July albums: 10 new releases you need to hear this month, from Billie Eilish to Laura Mvula

·4-min read
Charlotte Day Wilson, Billie Eilish and Emma-Jean Thackray (Joe Magowan/handout)
Charlotte Day Wilson, Billie Eilish and Emma-Jean Thackray (Joe Magowan/handout)

Into July we go, and with the new month comes a feast of new music to enjoy.

We’ve got synth-tastic throwbacks, genre-defying collabs and what looks like it could be the biggest album of the year so far. Hear are 10 must-listen releases for the four weeks ahead.

Laura Mvula – Pink Noise (July 2)

The highly infectious Eighties bug is still making its way around musical circles and the latest artist to catch it is Laura Mvula. Her new record is rooted in the sounds and styles of that inexhaustibly influential decade, drenched in synthy goodness. “I was born in 1986. I came out of the womb wearing shoulder pads,” Muvla says. “I absorbed the dynamism of the Eighties aesthetic right from my first moments on this planet.”

Charlotte Day Wilson – Alpha (July 9)

Toronto artist Charlotte Day Wilson is one of those artists for whom it feels like we’ve been waiting ages for a debut album. Her 2016 song Work, a slow-burn groove, has upwards of 60 million streams on Spotify, and since then she’s collaborated with the likes of BADBADNOTGOOD and Kaytranada. This upcoming record feels like it might be her best work yet, with an excellent lead single featuring Syd from The Internet.

Vince Staples – Law of Averages (July 9)

Back with his first full-length project since 2018, Californian rapper Vince Staples has always had his own distinct sound, even if the style itself has morphed with time — from the grimy gloom of debut album Summertime ‘06 to the echoes of UK garage on Big Fish Theory. Expect the unexpected on this upcoming record.

Clairo – Sling (July 16)

Clairo arrived as a viral sensation back in 2017 with her lo-fi track Pretty Girl, but proved just how gifted an artist she is with her eclectic debut album Immunity in 2019. We’ve only been given one track off the American’s second record so far, but the forlorn, half-whispered folk track is a promising start. Producer to the stars Jack Antonoff has been enlisted, too.

Tones And I – Welcome To The Madhouse (July 16)

If you don’t know Tones and I by name, then you definitely know her by sound. The Australian artist went absolutely supermassive with Dance Monkey in 2019 — number one in more than 30 countries, 2.2 billion streams on Spotify — and now she’s delivering a much-anticipated, self-produced debut album. Does it have another megahit on it? We’ll have to wait and see.

Emma-Jean Thackray – Yellow (July 23)

“I approached the record by trying to simulate a life-changing psychedelic experience,” says composer-producer-performer-DJ Emma-Jean Thackray of her upcoming debut album. The jazzy, multicolor explosion of lead single Say Something suggested she’d done a pretty good job of emulating it, and the two follow-up tracks we’ve been given are just as enchanting.

Anne-Marie – Therapy (July 23)

In her 2020 documentary, How To Be Anne-Marie, the Essex-born pop favourite Anne-Marie opened up about some of the more challenging aspects of her personal life. And if the title of her upcoming album is anything to go by, we can expect more soul-baring truth and reflection throughout the record. “My lyrics are my open diary to you all and writing this album has helped me focus and understand my feelings,” she says.

Billie Eilish — Happier Than Ever (July 30)

Is there a bigger album set to drop this year than Billie Eilish’s? Probably not. We’re all poised to see how on earth the 19-year-old follows up on her globe-conquering debut from two years ago — the early singles suggest a subtle progression in her subdued, slyly powerful sound, but who knows what surprises could lie within the tracklist.

LUMP – Animal (July 30)

It’s always fascinating when two artists come together and it sounds nothing like their own respective discographies. That’s exactly the case with LUMP, the collaborative duo of Laura Marling and Mike Lindsay from the band Tunng. It’s slightly poppy, pretty wonky, and wholly unpredictable.

Prince – Welcome 2 America (July 30)

Prince’s huge vault of unreleased material is the stuff of legend — only he had access to it when he was alive — and though we’ve been allowed to dip our toes with the release of a handful of archive tracks, much of it has remained off limits. Now, though, we’re being given a full album, Welcome 2 America, which was recorded in 2010 but never saw the light of day.

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