| Sputnikmusic
 

Welp, it’s March 31st, possibly April 1st, so you know what that means.

Is your March Madness bracket more busted than Kyle Ahrens’ ankle or Chuma Okeke’s ACL?

Did your baseball team start off on a roaring 162-0 pace before regression towards the shit kicked in real, real hard?

Fear not, people who don’t even like sports: our Q1 2019 mixtape is here for you to treat with general apathy!

From blistering punk from a band nearing their 40th anniversary to a singer/songwriter who earned the #3 spot in our Top 50 back in 2014 to [insert user here]-core stylings of psychedelic rock (insomniac), indie pop (Sowing), alternative R&B (BlushfulHippocrene), and the generally abstract (Winesburgohio), there’s [hopefully] something for all to enjoy. There might even be a sneak peek at the 2019 AOTY if this set is any indication.

If it’s not on the Spotify playlist, then the Soundcloud/Bandcamp/YouTube pick-your-poison should do the trick.

Let us know what we missed (or who you miss, because we probably miss them, too) and see you in Q2!


ggg

Aldous Harding – “The Barrel”
Designer
Listen if you like: Halloween during Christmastime

In a way this song is the most disconcerting thing I’ve ever heard. It’s all sharp fangs softly piercing skin, dead things buried under a big pile of autumn leaves. Different instruments float in only to be scared off by Harding’s ghoulishly pretty visage. Play this at my funeral; I accept there will be empty pews. –verdant

sss

American Football – “Uncomfortably Numb”
American Football (LP3)
Listen if you like: complaining about how classic emo albums can never be topped, proving wrong people who are always complaining about how classic emo albums can never be topped

“Uncomfortably Numb” is already my favourite American Football song, because I’ve been waiting for them to write it for 20 years without knowing it. By retaining the best parts of the much-vaunted LP1 – namely Kinsella’s spiralling, tapping guitar and Steve Lamos’ unreal drums – “Uncomfortably Numb” pays enough tribute to the past, but also improves on the formula with some fucking raw lyrics and a stunning vocal duet. Kinsella hasn’t just pinpointed where his lyrical talents lie, he’s also discovered the grace to give some of his best away to other singers. “Uncomfortably Numb” is bursting with heartbreaking moments, but none moreso than when Hayley Williams’ verse ends with one of the most affecting lines in the band’s whole discography: “comatose, like father like son.” –Rowan5215

mmm

Andrew Bird – “Bloodless”
My Finest Work Yet
Listen if you like: going to lounges that play exclusively quasi-political indie rock

Andrew Bird’s evolution from quaint folk multi-instrumentalist to indie-rock spokesperson reached its zenith this year on his magnum opus My Finest Work Yet. If Break it Yourself was his Fleet Foxes moment, then My Finest Work Yet is his hour as Father John Misty. The melodies are catchier and more explosive, while his mannerisms have become declarative instead of meek or symbolic. He’s never sounded so dynamic and reassured, a notion truly exhibited on “Bloodless” – a protest song subtilized by its lounging, relaxed aura. It would almost have you thinking that the song wasn’t about political division and revolution: “It’s an uncivil war… and it feels like 1936, in Catalonia.” “Bloodless” is beautiful and winding from a musical standpoint, but concerned and outspoken lyrically. –SowingSeason

ddd1

Arthur Russell – “Not Checking Up”
Not Checking Up
Listen if you like: sharing the bath with a friend platonically, Mark Hollis, uhh, Arthur Russell

Technically, Not Checking Up turns a ripe old 33 this year — finally released from confinement as a World of Echo cut — but it’s no less sunny in disposition for that. Imbued with Russell’s trademark warmth, romanticism and Romanticism, and layers of gorgeous cello that wash over like a gentle tide, it goes without saying it’s good. Where it transcends is in another Russell quirk: the ability to be loving and lonely at the same time. “It’s the only day I’m off work,” he croons, probably accurately, and the sense of enjoying one’s own company on a long, slow, sad autumn night suffuses like a fragrance. That 33 years on no-one has captured this quality as remarkably as he is testament to how vital he remains; long may his vault be plumbed if it’s all as good as this. –Winesburgohio

xxx

Bad Religion – “Chaos from Within”
Age of Unreason
Listen if you like: NOFX, Descendents, The Offspring

