Albums of the Year
Music is currently experiencing a confusing state of diversity. There are new means of creating and producing music; some artists make a career out of never touching an instrument, instead press a few buttons and spin a few discs. That's ok (sometimes). Everything that could be done instrumentally, vocally and lyrically, has pretty much all been done already, and so it's difficult and rare to find artists who deliver truly original material that's of a worthwhile quality. This year, however, there has been some magnificent releases from well established performers and the 'up and coming' alike. Here's my list of the best so far:
- Father John Misty, I Love You, Honeybear: Such sweet, sweet head-swaying melodies. The ideal album for coffee shops, Sunday mornings or long journeys.
- Courtney Barnett, Sometimes I Just Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit: Witty lyrics bringing some character to the mundane banality of everyday life.
- The Districts, A Flourish and a Spoil: A lot moodier than their first album; bursting with real emotion and personality. A very finely crafted piece of work. (See full review published 24/03/2015)
- Alabama Shakes, Sound and Colour: That funk-folk fusion. That voice. That sense of ease you feel listening to this. Can this band do any wrong?
- Drenge, Undertow: Excellent follow up to an excellent debut album (Drenge). The perfect combination of pace and punchiness, mellow and mayhem.
- Jamie xx, In Colour: That guy from The xx has successfully gone solo and made the least dancey dance album ever, and it's actually rather good.
- Wolf Alice, My Love is Cool: The coolest band of the moment are finally getting the recognition they deserve because of this big bundle of brilliance.
- Tame Impala, Currents: Is it possible to make it through The Less I Know the Better without feeling the urge to shake your hips and throw glitter around for the glam rock credentials? No, 'tis not.
- The Maccabees, Marks to Prove It: Just on the right side of experimental, but still in keeping with the chilled out Maccabees vibe we all know and love.
- Foals, What Went Down: Probably the most hotly anticipated album of the year, and it didn't disappoint. The classic Foals sound unearths some new gritty undertones.
- Mac DeMarco, Another One: Wikipedia tells me Mac DeMarco's genre is 'jangle pop' - an apt description for this rising star and indie favourite.
And some to look out for:
- Darwin Deez, Double Down (released 18th September)
- Swim Deep, Mothers (released 19th September)
- Chvrches, Every Open Eye (released 25th September)
- Disclosure, Caracal (released 25th September)