Albums to look out for in August

By in Features





Summer, sorted.

Rave, rarities, rip-roaring rock ‘n’ roll, and rap revivalism: the best bits, and when to bag them this August.

Neil Young + Promise Of The Real

Noise & Flowers


Due: 5th August

What was planned as an ordinary nine-date European tour in 2019 turned into something quite different for Neil Young and his Promise Of The Real backing band after the death of Elliot Roberts, aged 76. Roberts had managed Young throughout his career, and his passing just two weeks before wheels-up on the Europe tour turned the trip into something of an extended memorial service. Young described the opportunity to pay tribute night-after-night as “wondrous”, and that feeling is captured here on a deluxe live album that covers the trip. – WP


Could We Be More

(Brownswood Recordings)

Due: 5th August

It’s hard to believe this will be the first LP that London’s Kokoroko have released, given the masses they’ve entertained with their live performances since breaking through with ‘Abusey Junction’ in 2018 – a stand-out cut from that year’s Brownswood We Out Here compilation. Could We Be More seeks to distil the eight-piece’s freewheeling jazz-via-Afrobeat style to 15 tracks, and does so with finger-snapping, hip-swinging aplomb. – WP

Mall Grab

What I Breathe

(Looking For Trouble)

Due: 5th August

Rave, raunch, Nia Archives, Novelist, jungle, grime, D Double E, and Turnstile frontman Brendan Yates is a pretty healthy list of ingredients for a debut album. Which is good for Mall Grab, as that’s just what the UK-via-Australia producer had to work with for his some-time-in-the-making What I Breathe. It’s best when he strips it back to the bones, though: dive into the running breaks and raw synths of ‘Breathing’ to find out what that feels like. – WP

Hudson Mohawke

Cry Sugar


Due: 12th August

Kanye’s favourite Glaswegian follows up last year’s Heeters mixtape with his first album proper since the 2016 soundtrack to Ubisoft’s dystopian surveillance-future romp Watch Dogs. Not veering much further off that tack, he looks to apocalyptic film scores for inspiration. Expect gloop and gloom. – WP

Danger Mouse & Black Thought

Cheat Codes


Due: 12th August

Two of the best to do it in soul-sampling, head-bopping hip-hop come together with unsurprisingly fun and excellent results. A posthumous turn from MF DOOM rubs up alongside verses from future torch carriers like Joey Bada$$ and Conway The Machine, and all the while the beats just keep tripping. Very nice. – WP


Finally Enough Love


Due: 19th August

While a 16-track teaser of Finally Enough Love was originally released in June, the anticipated full package is landing this month. Celebrating 50 Billboard Dance Club number one hits — the milestone Madonna touched in 2020 with ‘Girl Gone Wild’ — the compilation features remixes from artists including Honey Dijon, Felix Da Housecat, and Bob Sinclair, as well as previously unreleased material. Get into the groove. – LR

The Chats

Get Fucked

(Bargain Bin Records)

Due: 19th August

Acts don’t come much more direct than Queensland’s The Chats. Continuing to plumb and skewer the shallow depths of Australian culture, the rag-tag garage punk bunch this time come up with tracks including ‘The Price Of Smokes’, ‘Paid Late’, and the inspiring ‘I’ve Been Drunk In Every Pub In Brisbane’. Get in, losers, it’s kicking off time. – WP

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith

Let’s Turn It Into Sound


Due: 26th August

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s new album, Let’s Turn It Into Sound, questions the ways in which we communicate. Created over the course of three manic months, Smith created a new vocal processing technique to complement her existing toolkit of synths. As she puts it: “The album is a puzzle.” – LR

Lou Reed

Words & Music, May 1965

(Light in the Attic)

Due: 26th August

Light in the Attic continues to prove itself as a titan of reissues and rare releases with this collection of Lou Reed’s previously unreleased early work. Recorded with the help of John Cale, only to be sealed away for almost 50 years, Words & Music, May 1965 includes early versions of ‘Heroin’, ‘I’m Waiting for the Man’, and ‘Pale Blue Eyes’. The album offers a rare glimpse of Reed as a young artist, his songs touched with a sense of youthful experimentation. – LR


Against the Odds: 1974-1982

(UMe/Numero Group)

Due: 26th August

Blondie’s latest offering is about as expansive as they come. Against the Odds: 1974-1982 features the band’s first six studio albums, plus a collection of rare demos, alternate versions, and studio outtakes. Alongside the sonic offerings, the box set also boasts two books with liner notes, track commentary from the band themselves, and photos. One for the real heads. – LR

Diamanda Galás

Broken Gargoyles

(Intravenal Sound Operations)

Due: 26th August

Avant-garde extraordinaire Diamanda Galás returns this month with suitably intense album Broken Gargoyles. Focusing on plague victims from the 13th century, and World War I medical wards, the album finds Galás using her own manipulated vocals to probe “the weaving, warping transformation on the nervous systems of post-traumatic soldiers and dying diseased.” Not your usual sound of the summer, this one. – LR

Lee “Scratch” Perry

King Scratch (Musical Masterpieces from the Upsetter Ark-ive)


Due: 26th August

The world lost one of the all-time greats with Lee “Scratch” Perry’s passing last year. This bumper compilation lands almost exactly a year to the day since Perry’s death, and is a fine tribute. The four-disc set collects cherished hits alongside rare and unreleased mixes, as well as a 50-page illustrated book by Perry’s official biographer David Katz and photos by Adrian Boot. – WP