Music

The 15 albums we can’t wait to hear in August

This month brings us comebacks, debuts, lost-recordings, hidden gems and blockbusters, giving the woozy late summer holidays a soundtrack to get excited by.

August 5

Calvin Harris – Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2

Calvin Harris - Stay With Me ft Justin Timberlake, Halsey & Pharrell (Official Video)

“Five years on from his super sleek and contemporary take on disco-funk, Calvin Harris returns with Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2 – and just at the height of summer. Again working with the likes of Pharrell Williams, the Scotsman has also invited a broad spectrum of new guests, from 21 Savage to Dua Lipa .” John

Kasabian – The Alchemist’s Euphoria

Kasabian - SCRIPTVRE (Official Video)

“Serge is stepping out front for the album no one thought would ever happen – kicking Kasabian into a whole new era. Pulling influences from Kanye and 70s soul cuts, the new record sounds like it’s hitting the fork in the road by picking another path completely. ‘ALYGATYR’ gave us what we all expected, but ‘SCRIPTVRE’ sounded like The Beastie Boys soundtracking Bollywood on autotune. More of that please.” Ali

Kokoroko – Could We Be More

Kokoroko - Age of Ascent

“It’s actually a surprise to remember the London jazz collective Kokoroko haven’t already released a debut LP, so popular and present they’ve been since ‘Abussey Junction’ broke through in 2019. In that time they’ve only further refined their sound, so expect nothing short of excellence.” John

Dust Star – Open Up That Heart

Dust Star - Can't Stop Thinkin' Of You

“Dust Star occupy similar territory to the much-missed Marked Men: hard-charging punk rock that flirts with the boundaries of power pop. Their debut arrives this month on Lame-O Records, an overwhelming sign of quality for anyone who likes their indie to pop as much as it rocks. Debut single ‘Nothing In My Head’ is a relentless bluesy rocker, but the title track, ‘Work It Out’, and ‘Can’t Stop Thinkin’ Of You’ veer closer to Cheap Trick at their swooniest or Big Star at their loudest.” Mark

August 12

Pale Waves – Unwanted

Pale Waves - Jealousy (Official Music Video)

“The third studio album from the Manchester outfit arrives just a year after their sophomore record dropped. After being incredibly open about their sexuality and gender identities on previous records, they have opened the doors and welcomed in legions of LGBTQ+ fans. Having already released ‘Lies’, ‘Reasons to Live’, and ‘Jealousy’, all three tracks see the album leaning more into the punk elements Pale Waves previously blended with 80s synthpop sounds. The inspirations read like a who’s-who of my iPod from 15 years ago, including artists like My Chemical Romance and Alanis Morrissette, and with a road trip planned for this weekend this is already the perfect playlist for those of us who love to scream and dance along from the passenger seat.” Orlaith

Kiwi Jr. – CHOPPER

Kiwi Jr. - "The Extra Sees The Film" (official lyric video)

“The Canadian quartet have two flawless albums under their belt already, so hopes are sky high for this one. The three singles already taken from Chopper are as good as anything else they’ve released, refining their trademark idiosyncratic slacker rock and adding misty eyed synths on the stunning ‘The Extra Sees The Film’. Word is spreading about these guys and not before time either.” Mark

Been Stellar – Been Stellar

Been Stellar - Manhattan Youth (Lyric Video)

“The band I watched at The Great Escape was not the same one I saw at Latitude. Evolving fast over the last few months, Been Stellar have already outgrown their buzz and matured into something much more interesting than all those Interpol and Sonic Youth comparisons. A full album is still a way off, but the first EP ought to be worth it alone just to hear ‘Manhattan Youth’ and ‘Ohm’ in full again. (Also it might be worth some actual money one day when the band become big enough to have rare debut vinyls floating around eBay…)” Paul

August 19

Demi Lovato – HOLY FVCK

Demi Lovato - SUBSTANCE (Official Video)

