For Italian love
Phoenix – Ti Amo (Warner)
One of the jewels in the ‘French touch’ music movement, Phoenix pays tribute to vintage Italy on this luminous record crafted in the midst of the terror attacks, at the well-named Gaité Lyrique. This synth pop record luxuriates in the mutedhedonism of Italo disco and is as moving emotionally as physically – just try and keep those feet still. It’s the crème de la (sun) crème…
For wild country
Beth Ditto – Fake Sugar (Myra’s Chid / Virgin Records)
Former singer of the band Gossip who sparkled at the 2018 Gucci Resort show is back as a solo artist with Fake Sugar, an album rich in sugar, colour and spice. While the lyrics draw upon her complicated childhood, the sounds float on a southern music vibe completed with rock’n’roll, garage and a sunny energetic country. Her single “Fire” won’t fail to bring any dancefloor to life.
For gloom chasing
Arcade fire – Everything Now (Columbia Records)
The Canadian group are just about to release Everything Now, whose eponymous single is already a mega hit. Produced by Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk and Steve Mackey of Pulp, the (anti-Trump) track openly flirts with Supertramp in a surprisingly mainstream vein for the band. They’ve announced an album recorded between the US and France nourished by recent events and set to transcend them with a lyrical and epic pop.
For celebrating nature
Camille – Ouï (Because)
On her fifth album, the French singer once again unites the sensual with the conceptual for a sonorous voyage that brushes with the experimental. Recorded in a church, “Ouï” explores the themes of nature and activism against a backdrop of ancestral tribal rhythms. The hypnotic single “Je ne mâche pas mes mots” [I don’t mince my words] clearly affirms her status as the French Björk.
For chilling in the shade
London Grammar - Truth is a beautiful thing (Because)
More melancholic than their first album, the second record by the English band is addressed to those who prefer evenings in the shade than beachside frolics. Hannah Reid’s voice bewitches with sophisticated and diaphanous melodies. Truth is a beautiful thing as the title says, especially in the mouth of a blond dressed in black.
For an exotic getaway
alt-J – Relaxer (Infectious Records)
The British trio have released a third album that will remind the world why we fell in love with them to start with. Unclassifiable, alt-J’s new songs are like fascinating labyrinths that never stop surprising their listeners. But the complexity of the tunes doesn’t stop them from becoming hits like the rock ballad “In Cold Blood”. A veritable anti-Brexit argument…
For a folky after party
Aldous Harding – Party (4AD/Flying Nun)
This New Zealander is moving forward with her second album, Party. At first glance it appears that her deliciously neurasthenic and pretty folk are calmer, but then watch out for the moments of madness. As shown with her strange, very sexy dance in star-spangled micro shorts in the video for her single Blend. A most pleasurable party in action!
For an Afropunk interlude
Tshegue – Survivor (Ekler’o’shock)
It might only be an EP, but this Parisian duo deserves to be on this summer’s list of the headiest and most moving records. Their songs draw on African influences aswell as garage rock for a clubby sound that’s as original as it is addictive.