The best new records due out in July from Blur, Taylor Swift, Post Malone, Mahalia and more
Did anyone notice a big tour getting announced a few weeks ago? No? Never mind. In completely unrelated news, Taylor Swift has a new album out in July. Unfortunately for record store owners, she’s not the only one either – with a flock of other big new releases all fighting for shelf-space over the next few weeks.
As Bruce and Blondie and Pulp and Paolo all take to summer stages across the UK for the peak of festival season, here’s our pick of the best new albums listen out for in July.
Taylor Swift – Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)
“If you were one of the millions of fans that fell in love with Taylor Swift’s third album back in 2010 then there’s no way this re-release isn’t already on your radar. But if you’ve not yet been initiated into the sparkly, slightly tragic, wonderfully dramatic world of Speak Now – welcome. Take July 7 as an opportunity to get stuck in.” Caitlin
PJ Harvey – I Inside The Old Year Dying
“Seven years is far too long to wait for anyone to release a new album, but PJ Harvey gets a free pass. Inspired by Harvey’s own epic poem and partially improvised, the new record has been teased as a “balm for the times we’re in”, covering first love, Shakespeare, the Bible, Elvis, hedgehogs, folk horror and field recordings from a wood somewhere in Dorset. What more could you ask for?” Paul
Chris Stamey – The Great Escape
“With his heavenly voice, grey floppy fringe and melodic brilliance, Chris Stamey is either the northern hemisphere Neil Finn or a slightly older Matthew Caws. The former dB’s singer and current Big Star auxiliary is unparalleled when it comes to lovelorn guitar pop, but The Great Escape sees him branching out into Americana with impressive results.” Mark
Tessa Violet – MY GOD!
“Tessa Violet’s alternative pop is more colourful than ever on MY GOD! From overtly sexual bubblegum pop (‘MY GOD!’) to confessional and eloquently angry pop punk (‘You Are Not My Friend’), the album’s singles suggest that we’re in for a whole lot of fun. Bring on a summer of unapologetically joyful pop.” Caitlin
Life Strike – Peak Dystopia
“Thank whichever pop deity you worship (jangle Jesus?) for Bobo Integral. The Spanish label is like an indie pop Anthony Bourdain, traversing the globe, from San Francisco to Southend, to uncover the very best sounds. Their latest treat is the second album from Melbourne’s Life Strike, a trio who take a direct, muscular approach to ridiculously catchy tunes. I kid you not, I’ve just listened to ‘Downwinders’ five times in a row.” Mark
Palehound – Eye On The Bat
“El Kempner labels their brand of 90s lo-fi grunge folk as “journal rock” – filling albums with the kind of vulnerability you only usually find in a diary. With a global pandemic, a messy break-up, and shout-outs from Phoebe Bridgers all filling plenty of pages since Palehound’s last record, there’s a lot here to unpack. We’ve had three tracks from Eye On The Bat already and they all sound effortless; perfectly wrought DIY alt-rock that feels like you’re listening to something you maybe shouldn’t.” Paul
Mahalia – IRL
“Mahalia’s recent collaboration with pop veteran JoJo is the stuff that 00s revenge R&B dreams are made of. And although IRL’s lead single ‘Terms And Conditions’ sounds completely different sonically, the feeling that she could be making classics remains. Many have tried to recapture the magic of Destiny’s Child, Lauryn Hill and Jazmine Sullivan – few have managed to balance nostalgia and individuality as effectively as Mahalia.” Caitlin
Far Caspian – The Last Remaining Light
“In recent years bedroom pop has spiralled into its own form and in doing so, has pigeonholed solo producers. It’s something Far Caspian’s Joel Johnston continues to rebuff on new LP The Last Remaining Light, layering elements of post-punk, emo and what have you into a gorgeously textured and meandering whole.” John
Blake Mills – Jelly Road
“Californian producer and songwriter Blake Mills continues to go criminally under the radar, yet he thankfully continues to turn everything he touches to gold. Having recently produced for the likes of Feist and Perfume Genius, and helped to write AURORA for the hit show Daisy Jones & The Six, this time around it’s his own material he’s focussing on in the form of Jelly Road.” John
Blur – The Ballad Of Darren
“Wherever Blur were heading a few years ago, they’re not going there anymore. Maybe it’s the recent run of legacy tour dates, maybe it’s the 30th anniversary of Modern Life Is Rubbish. Whatever it it, the early strains of new music all feel warmly nostalgic – something Damon Albarn is calling “an aftershock record; reflection and comment on where we find ourselves now.” Paul
Cut Worms – Cut Worms
“Max Clarke’s third album as Cut Worms maintains the lush production of his Everly Brothers-inspired retro pop while pairing the songs back to just their essential components. If the first single ‘The Ballad Of The Texas King’ is any indication, the sparseness just leaves more room for Clarke’s melodic loveliness to shine even brighter.” Mark
Guided By Voices – Welshpool Frillies
“The Ohio band are now so prolific that more than four months without a new album might be cause for concern. Welshpool Frillies is their second of 2023 and tenth since the start of 2020. Keeping up with Robert Pollard is a full-time job but it’s an endlessly rewarding one too, as evidenced by the chugging hooks of single ‘Seedling’ and jerky riffage of ‘Meet The Star’.” Mark
Post Malone – The Diamond Collective
“Post Malone is one of the most likeable guys in pop and rap combined. If you don’t believe me, wait until you see him looking like an 18th century Scottish highlander in the video to ‘Mourning’, one of Austin’s lead singles which, like its companion ‘Chemical’, sees him expand the melodic boundaries of trap.” John
Tickets are on sale now or soon for many of the names on this month’s list at ticketmaster.co.uk, with a lot of major tours and dates still to be announced this year.