Just doing descriptions for stuff not already recommended.
1: Fiona Apple - Fetch The Bolt Cutters
2: The Soft Pink Truth - Shall We Go On Sinning So That Grace May Increase?
3: Sault - Untitled (Black is…)
Funk, Soul, RnB concoction, flows incredibly as a record. Relevant subject matter, but also endlessly listenable. Can’t recommend it highly enough
4: Lyra Pramuk - Fountain
Hard to describe, but made entirely using her own voice. Sometimes beautiful, sometimes playful. Along the Holly Herndon path but with less beats and in honesty it’s a really unique record. Plus remarkably, Tendril is a great pop song.
5: Beatrice Dillon - Workaround.
The next five:
Run The Jewels - RTJ4
Drakeo The Ruler - Thank You For Using The GTL
Rap recorded down the phone line from prison. Still can’t decide if it’s a bit of a novelty and can be a bit one paced, but there’s a couple of genuine bangers here and his deadpan delivery is amazing, conveys his frustration and his story really aptly.
Lil Uzi Vert - Eternal Atake
This is bonkers in the best way. Massive pop rap, really hard stuff, some really modern, mad production and as a rapper he’s so magnetic, even if he’s not saying much of substance, it sounds like the most life affirming stuff ever. Can be a bit annoying in the wrong mood, but the high points are incredible.
Jeff Parker - Suite For Max Brown
Blake Mills - Mutable Set
His production work has been featured here a lot - Perfume Genius, Fiona Apple - but I’m so into this. Creates an incredible humid atmosphere, sometimes drifts along, others like a storm is brewing. Some tunes here too emerging from the haze, and his guitar playing is extraordinary.
Really great year, given everything that’s gone on. Could have also extolled the virtues of DJ Python; the lovely, weird Nicolas Jaar record; Porridge Radio, who are the British guitar band I’ve been most into in forever; Phoebe Bridgers which sounds great but I’ve only listened to twice & Westside Gunn which is my fave of the ‘Marciano’ influenced rap records that have dominated this year.