(Photo credit: Joe Connor)
Need some new tracks to keep the spirit of summer alive as long as possible? You’ve come to the right place. July saw the release of debut albums from the likes of Francobollo (pictured above) and Sheer Mag, the extended edition of Sundara Karma’s debut album, Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect, and fantastic new singles from the likes of Palm Honey, Bloody Knees, Inheaven, Catholic Action, Weird Milk, and more. Check out this list of the 20 best new tracks from the month of July.
1. Sundara Karma – Lahkey
Sundara Karma just re-released their debut album, Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect, this month and added three brand new tracks. “Explore” came out a few weeks ago, but two new songs came out this month, the uplifting, anthemic “Lahkey” and the David Bowie-esque “Another Word For Beautiful.” While many bands’ promising early material is often watered down or depleted by the time they put out their debut album, Sundara Karma are an obvious exception, as they’ve improved their craft and artistry with every single release.
2. The Blinders – Brave New World
Doncaster, UK psychedelic punk trio, The Blinders, have been on my radar for a while now and they’ve finally delivered their most compelling track yet, “Brave New World.” Filled with references to literature, poetry, and politics, this tantalizing new track shows a band that’s now joined the ranks of the best political punk bands of the moment like Cabbage, Vant, and others.
3. Sheer Mag – Suffer Me
Throwback Philly rockers, Sheer Mag are one of the most talked about bands of the minute, especially now that their new album, Need To Feel Your Love, just came out this month. One of the album’s highlights is “Suffer Me”, which displays frontwoman Tina Halladay’s incredibly powerful pipes. The band’s classic 70’s sound is displayed in their Southern rock guitars and gritty vocals, which mix together for a sound that isn’t necessarily new, but it’s a sound that’s incredibly well-executed and hard to resist.
4. Francobollo – Worried Times
The Swedish, London-based indie rock band, Francobollo, just put out their debut album earlier this month called Long Live Life. One of my favorite tracks from the record is “Worried Times”, which hooks you in right from the get-go with the vocal “ooh ooh ooh’s”, which then become the basis for the song’s incredibly alluring chorus. Other highlights from the album include the fast and furious punk track “Finally” and the slow, sleazy pop tune “Kinky Lola.”
5. Bloody Knees – Not Done
British grunge quartet, Bloody Knees are a band that’s been knocking about in the UK scene for a while now, but have been patient and haven’t pulled the trigger on a full-length release yet. They’re back this year with a new EP, Maybe It’s Easy (out on October 13th via Distiller), and we’ve heard one cut from it so far, “Not Done”, which contrasts its vulnerable, insecure lyrics of the verses with bold, aggressive grunge riffs and gravelly lead vocals.
6. Palm Honey – Hot Simian Weather
Reading psych pop four-piece, Palm Honey have easily been one of the most exciting psych pop bands in a long time and having just released their flawless EP, Tucked Into The Electronic Wave, and coming off an appearance at this year’s Glastonbury Festival, the band have now emerged with a brand new single. It’s called “Hot Simian Weather” and it’s a bit of a departure from their previous material. Though the band doesn’t ditch their guitars, the song definitely takes a more electronic direction with its robotic, distorted synths and beats alongside frontman Joe Mumford’s snarly krautrock vocals.
7. Inheaven – World On Fire
The finest indie/grunge/dream pop band of the last decade, Inheaven, are set to release their self-titled debut album on September 1st via PIAS and they’ve just released another new track from the record, “World On Fire.” Much like “Vultures” which preceded it, the track is a seething take on the current state of politics. Chloe Little takes lead vocal duties on the verses, spitting out hot political takes like it’s nobody’s business (“he’ll build a wall and kill them all while he’s the last man standing tall / stupid is as stupid does / a man who lies / you cannot trust”) while James Taylor sings the chorus and preaches to the choir of fed up, disillusioned, young people who just want an escape from this madness (“play me to the end of the world”).
8. Violet Youth – Lucid Dreams
Violet Youth are a four-piece band from the North West of England who are due to release their debut EP, Primary Nature, via Modern Sky on September 8th. One of the tracks from this psych pop band’s first EP is called “Lucid Dreams”, which is so beautifully intricate that it’s easy to lose all sense of self-awareness while listening to it. The track brings to mind the vocals of Ride’s Mark Gardener and as the track progresses, its guitar and keyboards blend together so perfectly and it leaves a lasting impression of a young band with some serious potential.
9. Ethan & The Reformation – Free From Everything
Ethan & The Reformation are an up-and-coming psych rock band from Manchester and following the release of their debut single “Hollandia”, the band put out a brand new single this month called “Free From Everything.” The song’s Indian-inspired instrumentation, booming drums, and otherworldly vocals make for nothing short of pure, psychedelic bliss. You’ll feel as if you’re floating away on a magic carpet and you’ll definitely enjoy the ride.
10. Fling – Just A Dog
Fling (who I recently interviewed here) are an experimental pop/rock band from Bradford, UK and they’re one of the best, most distinctive new bands at the moment. After the release of their latest single, “Lookin’ Outta My Window”, the band have returned with a revamped version of “Just A Dog.” The song previously featured on their Orange EP and this new version’s production provides for much more polished and fuller sound. The track surely cements the band’s status as one of the best British pop bands around and you’d be crazy to sleep on this band’s infectious mix of oddball pop, psych rock, punk, and glam.
