The Slice

August

Summer days slip away and we have time to reflect.


Male Fantasy – Billie Eilish

While reception to Eilish’ second album might not have been quite as feverish as with her first, there are some true gems here – the best of them all, the haunting Male Fantasy. Simple in its instrumentation, the song floats down gently onto you, even as the lyrics get darker and darker. Easily one of Eilish’s best releases.

Red Snakes – LUMP

I was pretty surprised when Laura Marling announced that she was releasing a second album under the LUMP name with Mike Lindsay, but if I can continue to expect tracks as brilliantly gut-wrenching as this, then I’m all for this project to continue. The great thing about the LUMP releases is that Marling plays with sounds that she doesn’t typically, and here she remains suspended in an electronic vacuum. It’s brilliant and honestly quite indescribable.


Stoned at the Nail Salon – Lorde

A touching piece of reflective pop from New Zealand star Lorde. Stoned at the Nail Salon gave us a song that, while low-key managed to worm its way into my mind. Lorde’s lyrics are as poetic and beautiful as ever, making this one of the standouts of her third album, Solar Power.


Don’t Go Dark – Bleachers

Jack Antonoff has become an inescapable name for many, mainly thanks to his production work with Taylor Swift, Lorde, Lana Del Rey, and an increasingly ridiculous list of collaborators, so it’s nice to see him return to his own band and release a new album under the Bleachers name. Don’t Go Dark is Antonoff at his most Springsteen-esque, all raging horns, guitars and bells over an impossibly large chorus.

Yosemite – Lana Del Rey

Del Rey shattered expectations when she released the best album of 2019 with Norman Fucking Rockwell, and while follow up Chemtrails Over The Country Club might not be quite as consistent, its highs are incredibly so. Yosemite is an ache of a torch song, the kind that weighs down the air but is so irresistibly beautiful that you can’t turn it off.


Contaminated – Live and Stripped – Banks

Banks last album, III had some brilliant tracks, but Contaminated was the clear standout. This stripped back version allows the singer’s pristine vocals to shine more clearly, and provides a very different flavour to the heavily distorted original.


Cold Heart – PNAU Remix – Elton John, Dua Lipa, PNAU

In a month where acoustic adjacent tracks were taking over my airwaves, this disco track with Elton John supporting yet another young star was a nice change of pace. It’s subdued, but has an undeniable groove that you find yourself sinking into like a pillow.

Ain’t Got Anything Left – Nerina Pallot

Honestly, after 18 months of corona and various lockdowns and state of emergencies and political nonsense, who doesn’t feel like this?


Mood Ring – Lorde

Solar Power might not be as immediate as Melodrama was, but it has its charms as a low-key summer chill kind of album. Mood Ring however, is an undeniable bop, and has Lorde’s full command of melody and bite on display. It’s catchy, it’s catty, it’s brilliant, and I’ve already listened to it way too many times.


You’re Still The One – Christian Lee Hutson and Julia Jacklin

Christian Lee Hutson released a very solid album last year in Beginners, and he’s followed it up with a series of covers EPs he’s been calling The Version Suicides. The latest release, The Version Suicides, Vol. 3 features this beautiful rendition of the Shania Twain classic. Hutson’s smooth voice kicks things off before Jacklin’s beautiful voice cuts through the haze in the second verse.

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