We’re half way through the year and if the second half is anywhere near as good as the first, we’re in for a treat. Here’s a collection of my favourite tracks from June, I hope you find something to enjoy in here. Remember to have a look through my Album and EP Leaderboards to see which records I’ve ranked the highest so far in 2017.
If you’ve heard something in June that you think I’ve missed, feel free to leave me a comment and I’ll give it a listen.
1) Dialects – ‘Illusory/When You Die, You’re Truly Alone’
Glasgow’s Dialects are a post-rock force of nature capable of ambient, cinematic post-rock but with the ability to let loose with a cacophony of noise, spearheaded by thunderous guitars and perforating drums. Double A-side ‘Illusory/When You Die, You’re Truly Alone’ unleashes both sides of the band’s equally impressive sound. [More at: Featured Band]
2) Alazka – ‘Phoenix’
Auale’s vocals giving a striking edge to a driving, heartfelt piece of melodic-hardcore. Tobias Rische’s screamed vocals do a fine job of grounding the track in its core genre, supplying the aggression that fits so well with the ambient guitars and offsets the melody of Auale’s voice. [More at: Featured Band]
3) Anna of the North – ‘Lovers’
One of my favourite Scandinavian acts, Anna of the North manage to instill so much ambience and positivity into catchy, relaxing chunks of electronic pop. ‘Lovers’ is another fantastic achievement and will feature on an upcoming album, due out on September 8th.
4) Holding Absence – ‘Penance’
I’ve got the same feeling in my bones about Holding Absence that I had when I first fell in love with Crooks almost five years ago, and there are a lot of parallels between the two on ‘Permanent’. From the dynamic drums and atmospheric guitars to the gut-wrenchingly emotional vocals – there’s something beautifully addictive about their ultra-melodic, yet looming and intense post-hardcore concoction. [More at: Featured Band, Download Festival Review]
5) Wolf & Bear – ‘GreyBlood’
Wolf & Bear’s progressive post-hardcore is textbook ‘swancore’ and follows a formula very close to Dance Gavin Dance’s own. Harsh vocals add aggression and further chaos to the already free-form guitar licks and busy drums, before making way for soaring, clean vocals that add hooks and superb moments of melody. ‘GreyBlood’ is by no means just a replication of a formula though; Wolf & Bear have a personality all their own and when you dig back into the other tracks they’ve released to date, there’s a startling level of consistent quality. [More at: Featured Band]
6) Hands Like Houses – ‘Drift’
For some reason I keep expecting Hands Like Houses, for want of a better term, to go soft. Maybe it’s the sharp, clean image of the band and their ability to write really great hooks, but every time a new song comes around I think “this is the one”. ‘Drift’ proves me wrong yet again though and I’m delighted with it. One of the heaviest tracks the band has written yet, this gets me extremely excited for more new material.
7) Laura Brehm – ‘Wait’
Another pop entry in this month’s playlist and it’s a wonderfully soothing indie-folk tune. Brehm has built a name by contributing to an array of dance music tracks but her voice feels right at home against this more ambient backdrop.
8) Counterfeit Culture – ‘Apothecary’
These guys are promising newcomers in melodic metal, fusing together djent-like rhythms and technical musicianship. Their debut EP is out August 1st and this track is a tasty preview of what’s to come.