11. Warbly Jets – 4th Coming Bomb
Warbly Jets are a new band from LA whose self-titled debut album is due out on October 20th via PledgeMusic. They emerged with their debut single “Alive” about a year ago, which got them a lot of buzz including support slots with bands like The Mystery Lights and Circa Waves, a feature in a Pretty Green advertisement, a Chinese tour, and they’re now due to play a headline tour in North America and Europe. After “Alive”, they put out two brand new tracks this month, the Primal Scream-esque “The Lowdown” and now their latest track, “4th Coming Bomb”, an uplifting synth rock track of epic proportions.
12. Johnny Kills – My Shirt Guy Is High
British punk trio, Johnny Kills, are back with their fourth single to date. Following their latest single, “Let’s Talk About Me”, the band’s new one is called “My Shirt Guy Is High” and as you can tell by the name, the track takes the band down a more psychedelic path and it’s well worth the trip. The melodic, distorted guitars serve as the song’s meat and potatoes while its slacker lyrics add some charm and youthful angst (“I spend my days doing absolutely nothing”, “well hey I’ve had a really tough day / and I don’t know why”).
13. Weird Milk – All Night
Weird Milk (who I recently interviewed here) are a new British pop band and their debut single “This Close” came out last year via London record label, Ra-Ra Rok Records. Their new single, “All Night” just came out this month and it even manages to top their incredibly infectious, promising first single. In fact, “All Night” is a song you’d expect from a band whose already in the prime of their career. Its bright, mellowing keyboards mesh together so effortlessly with the pop guitars and harmonious vocals and the track makes for the perfect rainy day tune set on the streets of London in the 60’s.
14. Tangerines – Don’t Try
Following the release of their debut LP earlier this year, Into The Flophouse, South London rock quartet, Tangerines are back with more new music this month in the form of an EP called Skin Dives & Goof Holes, which contains tracks that were recorded prior to band’s full-length album. The lead track from the EP, “Don’t Try” is one of my favorites as the song’s production offers a slightly different side to the band’s sound. The song is much less rough around the edges and though I love the glam, punk vocals of their album, frontman Gareth Hoskins can easily pull off this calmer sound as well.
15. Beach Riot – Slackers
London rock quartet, Beach Riot, (who I recently interviewed here) are back with another new track following their latest release “Mr Fixer.” The band just released their finest track to date this month, “Slackers”, which features fuzzed out, heavy grunge riffs and punky, droning male lead vocals mixed with sweet, female backing vocals. Along with Inheaven (mentioned above), the band has one of the strongest male-female vocal combinations around and if the band continues to improve with each new release like they have so far, they’re going to be a force to be reckoned with.
16. The Lemon Twigs – Night Song
You must’ve heard of the two Long Island brothers, The Lemon Twigs, by now, especially after the release of their fantastic, retro debut album, Do Hollywood, which came out last year. The band have now come out with their first bit of new music since the album and it’s a new song called “Night Song.” The song will feature on a new, six-track EP, Brothers Of Destruction, out on September 22nd via 4AD. The band have referred to the EP as the last chapter of the Do Hollywood era and the new track definitely wouldn’t sound out of place on the album. If you’re into The Lemon Twigs, you can’t not like this new tune, especially because it’s already become a staple in their live set.
17. Psycho Comedy – The Hangman
Psycho Comedy are a punk band from Liverpool and following the release of “One”, they’re back with a brand new single “The Hangman” backed by another new track “Michigan State.” Their new single displays some solid psych/punk guitar tones mixed with growling, Iggy Pop-esque vocals, which makes for an aggressive, gritty track filled with both charisma and danger. Though we haven’t heard too much from this band yet in terms of formal releases, I have a really good feeling about these Merseyside lads.
18. Catholic Action – Propaganda
Catholic Action are a post-punk band from Glasgow and they’re about to release their debut LP, In Memory Of, some time later this year via Modern Sky. After an impressive string of singles like “L.U.V”, “Rita Ora”, and “Breakfast”, the band have just released a new single, the short and sweet “Propaganda”, backed by another new track “Sunday Driver.” Though it’s just under two minutes, “Propaganda” definitely packs a punch and this time around, they also add some synths while frontman Chris McCrory describes the song’s lyrics as “a bad reaction to a hellish night, spent up to my neck in landfill indie and cheap pints.”
19. Together Pangea – Money On It
Together Pangea are a punk band from California who are about to put out a new album, Bulls And Roosters, on August 25th via Nettwerk. Following the release of the punchy “Better Find Out”, the band are back with another new track this month, “Money On It”, which is exponentially slower than their previous track. Their frontman, William Keegan’s scratchy lead vocals hover over some nice piano and bouncing guitars and the band mentioned this track as a crucial starting point for their forthcoming album.
20. Wolf Alice – Don’t Delete The Kisses
Wolf Alice are finally back with a follow-up LP to their 2015 debut album, My Love Is Cool. The album, Visions Of A Life, is due out in September 29th via Dirty Hit and we’ve heard two tracks off it so far: the riot-grrl inspired “Yuk Foo” and the sweet, angelic “Don’t Delete The Kisses.” The latter of the two tracks is the polar opposite to “Yuk Foo.” It opens with hazy, ethereal vocals from frontwoman, Ellie Rowsell, and though the track feels as if it’s building up to a dramatic climax, instead the track keeps the listener wrapped in its tender, beautiful embrace and it makes me even more intrigued to hear the rest of their album.
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