The Best Albums Of July 2013

Clash's picks, with Pet Shop Boys, Holden, Benin City...

It’s the end of another month, so let’s look over some of the best LPs that have been…

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Holden – ‘The Inheritors’
(Border Community)

“‘The Inheritors’ conjures a shamanistic English dreamtime of pulsing polyrhythms and warped melodies. Composed entirely of first takes, its exotic woodwinds, céilidh reels and offbeat orchestration intensifies each track with a vitality and immediacy which thrillingly threatens to career into chaos.” (Read the full Clash review)

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Fuck Buttons – ‘Slow Focus’
(ATP Recordings)

“Album three from London’s Fuck Buttons finds Andrew Hung and Benjamin Power crafting their brutish electronica in new shades. Technical elements might share similarities with previous work, but the sentiments expressed are of a distinctly darker design. Easy on the ear it isn’t, but ‘Slow Focus’ carves its name into the synapses nonetheless, like some sort of unstoppable, power-electronics ‘In Utero’.” (Read the full Clash review)

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Kirin J Callinan – ‘Embracism’
(Terrible Records)

“‘Embracism’ is honest in a way that most LPs are ashamed to attempt. And as the record develops, you’ll realise Callinan is not like most: his songwriting is draws on a wealth of raw personal experiences, brimming with the exuberance of someone creatively unleashed.” (Read the full Clash review)

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Maps – ‘Vicissitude’

“The theme here is one of acceptance and moving on, a realisation that sometimes you have to set yourself free in order to grow. Those reflections are delivered with a quiet, numbed resignation by James Chapman in an atmospheric, wide-screen take on melancholia.” (Read the full Clash review)

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Benin City – ‘Fires In The Park’
(Audio Doughnuts)

“Richly sonorous brass, sprinkles of chiming electronic melodies, streetwise lyrics that cover everything from the Thames to Facebook status updates, hip-hop, the euphoric jerky unpredictability of bass and dubstep: it’s all to be found, improbably working together just fine, on ‘Fires In The Park’.” (Read the full Clash review)

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Pet Shop Boys – ‘Electric’

“‘Electric’ is Pet Shop Boys’ most energetic and relentlessly hands-in-the-air music in 20 years. While familiar musical tropes abound, this is not that last vestige of the desperate fame-hunter: limp re-treads of what has gone before. They’re reborn, revitalised, and really rather good.” (Read the full Clash review)

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Maya Jane Coles – ‘Comfort’

“With its gently lilting title-track kicking off this deepest of journeys, Maya Jane Coles propels us into her obsessively quilled house music odyssey. House music’s fire will never go out. And this pack of rhythmic aces can only help fan its hypnotic flames.” (Read the full Clash review)

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The Icarus Line – ‘Slave Vows’

“Having edged from the primal roars of ‘Mono’ to a sound slightly more refined on second set ‘Penance Soireé’ (2004), The Icarus Line always exhibited evolution between releases. But this is a substantial progression, impact wise, from the comparatively timid swagger of ‘Wildlife’. There’s a much greater energy to proceedings here, which successfully infects the listening gear on a first spin, effortlessly encouraging repeat plays.” (Read the full Clash review)

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