An overview of the ten best albums of August according to Playground. It seemed like it was going to be a quiet month, but nothing could be further from the truth: these past few weeks, some of the most anticipated and important albums of the year have been released.
They always say that August is a quiet month when it comes to record releases, but this year we've seen that no longer applies: the crop of last month has been more than generous, and in very little time, a wealth of REALLY important records have come out, end of year list records. Here's our selection of ten, and we've had to leave out a lot.
10. Wild Nothing: “Nocturne” (Captured Tracks)
Wild Nothing's second album gets rid of the naïve feel of his debut by using a proper studio this time. The result is more complex, but at the same time less disperse instrumentally, and with a Jack Tatum who has matured vocally.
9. Dead Can Dance: “Anastasis” (4AD)
16 years after their last album, the duo Dead Can Dance come back to life with “Anastasis”. It’s a symbolic, telluric, and mystical album in their usual vein, but with a more decided look towards the mysteries of Oriental civilisation.
8. Mark Fell: “Sentielle Objectif Actualité” (Editions Mego)
Mark Fell takes up the sound of his Sensate Focus project in an entire album made up of variations and remixes of his most recent songs. This is house that is deconstructed, digital and microscopic, to take the experimental to the dance floor.
7. Jessie Ware: “Devotion” (PMR Records-Island)
After weeks of clues and announcements, Jessie Ware is finally releasing her debut LP, on which she intelligently and elegantly vindicates the adult soul of divas like Sade and Annie Lennox, with hardly any interferences from the language of modern soul.
6. Teengirl Fantasy: “Tracer” (R&S Records)
After surprising with their first album, “7AM”, the Teengirl Fantasy duo confirms itself as one of the most exciting groups in electronic music - somewhere between pop and club - with this straightforward homage to 90s ambient-house.
5. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti: “Mature Themes” (4AD)
Ariel Pink, Tim Koh, Kenneth Gilmore and Joe Kennedy have put out another stunning album: 60s influences, lo-fi sounds and a certain touch of psychedelics come together in what is probably the band’s best title so far.
4. Four Tet: “Pink” (Text Records)
On “Pink”, Four Tet compiles the vinyls released on his label, Text, over the last two years (to which he adds a couple of new songs) and he proves that his vision is one of the most significant on the current electronic music scene.
3. Swans: “The Seer” (Young God)
The 2010 return of legendary experimental band Swans resulted in an exceptional album. “The Seer” raises the stakes, and offers an even spikier trip to the heart of noise, folk, drone and doom darkness. A record that leaves you marked and consumed.
2. Holy Other: “Held” (Tri Angle)
Holy Other's debut album, a complex cocktail of ambient and R&B, cannot be listened to superficially: its 37 minutes contain a complexity of structures and poetic stimuli requiring deep and attentive listening. With sheer beauty as a reward.
1. Dan Deacon: “America” (Domino)
Dan Deacon lowers the degree of eccentricity in his music, shifting towards a more avant-garde language, with echoes of American minimalism, pop psychedelics and noisy electronica, to offer an exciting portrait of the United States in 2012. A work of art.