The Month In Music: Staff Picks – July 2012

A round up of the best tracks, albums and gigs from this month, as recommended by the people who make UnderSong.

TRACKS

Harry's Pick: The Killers - Runaway

"It's the band returning in the best possible way, with a chest-thumping all American anthem. The chorus takes a while to kick in, but is worth the wait."

Dip's Pick: Tall Ships - Gallop

"The second single to be taken from their debut, Everything Touching, is a fantastic and glorious math infused indie fiesta of crashing drums, furious loops and gorgeous vocals. Mere words stumble to describe the fervent beauty and elegance that lay behind Gallop."

Kate's Pick: Tame Impala - Elephant

"The first release from the forthcoming album Lonerism hints at another promising release from Australia's psych rockers."

Claire's Pick: Scissor Sisters - Let's Have A Kiki

"Okay okay so technically this song hasn't 'officially' been released and maybe it isn't the type of music UnderSong typically rate... but my god it is hilariously camp and such a good video!"

Cat's Pick: Biffy Clyro - Stingin' Belle

"Chosen because it's the first glimpse of their much anticipated forthcoming album Opposites - oh, and also for the bagpipes..."

 

ALBUMS

James' Pick: Purity Ring - Shrines

"Equal parts dark, childlike, freaky and mesmerizing - it's one hell of an impressive electronica album."

Charlie's Pick: Passion Pit - Gossamer

"A torturous but brilliant exploration into the psyche of a troubled man - who knew electro pop could be so visceral?" Read Charlie's full review here.

Cat's Pick: Lianne La Havas - Is Your Love Big Enough?

"A really varied album - there are songs to dance to and songs to relax to but it still manages to remain cohesive. A very talented lady with a beautifully soothing voice - I'd love to see her live."

Harry's Pick: The Gaslight Anthem - Handwritten

"Handwritten is heartwarming, thoughtful and well written." Read our review here.

Dip's Pick: Fixtures - Shades

"Admittedly only an EP, but the lads from Fixtures create more depth, scope and scale in four tracks that most would manage from a full length release. It’s delicate math-infused indie that’s hideously complex yet glides across your aural palette. Gorgeous after one listen, stunning after ten. It’s a flawless release that captures the sound of a band ready to calmly take on the world with waves of beautiful yet brutal, intricate music." Read more on the EP here.

 

GIGS

Claire's Pick: Red Hot Chili Peppers - Rockwerchter 01/07/2012

"Not even a stressful day in a Belgium hospital with a tooth hanging by a thread could stop me from turning up for the last epic day of Rockwerchter consisting of Die Antwoord, (my secret like) Ed Sheeran, Florence + The Machine, Snow Patrol and Red Hot Chili Peppers."

Kate's Pick: Arcane Roots & ME - The Shipping Forecast, Liverpool 04/07/2012

"Two very different bands that somehow managed to compliment each other excellently. Both display huge amounts of talent and superb musicianship. Either one could easily have made my gig of the month pick on their own." Read Kate's full review here.

Charlie's Pick: Wagon Summer All Dayer, The Old Queen's Head, Islington 21/07/2012

"A fun-filled day of music introduced by BBC Radio 6's Chris Hawkins. Van Susans produced a typically stellar performance - confident and energetic, they drew the biggest crowd of the day - but the act that had everyone talking was rising Irish star Gemma Hayes. The beautiful singer-songwriter's understated performance resonated with emotion and passion that not even the exuberance of following act Shake Tiger Shake and headliners Lazy Habits could detract from."

Dip's Pick: Doctrines - The Black Heart, Camden 26/07/2012

"After falling head over heels for their latest EP, ZE, the boys in Doctrines only cemented their places in my heart at this gig. The run through of ZE which closed their set was among one of the greatest live musical moments I’ve witnessed. Twisting and turning, flitting between aggression and delicacy, it was hauntingly beautiful and balls to the floor rocking at the same time. Throaty vocals and immense breakdowns were the flavour of the day, and were delivered with passion, precision and prowess. Just incredible."

What were your musical highlights this month? Tell us in the comments box below!