True North received a lot of positive reactions due to Bad Religion’s return to full throttle, punk rock songs. It’s what they do best, and the singles released so far from their upcoming LP Age of Unreason seem to follow their predecessor’s footsteps. Luckily, “Chaos from Within” is a short barn burner with immediate effect. The riffs are sharp and Greg Graffin’s voice gets better with each album. Next year, the band will celebrate their 40th anniversary, yet they sound just as vital as they did in the ’80s. –insomniac15

rrr

Better Oblivion Community Center – “Service Road”
Better Oblivion Community Center
Listen if you like: Desolate folk, but really pretty

Conor Oberst writes his songs for dusty roads, dry mouths and hungry stomachs, but his desert-plain voice belies the richness of his songwriting. Phoebe Bridgers writes for open fields, sweeping vistas and blue skies, but there’s a desolate streak in her lyrics that brings a funeral-black humour to her beautiful voice. It was almost fate that they would collaborate, and we’re especially blessed that of the full album that resulted, “Service Road” was brought to existence. A mournful eulogy for Oberst’s troubled brother, who in the singer’s words “basically drank himself to fucking death”, the song is never cruel or manipulative, guiding the listener gently into its sorrow: see the breathtaking finale where, in a way perfectly caught between to the two worlds of its songwriters, going “out in the falling snow” and “past the trucks on the service road” become metaphors for the subject’s tragic death. –Rowan5215

jjj

Blaqk Audio – “Summer’s Out of Sight”
Only Things We Love
Listen if you like: euphoric summer evenings, driving with your windows down and soaking up your transient youth

“Summer’s Out Of Sight” is a breath of punky, poppy fresh air that already feels like it’s ready to hit the road with you this summer. Featuring an upbeat pace, hook-laden melody, and wistful, nostalgic lyrics to shout along to, it stands out as the euphoric “pop” moment on an album primarily composed of industrial and electronic songwriting. It sounds like the happiest AFI song ever, a prospect that should have even casual fans of the band’s mid-2000s heyday eager to give this Havok/Puget side project a go. –SowingSeason

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Copeland – “Colorless”
Blushing
Listen if you like: slowly drowning in a pool of dreamy, beautiful sorrow

“Colorless” is melancholic but powerful, as it mourns lost love with the unrivaled potency of passages such as “these days I’m terrified of silence, my thoughts unbearable in the quiet”, “now I can’t see you… were we colorless anyway?”, and “I’m never falling out of love, I fear.” Even though pretty much all of Blushing serves as Aaron Marsh’s lyrical masterpiece, the aura of this track is especially poignant – it’s capable of reducing anyone enduring a breakup, death, or other form of loss to tears. The track slowly builds to a cathartic release of energy, this relatively brief but downright explosive guitar solo that feels like a personal breaking point. Its impact is only magnified by Marsh’s prelude of “when a colorless world goes dark”, which in context feels like an admission of total despair – it’s basically akin to saying that without the mysterious woman around whom Blushing‘s themes revolve, that everything’s gone dark. Finally, the mayhem sticks a soft landing on this cloud of swelling strings and brass, as Aaron laments, “Ohh-ohh, I can’t save myself.” The entire song is a marvel to behold, and the sheer energy that emanates from it is enough to send aftershocks throughout the rest of Blushing – leaving listeners still trembling in its reverberations long after the album’s run time has expired. –SowingSeason

ddd

Corbin – “Wretch”
Wretch (single)
Listen if you like: Spooky Black, Bones, Yung Lean

