When June began, we were overwhelmed by the amount of incredible music the month offered. Our calendar was jammed with albums from artists of every genre, quiet and loud, new and established, which made the decision to pick this month’s best album become a giant email-debate.
Ultimately, we agreed that Alex G’s DSU best represented the optimism with which June began. Released on the community-focused Orchid Tapes, DSU was the first vinyl release from the Philadelphia musician. Labels that subsist entirely off of beautifully made physical merch and gives away mp3s of all their releases for free, whose MO is building community over building business—those are the labels we admire most. DSU feels as though it marks the tipping point for the Bandcamp communities that started forming around 2010. So far in 2014 we have seen the increased popularity of the “bedroom pop” genre, with releases from Orchid Tapes, Double Double Whammy, and many other independent labels. While these records may not appeal to everyone, they represent the attitude that anyone can make a meaningful piece of art. As Bikini Kill drummer Tobi Vail aptly summarized in her Jigsaw zine, “A band is any song you ever played with anybody even if only once.” Let the music of June overwhelm you, let it inspire you, let it cause you to begin your own friendly debates.
The Best Album of June 2014
DSU is the first Alex G release that didn’t go straight to Bandcamp after it was recorded, instead being pressed to vinyl by the Orchid Tapes imprint—it is also his first release that was properly mastered. The album comes after RULES and TRICK, two self-released albums that thrust the 21-year-old Temple University student into a very small but very passionate Internet limelight, and it is both a logical progression and a staunch demonstration of faith to the bedroom pop aesthetic he has fostered thus far.
For more on Alex G, read our feature here.