It’s funny. June was an overwhelming month, bombarding me with various high quality releases. So when it came to picking the best ones for The Sound Of June, I was absolutely certain that it would be a huge struggle. Surprisingly, the sheer amount of good records made it very easy to pick out the very best. So this list came out shorter than expected, but the condensing made it oh so worthy.
Prog’s best kept secret. I stumbled upon Pete Peterson‘s work following Travis Orbin, who plays drums for Peterson. His music always carried a special sense for weirdness, while being all over the place on a technical level. I awaited Synchronized Seasoning for a long time, mildly surprised by its accessibility. If you want to get into some of the most interesting prog artists around, this would be the perfect opportunity.
Sharing members with the mighty prog death outfit Pyrrhon is an easy way to create some interest, I suppose. Seputus obviously don’t rest on that fact, and they convinced me to give them a shot pretty easily. This nearly psychedelic approach to death metal was exactly what I was looking for, and letting Phantom Indigo became one of the finest metal releases of the year.
I’m following Minor Majority for a few years now, and every time they release a record, they once again enchant me with their warm indie sound, based on really mellow and relaxed sense of progressive rock. With The Universe Would Have To Adjust, the band present a new set of catchy and comforting songs. Not necessarily adventurous, but reliable and wonderful.
London-based alt rock/indie outfit Wolf Alice were always a good band, positively acknowledged by critics and fans alike. I enjoyed listening to their stuff, but it never really stuck. This changed with Blue Weekend, which is by far the band’s most intense and compelling work yet and let them transcend from a cool indie band to an outstanding one.
An album which just made me fall in love with it without asking second questions. Some of the Beatles-esque chord progression in the first track might give you unusual impression, but when Kyverdale Road opens up, the world it creates is defined by elegant soundscapes and intesen percussion arrangements!
Oh my, here we go again. The old man is telling you about skramz again. Death Goals provided such an authentic, energetic, and raw piece of hardcore. The duo has such an amazing chemistry, and I can’t wait to catch them live on stage some day. The Horrible and The Miserable immediately grabs your heart and instantly sits on the top skramz releases of 2021.
San Holo is no regular in my rotation, but “worthy” is stuck in my head every other week. That’s why I always keep an eye out for his stuff, and was pleasantly surprised about the multi-layered vibe of bb u ok?. Working with a ton of great artists such as American Football, bb u ok? marks a new and very interesting step for San Holo. I’m all in for that.
Random Orchestra – Membrane
June 18 // TELESKOP
This Berlin-based project left me in awe when we premiered their video “Inhale”, and continued to impress me with their debut album Membrane. After spending a good while with it, I can say that Random Orchestra created one of the finest IDM records I’ve heard in year, and will probably end up pretty high on my AOTY list!
Peace Flag Ensemble – Noteland
June 18 // We Are Busy Bodies
I’ve never heard of Peace Flag Ensemble before, but I’m glad I checked them out with their new album Noteland. Hailing from Canada, the group creates tender and smooth textures of jazz, with slowly cascading pianos, electronic elements, and some tasty sax melodies. You like jazz? Give it a try.
And with the first notes, the sky turned monochromatic! Migration, the greatly anticipated album by post metal/sludge ensemble Bossk didn’t surprise, it just delivered on my extremely high expectations with ease. Unforgiving bleakness relentlessly pushes this amazing album forward. Worth the wait.
Damn, June was a month for UK bands! While 2021’s ‘rock’ world is run by bands like Squid, black midi, or Black Country, Old Road, make sure to check out As Blue As Indigo, which unique vibe and surprising heaviness makes it an absolute highlight in modern alternative rock. There is simply no dull moment on Tigercub‘s new album, and it’s impressive as hell.
In a month with new releases by Bossk and Amenra, it’s hard for other post metal bands to shine through. That Kollapse did exactly that so effortlessly with Sult is not only impressive, but a welcoming surprise. There is a narrative quality going on with this album which is simply impalpable.
Amenra is probably one of the most applauded names in post metal, and their Mass series cemented them at the pantheon of the genre. With their new album De Doorn, the Belgium act took yet another step on their impressive journey. Beautiful and bleak, this is a must-listen.
I really couldn’t connect to Tyler‘s recent stuff, there was some ‘weird for the sake of being weird”‘ vibe going on with his act. Call Me If You Get Lost feels very honest and authentic, something I was missing from his music, and I’m glad that he found it again on his new record.
For some reason, even after some critically-acclaimed releases, Sault still fly under the radar. Which is weird. In a world filled with great soul music, Nine is another shining example that Sault is just one step ahead in terms of creativity and narrative. Impressive stuff.
At first, I really just wanted to quickly check this record and move on. Two hours later, I was close on finishing my third run, no end in sight. How should I stop listening to it? Sankofa established itself as one of my favorite things in jazz this year, and the fantastic piano work and great grooves make this an easy contender for my AOTY list.
I’ve spent the last weeks and months nagging my friends and co-workers about the greatness of Mood Valiant, and now I’m empty. It’s hard to put into words what this band means to me, and how happy, satisfied, and inspired I am about what is probably their best album to date. The most authentic extravaganza you can listen to.
Thanks for scrolling!