If you were to pick your Top 5 albums of the year at this halfway point what would they be?

They would be the best ones. Which are:

  1. Kauan - Ice Fleet
  2. Mustafa - When Smoke Rises
  3. Noctule - Wretched Abyss
  4. Elori Saxl - The Blue of Distance
  5. Black Country New Road - For the First Time
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In no particular order:

Olivia Rodrigo - SOUR
Liz Phair - Soberish
Ashnikko - Daredevil
Wolf Alice - Blue Weekend
Mogwai - As the Love Continues

Special call out to the Miss Grit EP, ‘Imposter’

  1. Black Country, New Road
  2. Squid
  3. Wolf Alice
  4. Genesis Owusu
  5. Lost Girls

Dunno whether to include Carnage or not. First half is probably my favourite of the year, second half is b-sides from the last album.

No order:

The Weather Station
Andy Stott
Mr. Mitch
Mogwai
Future Islands

That Floating Points album [shrug], just can’t get the interest in what is essentially one track played 8 times continuously, followed by another v short track (a significant portion appears to be silence).

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Seconded, fantastic EP and their team were very nice when I reached out to ask them about using the EP artwork :blush:

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So much this. Its a really beautiful chord progression so when I first heard it I was like “yessssss this is amazing”. Once I’d heard it for approximately the 800th time in 40 minutes I was less enthusiastic.

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Hardly bought any “new” new releases so far this year, only 3, plus reissues but they don’t count right?

Witch Egg - John Dwyer and his improv gang
Moon Drenched - John Dywer etc
Djinn - Transmission

(2021 reissues/represses by Hills, Hey Colossus and PJ Harvey)

In no particular order:

Dry Cleaning - New Long Leg
BCNR - For The First Time
Elori Saxl - The Blue of Distance
Simon McCorry - And Where Are You Really From?
Vladislav Delay - Rakka II

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Skee Mask
Armand Hammer and Alchemist
Lost Girls
Black Midi
DJINN

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The Weather Station - Ignorance
SMERZ - Believer
Cassandra Jenkins - An Overview on Phenomenal Nature
Andy Stott - Never the Right Time
Lost Girls - Menneskekollektivet

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Jeez top 5 not very varied genre-wise

  1. Shame
  2. Black Midi
  3. Black Country, New Road
  4. Squid
  5. Mogwai
    .
  1. Genesis Owusu
  2. Arab Strap
  3. Dry Cleaning
  4. Gruff Rhys
  5. The Armed

Porter Robinson / Nurture - Such a beautiful, comforting listen, it’s melding of delicate acoustic instruments and the otherworldly vocals and EDM style feels so unique, other acts have attempted it before for sure, but none have made it feel so authentic. Not sure it’ll be my most listened to album of the year but genuinely believe in a few years time this’ll be the one album I associate 2021 with.

Japanese Breakfast / Jubilee - Michelle knocks it out of the park, thought Soft Sounds was a little style over substance after falling hard for Psychopomp but it’s reassuring to have Jubilee be such a versatile set of well written tracks, hardly any fat worth cutting. Will get a lot of mileage out of this one.

Cassandra Jenkins / An Overview On Phenomenal Nature - Don’t think anything could live up to Hard Drive but the rest of the songs almost get there, perfect Sunday morning listening, a haunting, beautiful journey that ends with a perfect 7 minute cathartic instrumental.

Citizen / Life In Your Glass World - Major guilty pleasure, sounds kinda straight out of the mid 00s indie resurgence with a bit of a dance punk style, hooks for days. Album closer is a real gem.

Benedikt / Balcony Dream - found this via one of the new releases thread, lush instrumentation, whispery Sufjan-esque vocals, found a lot to love here.

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I really love it. It’s so cohesive and atmospheric, but in a totally different way to their other records. Sorry you’ve not connected with it!

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  1. Shame — Drunk Tank Pink
  2. Tamar Aphek — All BetsAre Off
  3. Mary-Anne’s Polar Rig — Makes You Happy

and hopefully 4. Wolf Alice — Blue Weekend [haven’t listened yet]

I’m not much of a neo-classical guy, and wasn’t a massive floating points fan before this record (so didn’t come in expecting beats etc), but would thinking about it as a single piece of music help any? I listen to it as a whole, with the “tracks” being movements/expressions on a single theme (which i guess was the intention based on the limited amount I’ve read around the album). I connected with it so strongly I find it hard to imagine not being moved when those strings start to swell in the second half of the album, or not being taken aback by just how good Pharoah Sanders’ playing is all the way through. I know it’s not for everyone, but from first or second listen it’s taken my breath away

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Flo Po / Pharaoh Sanders
Sons of Kemet
Japanese Breakfast
Andy Stott
BC,NR

Lots I’ve not listened to enough to judge yet, eg the new n0v3l

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I listen to a lot of long form ambient, electronica, a fair bit of trad jazz and some modern jazz, but it really isn’t doing anything for me at all unfortunately. I get what they’re going for, but, for example, Movement 7 is nothing like as awe inspiring (to me) as it is written about. I guess sometimes things don’t click!

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Read this as Jackie Weaver for a second, thought wow, she’s really milking it

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off the top of my head

Arab Strap
Mogwai
Squid
Shame
Hannah Peel

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