From supergroups to long-lost live albums, July is looking like an intriguing month for new music.
Some of the biggest names in jazz, Afrobeat and hip-hop are teaming up for a number of projects, while a live recording from a late musical icon is getting its first ever official release.
Elsewhere, we've got long-awaited returns, hotly anticipated follow-ups, visual albums and more.
Here are the 10 albums you need to hear in July.
David Bowie — Ouvrez Le Chien (July 3)
There’s been a string of posthumous David Bowie releases in recent months, and this is the latest one. It’s a previously unheard recording of a live performance, dating back to a show in Dallas, Texas, in 1995 during the Outside tour.
Keleketla! — Keleketla! (July 3)
A transcontinental collaboration between jazz and Afrobeat artists in South Africa, the UK, US and beyond, this promises to be one of the most colourful releases of the month. The late Tony Allen is among those featured, with Dele Sosimi, Shabaka Hutchings and Joe Armon-Jones also involved.
Dinner Party — Dinner Party (July 10)
Another new supergroup — this time comprising Kamasi Washington, Robert Glasper, Terrace Martin and 9th Wonder — have formed as The Dinner Party. Expect a jazzy mix of hip-hop grooves and more.
The Streets — None Of Us Are Getting Out Of This Life Alive (July 10)
Mike Skinner is back with his first major release of big beats and sly wordplay since Computers and Blues in 2011. It’s been dubbed a mixtape, and there’s a feature on every track — ranging from Tame Impala and IDLES to Jimothy Lacoste and Greentea Peng.
Lianne La Havas — Lianne La Havas (July 17)
After a half-decade wait, Lianne La Havas is back with a new album. “If I’m at the centre of it, and all these songs can be played just by me, then I think I’m onto something very true to who I am,” she told the Standard back in May. “This is the album that I feel is most true to my identity.”
Zara McFarlane — Songs Of An Unknown Tongue (July 17)
London vocalist Zara McFarlane has been one of the leading voices of the capital’s jazz scene in recent years. On this album, she’s set to push beyond the genre, delving into the folk and spiritual roots of Jamaica.
Kamaal Williams — Wu Hen (July 24)
Kamaal Williams, aka producer Henry Wu, powers forwards with his modern brand of jazz, funk, grime, broken beat, jungle, house and more on this, his latest album.
Alanis Morissette — Such Pretty Forks In The Road (July 31)
Alanis Morrissette’s new album is her first since 2012, and has been three years in the making — even then, it was pushed back from its original release date in May due to the pandemic. It’s going to be a “piano record”, with the latest single Diagnosis an emotionally raw, stripped-back ballad.
Beyoncé — Black Is King (July 31)
Queen Bey is back with another visual album, this time inspired by The Gift, an album of music released in conjunction with the Lion King remake last year. “While working on this film,” she wrote on Instagram, “there were moments where I’ve felt overwhelmed, like many others on my creative team, but it was important to create a film that instills pride and knowledge.”
Fontaines D.C. — A Hero’s Death (July 31)
The Irish five-piece follow-up on the well-deserved hype from their debut Dogrel last year. Early singles from A Hero’s Death suggest a similar vein of dark, driving rock.