August has been a huge month in music, whether it was because of Frank Ocean’s albums or because LCD Soundsystem confirmed that they’re working on the fourth record. Still, beyond all the big names are plenty of artists who are making worthwhile music under the radar. Thankfully, they’re uploading it to Bandcamp, where we can find it and share with you, so here are the strongest underground albums we came across this month, in the August edition of Bandcamping.
5. Inflatable Spaceship by Name Does Not Matter
Genre: electronic, house
If you like: Chromatics, Four Tet, Metro Area
Although house is capable of being a huge-sounding genre, it’s when it tries too hard to sound gigantic and bombastic that is starts to come undone and turns into an overwrought mess of blip-bloops and overly complicated rhythms. This Czech artist keeps everything pretty even keel, and thus, Inflatable Spaceship is subtle but engaging, effective in both the background and foreground of attention.
4. Brothers & Sisters by Lakuta
Genre: R&B, Latin, World
There are a ton of global influences on Lakuta’s debut album, which features everything from upbeat African percussion to jazzy horns to some disco and funk influences. It’s a wildly boisterous and fun romp that switches up genres the second you figure out what you were listening to. It keeps you on your feet in a charmingly disorienting way and is filled with seemingly limitless energy.
3. Slow by Sport
Genre: indie rock, alternative rock
If you like: American Football, The Front Bottoms
It’s not quite mainstream ’90s-style rock and it’s not quite emo either. It’s also kind of math-y and a bit hardcore, so all-in-all, what we have here is a fun and interesting rock record. The instrumentation is relatively straightforward, but it’s also used in creative ways, so that, along with consistently engaging composition and song structures, leads to a worthwhile listen.
2. Rags and Pearls by Yellow Teeth
Genre: country, folk, blues
If you like: Wilco, Paolo Nutini
If you happen to be reading this on a lazy Saturday, this is the album you’re going to want to put on as you sit outside, close your eyes, and enjoy the sun. Country works best when it’s intimate (look to Kacey Musgraves for evidence of that), and this album is the definition of actively relaxing.
1. Record 2016 by Madd Comrades
Genre: post-punk, indie rock
If you like: The Walkmen, Interpol
When post-punk is done well (Interpol, Joy Division, stellastarr*), it can be the most cinematic and moving genre out there, and Madd Comrades have certainly achieved an absolutely massive-sounding debut album. The female vocal wails go perfectly with the dark and propulsive instrumentation, all culminating to make a beautiful, raw mess.
Electro Travel in California by Adonai
Genre: electronic, house
If you like: Four Tet
I by The Rogue
Genre: electronic, synthwave
If you like: Com Truise
That’s all for August, but until next month, let us know in the comments which of these albums were your favorites, what we missed, and what we should look forward to. If you missed out on the last post, check it out here (and the complete Bandcamping archives are here).