July 2019

The end of the month also brings us to the moment of tackling the unenviable task of picking July’s best five albums. With an abundance of great music being released at the moment, we have picked the quintet that have stood out for us. Click on the album covers to read our full reviews.

Musically and melodically, it is also some of his finest ever work: songs that may pass you by on first listen unfurl themselves through repeated listens. Lead single, All My Happiness is Gone, appears breezy, but is again wrapped in aching misery. But while this may be one of the Illinois native’s saddest records, over time, large sections of it will prove to be some of his best. And Berman’s proved he’s not come back to be a legacy artist – like we ever doubted him!

Just over 18 months ago, Emily Sprague upped sticks and moved from her upstate New York home to the West Coast. Her mother had just passed away and a serious, long term relationship had concluded. The result – which was written and recorded following the move, and after six months of serious depression – is Emily Alone. An addictive, quietly seductive masterpiece that over time, may just be the best record you experience this year.

From beginning her musical life playing upright bass before progressing to piano and guitar, Ada Lea played taboo at jazz school in New York by penning her own songs, rather than practicing the standards. She now brings a debut that is a musically intriguing, yet immediate record that carries a raw, emotive edge that should allow people to connect.

Sometimes, looking at life with all of its ugliest aspects left in can be the most cathartic thing. Meeting your devils head on with a smile on your face, safe in the absurdity of it all. Life after all is yours to make of what you wish. Long Night may be dark, but it is also darkly comic. Moser never lets himself stray too far into despair, at all times retaining a humour at the core of his ponderings on the peculiarities of life.

Then I Try Some More is a remarkable debut from Joanna Sternberg. Their willingness to discuss the most harrowing experiences gives the album a raw, cathartic quality that permeates throughout. At times, it is an uncomfortable listen, yet this raw fragility is what truly connects. Instead of being defined by the trauma, Joanna Sternberg has channelled it into a brave record, and one that has a familiarity to the feelings that we all experience.

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