4 Unmissable Albums From The Summer Break

Wilf Amis, Backwards/Forwards

With his debut two-track EP, Wilf Amis creates a striking world within his selection and manipulation of sounds.

During the first track, ‘Backwards’, electronic waves, a soothing, deep bass and seemingly endless repetitive sonic patterns draw the listener to believe they are gently falling into the sand of an ethereal synthesised beach. Perhaps a daunting image, but the way Amis structures the experience seems enticing and safe.

As the second and final track begins, the listener is awoken by soft momentum, achieved by rhythms moving between tempo, reminiscent of American Minimalism. As with the first half of this EP, ‘Forwards’ feels no need to rush, but is comfortable and stable in the sense of place it summons.

From falling back into aural sand, the listener has now been awoken and feels energised. Backwards/Forwards is a wonderful organisation of sounds, worthy of many listens.

Ed Cooper

Blood Orange, Negro Swan 

The term ‘polymath’ is frequently wielded when describing Dev Hynes, the brains behind the moniker Blood Orange. During his latest release, Negro Swan, evinces this title, as it masterfully transcends boundaries, both technically and emotionally, whilst depicting the intricacies of “black depression”. Throughout, Hynes welds spoken word with breathy harmonies, shimmery ‘80s-style synths with R&B beats, jazz solos with Freetown Sound-esque samples and, ultimately, personal experience with political commentary. The extensive list of contributors- including writer-cum-activist Janet Mock- adds to this patchwork-like approach, which is not incoherent, but gripping; a sonic diary, in both its scope and its honesty.

Safi Bugel

Melody’s Echo Chamber, Bon Voyage

Following a nearly fatal accident which left Melody Prochet hospitalised and forced to cancel her tour, she made a triumphant return this summer with her long-awaited second album Bon Voyage, four years after her fantastic debut. Avoiding simply rehashing neo-psyche clichés, Prochet and her collaborators intertwine an eclectic array of sounds – including beatboxed interludes, funky flute solos, transcendental screaming and spoken word – which invigorate each song with a sense of fun and whimsy. Lulled by Prochet’s wistful vocals, flitting between lyrics in French, English and Swedish, the listener is pulled along on a gleeful escape into a sugary sweet dream world.

Elle Bennett

The Internet, Hive Mind

After their exceptional Grammy-nominated album, Ego Death, The Internet’s new album was highly anticipated and they definitely did not disappoint. Throughout the past year, they have been focusing on individual projects, yet their reunion in the form of this album is nothing short of perfection. Despite no guest features, KAYTRANADA has released a funky remix of the bass heavy ‘Roll (Burbank Funk)’. The album is a fusion of R&B/Jazz/Blues/Funk with tracks that complement each other perfectly. It shows how the group has evolved since their first album, Purple Naked Ladies, as their sound is more consolidated and polished than ever.

Charly Loughlin

Header Image from Pixabay