I was thinking the main big pop stars are all women - Beyonce, Rhianna, Adele, Swift, Ariana Grande - but I guess that’s not true as there’s all those Sheeran & Sam Smith type blokes plus all the EDM/superstar DJ types are all blokes. Maybe the more critically acclaimed pop is female dominated though?
A mixture I think, but I’m looking more at the ‘critically acclaimed’ end of things. Interestingly the female megastars (Beyoncé, Rihanna, even Adele) seem to also get critical acclaim in the way that the likes of Ed Sheeran don’t (probably because they are better). It’s hard to think of a male artist who is massively commercially successful and also critically acclaimed (at least since Kanye West’s fall from grace).
I think the bigger change is at the ‘indie’ end of things though - alternative music used to be a very male world and I don’t think it is so much these days (although it would be interesting to hear a female artist’s view of that - they may not agree). There are also seem to be far more women in the fields of electronic/experimental music too. It makes it even more glaring when you still see festival bills that are 90% male.
Very much where a lot of the music I have listened to most over the last few years lies and seems like it is 90% female musicians making the music I connect most with.
Might have to stop the voting Earl Swearshirt’s new album is out next Friday. Knew choosing so early would come back and haunt me
Deafheaven is pretty much a lock for me at this point. I’ve mentioned it before in another thread, but it’s one of those albums like Lift Your Skinny Fists where I don’t want to listen to it that much so that it continues surprising me. It’s massive and full of so many incredible moments and so much atmosphere.
Just curious how people are voting. I know it’s not all-encompassing and there’s overlap, but are you more likely to vote for an album:
- You feel is objectively best
- You like / connect with the most
- You listened to / plan to listen to the most
Using last year as an example, I probably listen to the Afghan Whigs album more than anything, but it might not even be in my top ten. Whereas the Phoebe Bridgers album I may have only listened to once this year, but think it’s an easy top three because it hits so hard.
Haley Heyenderickx. Can’t think of many/any folksy-acoustic albums that come close to it this decade. Probably only Laura Marling’s second album, and what an amazing pair those two make
Melody’s Echo Chamber.
Fantastic year, this.
1. Let’s Eat Grandma - I’m All Ears
One of the albums of the decade, and the clearest of clear winners for me. Utterly thrilling and makes me excited about music in a way which is increasingly rare. Falling Into Me and Donnie Darko, in particular, are two truly astonishing pieces of music.
2. Jake Muir - Lady’s Mantle
Great to hear someone doing something a bit different with ambient music rather than targeting Spotify’s sleepy soft pad warm chords playlist. Lots of bubbling textures and swells of instrumentation and vocal snippets which remind me of Biosphere in his heyday.
3. Rae Morris - Someone Out There
No album has brought me more unbridled joy this year. Pop perfection.
Note: The title track does not exist. It is not on the album.
4. Snufmumriko - Dromboken
Dubby ethereal ambience over gentle IDM rhythms. The apex of an incredible year of releases on Shimmering Moods.
5. Haiku Salut
Rae Morris is what I listen to when I’m already happy. This is the joy I need to drag me out of low moments. Happy yet wistful. So many layers of intricate instrumentation which reveal themselves over many plays and a truly wonderful live show with all the lamps.
Truthfully, several releases on the label could easily have made this list. That none of them did is partly because they would have ended up being all of slots 2-5. It’s not that I’ve lost all sight of objectivity (because objectivity doesn’t apply to music) but that I can’t even pick apart my own subjectivity. These releases have brought me joy in a way which transcends the music itself. I could write essays on all the releases but these are the ones which would have made my top 5 untenable.
Colin Mawson - Miniature Epiphanies
Was legitimately a bit emotional listening to this for the first time. @Bamnan was a big inspiration for starting the whole endeavour and hearing him transfer his amazing knack for melody to electronica was really special.
Sunbane - s o m a
Probably the one which blew me away the most on first listen. With all the others I had a bit of background - maybe a demo or two had come in or I was familiar via the ‘share your music’ thread. This, though… utterly transfixing and a complete surprise. Also delighted at the (deserved) exposure @Elights has had in Electronic Sound
Lowering - Collapsule
Just the absolute sweet spot for me for melodic techno/IDM (@McGarnagle)
Disintegrated Journeys / Destinations
Has some of my own music on which probably invalidates it, but the gradual realisation as I was curating this that it was actually really fucking good and not just a bunch of internet forum chancers has come to define this year in music for me.
Think Henry Courgette could end up in mine (if not definitely top ten)
It’s amazing, innit? Quite excited we’ve got things like that, Bam’s latest, and Jacob Nico on the label alongside the standard techno/drone
Looking like Low, Let’s Eat Grandma and Idles will be making up the forum top 3 if the early votes are anything to go by. The first two would be somewhere in my top 20 but don’t think will be in the 5 I vote for (will vote much closer to the end of year after I have revisited or discovered a lot more). Idles I only seem to like when they’re being funny; Never Fight a Man With a Perm is one of my favourite tracks of the year but there was nothing else on that album that did much for me. It was the same with Mother on the last album.