I mistook, at first, the word ‘wretch’ for ‘retch’, meaning to vomit or gag. I thought, perhaps, that where Corbin’s previous project, Mourn, traded tears for tragedy, “Wretch” sought to disorient. That mightn’t be wrong – the better part of “Wretch” is incomprehensible – but the more honest truth is that the song goes down like the smoothest of spirits. Corbin, in spite of garbling his words, maintains a silkiness to his tone that’s difficult to emulate (and, I suspect, unintentional). Even as he wrings strings of words from his throat like the nonsensical “living in the red, living in the red”, the singer cushions them with an earnestness that is intoxicating. –BlushfulHippocrene

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Cremation Lily x Mirsy – “Deep Blue”
Deep Blue (single)

Listen if you like: Hi-hats, reverb, and low-res anime GIFs

There’s nothing much to this one. I like how it sounds. It is, as the kids are wont to say, “mood music”. In the truest sense of the word. Drenched in an atmosphere of some kind, the song exists at the intersection between sky and ocean, whether such a place exists or not. –BlushfulHippocrene

qqq

Devin Townsend – “Genesis”
Empath
Listen if you like: self-worth and happiness

For a man who’s made some of the heaviest music either side of death metal, Devin is an oddly (and wonderfully) inspiring figure, one whose openness about his mental struggles gives the edge of realness to music which could be construed as pure cheese otherwise. Case in point: how “Genesis” rides through choir, blast beats, female harmonies and an orchestral breakdown only to twist itself back into the mammoth, ebullient hook, throwing more styles at the track than your favourite rapper and making it sound effortless. –Rowan5215

ttt

Front Line Assembly – “Structures”
Wake Up the Coma
Listen if you like: KMFDM, Nine Inch Nails, Delerium

One of the catchiest and most fun tracks on the band’s latest LP, “Structures” fuses the trademark, pounding beats Front Line Assembly use with industrial and EDM-influenced layers and grooves. We can immediately recognize returning member Rhys Fulber’s production here, whereas Bill Leeb’s distorted and harrowing croons provide a cool contrast to the rather club-banging instrumental. “Structures” also features some of last contributions from Jeremy Inkel, who unfortunately died last year due to asthma complications. –insomniac15

yyy

Hilltop Hoods – “Into the Abyss”
The Great Expanse
Listen if you like: Thundamentals, The Herd, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis as Australians

After the rousing success that was the Restrung versions of Drinking from the Sun, Walking Under Stars, it makes sense that a :35 orchestral prelude seamlessly transitions into “Into the Abyss”, which sports thumping toms and a soaring chorus. A lot of the trademark Hilltop sounds are here — a backlog of samples, creative allusions and eye-winks to a whole host of references, a who’s-who of upcoming talent, layers upon layers of instrumentation — but “Abyss” sounds like the trio’s most balanced track on the album. Where Pressure has a better singing voice (“Counterweight”) and Suffa is more linguistically inventive, each builds upon the other with Debris’ ingenuity throughout the track, with the Aussie outfit comfortably settling in like your favorite mitt come Opening Day. While Expanse is more contemplative compared to past efforts, other obvious highlights include the humorous “Clark Griswold” (featuring the resplendent Adrian Eagle) and “Exit Sign” (with Illy and Ecca Vandal). –Jom

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Karen O and Danger Mouse – “Nox Lumina”
Lux Prima
Listen if you like: walking the streets at night and pondering the slightness of your existence to Danger Mouse’s sweet, sweet production

Of this marriage made in heaven, it’s Lux Prima‘s bookend tracks that impress the most – and out of those, it’s “Nox Lumina” that feels the most transcendent. These heavyweight talents never feel at odds with one other here, knowing exactly when to come in strong, when to fade back, and when to collide in gorgeous entanglement. The thumping drums and starlit atmosphere give the song the feeling of a night time stroll through the city; dark and mysterious yet hopeful and illuminated. Danger Mouse somehow manages to produce the hell out of the song without it ever feeling crowded even once, keeping things loose and breathable while Karen O wows with her typically awesome vocals. “Nox Lumina” is a testament to the heights this pair can reach, firing on all cylinders while feeding off of each other’s energy and unique talents. –SowingSeason

aaa

La Dispute – “Footsteps at the Pond”
Panorama
Listen if you like: shouting sad poetry at the wind and feeling oh so alone

