Review and video: Eight unmissable music releases this August


Albums - Credit: Archant

Music fanatic Alex Flood looks at the biggest new music releases coming up in August 2014.

• Adult Jazz – 'Gist Is' (August 4)

Provocateurs of blissfully intricate pop that foregrounds technical ability over catchy melodies, University of Leeds graduates, Adult Jazz, release their debut album, 'Gist Is', on August 4 through the local label, Spare Thought. A mish-mash of sounds from multiple genres, including hip hop, jazz, folk and electronica, 'Gist Is' is a sterling effort and takes the committed listener on a journey down a rabbit hole of musical wonder and intrigue like none of their contemporaries. A glorious first try from these up and coming musicians, we are sure to see their star rise further in the coming years.

• Naomi Punk – 'Television Man' (August 4)

Minimalist punk trio from across the pond, Naomi Punk, release their sophomore record, 'Television Man', next month amidst feverish excitement from their erstwhile fan base. 2012's 'The Feeling' was 12 tracks of heavy guitars mixed with avant-garde concepts that quickly sold out upon its release in Brooklyn, prompting a repressing by well-regarded label Captured Tracks. Citing such influences as Nirvana and the Smashing Pumpkins, Naomi Punk put their own twist on the west-coast, grunge sound of the early nineties, and we can expect more of the same thrash and grind from the forthcoming 'Television Man'.

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• Willis Earl Beal – 'Experiments in Time' (August 8)

The mercurial electro-blues man from the Windy City has come a long way since his boot-camp dropout on Simon Cowells' 'The X Factor', and has been cantering along at an impressive speed in the production department. Three EPs and two full-length records have expounded from the mind of the once-homeless genius in less than two years; and yet, third album, 'Experiments in Time', is set for an August 8 release on Beal's own small label, following his departure from XL Recordings. Described by Beal as 'like one dream', and 'meditative', the new record cannot fail to intrigue at the least.

• FKA Twigs – 'LP1' (August 11)

Perhaps the most avidly awaited album of the hip hop year, the debut LP from British trip hop sensation, Tahliah Barnett (aka FKA Twigs), has been at the forefront of music critics minds as soon as the former dancer burst onto the scene in 2012 with her first single, 'Hide'. The musician, who also comes from Jamaican and Spanish ancestry, makes music that evokes images of an urban Massive Attack mixed with the electronic pop of the xx then roughed up with the gritty, electronic stutterings of Southbank's Mount Kimbie. The candidly-titled record, 'LP1', is due out August 11 on Young Turks, and is a must for all music fans.

• Basement Jaxx – 'Junto' (August 25)

It has been three years since the titans of good times, electro-dance music released a full-length effort, and that was a mere soundtrack to 2011 monster-movie, 'Attack the Block'. It's high-time that the UK garage duo returned to the music scene with a bang, and that is exactly what they are set to do with seventh studio album, 'Junto'. Announced on May 14, four singles have been released from the album, including 2013's 'Back 2 the Wild' and 'What a Difference Your Love Makes', as well as this year's 'Unicorn' and 'Never Say Never'. Nine tracks remain unheard, and it seems, with a slew of summer live dates on the cards, that 2014 may be Basement Jaxx's year of resurgence.

• Merchandise – 'After the Cloud' (August 25)

Recorded over a sixth month period in the band's house in Tampa, the self-produced and recorded 'After the Cloud' is set for release by 4AD records next month. Described by lead-singer, Carson Cox, as a record recorded by 'a new band with basically the same name', the record seems set to take listeners in an entirely new direction to 2013's 'Totale Nite', but with a mean ten songs spread out over 45 minutes, the American 'dope-rockers' haven't given themselves much time to do it at all.

• The Wytches – 'Annabel Dream Reader' (August 25)

The latest in a long line of young, northern, psychedelic-rock bands signed to London-based, independent record label, Heavenly Recordings, this three-piece surf-psych band from Peterborough are definitely something special. Debut single, 'Beehive Queen', is a brilliantly engaging melange of grimy, eastern-influenced guitar riffs and sixties-style squawks from frontman Kristian Bell, and latest single, 'Gravedweller' is more of the same. Billed as heirs apparent to recent northern kings, the Arctic Monkeys, this quick-talking trio of northern scamps look set to kick up a fuss in the coming year with their debut full-length, Annabel Dream Reader, coming out August 25, making for a good start.

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