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Quietus Charts

Music Of The Month: The Best Albums And Tracks Of August 2022
Patrick Clarke , August 26th, 2022 08:17

Here are eight excellent albums and six unmissable tracks released in August 2022, compiled for your listening pleasure by tQ's editorial staff

A couple of weeks ago during an impossible heatwave that turned London into a muggy hell and my brain into mush, I went to watch Gentle Stranger play at The Shacklewell Arms. I was reluctant given the heat, as well as a not unrelated malaise that was making everything I listened to sound stale.

It took a gig like Gentle Stranger's to break the mould. There are few acts in Britain as preposterous. Tom Hardwick-Allen, dressed in a fake inflatable beefcake outfit and leather chaps, babbling into a vintage telephone dangling from the ceiling as Alex McKenzie thrashed around on the floor; the trio cycling through what felt like dozens of instruments - from slide whistle to triangle - as if they were trying to reconstruct a photoplayer live onstage.

Sometimes it takes an act so flagrantly batshit to remind me what the best music is - not necessarily preposterous, but in some way bold. It's what I love the most about working for The Quietus, platforming the kind of music that thrives on its strangeness, its unique perspective, its forward-thinkingness or its sheer creativity. You'll find plenty such music below.

All the below, as well as all the other excellent music we've covered at tQ this month will also be compiled into an exclusive, hours-long playlist exclusive to our subscribers. In addition, subscribers can enjoy exclusive music from some of the world's most forward-thinking artists, regular deep-dive essays, a monthly podcast, specially-curated 'Organic Intelligence' guides to under the radar international sub-genres and more.

To sign up for all those benefits, and to help us keep bringing you the kind of music you're about to read about below, you can click here. And read on for the best of the best from August 2022.
Patrick Clarke


Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – Let’s Turn It Into Sound
(Ghostly International)

Let’s Turn It Into Sound is hot and fiery in one moment; cold and distanced the next. Reference points pop up and are batted away. Jazzy beginnings merge with New Age sighs and oscillating twinkles. She never sits still for long, eagerly moving on to the next iteration. There’s ping-ponging glockenspiel hits, dragged metallic bass lines, corrugated chiptune, cosmic jazz, writhing hip-hop drums, choral swells, cautious ambient pulsing, emotive war cries, modern classical sweeps, tumbling broken beats, judder-snatched vocal snippets, and syncopated synth sequences that sound like amphibians hopping from fizzing electric lily pad to fizzing electric lily pad. It’s not just a mongrel mesh of genres. It’s stretching and cracking them into new shapes, creating something fresh, hyperactive, and utterly pop.
Jon Buckland – read the full review here

Diamanda Galás – Broken Gargoyles
(Intravenal Sound Operations)

Broken Gargoyles makes most contemporary black metal, edgelord power electronics or exploring-feminity-through-witchcraft-wailers (there are a lot of Fisher Price Diamandas around at the moment) sound like they’re auditioning for a role in a local production of an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. Diamanda Galás has produced not only one of her finest works, but a record that is equal and arguably surpasses other records that have the capacity to swallow you whole and spit you out that have been released in the past decade or so – Sunn O)))’s Monoliths & Dimensions, Scott Walker’s Bish Bosch, for instance. No other new record you’ll hear in 2022 so beautifully explores the limits of what the human voice is able to do, and the stories it is able to give life to while doing so. A masterpiece.
Luke Turner – read the full review here

Conjunto Primitivo – Morir Y Renacer
(Chicago Research)

28 minutes of thumping gloomy bangers, combining dark techno and industrial noise with Latin American rhythm including cumbia and reggaeton, eerily hypnotic vocals half-chanted and half-sung, Morir Y Renacer is impossible not to be enthralled by. Significantly, there is depth beneath all that gloom, the Chicago band exploring the historic and cultural links between a diaspora of sounds that will endure as one of the year's finest LPs.
Patrick Clarke

Eliza Niemi – Staying Mellow Blows
(Tin Angel)

If the entreaties of popular wisdom to a calmer mindset haven’t sat well with you, Eliza Niemi is on your wavelength. The songwriter-producer-multi-instrumentalist’s latest album, Staying Mellow Blows, taps into an anti-folk energy in her exploration of difficult relationships and uncomfortable feelings. Niemi’s varied and confident vocals span a loping folk style to an almost deadpan delivery with equal appeal. She comes across as cool and in control but never unemotional, which allows her to approach topics such as the fear of losing people, death more broadly, and shitty romantic partners in an incisive way that is relatable and never too heavy-handed. The flighty vocal on ‘Trust Me’ allows lyrics about the ultimate end of all relationships to breeze past with an almost alarming ease.
Amanda Farah – read the full review here

Idiopathique – Idiopathique
(Noise Merchant)

Often cracking on at hardcore tempo, elsewhere deploying on-off moments of creepy crawl lumber, sometimes Idiopathique just say ‘fuck it’ and do both at the literal same time, as on the bafflingly-arranged ‘Alie.n.ation’. Guitars are pore-gougingly atonal, drumbeats whip you hither and yon with minimal warning, and all the lyrics seem to be in either English or Spanish. If this band had existed in the early 90s, they’d have shared oxygen with some/all of Stretchheads, Dawson, God Is My Co-Pilot, Melt-Banana, Boredoms and Truman’s Water, which I fancy would’ve been a fine proving ground for them. More recent touchstones might include Neon, Preening, Warm Bodies or NASA Space Universe, and if having names flung at you this rapidly feels exhausting, well so does listening to Idiopathique.
Noel Gardner – read the full review here

The Soft Pink Truth – Was It Ever Real?