Five days ago, La Dispute were nonexistent to me. I’d heard of them, sure, but I never gave them the time of day because through some faulty logic (the origins of which I can’t pinpoint), I always thought they were a mewithoutYou copycat. But holy crap was I ever wrong, and now Panorama is taking my 2019 by storm in a year that I had pretty much already pegged as belonging to Copeland’s Blushing. I could have happily written about any song on Panorama, but since we’re all apparently obsessed with this album (Atari ninja snagged “Fulton Street I”, Blush nabbed “You Ascendant”), I figured I’d go with the song that I feel packs the most energy, and that’s “Footsteps at the Pond”. The song is driven by these vibrant, angry guitars and Dreyer sounds more impassioned than ever (well, not ever – listen to “Fulton Street” — also, I’m a La Dispute virgin so ‘ever’ is a very relative term), and I feel the need to exhale in sheer awe whenever I hear him shout, “We bleed because we need!” Listen to this song. Or listen to one of the other many La Dispute selections here. Just listen to La Dispute, period. Don’t be like me and ignore these guys for 10 years for no good reason. Don’t be like me. –SowingSeason

La Dispute – “Fulton Street I”
Panorama
Listen if you like: mewithoutYou, Spanish Love Songs, cathartic music

What if a simple act of kindness is all that’s separating us from eternal damnation and being a decent human being? If there’s a singular moment that convinced me of La Dispute’s greatness, it’s undoubtedly found within the cathartic “Fulton Street I”. Smoothly placed after the brief, shimmering whisper of “Rose Quartz” is one of La Dispute’s most human moments on Panorama. The raw emotion behind the bellowing of “I’ve never placed flowers in the street!” makes “Fulton Street I” instantly affecting. This line is examined and rearranged over and over again, as the singer questions his ability to empathize, or lack thereof. Maybe eventually he’ll take that leap — acting in a way that challenges him to think of others’ needs before his own. In the meantime, you can feel the anger, self-loathing, and doubt escaping through his every breath in agony. For a band that’s known for their poetic, sometimes ranting demeanor, these lines are proof they can make an impact with less. The surrounding verses paint a more complete picture, but it takes no more than one listen for these lyrical hooks to claw their way beneath your skin. –Atari

La Dispute – “You Ascendant”
Panorama
Listen if you like: Panorama

Going into Panorama, I was still undecided about the words of Jordan Dreyer. Void of all context, stripped of all musical backing, would I still appreciate them? Listening to Wildlife, the answer might’ve been no. As good as “King Park” was – or, indeed, “The Last Lost Continent” – Dreyer always struck me as a deeply empathetic story-teller who, in spite of that, couldn’t self-efface to save even the most poignant of stories. What Panorama proves, however, and what “You Ascendant” epitomises, is that that is a stupid fucking question. On it, Dreyer, in his strikingly staccato delivery, finds himself in direct competition with the music, battling for space before exploding into a much-needed boldness: “I WILL BE EVERYTHING YOU NEED!” he yelps in all caps, bringing to a close her story, but also, perhaps more importantly, accepting unconditionally his part in it. –BlushfulHippocrene

ccc

Laura Stevenson – “Value Inn”
The Big Freeze
Listen if you like: Laura Stevenson, duh

It’s hard to believe “Value Inn” – one of Laura Stevenson’s darkest songs yet – is less than three minutes long. Stripped bare of her general quirkiness and instrumental support, this slow-burner relies on little more than the indie-songwriter’s haunting vocals. As far as I’m concerned, this is a side she should express more often. Each word slowly fills the room at the pace of an ominous crawl, in a performance that’s easily one of her most poignant moments to date. It’s raw and powerful — just one good reason to get excited about The Big Freeze. –Atari

zzz

Massimo Volume – “Nostra signora del caso”
Il nuotatore
Listen if you like: Giardini di Miro, Spartiti, Gifts from Enola

