|Jas' UNCOMFORTABLY modest favs of 2019|
Shrunk again this year, but hey look, descriptions! how long's it been since i did that? actually tbh i don't think i ever did lmao. idk i think the shorter list actually makes this feel a little more honest from me than previous years
Disgustingly fucking loud, as you could imagine something which is able to procreate with an entire time of the day would be. Some really rotten sounding doom shit, unfortunately a little samey though, which is why I'm gonna put it all the way down here.
|29||Tyler, the Creator|
Didn't really think this was as good as Flower Boy tbh but it made enough of an impression on me that I kept coming back to the singles. Decidedly more stripped back than Flower Boy yet somehow going for even more, this is definitely an album by the rapper Tyler, the Creator.
|28||Elizabeth Colour Wheel|
This deserves a spot on the list because holy shit did I remember what this sounded like right through the year, which is an impressive feat considering this came out fucking yonks ago. This is an excellent balance of old school sounds packaged in a fresh way, no real pallette clashing anywhere that I remember either. On point vox too.
Much more immediate than PHoBoS, sitting a little closer in pacing to Coffins which is probably my fav KD album. Wasn't really excited for this at all but I ended up really enjoying it and I've certainly come back to it a couple of times. Also really surprising to hear how much Toby has grown as a vocalist throughout his career; this and his last solo album have some uncharacteristically solid vocal performances which I always love to hear as a fellow throat player. If you liked the electronic fuckery on PHoBoS but wished Coffins was a little more streamlined, this might be what you were after.
Turbine, Hook and Haul
COIN COIN Chapter Four: Memphis
Relentlessly brisk coming on the heels of chapter three's dark, moody, borderline ambience. Where chapter three took it's time, choosing every word and note carefully, chapter four is somehow both reflective and in the moment, racing to keep up without itself while simulatenously falling over itself recounting. Even it's moments of respite are short of breath and alert to imminent flight.
Trail of the Smiling Sphinx
Wasn't really huge on her previous album but I thought this was a hell of a considered improvement, taking the elements that could have been stepped up and doing exactly that. Also any time a woman makes an album like this predominantely about abuse and the first thing a predominantly male internet community does is say the album art looks like she has herpes, I guess just proves its point. Oh, also stop comparing any woman who sings in a remotely unorthodox way to Diamanda Galas, what is this, Rolling Stone?
DO YOU DOUBT ME TRAITOR
If you're huge on texture, this collaborative effort might tickle your erogenous zones, and probably also some zones that aren't erogenous. Modular synths and left-field percussion collide to create a swathe of unusual sonic chicken tendies.
Closer to Grey
Is it old school, is it new school, did this ever exist? Gorgeous electronic music that guides an assortment of influences into a considered vision. There's also some truely bizarre cover choices on this album (i.e. Simon and Garfunkel and Jesus & Mary Chain) that really don't make sense in this style but are somehow pulled off in a reasonably adequate way, idk how they managed it.
You're No Good
I don't really have a whole lot to say about this album tbh, so i'm just gonna talk about the wellington show. these guys drink a lot of straight liquor on stage, get sweaty as all fuck and Groggs plays most the set topless. Also at one point Ritchie told the security guard to switch his flashlight off. Also the crowd was 90% white, though I figured you already probably knew that. If you're unsure, ask Noname
Jailbreak the Tesla
Cows On Hourglass Pond
Most of Avey's best material since (imo) Feels has been on his solo albums and this is no different. A little hookier maybe(?) than Eucalyptus which I tbh prefer over this one, but there's also way more exciting experimentation which is pretty much what is missing from the more recent anco albums; they just aren't exciting any more.
Nostalgia in Lemonade
At Last I Am Free
The Ascent of Deimos
Discovered this pretty late in the year, but this is some pretty sick bm from new york that uses some unexpected but on point instrumentation, especially the lo-fi choir synths. The lo-fi recording of this actually helps it instead of hindering it (i.e. it doesn't sound shit for the sake of sounding shit). Great riffs, excellent vocals, superb production.
A Malign Reincarnation / Antithesis
Girl with Basket of Fruit
Another excellent album from shoe shoe who have had a relatively inconsistent output as of recently. Probably my favourite of their albums this decade save for maybe Angel Guts:Red Classroom. This album doesn't sacrifice abrasiveness for catchiness nor vice-versa.
Pumpkin Attack on Mommy and Daddy
Rare Field Ceiling
I think a lot of what I would say about this album would be repetition from that Torture Chain one, not that they sound anything remotely the same though, they just kinda have similar production strengths. This one though is going for more of an atmosphere kinda deal though rather than a riffs driven affair, though that's not to say this album doesn't riff.
Fear In A Handful Of Dust
This is actually my first introduction to Tobin's stuff and I'm pretty much sold tbh. I don't have a lot to say about it, since I don't have much reference for it, so I'm just gonna leave it at that.
