There are so only so many minutes in a day, so many days in a month–typically 30 or 31 to be exact, occasionally 28. Whatever the amount of time that may exist in a given month, the reality of it all is that there simply is not enough time to cover all the phenomenal releases that grace our paths and inboxes. From HONNE’s long-awaited sophomore album to H.E.R’s feminist mantra, August was chock-full of amazing music and plenty we didn’t get the chance to cover. So, as we prepare for another month of amazing music, we look back at five albums of August that left their mark.
LAUREL – DOGVIOLET
In my humble opinion, LAUREL is one of the most underrated songwriters in the game right now. Released on Aug. 24 and supported by the esteemed tastemakers at Counter Records, DOGVIOLET is a 12-track showcasing of the East Londoner’s penchant for songwriting at its most raw and vulnerable.
LAUREL shared an honest account of the album’s making, “I wrote these songs at home often locking myself away for periods of time in order to capture the true mania that comes from love; although a beautiful feeling, it can often feel a lot uglier.” Accompanied by refined guitar strumming and impeccable vocal frequencies, LAUREL deserves a ten out of ten as far as debut records go. Listen to DOGVIOLET next time you need a solid cry.
-Yasmin Damoui, Content Editor
pluko – sixteen
The latest member of Odesza’s Foreign Family collective, sixteen served as a shining introduction of who exactly pluko is as an artist. An electronic coming-of-age story, it was the kind of release you don’t see quite often. Full of lush, varied textures, in many ways it reminded me just how diverse the world of electronic music can be. From pulsating, experimental moments of catharsis to introspective and empathic electronic meditations, it’s difficult to pinpoint a single moment to start on sixteen. The lead single asleep is certainly a great place to start, but “his perspective” is a clear highlight that sees pluko venturing into the spotlight, as the producer lends his own vocals for a beautiful mix of R&B and electronica.
-Maxamillion Polo, Lead Writer
Blood Orange – Negro Swan
Black Orange’s Negro Swan is by far one of the most refreshing projects of the year. Dev Hynes elevates the Blood Orange project to newfound heights while still remaining true to his bedroom pop roots. Whether it be him producing on multiple instruments or trading off with Steve Lacy on “Out of Your League,” the idea of hope permeates each and every track. Much like how Awaken, My Love raised Childish Gambino to a new tier of artistry, Negro Swan very much feels like the next step forward for Blood Orange. As for where to start, the beginning, “Orlando,” serves as an excellent introduction to this musical chronicling of Hynes’ life thus far. -Green Lee, Social Media Manager
Mitski – Be the Cowboy
Mitski is arguably one of the greatest and most underrated songwriters of our generation. Her latest album Be the Cowboy feels like her opus. An expansive 14 tracks that just barely tops the thirty-minute mark, it sees Mitski at her most uninhibited, precise, and experimental. Blurring the lines between indie rock instrumentals and head-nodding electronic production, Be the Cowboy is well-deserving of all the critical acclaim and praise it has been receiving and then some. As for where to start, I have to utter a series of words I never imagined saying. Check out “Nobody” – it’s a Mitski song with an amazing drop.
-Jenna Singer, Artist Coordinator
Shy Boys – Bell House
Shy Boys are the kind of basement-bred magic that everyone wants to find before their friends do. Based out of Kansas City, they create humorously honest music with lush harmonies and a DIY feel. They compare themselves to “The Beach Boys on Robitussin,” and they’re not wrong. The five-piece outfit is strange, inventive, futuristic and utterly delightful. If you only have time to listen to one track, I recommend "Take the Doggie.”
-Anna Scholfield, Writer