Missed our Month In Records round-ups? Us too. Oops. But after an enforced Christmas absence (turkeys to eat, mulled wine to drink), we're back with a round-up of what's been pleasing the ears of DiS writers these past two months.
This is - of course - traditionally the slowest, quietest period of the musical calendar, so we should think ourselves lucky that records of the quality of Merriweather Post Pavilion and The Crying Light decided to land on shelves this month.
As ever, tell us what's made your month in records below. Here's ours...
Animal Collective Merriweather Post Pavilion
Says Andrzej Lukowski: "Is Merriweather Post Pavilion the flawless album that it's been willed to be? Taken as a whole I'd say it's pretty damn close ... It's about the rush; the rush of life, the rush of electricity, the rush of joy, joy unbounded." [Read the review]
Video: Animal Collective 'My Girls' (Live @ Coachella)
Antony & The Johnsons The Crying Light
Says Alexander Tudor: "Antony’s put aside the duets, the high drama, his most idiosyncratic themes, and hasn’t yet explored more detailed narratives (like, say, Joanna Newsom). On The Crying Light, Antony acts as a conduit between popular music and the avant-garde, and if that’s not a mark of greatness, what is?" [Read the review]
Video: Antony & The Johnsons 'Everglade'
Bon Iver Blood Bank EP
Says Alexander Tudor: "Listening to the Blood Bank EP, it seems curiously apposite to think of Justin Vernon entering the same headspace as Burial by a different door, when he spent that now-fabled winter recording in a log-cabin ... a fine appendix to the Bon Iver story, so far, and in its subdued elegance, has all the emotional generosity of giving blood, tinged with the awareness of mortality." [Read the review]
Video: Bon Iver 'Blood Bank'
Pavement Brighten The Corners: Nicene Creedance Edition
Says Alexander Tudor: "In the grand scheme of things, Pavement's surrealism-lite set the tone for a generation, which could still do with a little more emotional honesty – the comparable surrealism of GbV has come to seem like a gruff, harder-drinking man's way to conceal deep sentiment, whilst REM collaged American cultural history to circumvent the tendency to think any criticism unpatriotic, before those difficult confrontations with mortality and sexuality. Malkmus never meant as much... but, boy could he play guitar." [Read the review]
Baikonour Your Ear Knows Future
Says Alexander Tudor: "This is no obsessive experiment in recreating the past with vintage synths grimy with “Magic 70s dust”, and every last second sounds fresh ... the truly groundbreaking record isn’t here yet, but this is the strong apprentice-piece (assimilating the forerunners) that promises a masterpiece, and more than good enough whilst we’re waiting." [Read the review]
DiScover Album of the Month
Says Alexander Tudor: "If Ribbons are Xiu Xiu without the politically-fuelled rage (or despair), the same could be said of Thom Yorke on The Eraser, and it’s hardly a bad thing to say that this sounds like all the best experiments found across Radiohead EPs" [Read the review]
LPs we're looking forward to in February: Emmy The Great, M Ward, Aidan Moffat, Sky Larkin, The View - one of these might not strictly be true...