Monsters and Men: Fever Dream, Violent Femmes: Hotel Last Resort, Mini Mansions: Guy Walks Into a Bar…


Chance The Rapper: TBA

2019 is shaping up to be an exciting year for Chance the Rapper fans. His beloved first two mixtapes, 10 Day and Acid Rap, are finally on Spotify after years exclusively available on their origin platform SoundCloud, and his fourth is apparently en route. Ever since 2016’s pre-election Coloring Book swept listeners away in a joyful frenzy of gospel choirs and unabashed optimism, we’ve been waiting and hoping for its follow-up. Instead, we’ve heard lots of Chance features (on albums by DJ Khaled, Cardi B and 2 Chainz, among them) and a handful of singles last summer. There’s still no release date, but we’re clinging to the truth of Chance’s Twitter handle, which currently reads, “Chance The Rapper Album in July.” We don’t really have any idea what it will sound like, but the 26-year-old has pushed boundaries and rocked the rap norm before. He can do it again. —Ellen Johnson

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