Name one album everyone must hear before doing their album of the year list and a few words why.
Have also popped this on Facebook and Twitter if you wanna see the recommendations there.
Keepsake by Hatchie: a whirl of fuzzy guitars and introspection that’s a must for fans of Wolf Alice and The Sundays.
Human Again by Jorja Chalmers: new to the Italians Do It Better family. She plays sax for Bryan Ferry. Think drinking until dawn whilst holograms of fka Twigs and Tom Waits wrestle.
To The Top of The Hill… by Pet Deaths: with such grace, you can almost tell it was recorded in Radiohead’s studio. New project from Liam from thisGIRL (and more recently Hey Sholay) and it’s a sad dreamscape that flutters and shimmers with a gentle charm.
Shawnee, Ohio by Brian Harnetty
Archive interview recordings and a small group including Paul De Jong from the Books, the album is a portrait of a small town, ‘both real and imagined’ - a brilliant, melancholy listen if you like the Books, Dirty Three etc. Definite buried treasure of the year for me.
Boreal Massif - We all have an impact
I’m mentioning this album because it won’t get the same recognition as the likes of Blanck Mass and Floating Points at the end of the year but it really should. Dark bass, syncopated beats and vinyl crackles all based around the theme of Climate change. Listen through headphones in a darkened room for maximum enjoyment…
Claude Fontaine - S/T
Side 1 of the album is none more authentic 70’s reggae as if sung by Hope Sandoval. Side 2 has a french ye-ye/bossanova with a touch of Francois Hardy about it.
10 songs, all brilliant. Yes it’s defiantly retro but it’s also the most effortlessly enjoyable album i’ve heard all year.
Sarathy Korwar’s album is brilliant. I remember only three or four people actually voted for it in the AOTM thread that I do but all of them (including me) had it as their top choice. Worth checking out.
Hotel Et Al - Ratio Station. Only came out last week, Richard James (ex Gorky’s) and Angharad Van Rijswijk (Accu) Krautrock / Electronica, think Cluster etc… Very very good.
Haven’t seen too much love for Boy Harsher’s album Careful on here.
Minimal synth music that is very immediate and very danceable. For fans of the Drive soundtrack.
Kelsey Lu’s Blood. Alternately soulful and angular, experimental and orthodox, lush (see below) and sparse. Quite outstanding:
Great Album but it was 2018
Wand - Laughing Matter
Sprawling and ambitious album, some traces of their old heavy psych remain here and there but they’re increasingly turning into Radiohead. This track is full on In Rainbows mode, and Cory Hanson’s vocal melodies are gorgeous
Both Press Club albums. Still can’t work out why this band aren’t enormous?
Strange Ranger - Remembering the Rockets
I can’t emphasize enough how much I love this band, who have now released three absolute classics in a row. A strange compliment but the highest one I can give is that more than any other band, they’re able to cut through the grayness and dullness of depression and make you feel sadness, almost like something has been or is about to be lost.
The album starts out kind of jangly and poppy (you can really hear the Third Eye Blind and Cure influences at the beginning), but then by the fourth song this cloud of doom starts rolling in and suffocating everything. A lot of the album deals with going on living your life in the face of climate change, and you can really hear it in the music. It feels like something bad is about to happen.
The first half of the album is great, but the second half is on a whole other level and will likely be responsible for making it my AOTY. It’s beautiful. Here are two perfect songs from it:
Pile - Green and Gray
It doesn’t seem as if many people are talking about this one for some reason so I want to highlight it here. If it weren’t for Strange Ranger it would be an easy choice for AOTY (and it’s shooting up to near the top of my decade list too). It has such a great combination of songs that attack you immediately and slow burns that take their time creeping around before exploding into mayhem. It works perfectly as a whole and builds to a brutal climax that’s just as heavy as it is deflating.
I think if you have any interest in Rid of Me era PJ Harvey, Lullabies era QOTSA, Frances the Mute era Mars Volta, Drive Like Jehu, Tropical Fuck Storm, and Unwound, you’ll love this. It’s still early but I think this is going to be an all-timer.
This song is brilliant and takes you on a Mars Volta-esque (but more concise) journey. This is basically the direction I was hoping QOTSA would go when they brought in Jon Theodore.
More songs should be dedicated to taunting specific members of the Trump administration while pummeling you with riffs and screams.
Jay Som - Anak Ko
Hooky dream pop with a bit of a bite and a fair whack of variety. Not the best at defining/describing what makes something great so I’ll just list off who I am reminded of while listening to this. So if you enjoy the sounds of Big Thief, Japanese Breakfast, Mitski, Julien Baker and Marika Hackman I suggest you get on this
Discovered this on the rolling ambient music thread. Got to say I was more drawn in by the cover than anything else and the music did not disappoint. Ended up sound tracking a holiday to Skye in the summer.
Uranium Club - Cosmo Cleaners. Like Devo (or maybe more the Coneheads) and Parquet Courts. They have zero social media presence too which is annoying but I kind of like it.
I really enjoyed Steve Lacy’s album Apollo XXI, not a best of the year, but definitely promising for the future. This track is definitely one of my top 10 of the year.
Sasami debut album is really good and will be on my end of year list. Lo fi indie shoegaze. It sounds like buried treasure to me.
Also. Young guv - GUV I again indie lo fi. Really good.
Lastly, Barrie - happy to be hear - dream pop.
Only came across this artist a few days ago when looking to see who’s playing next week. Lovely dream electro pop. Worth checking out.