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in this thread from 8 PM
25) atelje 'meditation'
24) tacocat 'nvm'
23) the knife 'shaken up versions'
yeah, it was partly that. when i started drafting this list that's just where it ended up, i happened to like 22 albums more than it this year.
wishing i'd just posted a list now
only 7 more to go
it might take him more than an hour to compile this list
gonna comment on the top 15 but cba doing it for all of them
22) martha 'courting strong'
21) copeland 'because i'm worth it'
caught up with it a month or so back, after hearing the Actress collaboration. Not a big fan of Hype Williams or Dean Blunt (omg sacrilege) so was even more surprised.
20) horse lords 'invisible cities'
19) foxes in fiction 'ontario gothic'
18) eek ft. islam chipsy 'live at the cairo high cinema institute'
...how did you get it!?
17) ceo 'wonderland'
good guess but NOPE
16) maria minerva 'histrionic'
15) alex g 'dsu'
increasingly i find myself drawn to artists that are weird in a weird way. this album is a case in point: alex g somehow manages to invert the conventions of 'guy in his bedroom recording guitar pop' by throwing in 7 bar chord progressions, several chorii per song and, most notably, slowly dropping all the instruments away in the second half of 'harvey'
should really listen to more of their output
14) dean blunt 'black metal'
another musician subverting the singer songwriter tradition is dean blunt, who followed up 'the redeemer' with another masterpiece. pastels samples aside, at the heart of this record stand the 21 minute double punch of 'forever' and 'X', an epic diptych of broken drum machines and hearbroken crooning which recalls the classic Messthetics compilations.
it's good, prefer it to the redeemer i think. can't get over feeling like he was a dick to inga tho.
13) lorenzo senni 'superimpositions'
from pc music to benjamin noys, the verb of 2014 was surely ACCELERATE and nowhere was this more true than this 12" release on boomkat's editions imprint. in senni's vision of our hypercapitalist future, all that is left are the fizzing synths of 90s trance looping imperfectly forever
The first one is fucking awful.
The second is loverly.
12) nisennenmondai 'N'
apparently made using the gold standard guitar / bass / drums, nisennenmondai's N sees them posit pulsing minimal techno as the natural endpoint to Can's jazz / rock / funk experiments.
11) sun kil moon 'benji'
everyone knows about this one. at the age of 50, mark kozelek reinvents himself, late in life, as a kind of all singing, no showing, counterpoint to the autobiographical novels of ben lerner and tao lin.
10) planningtorock 'all love's legal'
bored of making music that wasn't "useful", planningtorock's jam rostron retreated to the berlin studio ze shares with the knife to lay down twelve tracks of genderqueer funk hymns. realising (c.f. calvin johnson, public enemy, le tigre) that true liberation can only occur on the dancefloor, rostron sloganises over electropop that is as garish as the hot pink album cover
09) kero kero bonito 'intro bonito'
i think that kkb were aiming more for a kind of diy, london j-pop on this album, but in my mind it is more of an updating on some of 2008's most maligned groups: CSS, Shitdisco, Trash Fashion. it's taken to the next level by the bilingual rapping and cute/sophisticated production
08) trash kit 'confidence!'
this album only came out 2 weeks ago but i've had most of it stuck in my head all year after two wonderful sets supporting The Ex earlier in the year and then in a 30 capacity wooden hut at Space-Time festival. fleshed out on record by a horn section led by electrelane's verity susman, the band's secret weapon are the tumbling drum patterns and snaking, wiry guitar lines
07) scott walker + sunn o))) 'soused'
this was surely destined to be 'a bit silly' but manages to survive as both sides of the collaboration play outside of their comfort zone. scott is having the most fun he has for at least two albums, and sunn o))) throw in some *actual* guitar licks. one thing that hasn't been picked up on much i think is how well recorded the whole thing is - easily the best that the sunn o))) guitars have ever sounded
06) ace bushy striptease 'slurpt'
ace bushy striptease are a band that someone, rushed to write several descriptions for an ill advised and egotistical thread, might describe as 'perennial underdogs'. they came, they released several albums in about 8 years, then split, and i doubt they ever played to more than 50 people. i think that this album captures the exhaustion and warmth of getting drunk at student houseparties and kissing people that you probably shouldn't better than any other album i've heard
05) taylor swift '1989'
not even top 4! taylor swift is a kind of soulless avatar of the rookie generation, an apolitical feminist who acts out the slashfic that we've all written while hungover, the uber-gevinson who wouldn't say she's gay but does have close relationships with her female friends and i mean it would be weird if we didn't make out a bit while drunk but i'm not *gay*. i fucking hate her.