When maybeshewill dissolved, finding a current post-rock outfit that uses samples or spoken word well has been my white whale. I can only go back to their discography — not to mention From Monuments to Masses’ or any combination of other iconic post-rock artists’ albums — but Italy’s Massimo Volume’s Il nuotatore (The Swimmer) is a welcome respite during the search. Knowing that Il nuotatore was looming, I went back and re-listened to Lungo i bordi — and while few records could stack up to the former, the Bologna-based trio use more than John Cheever’s short story as a backdrop, especially with album opener “Una voce a Orlando” (“A Voice in Orlando”, in reference to the Pulse nightclub shooting from the lens of a responding police officer), and the band excel in translating Cheever’s surrealist text to sound. –Jom

vvv

Motorpsycho – “Lux Aeterna”
The Crucible
Listen if you like: Yes, King Crimson, Colour Haze

The Norwegian veteran group have released one of their proggiest journeys so far and “Lux Aeterna” sits right at the center. From folksy interludes and dreamy, mellotron-led segments to piano- and saxophone-assisted jazzy detours, this epic track displays how versatile Motorpsycho have become. Transitioning from one style to another over the years enriched their sonic palette and “Lux Aeterna” has so much to offer in its wavy 11 minutes. –insomniac15

kkk

Mree – “The Middle”
The Middle
Listen if you like: being soothingly sung to sleep by a literal angel

It may be a relatively straightforward track instrumentally, but Mree’s voice is capable of crafting a world of its own. “The Middle” sounds like it might have fit in effortlessly on Phoebe Bridgers’ Stranger In The Alps, if you’re looking for a barometer, but the atmosphere here is far more spacious and ambient. Mree seems to bend the melody to her every whim without even trying, entrancing listeners with her angelic inflections, boundless range, and pitch-perfect delivery. It’d be hard to locate a smoother, more relaxing pop tune this year. –SowingSeason

hhh

Quelle Chris – “Guns”
Guns
Listen if you like: rappers who are willing to bite the bullet

The hook, “coming to a city near you”, sees Chris at his most dejected — twisting the cliched tagline into a foreboding submission aimed towards pervasive gun violence. “Guns” waves a white flag at the First Amendment and has us crying at a smooth jazz instrumental as though cigar smoke just got in our eyes. It’s a loaded sentiment. –verdant

fff1

Sanhedrin (USA-NY) – “The Poisoner”
The Poisoner
Listen if you like: Budgie, Witchfinder General, Sanctuary

Sanhedrin’s 2015 debut helped them make some noise in the traditional heavy metal circles, but it’s The Poisoner where they seemed to have realized their potential. The album’s title track is essentially a power ballad with several twists and turns, that exposes the listener to a ’70s heavy rock platform with doom metal riffs and touches of violin. One of the main reasons that Sanhedrin differ from the array of modern bands who play traditional metal is the power trio’s vocalist. On “The Poisoner”, her ballsy female vocals — which, at points, might bring Bruce Dickinson to your mind — shine, as she sounds powerful, yet fragile, a testament to her own and the band’s versatility. –manosg

lll

Sarah Louise – “Chitin Flight”
Nighttime Birds and Morning Stars
Listen if you like: floating around space and soundtracking The Milky Way

There aren’t too many songs you can turn to and hear something as warmly alienating as “Chitin Flight” – a cut suspended within time and space, floating into the nether regions of the universe while eloquently strumming a de-tuned guitar. It’s the perfect encapsulation of Sarah Louise’s evolution from folk/acoustic songwriter to experimentalist. The track combines ambient and electronic sounds within a spellbinding aura that recalls the gorgeous emotional detachment of Radiohead circa A Moon Shaped Pool. Louise has taken her craft to another level here. –SowingSeason

ooo

Sharon Van Etten – “Seventeen”
Remind Me Tomorrow
Listen if you like: screaming the words hoarse over the engine of your fucking car