On a Hilltop Sat the Moon
Analog Fluids of Sonic Black Holes
Angry, aggressive, punishing, dark, fuck you
After Its own Death/ Walking in a Spiral
After It's Own Death side B
A lot of the stuff in this section of the list is from earlier in the year so please allow the brevity or me just straight up not writing anything on some of these.
I Get No Joy
I do admire the absolute audacity of naming his album this, considering you know for a fact every substitute teacher he ever had fucked it up. Of course, the central theme of this album is identity, so no duh. The instrumentation on this album is on fucking POINT.
You Ain't the Problem
This is a fucking stunner. A pop masterclass from an experienced producer, songwriter and performer who knows exactly what the fuck they're doing, pretty much the winning formula for anything like this tbh. Insanely detailed you'll be picking up new aspects of even the cuts that you play to death. I've been singing shit off this on my way to work pretty frequently. Please give me visual confirmation of the goddamn BANANA
You're So Hot You're Hurting My Feelings
|10||Cult of Luna|
A Dawn to Fear
At this point my list gets stressfully close to the staff top 10, but I think that's a pretty fair reflection with how little I actually caught up with this year tbh. Look, I honestly do not fuck with post metal pretty much at all, so idk what the fuck happened here but I absolutely loved this goofy ass shit.
Lights on the Hill
Though this album was pretty immediate with me, it sure does get better the more you listen to it. As the title suggests, this album is hot, the beats are dry, it's more atmospheric moments are reminiscent of smoke, not mist. It's as eclectic as the feature list suggests and brings the best out of pretty much all of them, even David Lynch's weird ass fucking voice if you were sick of hearing him shout through season 2 of Twin Peaks. I've played More to death and I still can't get it out of my head, fuck that track goes unneccesarily in.
I think this might actually grow into being my favourite of his solo albums. The bottom line really is that he's become exceptionally good at making this kind of thing and it delivers so much more than the new radiohead did. Like this more than TKOL too actually.
Twist / Dawn Chorus
This ended up slipping down the pile considerably because I really don't think this is better than Front Row Seat. maybe Lana del Rey walked so that this album could run, but boy has it fucking run, ran away with it, just taken the whole game really. This is either that perfect mash of 60s / 70s styles you wished someone would eventually make, or I mean yeah if you're sick of this kinda thing by now, and fair enough cause holy shit is it ever in, then i'd probably just pick out the singles or something. But yeah, loved this, not my favourite of hers, but I loved it nonetheless.
There Existed an Addiction to Blood
Oh FUCK I did not realise that this was exactly what I'd always wanted to hear. Pretty much the musical equivalent of a slasher flick in the style of horrorcore, but without all the things that made horrorcore lame as shit. Also that track where the beat pans by in a passing car is the best fucking thing I've heard all year.
La Mala Ordina
Beware Of The Dogs
This album might be accused of being timely or maybe too blatant about it's topics, but in reality this album is anecdotedly quite detailed, specific and subtle. Because that's the reality of it, sexism, the sexism that we really aren't upfront enough about, is subtle. Watching Telly has a lot of great lines that highlight this, it's as simple as phrasings of words, or maybe even your initial response to Mosquito. While we can very easily call out incidents like those the title track opens the album cold with, it's really the smaller more benevolent things that this album's focus lies in. there's really nothing in this not to love as far as indie folk goes. Also it's fucking great to hear someone sing with their natural accent sometimes, y'know?
Boys Will Be Boys
The Practice of Love
I picked up this pretty late in the year but I'm positive it would have ended up right here if not higher had I gotten to it earlier. Never really been 100% in love with Hval's music but jesus christ this hits like a freight truck. Probably the lushest thing you'll pick out of the pile here, awesome in it's concepts and executions. Soaring instrumentals and vocals all coalescing in perfect harmony, just fucking do your whole life a favour and hear this.
|3||Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds|
At the end of the day, I fucking love Nick Cave, so this is going to be anything but impartial. This album sounds exactly like you know it's going to, so let's get that out there. For me, this is the great realisation of the direction he's moved in since PTSA, it's as small as grandiose can get. His lyrics are exceptional as ever, somehow one of his most storied moments despite having been well out of that realm of songwriting for a long time. Excluding an unappealing run of tracks near the end of the first disc, everything here is on time and perfectly executed. I'm interested to know whether he wrote the two "parent" tracks first or not, since they bring the first disc together like the pieces of a film's final act tumbling into place
Hidden History of the Human Race
Oh god OH FUCK. This is a fucking masterclass. Don't want it to be longer, don't wish it were shorter, ticks all the fucking riff boxes, ticks all the soundscape boxes, blows all other metal from the last couple of years out of the water, and it's not even about water.
The Giza Power Plant
Inner Paths (To Outer Space)
|1||Billy Woods, Kenny Segal|
Of everything else I had on constant rotation this year, I probably came back to this one the most. Billy Woods is one of my favourite rappers at the moment and this album sees him unite with some of the unholiest production I've ever heard. This album is delapidated, it's falling apart, it used to be something and it is the hardest fucking mood of the year.
a day in a week in a year