Everyone is doing their top 10 lists for the year, so I guess I will do one too.
Mine will have 20 albums though, because I just like music twice as much…
#20 Soft Metals - Lenses
Soft Metals have created an icy, melancholic, dream in the unexpected form of a dance album.
#19 Tropic of Cancer - Restless Idylls
Tropic of Cancer have been getting better with every release. Restless Idylls is hypnotic and strangely comforting. It’s songs assembled from layered textures and distant echoes.
#18 Fuck Buttons - Slow Focus
Big fuzzy, bassy, stoping rhythmic grooves. There’s also a strangely cinematic complexity going on under all that, which makes for a deeper experience than I was anticipating.
#17 Austra - Olympia
Austra have taken a musical formula that should result in something cool, and superficial. What they’ve come up with however, is warm, emotional, and engaging.
#16 Skinny Puppy - Weapon
I’ve been a Skinny Puppy fan for a long time, but their post-reformation output never really grabbed me the way their earlier work did. Weapon really reminded me why they were so important to me in the first place.
#15 David Bowie - The Next Day
Bowie is probably one of the most important musical figures of the last half century in my opinion. His music has never failed in quality, but it was a nice surprise to find that after all this time he’s still capable of something like this relevant and memorable.
#14 Franz Ferdinand - Right thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions
Evil Eye, especially in the chorus, has by far the best bassline of the year. That is all I need to say about that (…alright, so the rest of the album is pretty fantastic too)
#13 Arcade Fire - Reflektor
It could be said that they are terribly over-exposed at this point, but that doesn’t diminish how good this album actually is.
#12 Gary Numan - Splinter
Splinter is almost the perfect culmination of the 21st century Numan. Everything he’s been doing for the past decade has been distilled into something really refined and powerful here.
#11 Holograms - Forever
Holograms are, in my opinion, one of the most under-rated, under-recognized new bands around right now. With Forever they’ve taken some of the best aspects of punk, krautrock, new-wave and post-punk and put it together with the sincerity and vitality of young musicians who are discovering all of this for the first time.
#10 Wire -Change Becomes Us
This was an interesting experiment of an album, taking unfinished song ideas from early in their career and completing them as contemporary songs. It could have gone horribly wrong, but it went horribly right. What we got was basically the best of both eras, the past re-interpreted without nostalgia.
#9 The KVB - Immaterial Visions
The KVB make the kind of music that has the ability to just obliterate the outside world and draw me entirely into theirs. I’ve enjoyed all that they’ve done in the past, but Immaterial Visions is just plain overwhelming. It’s the sort of album that you just have to feel on a physical level. It’s a wash of noise that wraps itself around you and works it’s way inside.
#8 PVT - Homosapien
Homosapien is just a solid, powerful album from start to finish. PVT have taken bass, drums, and a keyboard, and made something deep, complex and layered that reveals more with every listen.
#7 Blouse - Imperium
I completely fell in love with the sound of Blouse’s first album, with it’s lush analogue synths and saturated tape warble. My first listen to Imperium was a bit of a shock, as they’ve abandoned a lot of those sounds in favour of a more intimate, acoustic tone. Seeing this album performed live however, brought it into focus. Now, upon repeated listening I understand it, and I love it.
#6 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Push The Sky Away
I have to admit it took me some time to really get into this album, it didn’t grab me immediately the way Dig!!!Lazarus, Dig!!! had. When it did get a hold of me though, it got under my skin and never let go. Push The Sky Away is just one of those albums that demands repeated listenings, and must be listened to in it’s entirety.
#5 Adult. - The Way Things Fall
Adult. have returned with an album that perfectly defines the cold, detached, and often uncomfortable feeling that’s alway underpinned their music. They’ve stripped away everything that isn’t absolutely necessary. What has been left is pure, lean, and hard. It’s perfect.
#4 The Knife - Shaking The Habitual
I think Shaking the Habitual isn’t just good, it’s important. It defied all expectation, and delivered something entirely unique and extremely powerful. This album is as much art, as it is music.
#3 Chelsea Wolfe - Pain Is Beauty
My brother first exposed me to Chelsea Wolfe and I’ve been a fan ever since. We saw her when she was touring for Apokalypsis, which was brilliant, haunting doom rock. It was surprising then when her next album, Unknown Rooms was entirely acoustic, so I really didn’t know what to expect when Pain Is Beauty was released. It turned out to be an unlikely synthesis of not only everything she’d done previously, but also integrated electronic sounds as well. I’ve added a link to the Warden as well as We Hit A Wall to show the breadth of what’s on this beautiful album.
#2 Savages - Silence Yourself
I haven’t been as excited by new music in a long time as I was when I discovered Savages. Nothing about them feels cynical or contrived, this entire album is just precisely what it needs to be, and nothing more or less. It’s lean, tight, and forceful. This is the album I’d always wished I could have made. It’s made all the more powerful when you realize that it was mostly recorded live off the floor in studio.
The song above, Husbands, is the first single they released, long before the album. It’s what first attracted me to Savages, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the version which appears on Silence Yourself. It’s the only version on Soundcloud, but just consider it as a demo…or watch them perform my favourite track She Will.
#1 My Bloody Valentine - mbv
It’s near impossible to talk about mbv outside of the context of Loveless, and the twenty year gestation between these albums. Those twenty years though, encompass my entire adult life. I first heard Loveless when I was in my mid-teens, which was really the perfect time for it. So this album appearing seemingly out of nowhere last winter had a special impact on me; It was the perfect time for this one too.
I was as shocked as anyone at just how bloody good mvv was when I heard it. but more than that, there is just something emotionally penetrating about it.
Attention Followers: I am in in need of a signal boost on this post.
My friends Vincas are on tour right now with fellow Athens band The Powder Room. last night in Chicago their van was broken into and most of their gear was stolen. please reblog this if you have friends or followers in Chicago. if you have any info message me or contact Vincas via their facebook.
here is the list
1998 lefty fender tele made in USA
1982 Tobacco burst Standard Les Paul
Rickenbacher blue burst 4003
1978 Fender Precision Bass
SKB powered pedal board containing:
Ehx green big muff
Boss re-20 space echo
Weeping demon wah
Gator pedal board containing:
Ernie ball volume pedal
Dunlop cry baby from hell
Digitech whammy 4
Effects boutique SRB-808
Vintage reissue rat
Custom clean boost
Horizon line selector
Music man HD-150 bass head
Pass this around…