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Lamp, broken circa 1988

Half-Year Album-Song Check-In 2014-Style

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We did this last year, and it actually ended up being pretty cool, so here's the sequel! 

 

ALBUMS

10. Tom Vek - Luck Tom is actually the guy who inspired me to start making music on my own. He played all the instruments on his first record, and Me Age 17 didn't know that was allowed, let alone possible. Anyways, Luck is kind of the same thing he always does, taking a single melody and just getting every bit of song he can out of it. Whatever, this is mostly sentimental.

9. God - The Bible I haven't had that kind of "what the fuck is this gonna be" experience with a mixtape for a while. Like, "who the hell just calls himself God? This is either going to be funny or amazing." Surprise: it's amazing! Chicago trap with all the lyricism and flow that I'm missing from most of that stuff.

8. La Sera - Hour of the Dawn The album sounds like the cover. The cover is one of the Vivian Girls dancing in the midday sun wearing a Poison Idea shirt. I don't know what else to really tell you here. Katy's a lot more vocally assertive on this record and it's made for the second straight La Sera record that's dramatically better than the last.

7. Antwon - Heavy Hearted In Doldrums I love how wild the west coast is right now. Even when a guy like Antwon is going pretty by the numbers, it's still huge and unique and naturally boundry-pushing. Antwon just makes recession-era party bangers, and it's awesome, and it's probably not for everyone. RIP Sad Andy 1992-2092.

6. Liars - Mess The first six tracks on here are enormous fucking siege weapons. The back half breathes in an unsettling way that I'm not always in the mood for, which is the only thing holding it back.

5. Young Fathers - Dead Young Fathers should probably be the biggest band in the world. Rap trio making their own hooks with their own gorgeous singing voices. Just a brilliant record that's unlike anything anyone else is doing right now.

4. Lower - Seek Warmer Climes My favorite song of the last batch of Lower stuff was "Someone's Got It In For Me," which was a big expansive hymn sounding thing. This whole record proceeds down that track. Apparently other people were just expecting tantrumming young men? Well whatever. Lower is post-punk revival coordinated in a way that a lot of their peers aren't.

3. White Suns - Totem This album makes every other metal/rock/noise record I've heard this year feel fucking weak. A literally uncomfortable listen for me. Music that has the same tension as Lovecraft's descriptions effect his characters. I don't know how to really describe it.

2. Carla Bozulich - Boy When I tried to get a friend of mine to listen to this, they got like two songs in and went "Yeah of course this is your fucking thing" and then he didn't revisit it for two months. This is like the karmic result of every shitty blues band from the 2000s, just making this hideous, huge, sexy, vital record. This album is not for dudes scared by sexually assertive women. Or maybe it's exactly for them.

1. clipping. - CLPPNG Any way a rap album can be progressive, CLPPNG is. Beats, lyrics, themes, all of it. It's alternately funny and bleak and heavy and tragic, depending entirely on what the song calls for but always executed with compositional excellence. I mean, fuck, it ends with a John Cage cover after explaining exactly why their music is so dark.

 

SONGS

A necessary honorary mention goes to DJ Rashad and DJ Spinn's remix of Kanye West's "On Site." Better than the original. RIP Rashad.

10. Carla Bozulich - Number X This doesn't exist on youtube or anything like that, which is good in a way since it's the outro track. Giving catharsis to something as intense as her record is a tall fuckin' order, and she does.

9. The Men - "Different Days" Reason #58 I love The Men: Watching Ben Greenberg (former Zs) figure out how he wants to write for this band. He had all of my favorite songs on New Moon (Without A Face, The Brass, I See No One (and I think the b-side on the Electric single?)), and now he has my favorite on Tomorrow's Hits.

8. Ratking - "Canal" This one's like putting the sun in my gas tank. Just all of the joyous energy of flow. CUZ WHEN I SPIT, YOU SEE MY VEINS BULLLGIN OUT, COLD AS CUTS FROM MY BLADES

7. A Sunny Day In Glasgow - "In Love With Useless" This single made the SIX YEARS between the records seem like it'll be worth it. ASDIG has an amazing sense of harmony and melody, but not really clearer, logical production. Well they fixed that and now they're making giant arena-worthy pieces like this.

6. Swans - "A Little God In My Hands" The horns of the 'chorus' make me want to put my hands up in the air reflexively. Swans leaning into funk is kind of amazing, and a more natural fit than you'd ever believe.

5. La Sera - "Losing To The Dark" I hum this chorus all the fucking time. ALL THE TIME. It's a real problem.

4. Liars - "Mess on a Mission"  same

3. clipping. - "Story 2" The first time I heard this, I almost quit writing music, because why fucking bother. I will never be this smart or talented.

2. Thee Silver Mt. Zion Orchestra - "What We Loved Was Not Enough" Play this at the world's wake.

1. Antwon ft. Lil Ugly Mane - "Rain Song" Two years straight, Antwon makes a song so obnoxiously amazing nothing else could compete. Antwon and Ugly Mane paint amazing pictures of togetherness and loneliness in the same song. I mean they're both pretty gross, but it's Antwon and Ugly Mane, not fucking Donovan. Although you could be confused for thinking it was with how absolutely gorgeous the beat is.

 

WHAT SAY YOU, EAR-HAVERS

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I don't have an order for these yet.

 

The War On Drugs - Lost In The Dream ("Eyes To The Wind")

Future Islands - Singles ("Sun In The Morning")

Sun Kil Moon - Benji ("I Can't Live Without My Mother's Love")

Nothing - Guilty Of Everything ("Guilty Of Everything")

The Men - Tomorrow's Hits ("Settle Me Down")

Jessica Lea Mayfield - Make My Head Sing... ("Oblivious")

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Only Run ("As Always")

Sharon Van Etten - Are We There ("Your Love Is Killing Me")

The Antlers - Familiars ("Palace")

Cloud Nothings - Here And Nowhere Else ("I'm Not Part Of Me")

 

Songs I've loved not on the above albums:

Tigers Jaw - "Slow Come On"

Real Estate - "Talking Backwards"
PAWS - "Someone New"

Against Me! - "Black Me Out"

Manchester Orchestra - "Trees"

Every Time I Die - "Thirst"

Tokyo Police Club - "Argentina (Parts I, II, III)"

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This reminds me that I have listened to very little from this year.

The only '14 Album releases on my iPhone right now are:

 

St Vincent - "Digital Witness"

Ray LaMontagne - "Supernova"

St. Paul and the Broken Bones - "Half the City"

Foster the People - "Supermodel"

The Black Keys - "Turn Blue"

Broken Bells - "After the Disco"

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