July Music Favourites

July was a beautiful month for new music releases – HAIM and Oh Wonder both gave us their sophomore albums in the form of Something To Tell You and Ultralife respectively, and Lana Del Rey released her long awaited third album Lust For Life. Scotland’s own Lewis Capaldi followed up the heart wrenching Bruises with the equally heartbreaking Lost On You and The Xcerts released a new track for the first time since 2014 (!!!!). Here’s my July Music Favourites and as usual, there will also be a lil Spotify playlist to accompany this post featuring the 10 favourites as well as other tracks that I have enjoyed throughout July – enjoy x

1. Walking Away – HAIM

Remember how in May’s Music Favourites I said I wasn’t the biggest HAIM fan in the world? Haha same. That’s changed. Completely. And I won’t lie, Something To Tell You has been pretty much all I’ve listened to this month. Genuinely, on repeat, at any given moment. It’s an incredibly strong follow up to 2013’s Days Are Gone, and is brimming with stunning harmonies from the Californian sisters and glossy 70’s soft rock influences. I could have really chosen any of the tracks to put in this top spot, but Walking Away is super catchy and clearly my favourite today. They also recently covered Shania Twain‘s That Don’t Impress Me Much  and I am OBSESSED with it. – twitter: @HAIMtheband insta: @haimtheband

2. Lost On You – Lewis Capaldi

Quick question Lewis, who hurt you??? Who was it? I need their name and address, I just wanna talk. Heartbreaking and emotional lyrics come very naturally to the young Scot from Bathgate, and there is a brutal intimacy to his songwriting that results in beautiful tracks like Bruises and Lost On You, with vocals that are stunning and raw. There’s a lot of hype around Lewis, not a day goes by where I don’t see someone on my Twitter feed gushing about him, and understandably so. In the first week of its release alone, Lost On You accumulated over a million streams on Spotify, and as I’m writing this I believe his September tour is around 5 tickets away from selling out. Tickets for his Edinburgh date at Sneaky Pete’s were gone in under 30 seconds, and tickets for his first headline London gig sold out in around 2 minutes, which is insane. I’ve seen Lewis Capaldi a couple of times now and his gigs are not to be missed. Catch ya girl at his Manchester gig at the Fallow Cafe on the 14th September, it’s just after I move down from Edinburgh, so I’m hoping he’ll help keep the homesickness at bay. – twitter: @LewisCapaldi insta: @lewiscapaldi


3. The Xcerts  – Feels Like Falling In Love

Having hidden away from us all since 2014, The Xcerts returned this month with Feels Like Falling In Love, a track which really does exactly what it says on the tin and does not disappoint. I was also pleased to discover that The Xcerts actually went to BIMM way back in 2006 too, Brighton however, not Manchester, but a cool discovery nonetheless. Frontman Murray Macleod said Feels Like Falling In Love is about ‘discovering a pinhole of light in the dark and turning it into the sun!’ They essentially wanted to capture the last scene in The Breakfast Club, ‘throw on your headphones, turn up the volume, punch the air as hard as possible and go live the best life you possibly can.’ The track is overflowing with (wanky term alert) summery vibes, and I love it. There’s no news of a new album yet, but good things come to those who wait. They are however heading out on tour this September/October, so that’s something to keep you going for now. – twitter: @thexcerts insta: @thexcerts

4. Solo – Oh Wonder

As expected, I am a little underwhelmed by the sophomore album Ultralife from Londoners Oh Wonder, and whilst the same beautiful lilting harmonies remain, it lacks the same magic and flair as their self-titled 2015 debut. It’s clear to see that they’re trying to stick to the same slick, glowy pop, but with a more technicolour glow almost, which in theory should be wonderful, but on the whole doesn’t really work for me in practise. I wasn’t initially impressed with some of the first Ultralife tracks we heard either, but they have grown on me somewhat and maybe that’s what the rest of the album will do. I haven’t really given it much of a chance admittedly. Not wanting to be entirely negative, there are a couple of stand out tracks for me that I do really enjoy, such as Solo, Waste, and Slip Away. It’s not a bad album by any means, it just falls short in comparison to their outstanding debut. They set the bar very high for themselves and unfortunately weren’t quite able to go above and beyond on this occasion. Sad face. Regardless, I am still going to see them on tour this Autumn because they never disappoint and I still have an infinite tenderness for Anthony and Josephine, you’ll find me at the Manchester show on Halloween! – twitter: @OhWonderMusic insta: @ohwondermusic

