4 albums, 4 months: Here are 4 rocking albums you might have missed this year
If your Spotify playlists are still convinced that “it’s hip to be square”, it might be time to move on from 80s throwbacks and check out some cracking albums that have hit the shelves this year. If, like me, you’re the kind of person who only voluntarily listens to 'club' music when 'Mickey Mouse' or 'Saddle' is added before that genre tag, you’re probably eager to check out some of the more, I daresay, musical tracks that have been making some minor waves around the place this year. So without further ado, here are 4 albums for the four months that have passed this year, dedicated to the four people who are probably reading this article (my mum and three aunties).
January: Before Sunrise by Modern Space (January 22)
Fun. Lots of fun. That's a four word description of Canadian outfit Modern Space's first LP (you don’t even need to read the rest of this paragraph to be honest). There's a lot of great music coming out of Canada at the moment (Weaves, Alessia Cara and Grimes all come to mind) and Modern Space continue that trend in toe-tapping, melodic fashion. Short and sweet, the record comes in a little under 30 minutes, and that just summarises how accessible and easy to listen to it is in general. Your next road trip playlist won't quite be complete without a couple of the tracks that this album has on offer. These guys will definitely be ones to watch out for tour dates as well; you only have to give the LP a listen to imagine the powerful energy they’d have at live gigs. If this is the kind of energy Modern Space have 'before sunrise', I’m not sure it’d be safe to be around them during the day.
Top Tracks: 'Rule Britannia', 'Pen To Paper', 'Festival Express'
February: Marlon Williams by Marlon Williams (February 19)
Ok, yes, so to be fair this one came out last year in Australia, but it only hit the USA in February this year, and I'm still not convinced that it's getting the attention that it deserves in Australia, so I've decided to include it. Williams' voice is a striking one; it's been compared to Elvis Presley himself. No doubt Williams' nods to the shuffle beats favoured by The King have helped to push that comparison forward. The album is more than just a throwback to 1950s rock conventions, however, as Williams draws influence from country, classic R&B and gospel to come up with a truly stirring debut. Not to take away from its credibility, but this could definitely be a winning gift for mum.
Top tracks: 'Hello Miss Lonesome', 'Lonely Side Of Her', 'Everyone's Got Something To Say'
March: Bitter Charm by Dunes (March 12)
Dunes provide the tunes on their second album, released midway through March. The group of Los Angelinos formed from the ashes of some of California's best-loved underground punk bands, and this album represents their first real effort at adding more intricacies to their punk aesthetic. Dunes described the goal behind this diversification as “making an album we'd want to listen to”. By that rationale, I think it's fair to assume that Dunes still crank out The Cure and The B-52s around the house; this album showcases a passionate take on the style of many 80s artists. The lead single 'Runner' is making some minor waves at the moment, but not enough that if you start listening now you'll miss out on being indie. Hurry, there's still time.
Top tracks: 'Moddy', 'Runner', 'Sir Lady Java'
April: Delusions of Grand Fur by Rogue Wave (April 29)
Scraping its way into the end of April, Delusions of Grand Fur is the sixth full-length offering from Rogue Wave. I know! Six albums? How have you not heard of them?! Well, there's been no better time to start riding the wave, as this album is career best work for the Oakland based indie rockers. Primarily a creative partnership between singer/guitarist Zach Rogue and drummer Pat Spurgeon, Rogue Wave take a back-to-basics approach on this record which has done them wonders- no producer, no proper studio, no worries. It's more than a little bit reminiscent of The Shins at times, or what Fleet Foxes might sound like if they used theremin feedback (I'm not kidding about that) on their tracks. On a sidenote, Rogue Wave also featured on the soundtrack to Ben Stiller’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. How classic is that.
Top tracks: 'In The Morning', 'California Bride', 'What Is Left To Solve'