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A look at some of music's best from July

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It's officially Beyoncé season, with her seventh studio album, "Renaissance," releasing on July 29. It's been a hot minute since we've had a new Beyoncé album—the last was 2016's "Lemonade" that took over every social media channel. The lone single off the upcoming record so far, the bouncy "Break My Soul," has already become another historical notch in the superstar's belt. With its release Beyoncé has become the first woman and third artist ever to have 20 Top 10 songs as a solo artist and at least 10 Top 10 tracks with a group on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. The only other two to do so are Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney.

Before she puts up even bigger numbers and takes over the world yet again, let's take a look at some of the best local, regional and national beats.

Album covers. - SUBMITTED
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  • Album covers.

Locals' Bin

"Cult of Melody" - Dalton Bell

Opening with an epic synth that slowly melts before Dalton Bell emerges triumphantly with his guitar, "Exordium" is the perfect opener and pace setter for Bell's latest album, "Cult of Melody." Filled with a bum rush of poppy '80s-sounding guitar hooks, Bell brings glam rock back in full force. If you've recently binged "Stranger Things" on Netflix and are in the mood for some throwback tunes, this will give you that same nostalgic feeling in a new way. The whole album plays like the backdrop to a giant life-altering journey. Even with no lyrics, I can practically see the story playing out. Track eight, titled "Perilous," sounds like a late level in a video game, where you're marching up toward the eerie castle where the final boss battle takes place. "Cult of Melody" comes to a close with its title track that by the end is beaming with a sense of relief and peace, as you hear windchimes off in the distance. That all is calm.

Regional Gem

"Feral Kids" - Heists

Described on Bandcamp as a "pandemic sanity project," Eugene duo Heists have succeeded in making this a totally wild and fun listening experience. After you listen to "Feral Kids" it makes sense why the duo of Luke Kuzava and Theo Halpert called it a "mid-apocalypse party album," because it sounds like they took their paint palette and smeared all of its colors together into one abstract and gorgeous- looking blob. That blob as music sounds industrial, poppy, metal, funky, lo-fi and experimental. If you took the DNA of Ween, Gorillaz, MGMT and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard into a lab and created a new band from scratch it may sound a bit like this. Favorites include "Goodbye Rosie," "Fly Together" and "Happy Accidents."

National Beats

"Household Name" - Momma

One of my favorite albums of the year BY FAR. The trio of Etta Friedman, Allegra Weingarten and Aron Kobayashi Ritch will floor you with its punchy guitar riffs and catchy hooks that take you back to the '90s. With a sound reminiscent of acts like Liz Phair, Pavement and The Breeders, the group's third album makes a playful spectacle out of the idea of "making it big" as a rock band. That idea of a superstar, household-name band almost doesn't seem nearly as possible in 2022 as it did maybe 30 years ago—but that self-awareness is present on the record. Featuring songs about heartbreak, anxiety, fear and nostalgia, Momma delivers a grungy and poppy masterpiece that will infect your brain on loop. I don't need to tell you where to start to get into this one, because the best spot is right from the jump of the album. The first five tracks will hook you. Trust me.


Five Songs for the Rotation

"Change" - Djo

"Weird Florida" - Camp Trash

"Die a Million Times" - Ian Sweet

"Cowboy Bepop" - Enumclaw

"10:36" - Beabadoobee

About The Author

Isaac Biehl

Isaac is living proof that "Iowa Nice" is actually a thing. A journalism graduate from Iowa State University, he regularly writes about music, the outdoors and the arts/culture scene. Isaac loves the Trail Blazers, backpacking and a good IPA. He plans to one day win Survivor. Your move, Jeff Probst...

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