10 Albums You Need to Hear in August

Christopher Denny — If the Roses Don’t Kill Us (August 5)

There aren’t any characters like Christopher Denny left in the family-friendly world of mainstream country music. Multiple drug addictions, poverty, stripper girlfriend, neck tattoos: Denny’s done a whole lotta hard living. So while it’s easy to find the beauty and sorrow in his songs, this is outsider music through and through. The Arkansas native mixes proto-country hillbilly blues with modern folk, vintage rock, and timeless gospel. Heartless Bastards’ Erika Wennerstrom guests, but with a voice like that — androgynous and articulate — Denny don’t need no help. (Stream If the Roses Don’t Kill Us now.)