5. 6/10 – dodie

I’d initially become aware of 22 year old Dodie Clark (soz, ‘dodie’) from Essex through her YouTube videos (which I adore) on her channels ‘Doddleoddle’ and ‘Doddlevloggle’, which have accumulated over 185 millions views between them, in which she often discusses sexuality, mental health, and social issues. Last October she released her first EP Intertwined which reached Number 35 on the official UK album charts during its first week of release and boasted delicate and heartbreaking tracks such as Sick of Losing Soulmates. Earlier this month she announced that her second EP You would be released on the 11th August and would feature 6/10, a track which is more than a 6/10, and celebrates being the average, plain girl. Because let’s face it, sometimes being plain really does feel like the worst thing in the world. Even though you know it shouldn’t, it just does. It embraces self-pity, with delicate vocals lilting over plinky piano and mournful strings. dodie is heading out on tour this October, though I do believe it is now sold out. – twitter: @doddleoddle insta: @doddleoddle

6. Sorry – Nothing But Thieves

The follow up to Amsterdam released in May, Sorry is the second single from the upcoming sophomore album Broken Machine from Essex band Nothing But Thieves. Frontman Conor Mason’s distinct, eerie vocals open this emotional, slightly slower track, which eventually builds into a near anthemic chorus, and boasts Mason’s vocal range brilliantly. Broken Machine is probably one of the most highly anticipated albums of this year and rightly so. – twitter: @NBThieves insta: @nothingbutthieves

7. Too Good – Marsicans

Excuse me for what I’m about to do – but Too Good is too good. Marsicans are an emerging band originating from Leeds, making sweet sweet summery, glistening, unadulterated indie-pop. Last year, Marsicans released Swimming a track with what is possibly one the catchiest choruses I’ve ever heard, following it up with Too Good released last Friday. They’ve a growing reputation and a collection of notable support slots under their belts – get Marsicans in n around your earholes asap. – twitter: @Marsicans insta: @marsicans

8. 13 Beaches – Lana Del Rey

Perhaps most well known for mixing old Hollywood iconography and spurned love stories into a dour, glacial discography, Lana Del Rey released her highly anticipated fifth studio album Lust For Life this month. Two things immediately set Lust for Life apart from the rest of her previous releases. First, she’s smiling in the album artwork whilst posed in front of what looks like the same truck from 2012’s Born to Die. And second, this album is brimming with features from the likes of The WeekndA$AP Rocky, and even Stevie Nicks. Admittedly, I’m not a particularly massive fan of Lana Del Rey, having only really enjoyed the odd song here or there over the years, but I have enjoyed this album, with 13 Beaches probably being my favourite track, that, or the title track featuring The WeekndLana Del Rey recently announced two tour dates in Glasgow and Liverpool next month, which I can imagine will be very difficult to get tickets for – good luck. – twitter: @LanaDelRey insta: @lanadelrey

9. Tom Grennan – Found What I’ve Been Looking For

I first heard of 20 year old Bedford born Tom Grennan last summer when he released Something In The Water and was hooked by his insanely powerful and intense vocals. Admittedly I’d not really paid much attention since, until earlier this month when he released Found What I’ve Been Looking For, which was selected as Annie Mac’s Hottest Record in the World on Radio 1, and remembered once again just what had captured my attention in the first place. His vocals also featured on Bugzy Malone’s track Memory Lane released earlier this month too. twitter: @Tom_Grennan insta: @tom.grennan

10. Caroline – Aminé

I’ll be honest, I’m really not sure how good a track this actually is, but I have been listening to it A LOT this month because it is just ridiculously catchy. Aminé is a 23 year old American rapper Adam Daniel, and track Caroline (which peaked at number 11 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart) was released towards the start of last year as the lead single from his debut album Good For You which was released last Friday. Good For You is actually a pretty good album and I do recommend you give it a listen, but do be prepared to have Caroline stuck in your head for days.  – twitter: @heyamine insta: @heyamine


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