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A look back at a few of music’s gems from August

Not to be harsh or anything, but summer is almost over, guys. That means we need to fill our lives with plenty of summertime bops and play them on repeat until it's officially over. Luckily for us a lot of awesome music was put out just before the tail-end of the season!

Check out some of the highlights in albums and songs with the Source Material installment for August.

Regional Find

"Pay Attention" – Russell James

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New to the Oregon scene is New Mexico's Russell James. Having relocated to Corvallis just this summer, James' third LP will make for a good welcome into the music community. "Pay Attention" is a combination of elements that James has called "dreamfolk." The album's base is built upon traditional folk, yes—but James experimented with more ambient sounds to give the project a vast range of electronic depth. So, he's pretty spot-on with dreamfolk. The album's opener, "1994," is a nostalgic trip that details some vivid memories of James' youth. His imagery here and throughout the album is excellent and a consistent highpoint to this collection of emotionally driven songs.

National Beats

"So Much Fun" – Young Thug

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While this is the best project Young Thug's ever put out, I'm still not sure we've seen his final form. The Atlanta rapper/singer/unicorn just keeps on getting better and better. "So Much Fun" honestly might be the album of the summer, and the numbers back that up: "So Much Fun" is Thugga's first #1 album (in 10 tries!). You can't help but feel the joy exuberating from his voice—whether it's "Surf" with Gunna or "What's The Move" with Lil Uzi Vert, Young Thug is determined to put a smile on the face of the masses. And yes, the album is, truly, so much fun.

"Live on Ice" – Tobi Lou

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As one of the most promising young artists of today, Chicago's Tobi Lou has officially started showing up on the world's radar with the release of his first full-length project, "Live on Ice." The artist isn't afraid to be quirky in his songs, filling them up with inside details from his life or interests (he loves cartoons so much he might actually be one). One thing this album makes clear is that he is significantly more than just a rapper—he's wise beyond his years and puts his pop sensibility on full display (see "Humpty Dumpty" or "Ice Cream Girl" for reference). While being on ice generally cools you off, Tobi Lou is doing nothing but heating up.

Five for the Rotation

"SUGAR" – Brockhampton
"Freedom" – Sampa the Great
"Sing Along" – Sturgill Simpson
"Southern Sky" – (Sandy) Alex G
"Daydreaming" – Milky Chance & Tash Sultana

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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