“Seventeen” has the makings of an all-time favourite song of mine and it’s been out for a couple of months. You’re plenty free to think that’s dumb, because I’ll always just refer you to the live performance (above) that crystallised it for me. Sharon’s manner is playful, almost silly, as she pivots her way through jealousy, envy and pity of/for a seventeen-year-old who recalls her younger self. Then, on a pin drop too subtle for us to see, she pendulum-swings to the song’s bridge, face red as she just rends the air apart with the jagged words: “you’ll crumble the earth just to see / afraid that you’ll be just like me”. –Rowan5215

fff

Stella Donnelly – “Lunch”
Beware of the Dogs
Listen if you like: being able to earnestly and enthusiastically drop a coin in the busker’s guitar case.

The people passing through your universe are the center of their own and the way Lunch cuts away from the borders between those realms here is important. Stella portrays an exhaustion with that circling Other with the acuity of a songwriter who can extract the utmost poetry from that very solitude. The instrumental is effervescent — opening up gently as though it too has finally been afforded the space to breathe. And in those moments, where the strings colour in the background, where the Rhodes piano stands to attention, a recognition: some of our universes are, quite simply, incompatible. –verdant

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Sun Kil Moon – “Bay of Kotor”
I Also Want to Die in New Orleans
Listen if you like: prog-rock length folk songs, Mark Kozelek, spending time with Mark Kozelek, having Being John Malkovich-esque access to Mark Kozelek’s mind

A 23-minute long Homeric epic with everyone’s favorite curmudgeon cast as protagonist; on his way back to Penel — er, Caroline he feeds some starving cats, wards off the attentions of a remarkably bonhomous hotel worker and then feeds a starving dog. Dawn rises, if not rosy-fingered then at least very bright. Our swift-footed jetlagged hero tries to sleep through it. Oh well. They can’t all be thrillers. The minutiae of Mark Kozelek’s life still, remarkably, enthralls like a good novel. He’s helped here by some of the most exquisite musicianship he’s displayed in half a decade, alternating poignant, beautiful and weird — the thundering, jagged double bass segment being a notable highlight. But But But. Also the knack: veering between obliviousness and knowing self-effacement. “Wading out in the seaweed looking at the girls layin’ out in their bikinis” he rhymes, before offering an aside: “I never wrote a song about girls in bikinis; if I did, maybe I’d have a hit like The Beach Boys.” As filterless as a good Camel; may he never switch to Marlboros. –Winesburgohio

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Swallow the Sun – “The Crimson Crown”
When a Shadow is Forced into the Light
Listen if you like: Katatonia, Paradise Lost, Draconian

Much has been written about principal songwriter Juha Raivio and the loss of his partner, Aleah Stanbridge (Trees of Eternity), to cancer. Trying to balance your grief while desiring to release Hour of the Nightingale (and then, later, Hallatar’s No Stars Upon the Bridge) to honor her memory — even when the source material is so close to your heart and knowing your partner would never get to hear the final product — must have been a harrowing experience. Thus, it stood to reason that Swallow the Sun’s return after their 2015 triple album would be dripped in wistful melancholy. After multiple repeated listens, however, When a Shadow…‘s layers upon layers of melodies shine through, as if to break through the somber, albeit understandable, reasons behind the record’s genesis. It might be a bit unnatural to say a doom metal record sounds therapeutic — and the record is certainly elegiac in pace — but in those fleeting pockets of hope, When a Shadow… does well in illustrating the variability inherent in the healing process. –Jom

ppp

Taking Back Sunday – “A Song For Dan”
Twenty
Listen if you like: Adam Lazzarra’s voice, John Nolan

In your typical post-Nolan-returning Taking Back Sunday song, Adam Lazzarra sings in a southern twang about leaving home, leaving a girl or driving a car while drums kaleidoscope and backing vocals dot the landscape. “A Song For Dan” is not your typical TBS song, taking two minutes and change to build to a climax around keyboards and slow percussion. It’s also a moving dedication to a deceased friend of the band’s, which sees them take a breath and leave some space to the music in a very genuine way: their usual wordiness and love for clever moments seems small, almost affected next to Lazzarra’s repeated “if I could reach you, I would.” –Rowan5215

aaa1

The Comet is Coming – “Summon the Fire”
Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery
Listen if you like: Sons of Kemet, Alice Coltrane, Kamasi Washington

After his work on last year’s Your Queen is a Reptile with Sons of Kemet, it was a logical progression that Shabaka Hutchings — alongside Dan Leavers and Max Hallett — would continue to hit the ground running with The Comet is Coming’s debut on Impulse! Records, expanding upon their Death to the Planet EP from 2017. While Hutchings’ saxophone serves as centerpiece more often than not, it’s the frenetic drumming and warm, wobbly synthesizers that truly infuse the record’s futuristic, Blade Runner-like ethos with infectious, unrestrained energy. See also: “Super Zodiac” and “Timewave Zero”. –Jom

ggg1

The Moth Gatherer – “Motionless in Oceania”
Esoteric Oppression
Listen if you like: Neurosis, Cult of Luna, The Ocean

With co-founder Alex Stjernfeldt’s departure (although he did contribute to the lyrics), it was interesting to see if there was going to be a discernible drop-off from a band that scratches the Cult of Luna / Russian Circles / ISIS / et al itch but with more synthesizer-laden, industrial-tinged atmospherics. Fortunately, there’s no deterioration to be heard, as each of the dynamic five tracks is masterfully arranged. Lead single “Motionless in Oceania” is the shining beacon in this set. The juxtaposition of sludgy, thunderous undercurrents with mellower synths makes for a fantastic arrangement, and the same comparison/contrast of harsh vs. tender on opener “The Drone Kingdom” also makes for a welcome listen. –Jom

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The Sonic Dawn – “Forever 1969”
Eclipse
Listen if you like: Jefferson Airplane, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Siena Root

One of the biggest surprises for me so far this year has been The Sonic Dawn’s Eclipse. The psychedelic rock trio took a lighter and more focused path that worked wonders. “Forever 1969” is the song that clicked right from the first listen. This simple yet infectious ditty channels a Crosby, Stills & Nash (also, Woodstock) vibe with sunny guitars and groovy rhythms. The lovely voice adds a lot to the replay value and, overall, the tune has such a sweet, natural flow. –insomniac15

eee1

Traveler – “Fallen Heroes”
Traveler
Listen if you like: Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Omen, Savatage

Despite the fact that numerous bands still seem to emulate the golden days of ’80s heavy metal, very few of them manage to stand the test of time. What separates Traveler from the abundance of New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal acts, besides their strong songwriting, is their solid vocalist, whose gruff, and not overall approach, brings to mind the great Jon Oliva. Instrumentally, these guys are influenced by Iron Maiden and Judas Priest and you will definitely listen to some US metal touches, courtesy of Omen and Brocas Helm. “Fallen Heroes” is an atypical track, bearing in mind that Traveler is mostly a speedy affair. However, it shows that the Canadian band has the ability to deliver the goods even when they slow things down. –manosg

bbb

William Tyler – “Alpine Star”
Goes West
Listen if you like: gorgeous instrumental music, country that feels unique, mood music

William Tyler’s Goes West is a morning album; a gentle and scenic batch of instrumental country tunes that evoke feelings of scenery – like looking out the window of the car on a long drive when you’re not behind the wheel. Easing us into the warm soundscapes and hypnotizing loops, “Alpine Star” is the perfect introduction to the album. It’s one of the more expansive tracks on the record, with glossy orchestration that’s pleasing to the ears without distracting from the man’s killer guitar playing. Yup, this is the kind of music you can look forward to getting lost in. –Atari

