It’s a real gem of a record, for all the reasons you said. top 10 for me so far, for sure.
I don’t know The Drones. Will have to have a listen.
- Shabazz Palaces “The Don Of Diamond Dreams”
- Owen Pallett “Island”
- The Soft Pink Truth “Shall We Go On Sinning So That Grace May Increase?”
- Yves Tumor “Heaven To A Tortured Mind”
Oh, Rustin Man, too!
NNAMDI has really snuck up on me, fantastic record!!!
1. Boldy James – The Price of Tea in China
Old-school raps detailling Detroit’s drug circles over immersive and haunting music. Guest spots from Vince Staples, Freddie Gibbs, and Benny the Butcher. Produced by Alchemist so might be worth checking out especially if you liked his work with Freddie Gibbs on Alfredo .
2. Haim – Women in Music Pt. III
Expertly crafted guitar pop made even better by a beautiful warm production. (FFO: Fleetwood Mac, Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires of the City, Haim’s better earlier singles)
3. Kl ô Pelgag – Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Doleurs
Ambitious chamber-pop from Canada sung entirely in French. Hearing elements similar to Gwenno’s Le Kov and Anna von Hausswolff’s Dead Magic (though on the whole it still sounds relatively different from both so please don’t get angry and @ me if you listen and disagree).
4. Jessie Ware – What’s Your Pleasure
Beautiful, sultry, and, above all, fun – this is a complete tour-de-force through the dancefloor and has more bangers than you can shake a stick at.
5. Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher
Delicate, lyrically dark alt-folk that occasionally erupts into arena-sized anthems. (FFO: Julien Baker, Hayley Heynderickx, Sufjan Stevens, Tomberlin)
Summary: 6 - 20 and honourable mentions
6. Austra – HiRUDiN
A beguiling mix of electronica/dance sad bangers, piano-led pop, and beautiful orchestral-backed pieces. (FFO: Grimes)
7. Run the Jewels – RTJ4
Another brilliant album of hard-hitting beats and incendiary political raps from Killer Mike and El-P. (FFO: Danny Brown, Yeezus -era Kayne)
8. Caroline Rose – Superstar
Sunny, wry synth-pop which has been inexplicably overlooked. (FFO: Metronomy, Tame Impala’s The Slow Rush )
9. The Strokes – The New Abnormal
Best Strokes album since Room of Fire . (FFO people who liked the first two Strokes albums, 00s NYC indie scene in general)
10. Perfume Genius – Set My Heart on Fire Immediately
Mike Hadreas’ knack for experimental yet infectious pop curios returns undiminished. (FFO Angel Olson’s latest album, Weyes Blood)
11. Skott – Always Live for Always
Quite conventional-sounding pop music of the sad banger sort but stuffed full of enjoyable hooks, chord progressions, and song-writing in general. (FFO Lorde’s debut, Lykke Li’s last album, and Sigirid)
12. U.S. Girls – Heavy Light
Experimental pop with a retro tinge. More piano-lead and soulful than her breakout In a Poem, Unlimited but equally enjoyable.
13. Populous – W
Very chilled dance/electronic and pop.
14. Denai Moore – Modern Dread
Intriguing mix of synth-pop, R&B, and electronica. Would likely have placed higher if it had been released earlier in the year and I’d had more time with it.
15. Carly Rae Jepsen – Dedicated Side B
A whole album off songs left over from the studio sessions for last year’s best pop album, but arguably better than most other mainstream pop albums you’ll hear this year anyway.
16. Laura Marling – Song for Our Daughter
17. Rita Sawayama – SAWAYAMA
Eclectic mix of late-90s/early-00s pop, dance and, on occasion, nu-metal riffs. But instead of the car-crash that description implies it’s actually amazing and well worth your time.
18. Beach Bunny – Honeymoon
Catchy, immediate indie bangers. Would have probably been a very big deal in the mid-00s (FFO The Beths)
19. Fiona Apple – Fetch the Bolt Cutters
20. The Orielles – Disco Violador
Space disco/funk played by an English indie band but, again, sounds miles better than any description of it.
Post Louis – Descender (melodic alt-rock)
Buscabulla – Regresa (Spanish-language alt-pop from Puerto Rico filled with slick grooves. Lyrically “an emotional roller coaster in which they face and ponder the issues affecting them and Puerto Rican society at large: the frustration at the lack of opportunities for locals while tax breaks lure rich investors, self-doubt and anxiety, even the rise of religious fanaticism”)
Allie X – Cape God (very much “just good pop”)
Khruangbin – Mordechai (laid-back funk)
Car Seat Headrest – Making a Door Less Open (flawed but mostly very good indie rock/electro-pop hybrid)
Moses Sumney – Grae (ambitious and expansive singer-songwriter double album)
The 1975 – Notes on a Conditional Form (mostly successful genre-hopping from the UK’s biggest guitar pop band)
Natalia Lafourcade – Un Canto por Mexico vol.1 (a beautiful combination of Spanish-language singer-songwriter pop and traditional Mexican music)
Anna Burch – If You’re Dreaming (singer-songwriter with jangly guitars and a very dry delivery)
Naeem – Startisha (Apple Music has it down as “Hip-Hop/Rap” but that doesn’t cover the eclectic and hugely effective mix of different genres going here anywhere near satisfactorily)
Chloe x Halle – Ungodly Hour (gorgeous harmonised vocals over crisp electronic R&B)
As always, so many thanks to these boards for introducing me to so much great new music
Great post. Loads fo rme to check out. Going to start with Kl ô Pelgag
Totally agree here. Joe is one of the most slept on lyricists around. I think replacing the more alt-rock/ psychedelic aspects of Cymbals Eat Guitars with country was a solid transition for them as I don’t think he could top Pretty Years.
He has talked about how he consulted with David Berman on the new album and it really shows.
Thanks, I hope you enjoy! (Especially Klo Pelgag, which I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere on here before but I’ve been listening to a lot after I saw it fairly high up in the RYM charts)
Some really good tips in here.