New music gets released every day, so it can be hard to keep up with the constant flow of tunes. This is where we come in. For the month of July, we've been keeping tabs on new local releases. Here, we've rounded up eight of the best Bay Area albums that dropped in the past month, covering a wide range of genres and musical styles, from indie-pop and electronic to street rap and R&B.
[jump] Check 'em out below and see if any tickle your fancy.
Let It Begin by Silent Pictures
Silent Pictures is a quartet that formed in 2010 and is helmed by multi-instrumentalist Alexander Mann. Let It Begin is the indie-rock band's second album — their debut, Underexposed, came out in 2013 — and it's an eclectic and moody mix of psychedelic-, indie-, and pop-rock. In fact, it's sort of hard to categorize this album because it is so varied; then again, that's exactly what Mann was going for. “We don't really stay genre specific,” he told SF Weekly. “There might be something that sounds glam-rock and ethereal or art-pop or disco. We don't really stay in one particular sound. It gets boring.”
Banana Split EP by Everyone is Dirty
Banana Split is a rollicking, punk-laced indie-rock EP from the three-year-old Oakland band Everyone Is Dirty. The EP's lead single, “Banana Split,” is a bass- and drum-heavy banger with raw vocals from Sivan Lioncub and reckless violin solos that give the energetic rock tune a wild and unrestrained energy. In stark contrast to it is “Wax Mannequin Mode,” a softer, more delicate track guided by acoustic guitar and cello that sounds like an unreleased cut from Nirvana.
Paradise by Con Brio
Con Brio's debut album is majorly funky. The R&B and soul steeped project showcases the San Francisco septet's knack for crafting catchy, horn-heavy tunes that will make you want to move your feet and dance. Lead singer Ziek McCarter's elastic, throaty voice is comparable to that of Bruno Mars', albeit less restrained and cut loose. The album is a follow-up to the band's 2013 EP Kiss The Sun, and touches on topics ranging from love and the power of money to the Black Lives Matter movement.
American Greed by Philthy Rich and Yowda
Philthy Rich is an East Oakland rapper who teamed up with Yowda, an emcee from Las Vegas, to create this no-frills album that fits squarely in the “street rap” genre. “Squad Goals” is a dark and eerie meditation on the people you decide to surround yourself with, while “Fuck Being Humble” is a mellower cut, laced with tinkling instrumentals and autobiographical references about Rich's childhood.
Turn Into by Jay Som
Jay Som is a San Francisco singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who recently toured with Mitski and Japanese Breakfast. As a new signee to Polyvinyl Records, the label reissued her nine-track album, Turn Into, which features a collection of whimsical and shimmery dream-pop ditties that Som wrote, sang, and played every instrument for (guitar, drums, keys, and bass). She also recorded and mixed the album herself in her San Francisco home, which is pretty darn impressive. If you're a fan of Washed Out or Day Wave, you should check this out.
Paper Roads by Guy Fox
Guy Fox is a quartet from Oakland that makes folk-pop ditties, and Paper Roads is the band's follow-up to its 2015 debut, Night Owl. It's a soothing, melodic record that is chill AF and perfect for driving or zoning out. Highlights of the five-track album include the midtempo, guitar-laced song “What Ya Say,” and “Let's Move to Canada,” a slick, bass-punctuated tune with echo-y vocals and funky piano riffs.
Bridges by Beautiful Machine
Bridges is the second installment in San Francisco band Beautiful Machine's trilogy, which began in 2014 with Disconnect: Reconnect and will continue with 2017's Singularity. The lush, electronic record is packed with energy, and songs range from '80s-inspired dance-pop ditties (“Million Miles”) to instrumental, cinematic compositions (“Interference”).
602 by Desta Dawn
Desta Dawn is an up-and-coming R&B singer out of Oakland. 602, named after her birthday, showcases her versatile voice over jazzy and pop-based melodies. This is soul at its best and each song on the five-track album weaves a tale of love or heartbreak without coming across as too mushy or depressing.