This Month's Soundtrack, July 2010

Check out new releases from top artists as picked by the EM editors for the July 2010 issue

This collection of releases contains a mix of styles, often within the albums themselves. From South Asian-influenced pop to neoclassical to bluesy R&B to electro-pop, there''s lots of musical territory covered here.

Robert Randolph and the Family Band
We Walk This Road (Warner Bros.)

Aided by producer T Bone Burnett, this album comprises a riveting set of 20th-century American songs featuring the band''s hard-driving sound and Randolph''s Sacred-steel playing, which is often reminiscent of a slide guitar on steroids.

Ólafur Arnalds
..and they have escaped the weight of darkness (Erased Tapes Records)

A dreamy-sounding set of neoclassical, chamber-pop compositions from this Icelandic artist. The music is piano based with a large dose of small string-section sounds and the occasional drum set and bass (featuring a remotely recorded Tony Levin) thrown in.

Here are two Ólafur Arnalds tracks from the album "...and they have escaped the weight of darkness (Erased tapes records, 2010 ), that you can download:
"thú ert sólin" (You Are the Sun) MP3
"Tunglid" (Moon) MP3

Kartick & Gotam
Business Class Refugees (EarthSync)

This Isreali duo mix traditional South Asian elements with a modern rhythm section on this intriguing world-music-meets-rock/pop release.

You can download this full trace, "Bonjour" from Kartick & Gotam's Business Class Refugees (Earthsync, 2010).

Kartick & Gotam Video #1

Kartrick & Gotam Video #2

Soft Return (Lo Recordings)

Hot Chip drummer Grovesnor (aka Rob Smoughton) offers up a tasty dose of R&B-tinged electro-pop that''s crisp, melodic, and very catchy.

Here's an excerpt from "Find a Way to Stop Him" from the album Soft Return (Lo Recordings, 2010).

This excerpt is from "Taxi From the Airport" from the album Soft Return (Lo Recordings, 2010).

Clothesline Revival
They Came From Somewhere (Paleo Music)

Conrad Praetzel and Robert Powell return with a mélange of roots music—slide guitar, pedal steel, acoustic guitar, Charlie Musselwhite on harmonica, and more—mixed with processed beats and Praetzel''s ethereal production. Cool stuff!

An excerpt from Clothesline Revival's "Orange Clown Train" from They Came From Somewhere (Paleo muSic, 2010).

This clip is from Clothesline Revival's "The Resurrection of John Henry" from They Came From Somewhere (Paleo muSic, 2010).