August was a weird month for new music (at least the kinds I listen to). Between summer US/UK festival/touring season being mostly over (SXSW was in March, Coachella was in April, Bonnaroo and the Isle of Wight fest were in June, Glastonbury [usually held in June] had a fallow year, Lollapalooza finished on August 4th, and Warped Tour wrapped up a day later. The Reading/Leeds festival was really the only major Summer festival after the first week of August), but before the fall onslaught of new albums. Apart from one obvious exception, there just weren’t a lot of albums I was really looking forward to. I even took this past weekend to do some extra research. Still, we soldier on.
Best New Music
This one was easy. Like, way too easy. When I looked at the new releases for August 2012, I thought “Yep, that’s probably going to be the best new album.” And then when it leaked early, I thought “Yep, that’s almost certainly going to be the best new album.” And then, when no album exploded into the music scene like the second coming of Definitely Maybe, It became the best new album. It’s Four by Bloc Party, and it’s fucking fantastic. Their first album in four years due to a really annoying hiatus, it’s better than previous effort Intimacy, up there with debut album Silent Alarm and fantastic loose-concept follow-up Weekend In The City. This is “Truth.”
Honorable Mention: Ugh. Can I just give this to Bloc Party too? I can’t? But it’s my music post. Fine. If you really want a second album this month, Violent Waves by Circa Survive is more than listenable, and being a Philly band, I kind of have to promote them.
You know, I’m starting to run out of British indie rock bands to include in this section every month. Naahhh. This is Geordie post-punk revival quintet Maxïmo Park with “Apply Some Pressure.”
Coming back to the States, I recently saw singer/songwriter Kevin Devine open for May honorable mention mewithoutYou. While the crowd was kind of terrible, he’s absolutely brilliant. This is the title track from his 2011 album Between the Concrete and Clouds. Seriously, if you only listen to one track from this post this month, make it this one.
Scottish post-punk revivalists Franz Ferdinand are one of my favorite bands of that mid-2000s era. This is “Ulysses,” their best song that also shares its name with a James Joyce Novel.
Are you happy right now? Satisfied with your life? Stop that, nobody’s truly happy. With that in mind, enjoy Joy Division and the iconic track “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” which is one of the all-time best songs ever made ever despite the fact that the genius that was Ian Curtis hanged himself in his kitchen at the age of 23. Or possibly because of it.
And of course, here’s the playlist.