July

July has been another month of fantastic musical output. With an array of outstanding records from artists both new and returning, we’ve had the tough task of narrowing it down to five.

Torres – Thirstier

Secret Meeting says:

Thirstier is not a record that spends time lamenting the past or trying to peer into the future through rose tinted spectacles. It is set in the here and now, and stuffed full of pure joy. Hug From A Dinosaur could be Scott’s most hook laden track to date – where growling guitars streaked with effervescent synth and hand clap rhythms hint at a happiness that is hard to fake. It all culminates in a welcome respite for trying times. Even when things get slightly darker towards the record’s final run, as creepy electronics and samples intrude upon tracks such as Keep The Devil Out, Scott’s charm and optimism is always just below the surface.

Maja Lena – The Keeper

Secret Meeting says:

It’s hard not to love what you hear on The KeeperThere is a maturity to the writing that allows you feel like you’re seeing the world through her eyes. You’re part and parcel of her of journey, whether it is her dreams and aspirations, or quelling her neuroses to try and stay happy. Most of all though, it is just a beautiful record to listen to time and time again.

For exclusive interviews with both Torres and Maja Lena, check out Zine Issue 10.

The Goon Sax – Mirror ll

Secret Meeting says:

Undoubtedly, Mirror II’s strength lies in its marriage of three distinct writing voices. Riley Jones hangs her hat on a lighter, melodic, 60s girl group vibe – Tag is airy despite its mesh of avant-garde guitars and synths, and the psych-rock, Desire, with its loosely arranged musicianship feels it could fall apart and crumble at every point. While James Harrison’s wild folk strays away from the neat verse-chorus-verse format with its fretful melodies and uncomfortable chord changes that feel like they never circle back – with the Syd Barrett melodies of Temples, and the infectious album closer, Caterpillar, the cases in point.

Dusted – III

Secret Meeting says:

III is about the art – or construction – of channelling mood and texture into a song. Where, for years, Borcherdt has built hard, claustrophobic music with his Toronto, mostly instrumental based band, Holy Fuck, III strips back everything that you’d expect from the noise maker – making this a collection that is great, but for different reasons. Baseball – a standout right from initial plays – is warm, melodic, even (whisper it!) borderline pop. While tonally, Little More Time would fit onto recent Damien Jurado album, The Monster Who Hated Pennsylvania, as he pushes his voice to edge of his comfort zone; and here’s that word moment again – there’s a flow, a realness – as every detail serves the song.

skirts – Great Big Wild Oak

Secret Meeting says:

Great Big Wild Oak‘s opener, Back Out, is resplendent – a rolling, spacious piece of indie folk that meanders and intersects with Montenegro’s hushed snaps of ‘I love you’. It is equally evocative and haunting, and brings to mind one of 2020’s finest moments – label mate, Lomelda’s stunning, Hannah. The transcendent four minutes of Sapling is perhaps the records zenith though, as the Dallas’ artist slowly pierces the flittering soundscape at her back with yet more spoken word reflections – ‘I’ll always be a sapling.’

Once you have made your way through the albums above, we would point you towards our interview with skirts for a further look into her brilliant new record.

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