Think I properly love the new blood orange. A real slow burner…
Just too long
Think I properly love the new blood orange. A real slow burner…
Just too long
Keep going with it
So here it is: the results of round 2 ARE IN! What a time to be alive:
Holly Miranda v Svalbard
Mitski v Car Seat Headrest
This was a real toughie and didn’t go the way I would have anticipated. Was seriously underwhelmed by Cowboy on first listen but it’s steadily grown and grown on me since and I end up enjoying its concision more than the bloat of Twin Fantasy.
Idles v Hot Snakes*
Six Wave Holdown is better than anything on JAAAOR though.
Olafur Arnolds v Jon Hopkins
Hop Along v Tomberlin
Tropical FS v Grouper
Belly v Deafheaven
I remember being utterly baffled by DH when everyone was swooning over Sunbather. That record still does nothing for me but this one is ace! Sorry Tanya.
Fcuked Up v The Beths
This was really tough but I just enjoyed listening to the Beths more. FU are more ambitious but there are still a few lyrical clankers (terriible rhyming couplets mostly) that spoil it for me.
Nihls Fram v Tim Hecker
I generally prefer Tim’s output but this one left me rather lukewarm and NF has just grown on me all year.
Loma v Daughters
Sleep v Noname
Oliver Coates v Mary Lattimore
Lyla Foy v Anna Calvi
Father John Misty v War on Women
Listened to them back to back yesterday and this went totally the other way to the one I was expecting. Feel FJM is a bit dimishing returns but ‘Capture the FLag’ gets better, and more urgent, every time I listen to it.
Low v Let’s Eat Grandma
And that could be the title decided right there. The two front-runners head to head in round two. LEG can go home with their heads held high though, they gave it everything they could and the fans are going to be calling for some kind of seeding system next year to prevent this from happening again.
Lucy Dacus v Hermit and the Recluse
In conclusion: yay music and I need to get out more.
Ooft that’s a Low blow for LEG
MON, THE BETHS.
I demand a recount!
For me, this year was a clear top two of albums where the music resonated with me on a level I can’t really explain other than to say I think I know myself a little better for having this music to contextualise my existence.
After that, it was three from about twenty in a year in which I probably enjoyed more new music than any other this century. The Boygenius and Aphex Twin EPs and albums from Kamasi Washington, Kacey Musgrave, Parquet Courts, Neneh Cherry and Mitski all really made an impact, and I’m still getting to grips with a bunch of albums I think I need to spend more time with (Tirzah, Christine and the Queens, Ought…). A vintage year.
Edit: didn’t mean to specifically reply to the previous post.
got to be seen as a huge upset, that
It was a really tough one! I love the start of Hot Snakes but I don’t think it quite keeps that momentum going to quite the same extent. Could easily have gone the other way.
Round 3 time! It’s getting pretty tense now!
Svalbard v Mitski
Idles v Oladur Arnalds
Hop Along v Tropical FS
Deafheaven v The Beths
Nils Frahm v Daughters
Noname v Mary Lattimore
Anna Calvi v War on Women
Low v Hermit and the Recluse
Low v Idles final on the cards. Both halves of the draw opening up for them.
Was tough to decide on a top 5, felt particularly bad leaving the wonderful Kathryn Joseph & Mount Eerie albums off.
1. Soap&Skin – From Gas To Solid / You Are My Friend
Sensational album, reveals more depth with each listen. Absolutely beautiful record.
2. Daniel Avery – Song For Alpha
My most listened to album this year by a stretch & I’m still going back to it incessantly. A comfort blanket of chilled techno.
3. Neneh Cherry – Broken Politics
Great back to back albums from Neneh Cherry, with this one surpassing Blank Project. Kieran Hebden’s production is fantastic. For me, a worthy companion piece to Four Tet’s excellent New Energy album from last year.
4. Low – Double Negative
A lot is mentioned of the production so I’ll bypass that & just say these songs are absolutely brilliant. Poor Sucker, Disarray, Fly… all in the pantheon of truly great Low songs.