“After Demi Lovato announced that they had held a “funeral” for their pop career, OG fans started questioning what was coming next. Much to our delight, Lovato confirmed that they would be returning to their roots. Having embraced a full fringe and invested in all the black kohl eyeliner I could afford with my pocket money thanks to Demi’s influence, I am very much the target market for this new release. The singer already released the singles ‘Skin of My Teeth’ and ‘Substance’, in which Lovato has given us a flavour of what to expect. Both clearly referencing the singer’s substance addiction, while Demi may be returning to her old sound, she is definitely telling a very new story.” Orlaith

Röyksopp – Profound Mysteries pt. II

Röyksopp - 'Let's Get It Right' ft. Astrid S. (Official Visualiser)

“The Norwegian electronic duo released Profound Mysteries earlier this year and now we see its counterpoint arrive. Together, they make up one of Röyksopp’s biggest projects that spans material they’ve worked on their whole career. ” John

Phoebe Green – Lucky Me

Phoebe Green - Sweat (Official Lyric Video)

“Manchester songwriter Phoebe Green is gearing up for a debut album full of imaginative synth-pop, dance-rock creations. Fresh off tours with fellow indie pop risers Self Esteem and Baby Queen, Green has released four singles for the album so far. With so much variety in her sound there’s no doubt that this will be a debut album to look out for, and you will want to look as well as listen – Green’s visuals are a lot of fun.” Caitlin

The Berries – High Flying Man

The Berries - "Down That Road Again" (Official Music Video)

“It’s hard to think of anyone else who sounds quite like Seattle’s The Berries. Their indie rock is definitely hooky, but there’s a twang that keeps creeping in around the edges. All the while, Matt Berry’s laconic croon is front and centre, forever sounding like he’s swaying on a street corner at 9am on a Sunday. After two excellent albums and one even better collection of singles and B-sides, High Flying Man is showing signs of being their best yet.” Mark

August 26

Lou Reed – Words & Music, May 1965

Lou Reed - Heroin - May 1965 Demo (from Words & Music, May 1965)

The Velvet Underground got buried somewhere under all the Get Back love last year, but Todd Haynes’ terrific documentary dug up plenty of its own unmissable footage of the other best band in history. If you’re a fan, this new collection sounds too good to be true – a set of lost demo tapes Lou Reed recorded in 1965 that he mailed to himself and never opened, a time capsule right back to Reed’s early days including a cover of Dylan’s ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right’.” Paul

Julia Jacklin – Pre Pleasure

Julia Jacklin - I Was Neon (Official Video)

“Jacklin has always dipped in-between genres and her new releases feel similarly difficult to categorise. From the easy-listening pop of ‘Love, Try Not To Let Go’ to the poetic indie rock of ‘I Was Neon’, she’s confident and more than competent in every sound. Her previous record, 2019’s Crushing, was showered with praise, and the three singles we have from Pre Pleasure have set up an equally powerful third album.” Caitlin

Bret McKenzie – Songs Without Jokes

Bret McKenzie - A Little Tune (Official Video)

“Fair enough, McKenzie is probably never going to top ‘Man Or Muppet’, but his first proper solo album is the place to do it if he can. Songs Without Jokes sounds a long way from Flight Of The Concords, but that album title is only half serious. ‘A Little Tune’ might be a pitch-perfect Harry Nilsson nod, but even without watching the (brilliant) video you can hear the irony, right up to that glorious brass jam at the end that makes you forget how much you’re grinning.” Paul

Stella Donnelly – Flood

Stella Donnelly - Lungs (Official Video)

“We’ve been waiting three years since Stella Donnelly’s straight-talking, widely-praised debut album Beware Of The Dogs dropped, and finally she’s gearing up for another full-length release. The Australian indie rock singer-songwriter has described Flood as the product of “months of risky experimentation”, and it’s certainly true that lead single ‘Lungs’ feels different from anything she’s given us before, with its dreamy chorus and abstract lyricism. Donnelly hasn’t put a foot wrong in her releases so far, so her sophomore record is one to be excited about.” Caitlin

Tickets are on sale now or soon for many of the names on this month’s list at ticketmaster.co.uk, with a lot of major tours and dates still to be announced for the coming year.

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