obviously fyds thinks so because it's their #4
if you doubt people who like taylor swift/pop music in general really, genuinely, 'ACTUALLY' like it then maybe it's not for you
But fyd's MO is being 'different' so I can see why this might smack of him being 'JUST GOOD POP' (but it is just good pop).
i've always liked straightforward pop music done really well tbh.
But yeah presumed everyone was taking the piss? Like, come on it can't be good.
Or is it actually like really no irony good?
i'd be surprised if anyone that liked well written, expensively produced pop music didn't think it was a very strong album. it's very leisure class, but makes katy perry, one direction, jessie j, sam smith et al look very unsophisticated imo
it's pretty easy to listen to it, but i feel like you probably wouldn't like it, especially if you go into it with the mindset that you won't like it. there are > 20 other albums in this thread that you might like, give one of those a go
But yeah I love the trash kit and ace bushy records, its a good list man, was just a bit hmmm to see Swift on everyone's end of year lists.
04) powerdove 'arrest'
improvised scrawling folk torch songs. a kind of updating to the formula pioneered by the incredible string band, annie lewandowski truly has the most beautiful voice in the world and is joined here by john dietrich, taking a break from deerhoof to pick up his fender acoustic, and ocellot mare's thomas bonvalet on "amplified office bell, six string banjo, conertina, jay bird call, dry poppy and amps"
03) joyce manor 'never hungover again'
like taylor swift and the raid, this album is a straightforward genre work which, nonetheless, manages to transcend it's limitations on the quality of the finished product. barry johnson's lyrics are better than his peers, the riffs are bouncier the twiddly little guitar towards the end of Schley is a touch no similar band would think of. joyce manor come along every couple of years with a twenty minute album and it is always one of the best releases of the year. i love them
02) xiu xiu 'red guts: angel classroom'
the standard thing to talk about with xiu xiu is the jamie stewart character: this transgressive queer who sings about suicide, s&m and the horrors of romance. usually they talk about how dark it all is, maybe a passing reference to how it is all "punctuated by piercing noise and screams". what i think is often missed out is how great jamie stewart is as a songwriter: his choruses and middle 8s are up there with anyone's, no fronting. once this is is realised, i feel like it is more fair to consider the Xiu Xiu project as a modern rewriting of the Velvet Underground fairytale. 'Red Guts: Angel Classroom' is their 'White Light/ White Heat', easily the most geographically inclined record in the discography though here los angeles plays the part of new york.
Keep your audience guessing.
i really want to go to bed
what's it to be?
there are three songs on there that i, without fail, skip every time i listen to it, which is a shame. i really love like 60% of that album but in my head i was expecting it to be a complete masterpiece.
they've also gone down the route of more onsind-y type lyrics when i much preferred the way they did the politics on the demo EP
01) owen pallett 'in conflict'
i'm not really sure what to say about this album apart from: i love it i love it i love it. but that would be a copout, and given that owen started the year off with a bunch of prolix blog posts deconstructing the musical theory of several hits it would be rude, even. the genius of 'in conflict' is, in fact, to put it in conflict with its predecessor. the result is a kind of aural coming out: while 'heartlands' is the clever, metafictional and COMPOSED prodigy, this album sees owen affirming the role of the young, queer man as an emotional being.
Good work grouch