5. Iceage - Beyondless
Have listened to these guys incessantly this year, soundtracking hours in the gym in particular. Seeing a sensational live performance a couple of months ago secures their entry into my top 5
Bubbling under the top 5:
6. Kathryn Joseph – From When I Wake The Want Is
7. Mount Eerie – Now Only
8. Nils Frahm – All Melody
9. Cat Power – Wanderer
10. Skee Mask – Compro
Solid year, although probably only the one album hitting in the 9’s for me but loads of solid 8.4 - 8.8’s
The 27 albums I feel I can’t go without mentioning were…
DJ Healer - Nothing 2 Loose - Ambient Breakbeat - Perfectly meditative, cyclical and medicinal. Manages to be ideal for both work and rest. Bit of a masterpiece.
Ovlov - Tru - Fuzzy 90’s style indie rock - think Dinosaur Jnr with a built to spill edge.
Abul Mogard - Above All Dreams - deep beautiful waves of ambient drone.
Son Lux - Brighter Wounds - electronic orchestral indie synth band something or other genre of it’s own.
Drowse - Cold Air - dark and self reflective waves of fuzzy shoegaze, over drowned self relfective vocals.
Teen Creeps - Birthmarks - another band follwing a dinosuar jnr aesthetic with style.
Lorn - Remnant - probably the deepest beats, electronic ambient.
Tape Loop Orchestra - Lead Us In To The Light - fuzzy ambient drone with lots of female vocal.
Black Queen - Infinite Games - so it’s not as good as fever daydream but still a great album of 80’s reminiscent synthwavey electronica.
Beacon - Gravity Pairs - well crafted electronics, more poppy, rnb than my usual fare but to good to not love.
Somni - Bloom - joyous ecclectic electronica 'my favourite happy album of the year, perhaps my only happy album of the year.
Cloud District - Don’t Give Up. Skeleton - 90’s emo with the occassional post rock or ambient touch
Sarah Mary Chadwick - Sugar Still Melts In The Rain- perfect lofi misery laiden pinao backed vocals.
The Mistys - Pregant Mannequin - TLO fuzzy washes of synth and semi drowned vocal.
Rafael Anton Irasarri - Midnight Colours - got to be the busiest man in Drone, but putting out multiple great releases.
Amnesia Scanner - Another Life - Heavy Sharp Knifesque Synthyness.
Messes - The Ever Closing Door - Emo/ Screamo
Carlos Seuro and Pepo Galan - Comformity Declaration - Ambient Drone
Allesandro Cortini and Lawrence English - Immediate Horizon -Ambient Drone
Hibernis - Middle of The Meds - Ambient Electronic
Orvar Smarason - Light is Liquid - Electronica
Tape Loop Orchestra - Return to the Light - Ambient Drone (3rd album in my top 25 from Andrew Hargreaves and Beth Roberts)
Jon Hopkins - Ambient Electronic
Steve Hauschildt - Ambient Electronic
Gulfer - Dog Bless - Emo
Ian William Craig - Thresholder - Ambient Electronic.
Heinali - Irredescant - Ambient Electronic
Favourite Ep goes to When Saints Go Machine - It’s A Mad Love
Been looking forward to your list
Hope you find something you like. There’s a lot of good stuff I haven’t mentioned, lots of less droney more orchestral ambient and other indie stuff but I’m definitely in a bit of a fuzzy ambient drone, electronic and emo cul de sac at the moment, finding it a happy place to live mind.
Thanks for providing brief descriptions. Really appreciate it. A couple on this list I’ll be checking out.
Hmm, I’ve had this very title fight in my mind ever since Low was released. Let’s Eat Grandma won on yoof.
My five faves for the year are as follows:
Recommendations for things less heard:
Me Lost Me - Arcana: Debut from a Newcastle artist recommended by my partner. Mixture of folk, electronic music and some ambient bits. Really good! Track: Eyes and Ohs
Svalbard - It’s Hard to Have Hope: Good metal album with timely lyrics. Can come across a bit on the nose, but to these ears I found it impactful. Track: How Do We Stop It?
leon chang - re:treat: Chill electronic album using Animal Crossing sound effects as it’s base mood. It is very good. Track: apple picking ft. TOFUKU
The 5th best album of the year?! Holy moly. I’ve no idea what to say to that. Apart from: whoa!