July saw the release of Jay Z’s (no hyphen necessary) head-turning Magna Carta… Holy Grail, Justin Timberlake’s googling deficiencies (see: “Take Back The Night”), the return of the original Sugababes, and Willis Earl Beal unleashing his inner Johnny Cash. All made for a compelling month of July, and we look back at the month that was in this post of the best music from July.
Over a pulsating beat, Annie’s latest club banger “Invisible” is certainly catching people’s attention. It’s one of the best electro-pop singles released this year, and it’s as compelling as dance music gets.
Chicago’s Willis Earl Beal is wasting no time in releasing the follow-up to his 2012 debut LP Acousmatic Sorcery, already releasing two singles from Nobody knows., his sophomore set. His latest single, “Too Dry To Cry,” is one of the better songs Beal has ever released, largely forgoing to bedroom demeanor of his first album.
Over a rambling, graveyard stomp that recalls Johnny Cash’s late-career work with Rick Rubin, Beal delivers his finest vocal performance yet. He’s seen here at his most defiant and soulful, delivering the lines with a fervor that works well with his ominously twangy guitar work. That sense of impending dread allows for his song-ending plea of “don’t leave me hangin'” to take on another, much more devastating tone.
Nobody knows. is out via XL Recordings on 10 September.
In many ways, a collaboration between R&B underground sensation The Weeknd and electro artist Kavinsky makes a lot of sense. The Weeknd’s music garners a lot of attention for his provocative lyrics and left-field production turns, while Kavinsky gained notoriety for his work on the excellent Drive soundtrack, which is equally dark and sinister as the music made by Abel Tesfaye.
The two join forces on a remix of Kavinsky’s track “Odd Look,” first found on his 2013 album Outrun. Tesfaye’s vulnerable vocal delivery works wonderfully next to Kavinsky’s assured production, which will undoubtedly lead listeners to anticipate further collaborations between the two, if we may be so lucky.
The OddLook EP is due out in August via Casablanca/Republic/Record Makers.
Cut Copy’s past two albums, 2008’s In Ghost Colours and 2011’s Zonoscope remain in heavy rotation for this reviewer, so news of new Cut Copy is always welcome. Today we were given our first glimpse of new music from the duo in the form of a limited edition vinyl of new single “Let Me Show You.” The six-minute epic shows the guys haven’t lost any of the magic that made their past two releases so well received.
Cut Copy’s new studio album is expected this fall.