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Xiu Xiu – “Normal Love”
Girl with Basket of Fruit
Listen if you like: Daniel Johnston, Swans, Arthur Russell

“Normal Love” is a crushing end to one of the most disturbing and experimental records released lately. Xiu Xiu went so far to create an uncanny atmosphere with cryptic lyrics and noisy compositions, even many of their hardcore fans had a hard time wrapping their heads around it. This makes “Normal Love” seem awkward in the context, although this is the most straightforward song on Girl with Basket of Fruit. Jamie Stewart’s brutally sincere lyrics are heartbreaking and the sparse, mournful instrumental helps create the right atmosphere. –insomniac15


[Q1] /// [Q2] /// [Q3]





Jom
04.01.19
Uh, so I wonder if 'Panorama' is going to make the cut in the year-end list...

SowingSeason
04.01.19
Great work all around!
Go listen to Panorama!

Dewinged
04.01.19
I only dug a few of these, but happy to see The Comet and Motorpsycho at least! Now, to read those blurbs.

insomniac15
04.01.19
Great job everyone! I have to check the American Football LP asap

BlazinBlitzer
04.01.19
"Uh, so I wonder if 'Panorama' is going to make the cut in the year-end list..."
I was gonna say, they have 3 songs on here. Deservedly, of course.

Atari
04.01.19
yeah that really cracked me up. I'm fine with it, but don't remember an overlap like this on the quarterly mixtape before

looks lovely - thanks for putting this together, Jom!

Voivod
04.01.19
Great work everyone, had I found time to write a blurb before deadline, it would be for anything off the debut Birdstone album.

PistolPete
04.01.19
Yes! Moth Gatherer makes it out of complete left field! Great pic ;)

Rowan5215
04.01.19
lol I almost wrote about Rhodonite and Grief too before seeing how many others had La Dispute blurbs lined up

I think we liked that album guys?

Sniff
04.01.19
you listen to music jom? :O

neekafat
04.01.19
"Rhodonite and Grief" is the 2nd best on there after Fulton 1 so I wouldn't've complained (:

BlushfulHippocrene
04.02.19
I love this format. Just cruising through the list on my own time, reading descriptions, listening to the embeds. Will probably take me a good week and I am fine with that.

greg84
04.03.19
This is fantastic. Well done guys.

SowingSeason
04.03.19
William Tyler - "Alpine Star" is something I never would have found on my own but it's downright beautiful. Loving that selection from Atari.

Demon of the Fall
04.03.19
'The Moth Gatherer – “Motionless in Oceania”
Esoteric Oppression
Listen if you like: Neurosis, Cult of Luna, The Ocean'

Looks like I need to check this then.

Nice idea and execution guys. I've paid zero attention to 2019 so far so this is quite welcome.

Pangea
04.03.19
i always love these mixtapes

Atari
04.06.19
yo sowing im glad you enjoyed that William Tyler! I included it with the hopes that it could finally get some more exposure

BlushfulHippocrene
04.07.19
I love the album art so much.

Slex
04.07.19
That Sharon Van Etten performance is goddamned unbelievable

Rowan5215
04.07.19
dude *right*

everyone needs to see it

neekafat
04.07.19
Yeah that song/performance is incredible, even if her break feels a bit at odds with the tameness of the song (which I get it is probably the point)
Rather I think "Memorial Day" and a couple others are better but overall it's just an amazing album

neekafat
04.07.19
Been looking for an excuse to jam that William Tyler so here we go!

dmathias52
04.07.19
Yes! William Tyler is my favorite “post-rock” (used lightly, since he doesn’t exactly fit there) of the year by far, potentially even of the last couples years.

Rowan5215
04.07.19
Memorial Day is top 3 on that album with Stay imo

TheSupernatural
04.07.19
Thanks for putting this together guys, I loved the variety and enjoyed the vast majority of it (had to skip the Sun Kil Moon bit though, it really kills the flow).

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