August 2012 in Music

by Casey Newton

This month I was most excited by an album that came out in 1992: Copper Blue, by Bob Mould's post-Hüsker Dü band Sugar. Gorgeous melodies, impassioned singing and ferocious guitar playing add up to a record that felt brand new to me, 20 years later. For a nice overview of the record, check out Eric Harvey's review of the reissue in Pitchfork.  

The month also saw solid work from some old favorites. Grizzly Bear's "Yet Again," from their forthcoming Shields, marked a welcome return. Antony & the Johnsons released a live album, Cut the World, that featured an excellent rendition of one their best songs: "You Are My Sister," a song as affirming as any you'll hear. Bloc Party's Four marked a return to the style of Silent Alarm, if not the quality -- but still, a handful of tracks on the record were worth hearing more than once. 

Lykke Li turned in the month's best cover, a slow-burning take on Fleetwood Mac's "Silver Spring" that felt raw and a little unhinged. And because it wouldn't be summer without a little radio pop, I couldn't help but include Bieber's "As Long As You Love Me." It sounds incredibly expensive, and I mean that as a compliment.  

My favorite new track of the month just might be the first one on this mix: Passion Pit's "On My Way," off Gossamer. I've had a hard time getting excited about Gossamer ever since reading Chris Cappello's withering takedown of the record, but for whatever reason I keep coming back to "On My Way" -- the sound of optimism during a dark time, the kind of affirmation that sounds good no matter how you feel.