June 2021

Marking the half way point of the year, our Album: Mid-Year Review piece was a great opportunity to look back at the last six months of album releases. And following this, June has arguably been the best month yet for the long player format. So, with an array of outstanding records from artists both new and returning, we’ve had the tough task of narrowing it down to five.

White Flowers – Day by Day

Secret Meeting says:

That Day by Day‘s sleeve is presented in the same colours as a Penguin Modern Classic makes more and more sense on repeated listens. As like the beaten copy of your favourite book, its plot, sub plots, and the hidden narratives woven into its fabric will only start to show themselves over time. On closer, Nightfall, Drew sings in an airy falsetto – ‘I’m following you wherever you go – you won’t shake loose, no no…’ – a metaphor, indeed, for an LP ready to take up residency deep within your conscious.

John Myrtle – Myrtle Soup

Secret Meeting says:

At first glance, Myrtle Soup is exactly the kind of thing the world needs right now. As flower buds tentatively open up, shadows lengthen on village greens, and summer finally opens its arms to a full stretch, the melodies that weave their way through the record feel tailor made for a sunny day outside. Myrtle’s simple harmonies are buffered between acoustic guitars that chime brightly, a drum kit that’s tuned for a skiffle band, but played with a gentle, nonchalant touch, as swirls of organ and keys that add a floaty looseness to Myrtle’s otherwise pin sharp songwriting. The couple of singles that preceded the record sum up Myrtle’s effortless knack for a hook – Get Her Off My Mind and How Can You Tell If You Love Her? bounce along joyously, but as their refrains echo away in your head after the needle’s been lifted, you start to realise that Myrtle Soup deals with themes that aren’t quite so shiny and happy.

Lucy Dacus – Home Video

Secret Meeting says:

Though Home Video looks back at the past, it isn’t really about nostalgia, hence why Dacus narrates as if possessed by that teenage self all over again rather than as a spectator positioned safely in the future. And though it revisits specific relationships, it also isn’t just about those relationships, or just about Dacus. It’s about love, nearly every form of it; tender, harsh, romantic, platonic, for another, or for oneself. The close-to-the-surface intensity of adolescence is the most potent form in which to explore it, but it’s always there to be felt. Its universality is expertly hidden, hence why it’s such a gut punch. As a songwriter, Dacus is a wonderful vessel for all of this, smart and warm and funny enough to concentrate its resonance into a focused laser beam. She’s in full bloom now, and it’s impressive to behold.

Armlock – Trust

Secret Meeting says:

It is this safe, reassuring space that Australian duo, Simon Lam and Hamish Mitchell, who make up Armlock occupy on their debut release, Trust. A concise, yet considered set of seven tracks that not only displays the duo’s ability to find beauty in the faintest of heartbeats, but how the heart on sleeves ethos of early ‘aughts emo is etched onto their skin. It is this meddling of styles that elevates this release from slow burners to intricately packed world worn songs of disorientating disillusionment.

Check out our interview with Armlock here.

Maple Glider – To Enjoy is the Only Thing

Secret Meeting says:

Debut albums are strange things. Out of nowhere, a songwriter’s troubles, woes, strifes, lost loves – the plot of their life! – is laid out to strangers. But Zietsch’s writing makes an instant connection. The story is not so immediately important, as the melody, mood, and atmosphere are enough of a hook. On Swimming, Zietsch edges closer to the microphone – and her voice, like a lone lamp in the corner of a room – takes hold of the arrangement; a case in point throughout the To Enjoy Is The Only Thing.

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