Think as a whole, doing 5x albums at 8 tracks and 20mins each was a pretty cool idea and you’d expect it to be a little hit and miss but Ye is absolute dogshit. His behaviour around the time definitely didn’t do anything to help.
Ah that’s very humbling to hear such praise, bless you!
The album is poor but Ghost Town is one of my songs of the year. I think of that more as a Kids See Ghosts tune though.
I’m struggling to see how the album you like the most can be different from the album you think is best (or indeed why the album you like the most wouldn’t be the one you listened to the most)
Could be one which you connect with emotionally in a way which doesn’t lend it to listening to it loads. e.g. something really sad or cathartic.
- Fucked Up - Dose Your Dreams
- Typhoon - Offerings
- Self Defense Family - Have You Considered Punk Music?
- Young Fathers - Cocoa Sugar
- Adrianne Lenker - abysskiss
The top 3 were head and shoulders above the rest and all for album of decade consideration next year, all of which defined different periods of it: Typhoon in winter/spring when my relationship ended/had to leave Berlin), Self Defense in the summer when I was trying to figure out what the fuck it was I’m doing, Fucked Up in the Autumn/winter as things have started to become a bit clearer.
The real struggle was ordering those three, given they’ve all been extremely important records to me at different points in this year, but in the end I gave it to Fucked Up for the sheer ambition of it and genuine surprise they were still capable of such a thing (it’s also probably got the best chance of doing bits in this poll).
The other two are more to do with being the best examples of certain moods and genres that happened this year, i.e Young Fathers smashing things on the electronic/hip-hop side and Lenker as a beautiful example of soulful indie/folk music.
My full top 50 is here (Hookworms were in the top 10, but there we are)
1. Fucked Up - Dose Your Dreams (Merge)
2. Typhoon - Offerings (Roll Call)
3. Self Defense Family - Have You Considered Punk Music? (Run For Cover)
4. Young Fathers - Cocoa Sugar (Ninja Tune)
5. Adrianne Lenker - abysskiss (Saddle Creek)
6. Hookworms - Microshift (Domino)
7. IDLES - Joy As An Act of Resistance (Partisan)
8. Nils Frahm - All Melody (Erased Tapes)
9. Parquet Courts - Wide Awake! (Rough Trade)
10. Grouper - Grid of Points (Kranky)
11. Drug Church - Cheer (Pure Noise)
12. Iceage - Beyondless (Matador)
13. Jeff Rosenstock - POST- (Polyvinyl)
14. Hot Snakes - Jericho Sirens (Sub Pop)
15. Jon Hopkins - Singularity (Domino)
16. DANCEHALL - The Band (Anti-Vibe)
17. Deafheaven - Ordinary Corrupt Human Love (Anti-)
18. Ought - Room Inside This World (Merge)
19. Sauna Youth - Deaths (Upset The Rhythm)
20. Low - Double Negative (Sub Pop)
20. Drug Church - Cheer (Pure Noise)
21. Oh Sees - Smote Reverser (Castle Face)
22. Beak> - >>> (Temporary Residence)
23. Terry - I’m Terry (Upset the Rhythm)
24. Protomartyr - Consolation EP (Domino)
25. Aphex Twin - Collapse EP (Warp)
26. Let’s Eat Grandma - I’m All Ears (Transgressive)
27. Janelle Monae - Dirty Computer (Bad Boy/Atlantic)
28. Kamasi Washington - Heaven & Earth (Brainfeeder)
29. Oneohtrix Point Never - Age Of (Warp)
30. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - Hope Downs (Sub Pop)
31. Shopping - The Official Body (Fat Cat)
32. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - Sex & Food (Jagjaguwar)
33. Yo La Tengo - There’s a Riot Going On (Matador)
34. Mastersystem - Dance Music (Physical Education)
35. Shame - Songs of Praise (Dead Oceans)
36. The Spook School - Could It Be Different? (Alcopop!)
37. Hop Along - How Simple (Saddle Creek)
38. Rolo Tomassi - Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It (Holy Roar)
39. Daniel Avery - Song for Alpha (Mute)
40. The Field - Infinite Moment (Kompakt)
41. Jamie Scott - Glasgow Garden Festival '18 (2 Stripe)
42. Apostille - Choose Life (Upset The Rhythm)
43. Confidence Man - Confident Music for Confident People (Heavenly)
44. Miya Folick - Premonitions (Terrible/Polydor)
45. Turnstile - Time & Space (Roadrunner)
46. Dirty Projectors - Lamp Lit Prose (Domino)
47. The Soft Moon - Criminal (Sacred Bones)
48. Preoccupations - New Material (Jagjaguwar)
49. George FitzGerald - All That Must Be (Double Six)
50. Franz Ferdinand - Always Ascending (Domino)
And here’s a playlist of my 15 favourite songs of the year, and a bigger all-encompassing one: