This year was weird to me with music i think it might have been better than last year but in my opinion i wasn't digging too much new stuff this year, i was too busy going backwards and picking up all the stuff i wanted to hear but never did. This was the year that i delved deep into reggae and deeper into 60s and 70s music, i also got into a bit of dark wave and 80s synth music. what i didnt do was listen to dubstep, chillwave and witch house. not to say these genres didnt have kick ass stuff to offer, i just felt the music world was oversaturated with them i couldnt even pick any because every week it seemed some hazy tripped out kid with a 4 track made some "masterpiece" i dunno what it was but i just didnt care and i wanted more punch to my music and felt this year was lacking in that department. but alas here is my list of what did kick me in the pants.
in no particular order except alphabetical:
Best Coast-Crazy for You
Lazy summer rock that recalls the best parts of LA in the summertime while being reminiscent of Patsy Cline and The Breeders, perfect for sipping some sweet tea chilling out in your backyard(if only i had one!) sure she rhymes "lazy" and "crazy" a bit too much but that's fine.
Big Boi-Sir Lucious Left Foot...The Son Of Chico Dusty
Full of ridiculous production and rapid fire rhyming and probably the best thing i have heard out of the entire Outkast camp, yes even better than Stankonia. This album is just super tight and really solid and i can easily compare it to one of my other favorite hip hop albums of all time...the good ol Boy in Da Corner.
The Body-All the Waters of the Earth Turn To Blood
Didnt listen to too much metal this year but this one sure as hell stuck out, maybe it was the 7 minutes of chopped up female choir, maybe it was the tuvan throat singing, perhaps the tortured as shit vocals or maybe its the way they chopped and screwed the last two and added a possessed preacher over the top of it and created a new metal/electronic sampling genre in one song, who knows but its crushing and good.
Dem Hunger-Caveman Smack
Fun with dark samples and 4 track recording, this album was all about cut and paste and i love doing that with music, it's nice to see someone weave a dark and twisted quilt out of such an array of samples these days, it kept me interested and had such focus i kept coming back
This kid is 15 years old, he just got sent to boarding school supposedly, he is part of the Odd Future Crew, the beats are awesomely simple and very downtempo, the lyrics are a bit dark and bit un PC which in this day and age i am a huge fan of. Where Big Boi was like Dizzee this kid is more like a young verion of Madvillain, oh and the whole crews albums are FREE!!!!!!
Fol Chen-Part 2: The New December
This record is weird, because it's kind of not weird. it's very poppy and on the surface would seem like something i would hate but instead i kinda love it, basically they take normal indie pop stuff kinda like metric and enon but instead throw some weird samples and loops and build pop out of some odd instrumentation and it all works, the leadoff track might be my favorite song of the year.
Forest Swords-Dagger Paths
This has been a recent pick but i am sinking into it quite nicely, it's like instrumental simpler Panda Bear with a definite nod to dubstep, not much else to say about this one except its weird and a nice little change of pace for the olde english roster
I asked my brother a few days ago "what happened to hard music this year?" it seemed over the past few years people have stopped giving a shit about non metal aggressive music, i remember when lightning bolt and wolf eyes were held in the same regard as arcade fire and sufjan stevens, i had lost hope for this year until i heard this, it took a 50+ man to bring the aggression and bring the rock, this shit has face melting guitars and a possessed preacher in Nick Cave screaming at the kids to get up and rock the fuck out
Zach Hill-Face Tat
This was a nice little weird record and easily his most accessible and focused, the guest spots from No Age are the best stuff they did this year and to have a cameo of Devendra Banhart where i cant tell its him is a true gift from Zach Hill, this album is weird and intense and full of some of the best drumming of the year
This reminded me of an Arabic influenced Ween on downers. it's a crying shame everyone loved this upon release and then just forgot about it at the end of the year, he deserved more and it's better than Forest Swords(they share the same label). This is the stoner album of the year
Ahhh....such a nice surprise. Somewhat cheesy indie pop band stops making earwormesque disposable pop and decides to make some real shit, they enlist Sonic Boom of Spacemen 3 fame and Jennifer Herrema of Royal Trux and RTX fame and hole up in a malibu mansion and take tons of drugs and ended up writing an amazing ode to 60s and 70s psychedelica. A lot of their fans ran for the hills upon hearing this, I instead was converted.
Ariel Pink's Haunted Grafitti-Before Today
You can throw this album on at any point in any situation and that's what makes it great, it's what i wish Beck were doing these days, he made the best choice in genre regression, deciding not to mine "good" music of the past and instead opted to take everything shitty from 70s and 80s and turn it on it's head with his perfect sick sense of humor, this music was for everyone!
Sufjan Stevens-The Age of Adz
What can i say, he threw down the gauntlet much like MGMT did, threw out most of the preciousness of his old stuff for a more whacked out electronic sound to match the concept of outsider art and cult like religious imagery, this was the sound of Sufjan taking a step to the left of all the indie garbage out there and doing what he wanted.
Surfer Blood-Astro Coast
This has the same beachy feel as the Best Coast album, very summer fun times and laid back beach vibes. this is kind of like Vampire Weekend for the non-retarded. Kinda reminds me of that really kick ass Clearlake album that came out in 2002.
Avey Tare-Down There
Bass heavy murky stoner dream. great twists and turns within the repetitive loops and beats, to me it sounds like a dubbed out remix of Animal Collective.
Awesome analogue drum machines crashing with old farty ancient synths in a funk and hip hop influenced electronic soup all with cameos from Beck. This was some dirty bedroom music dark and dripping with demon sweat, Ween would be proud
Kanye West-My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
I have always hated Kanye, i still cant stand his earlier albums but the production and executon of this album cannot be ignored, it's good and he is crazy and an idiot but this is the work of someone who has lost their mind a bit
Wise Blood- '+' ep
Blatant samples of Zeppelin and Prince collide with a bunch of other samples i cant recognize all topped with RnB influenced white boy soul vocals, it's nerdy, it's short, it's free and all done by some supposed religious freak in the midwest somewhere i highly reccommend this.