The Dark Room Mix of ‘Is It Going To Get Any Deeper Than This?’ from Was It Ever Real? is an eight-minute hypnagogic journey, which recreates memories of maze-like rooms in sex clubs, where Daniel first heard deep house. It is lush, meditative, and totally camp – and works all the better because of it. The rest of the taster EP retains this nocturnal atmosphere, buoyed by live bass and gitchy vocal edits. There’s a sexy elegance to these tracks, without losing the central playfulness characteristic of a Soft Pink Truth release. His freaky cover of Coil’s ‘The Anal Staircase’ carries on his tradition of eccentrically reinterpreting classics from other genres (following a Prince cover on his 2003 debut, followed by an album of old new wave hits in 2004, and 2014’s exploration of black metal, Why Do The Heathen Rage?).
Skye Butchard – read the full review here

Oneida – Success
(Joyful Noise)

The cycle of Brooklyn’s fearlessly experimental rock band has come to its logical conclusion. After twenty-five years of constantly expanding their sonic imagination, moving from noise-rock to an exploration of territories like krautrock (in the footsteps of outfits like The Cosmic Jokers), monolithic drone, free jazz or heavy dub – both as Oneida, and while making dub covers of Joy Division under the name Jäh Divison – they have now recorded their most straight-ahead rock album ever. After the kosmische synth jams on their previous, four years-old Romance, Success is a rock songbook – and one not lacking in anthem-like refrains.
Miloš Hroch – read the full review here

EROS – A Southern Code

You’d be forgiven for having never heard of EROS, but loyal readers of this site will surely recognise its constituent parts: the one and only Karl O’Connor aka Regis, Liam Andrews of tQ favourites MY DISCO, and legendary Einstürzende Neubauten-enabler Boris Wilsdorf. By now, those same readers probably know how I feel about these characters, which is to say: I like them a lot. These artists are lifers with real longevity – even MY DISCO, the “newest’ of the crew, have been around nearly two decades. Artists like this, their stories aren’t short – their careers have volumes.
Bernie Brooks – read the full review here


The Mars Volta – 'Vigil'

People could (if they so desired) spend days arguing over the merits of The Mars Volta's stylistic volte face after nearly a decade on hiatus. Whatever the band's motivation there is no arguing with the sheer quality of lead single 'Vigil' however. Played with a fearsomely straight bat, 'Vigil' is yacht rock/ mid-80s sophisto-intelli-pop of the highest degree, landing somewhere in between Hall & Oates circa Big Bam Boom and David Bowie of Heathen. Now, is it a radical act for a formerly 'difficult' band to suddenly come on like Peter Gabriel about to release 'Sledgehammer'? Or more pertinently, does it even matter?
John Doran

Pa Salieu – 'Mista/Lennon Freestyle'

Earlier this month, Pa Salieu was removed from the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games due to his failing a 'background check' – likely relating to a brawl in which he was involved in 2018 that saw his friend stabbed to death.'Mista/Lennon Freestyle', filmed in front of the court where Salieu was convicted of violent disorder and possessing a bottle as an offensive weapon, is a gripping, pensive, and nuanced response.
Patrick Clarke

Santigold - 'Shake'

Lomond Campbell - 'The Mountain And The Pendulum'

Having established himself as a master of restraint and subtlety on his recent excursions into ambient compositions and tape loops, Lomond Campbell allows himself to let loose a little on 'The Mountain And The Pendulum', which juxtaposes a vibrant experimental beat with glacial waves of noise to gorgeous effect.
Patrick Clarke

The Soft Pink Truth – 'Anal Staircase'

I'm not quite sure exactly how Drew Daniel – one half of Matmos, the avant garde duo who released their washing machine's spin cycle as an LP and made musique concrete out of plastic surgery detritus – came to be 2022's most convincing and necessary deep house producer but I applaud it nonetheless. Our favourite ex-go go dancer turned English professor takes Coil's industrial sex magic classic and wraps it in the sensation of emerging from the deepest, darkest k-hole in the most salubrious of clubs and realising everything is just fine.
John Doran

Luke M de Zilva – 'Levelled'

Levelled was originally released by Australian musician and composer Luke M De Zilva last year as part of a double A-side single, a bold and uncompromising track performed on acoustic guitar. This new version, recorded in an industrial reverb chamber with additional strings from Peter Hollo and Mara Schwerdtfeger, is bolder still, De Zilva's considerable command of loudness and quiet given acres of space in which to unfurl, his guitar juxtaposed powerfully with Hollo and Schwerdtfeger.
Patrick Clarke