Culture / Music

The new music we’re listening to this month

new music august 2023

From our lows (listening to new Sufjan Stevens flat on our backs in the shower, just me?) to our highs (channelling the icon energy of DJ and artist Kavi), these are the new music releases that soundtracked our lives this August. We hope you eke out as much feeling from them as we did.


blýth, færy

Release date: July 21

Actor turned musician, Liana Cornell is now making music that works with to heal, without sounding like healing music. Recorded in Cornwall, United Kingdom blýth uses frequencies designed to make the listener less anxious alongside potent and pounding drums, creating a track that aims to move emotions as well as your feet. The video for blýth, a cinematic collaboration with Cornwall-based Director Tom Dream (Arlo Parks, Northface, Gucci), celebrates nature and færy's Celtic ancestral roots.


Go Go Go, Jorja Smith

Release date: August 4

To occasional listeners, Go Go Go, the latest single in the run up to Jorja Smith's sophomore album, might sound like a departure to her sound. For the artist, the single is a nod to the indie artists that captured her attention as a teenager (think: Bombay Bicycle Club, The Kooks and Jaws). "GO GO GO is kind of a f you song. Why do people have to kiss and tell, kind of vibe... I’m in my little alternative bag, but I’ve always kind of been in it. People might be like, ‘I didn’t expect this’, but I’m like: ‘well, I would!’”.


Speak to Me, GANGgajang

Release date: August 9

GANGgajang has released the single, Speak To Me, in support of the Yes campaign for the Voice Referendum. Music editor, Alys Hale, spoke to Mark Callaghan to discuss the ideation behind making a “positive song for a positive outcome". Speak To Me is the result of GANGgajang’s journey and conversations with First Nations and non-Indigenous friends and colleagues for the entirety of their career: speak to me about being prepared to listen and have “the common human decency” to have a conversation.


Sundial, Noname

Release date: August 11

Sundial entered the world accompanied by a block party in Chicago, in which Noname requested all attendees donate a book, specifically those written by Black authors, that would be distributed throughout prisons via the rapper's book club. It's the kind of gesture we've grown to expect from the artist. In Sundial, her first album in five years, Noname's lyricism is fluid and filled with truths, penetrative like a clarion call. She welcomes contributions from names like Yussef Dayes and Jay Electronica, a record that was build just as much from her own mind as with the generative help of community.


Bad Idea Right? Olivia Rodrigo

Release date: August 11

A piece of capital-A Art. Olivia Rodrigo unleashes the second single to her forthcoming album Guts and it's a gear change from her acid-tinged song, Vampire. Calling on all the messy heroines, Olivia picks up the mantle in this chatty track that describes going back to an ex against all better judgement. The accompanying music video is a treat.


Seven Sisters, Rainbow Chan

Release date: August 11

Rainbow Chan proves she can not only move seamlessly across mediums, but mould them to the image in her mind's eye. Seven Sisters is a feat of storytelling, an extension of her practice which focuses on cultural histories and retellings. The song references bridal rituals enacted by Weitou women and is peppered with Canto-pop references.


So You Are Tired, Sufjan Stevens

Release date: August 14

Sufjan Stevens returns to lull us softly out of heartbreak, ache and pain. So You Are Tired comes across as a life-affirming lullaby, cooing us back to ourselves, first with just the musician's wispy vocals and later building momentum with backing harmonies. Luca Guadagnino is surely waiting in the wings to soundtrack a movie with this, we hope.


tokyo, Robert Baxter

Release date: August 16

Dedicated to their best friend who is struggling with mental health, Baxter delivers a sonic "hug" with tokyo. "I wanted to remind him that even if he doesn’t want it for himself, my life is better with him," the artist explains. Softly sung and tender with care, tokyo is a hand reaching out in the dark, assuring another all will pass.


The Music That I Make, Leah Senior

Release date: August 18

Leah Senior's folktales waft out to us with the conviction of Gillian Welch and the spirit, skipping like a stone across water, of Vashti Bunyan. Confessional lyrics delivered with delicate plain speaking, The Music That I Make is heartfelt and earnest. How could we not turn our heads to listen?


Haunted Mountain, Buck Meek

Release date: August 22

Primarily known as the guitarist in Big Thief, Buck Meek makes a case for his own solo career with Haunted Mountain, the third album from the Texan artist. More contemplative than confessional, the record is ambling and textured. Mood Ring and Cyclades are stand outs.



Release date: August 31

All energy, Kavi's new track Scandalous is the perfect way to cap off a month of subdued sounds. This will raise your heartbeat, ego and maybe encourage you to be a messy bitch. We will not be held responsible. Here's a little note from the DJ and artist. "SCANDALOUS is my super hot comeback single, and the sexy soundtrack to a day in the life of Paris Hilton. A new sonic direction for me, this one's inspired by the golden era of pop – we're talking indie-sleaze, we're talking 2010s Usher and the Black Eyed Peas. I'm Kavi, so it's still laced with futuristic electropop though (Charli XCX came to me in a dream and said I'm her son). 'SCANDALOUS' is about being famous like me, owning your sexuality and hooking up on the DL – do not let TMZ find out or your career is literally so fucked."

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Images: @jorjasmith_ @klubkavi