This year has really flown by, and unfortunately nothing has really meant as much to me, musically, that's new this year, as last year. I can't say for sure if that's because of the new music that I actually heard, or because of other things in life. Either way, I always look forward to this time of year because it gives me lots of things to newly discover/catch up on by letting my friends do the grunt work for me. In any case--let the list begin! (I don't really have much to say this time around, but I'll do my best)
15. Mark Henning - Jupiter Jive
Spacy, fun minimal-house type stuff. This kind of thing I've been listening to a ton of lately, but not a lot of it has really stuck out as particularly above the rest. The Luciano Fabric mix was really good, and so were a couple other mixes, but I figured this makes the cut as being actually a solo album. In some ways it stands in also for the inordinate amount of listening time devoted this year to the Resident Advisor podcasts.
14. Jesus & Mary Chain - The Power of Negative Thinking
I'm so glad that this was a 4 disc set, because I don't think it would be nearly as much fun/make me feel nearly as vacant if it were only one or even two discs. Fantastic stuff. I guess maybe this is cheating because it's not "new" but whatever.
13. Nico Muhly - Mothertongue
Certainly one of the most interesting albums I heard all year. At first I kind of just thought that the whole first piece was annoying, but after repeated listens it opens up a little. The suite with Sam Amidon (I forget just now what it's called) is incredible, and I saw them do it live in a church, which was great. They're very nice people (Vermont types, you know).
12. Lindstrom - Where You Go I Go Too
It's really good, guys. This might've ranked higher if I had just listened to it more, but for whatever reason I didn't.
11. Mount Eerie - Dawn / Lost Wisdom
I'm a sucker for Phil Everum, and both of these do the trick. They're particularly nice in conjunction, being able to hear some of the songs that were on LW in earlier, even rawer form on Dawn.
10. Dj/Rupture - Uproot
There are certain things that are pleasurable just because someone is so good at doing them. Burn after Reading, for example, was not a particularly great movie, but I enjoyed watching it just because those guys are so damn good at making movies. This is like that, except it's also good in and of itself (bonus!).
9. Deadbeat - Roots and Wire
Kind of a surprise for me, in that I happened to randomly see it on a blog somewhere and thought I'd give it a whirl. I really didn't expect to get so caught up in it. A lot of stuff like this works great for background music, but there's something about the particular flow of this album that really forces me into it. If i start listening to it and have to stop for some reason it really bothers me. That's a good thing.
8. Cut Copy - In Ghost Colors
I didn't find out until just recently that these guys were Australian. That makes so much sense. I actually often can't tell songs apart on this album, but I like it all anyway.
7. Los Campesinos! - Hold on now youngster
I usually hate music like this, but there's something so infections and happy about this that I can't help but just love it to pieces. Maybe I associate it with the first time I heard You! Me! Dancing!, which was on a mix Hamz made me, which made me very happy. They're very funny and earnest and I imagine they fall over a lot.
6. Grouper - Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill
This is sort of like Earth but doesn't leave me quite so depressed. I just recently got this, and wish that I had had it for a long, long time.
5. Jamie Lidell - Jim
Oh Jamie. How I love thee. I saw him here in Philly with my friend Jess this summer, and it was fantastic. He's such a nerd. And, his guitar player wears a freakish Evil Knievel suit.
4. Mavis Staples - Live: Hope at the Hideout
Shit, just listen to it. She verges on self parody at points, with how aggressive/raunchy her voice gets, and its utterly fantastic.
3. Cool Kids - Bake Sale / That's Stupid Mixtape
In terms of "things in the world that make me happy" this ranks up there. Witty lyrics and stories, sick beats, and you know they're having fun doing it, which is something that sometimes I need more of in my life (okay, most of the time).
2. Bon Iver - For Emma, forever ago / Blood Bank EP
Okay, so For Emma is just fantastic, truly, but it's also been incredibly hard to listen to because it's so emotionally wrenching. Beyond that, though, the Blood Bank EP just solidifies it, particularly his Autotuned-out "The Woods" which is quite simply the most terrifying thing that I've heard in a long time, maybe ever.
1. M83 - Saturdays = Youth
I've never before liked M83, much as I tried. This album, though, has been the one this year that I most consistently come back to, over and over again. It's good when you're up, it's great when you're down. There's an effortless quality to it that makes it that much more affecting.
As I noted in my previous post, I really kind of consider Portishead to be outside of this whole scheme, at least in how I relate to the music. So, just so you know, I love that too.