Ten albums you cannot miss this month – August 2013
It’s finally here: the debut album from English synth-pop duo AlunaGeorge, and if you’ve heard anything from this pair, you’ll know it’s not one to miss. Including massive hits that have been the soundtrack to our summer – Attracting Flies, You Know You Like It and Your Drums, Your Love – this really is “body music” that will keep you dancing all the way through 2013. Francis’ vocals are as sensational as ever and the duo’s new material is also due high praise.
Swim Deep – Where the Heaven Are We
Hailing from Birmingham, this four piece are currently sat at number 20 in the UK Albums Chart with their debut Where The Heaven Are We. Off the “B-Town” scene (Peace, Troumaca, Jaws), their album is both youthful and entertaining – a blend of shoe gaze and dream pop that encompasses psychedelia and 90s nostalgia. And with comparisons to The Smiths, The Cure and Primal Scream, this band is one to look out for.
Avenged Sevenfold – Hail To The King
Active since 1999 and still going strong, Hail To The King is the band’s sixth studio album, but their first without drummer Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan who tragically passed away in 2009. Compared to previous releases, the new material is significantly heavier with clear classic metal influences – the title track could easily be mistaken for Black Sabbath. Vocalist M.Shadows has described the record as a “bare bones, riff oriented approach,” keeping it “straightforward rock”. If you’re a fan of Metallica, Led Zeppelin or Iron Maiden, you can’t afford to miss this one: Avenged Sevenfold are the genre’s modern torchbearers.
Previously titled Carpe Diem, Brown’s sixth studio album X will be released on 20th August. Featuring guest appearances from Kendrick Lamar, Nicki Minaj and the late singer Aaliyah on Don’t Think They Know, Brown’s been working with some big artists and producers including Pharrell Williams, Timbaland and Danja (Usher, Britney Spears). Taking a “Quincy Jones approach,” Chris has stated X pays homage to the great Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson, which can be heard clearly in both the vocals and production of the Off The Wall-esque lead single Fine China. Could X be the album to bring Breezy back?
Most will remember Blue October for their 2006 hit single Hate Me, which stayed in the top five of the modern rock chart for 20 weeks. Since then the band have released six studio albums and toured with Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight series, partly inspired by Blue October’s music. Bleed Out, the lead single from Sway, is a moving and motivating track with Furstenfeld’s vocals reminiscent of a young James Hetfield. Sway is released on 20th August and goes to show that Blue October are no one hit wonder – give it a listen and you’ll hear why.
It’s been a while since we’ve heard from our beloved Scotsmen Franz Ferdinand. Having sold over three million studio albums worldwide in 2009, the boys have been busy for the past three years writing their fourth album – and now they’re ready for us to hear it. Lead single Right Action features funky guitars and Kaprano’s trademark vocals chanting the album’s slogan: “Right thoughts, right words, right action.” A fantastic mixture of indie rock, dance-punk and new wave, these boys can do no wrong.
Following recovery from his vocal surgery, American singer John Mayer has been back in the studio recording his sixth album Paradise Valley. Having achieved multi-platinum status for his first two albums Room for Squares and Heavier Things, fans are expecting greatness from Mayer this year. Recently released from the new album, lead single Paper Doll is soothingly beautiful and unmistakably Mayer, with adorable vocals and the sweet sounds of his acoustic guitar.
Asking Alexandria – From Death To Destiny
British heavy metal band Asking Alexandria’s third album From Death To Destiny has been hotly anticipated, with Revolver Magazine including it on their list of Most Anticipated Albums this year. Singer Danny Worsnop has commented that the album sounds like “a musical baby of Motley Crue and Slipknot,” which is an apt summary. There’s an immediately apparent old-school metal influence in Worsnop’s vocals and a much heavier sound coursing through. If you like good, old-fashioned metal, you’ll love this.
Michigan’s Big Sean found mainstream success last year, spawning three massive hits on his debut album: My Last, Dance (A$$) and Marvin & Chardonnay, featuring massive hip-hop stars including Pharrell, Kanye West and Rick Ross. Hall Of Fame has taken a similar route with appearances from Lil Wayne, Nas, Kid Kudi and Nicki Minaj to name but a few. The album includes “skits” (a form of sketch comedy) for a classic hip-hop feel, but Big Sean has said Hall Of Fame will be far more inspirational and impactful than his debut. This is an unmissable album for dedicated hip-hop fans.
British rockers Bloc Party’s five-track EP The Nextwave Sessions has been receiving mixed reviews and leaving listeners confused about the direction the band are headed towards. The band has always had an aura of avant-garde about them, and they flirt with different moods and rhythms throughout this EP. The trippy Ratchet pokes fun at American rap culture (“We go ratchet!”) and could be one of the indie dancefloor fillers of the year. Whether or not you “get” the new sound, you’ll no doubt be dancing to it at some point.